According to The Celtic Year, today is the feast of St. Comgall, an Irish monk, founder of the Bangor monastery which formed and sent monks out to the world, including Columbanus who founded monasteries in France, Switzerland, and Italy.
His way of monastic life was severe – one meal a day, and he himself would at times pray standing in freezing waters.
His rule has been preserved and has these beautiful lines, quoted by Esther de Waal, cited in The Celtic Year:
Preserve the rule of the Lord;
in this you will run no risk;
Try not to transgress it
as long as your life lasts.
This is the most important part of the rule;
love Christ; hate wealth;
Devotion to the King of the sun
and kindness to people.
If anybody enters the path of repentance
it is sufficient
to advance a step every day.
Do not wish to be like the charioteer.
How often do I want to advance like a charioteer – or like a racecar driver, we’d say today. But the wisdom of the saints is “advance a step a day.”
Even one step a day can be a great advance in terms of the Kingdom of God.
Though we set our sights high – on God, we advance only if we tread carefully, everyday, one step at a time, watching where we are going, not racing by the opportunities God offers us every day to walk in His footsteps.