Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401),– 15 August
“Augustine and Simplician, sons of Milan, followers of Christ”
“Another great name enters Milan’s rich story in 384, that of the man who became St Augustine. In 384 he was not yet a saint. But he was a man who was searching, probing and asking questions, testing the spirits that drove him. First he found Ambrose, who “welcomed me as a father would and like a good bishop approved of my journeying,” according to his Confessions. Still, he was not ready to accept the Christian faith and way of life. But Ambrose could not be the spiritual director he needed.
Augustine had gotten through his doctrinal doubts and he “liked the Way, which was our Saviour, though the tight and narrow parts of that way” annoyed him. So God put it in his mind to go to Simplician, “whom I considered to be your good servant and your grace shone in him. I heard that since his youth he lived most devoted to you.” Now he had grown old and to Augustine he seemed to have become a great expert in studying God’s ways. “And so he was! So I wanted to share with him my inner turmoil so he might teach me how best I, as I was, could walk in your ways.”
That is quite an endorsement! From one saint-to-be about a wise and holy mentor, guide, companion on the road. One intently searching, the other guiding that search. We all need help from time as we make our authentic way. Maybe it can sound trite, an easy image, our life as a journey or pilgrimage, our walking the camino to a holy goal. But it speaks a deep truth.“…(Fr Edward W Schmidt S.J.)