Today’s entry in Ray Simpson’s book, The Celtic Book of Days, is titled, “A Nursery of Saints.” Simpson asks us if our “faith communities” are either lifeless museums or life fostering nurseries. He then tells the story of St. Comgall.
It seems the day before his birth, Mac Nisse of Connor exclaimed that a passing carriage carried a future king. However, when the carriage was inspected, all that was found was “Sedna and his pregnant wife Birga.” Mac Nisse, of course, meant the child Birga was carrying—Comgall.
Comgall went on to found the great monastery at Bangor where several thousand monks resided. Their service booklet, The Antiphonary of Bangor, resides in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, and can be viewed online. Simpson gets his title for today’s entry from a comment by Bernard of Clairvaux who described the monastery as “the nursery of saints.”
It seems that what Simpson (and Bernard of Clairvaux) is suggesting that our communities of faith be places that help other followers in their growth. And I agree with that. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19). To me, making disciples is about helping people grow in Christ. It’s helping them become more like Christ. It’s helping them on their journeys into theosis (deification).
How is your community of faith? Is it more of a museum or a nursery? If it’s a museum, what steps can you do to help it become a nursery?
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC