Advent December 19th: Saint Samthann’s Day
Don’t let the devil get your junk!
“And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.””
December 19th is Saint Samthann’s Day. She is one of four female Irish Saints for whom Latin Vita’s (life stories) exist. She died on December 19, 739. She is associated with the ascetic Celi De movement, which emphasized serving the poor, and focused on the musical element of worship. It is written of Samthann that, “on one occasion a lascivious monk visited the saint’s monastery and attempted to seduce one of the virgins living there. When he left the monastery and crossed the river to meet the girl a giant eel rose out of the water, bit him on the genitals and wrapped itself around his waist. The eel remained in this position until the monk returned to the monastery and begged for and received forgiveness from St Samthann.” (Note from Wikipedia)
Zacharias’ doubt caused him to be struck dumb for a season. The young lascivious monk’s lust brought the curse of a giant eel to clamp down on his family jewels. There are things like doubt, lust, greed, and pride which stand in the way of God’s work, and His mission in our lives. The missional mind allows our passions to be God’s passions for us, and battles against destructive selfishness.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the faith and the faithfulness to live as purely as Saint Samthann, that I may experience the blessings of God. Like Samthann, and like Mary the mother of our Lord, may my song and my worship be directed unreservedly to You. May it direct others in the same way, and may I remain free from a self-indulgent life, which allows the devil to get my junk.