Today’s entry in Ray Simpson’s book, The Celtic Book of Days, talks about Saint Samson. I’m no expert on Samson (I’ll leave that to Amma Beth+ from the Lindisfarne Community), but it seems the only date we’re fairly certain of is Samson’s ordination as a bishop on February 22 in 521 CE. According to Simpson, Samson arrived in Guernsey in the 5th century during the celebration of the New Year which was celebrated “according to a vile custom” of their ancestors. According to his biographer, Samson made friends with the islanders, “exuding a spirit of love, not judgement.” Gathering everyone together in one place, Samson started a conversation with the islanders about the emptiness of some of their customs. Because of Samson’s love for them, God began to open the eyes of the people.
Simpson tells us, “[Samson’s] method was one of meeting, not denunciation. Confronted by his dedicated love, the people’s hardness melted away. They threw away all that was empty, and the customs of generations were enriched.”
This type of encounter is quite common in the lives of the Celtic Saints. What would our nation look like today if the first Christian people that came to this country followed the example of St. Samson? How can we take this example and apply to our lives today? What if we didn’t look at the refugees as potential terrorists and saw them as fellow human beings in need of sanctuary? What if we follow the example of the Celtic Saints and didn’t see minorities as non-humans that need to be eliminated or their culture decimated? What would happen if we saw true beauty is not found in uniformity but diversity? How would our world change? How would our country change? How would our communities change? Perhaps you and I can be those changes today. Maybe, in the gentleness of God’s Spirit, we can take those first steps, those pulse-pounding, fear of the unknown steps, and start changing our world.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC