The Shepherd, September 2008

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“BE GENTLE in giving, unremitting in charity, just in all things; forget injuries but remember benefits.  Be obedient to the aged, obliging to the young, not overweening to your equals.  Vie with the perfect, never envy those who are better than yourself; do not be angry with those who have outdistanced you; do not speak slightingly of those who linger on the way; give ear to those who urge you on.  When you are weary and cast down, do not lose heart; weep over your failings, but rejoice in the hope that is in you.  If you see you are making progress, harbour a wholesome fear of the uncertain issue of life.”


Ven. Columban of Bobbio,  + 615 A.D.



“PAY THE TAX (see Matt. 17:27), Christ says, lest they think that we despise and disdain the law, and we give offence.  I am not paying because I owe the tax, but I make allowance for their weakness.  We learn from this that we should not cause offense to anyone over things that do not harm us, but when we would be harmed by some action, then neither should we be concerned about those who unreasonably take offense.  To show, therefore, that He is God and Ruler of the sea, He sent Peter to take the coin from the fish.  At the same time we learn a mystery: The fish is our nature immersed in the depths of unbelief, but the apostolic word drew us up and found in our mouth the coin, the words of the Lord and the confession of Christ.  For he who confesses Christ has in his mouth the coin which equals the two-drachma pieces.  For Christ also has two natures, being both God and man.  Thus the coin is Christ, which was given for two, the Jews and the Gentiles, the righteous and the sinners.  And if you should see a miser who has nothing in his mouth except gold and silver, know that this man is like a fish swimming in the sea of life, and if a teacher like Peter can be found, he will hook this fish and extract from his mouth the gold and silver.”


Blessed Theophylact of Ochrid, + c. 1108 A.D.

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