One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) in the ArchDiocese of Milan.
“For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”….Isaiah 41:13
The Confessions – Book VIII – St Augustine’s Conversion to Christ: Augustine is deeply impressed by Simplicianus’ story of the conversion to Christ of the famous orator and philosopher, Marius Victorinus. He is stirred to emulate him but finds himself still enchained by his incontinence and preoccupation with worldly affairs. He is then visited by a court official, Ponticianus, who tells him and Alypius the stories of the conversion of Anthony and also of two imperial “secret service agents.” These stories throw him into a violent turmoil, in which his divided will struggles against himself. He almost succeeds in making the decision for continence but is still held back. Finally, a child’s song, overheard by chance, sends him to the Bible; a text from Paul resolves the crisis; the conversion is a fact. Alypius also makes his decision and the two inform the rejoicing Monica.
REFLECTION – “And Thou didst put it into my mind and it seemed good in my own sight, to go to Simplicianus, who appeared to me a faithful servant of Thine and Thy grace shone forth in him. I had also been told that from his youth up he had lived in entire devotion to Thee. He was already an old man and because of his great age, which he had passed in such a zealous discipleship in Thy way, he appeared to me likely to have gained much wisdom–and, indeed, he had. From all his experience, I desired him to tell me–setting before him all my agitations–which would be the most fitting way for one who felt as I did to walk in thy way.”…St Augustine (From the Confessions – Book VIII – Chapter 1)
PRAYER – “Go on, O Lord and act, stir us up and call us back, inflame us and draw us to Thee, stir us up and grow sweet to us, let us now love Thee, let us run to Thee. Are there not many men … who, out of a deeper pit of darkess.. return to Thee–who draw near to Thee and are illuminated by that light which gives those who receive it power from Thee to become Thy sons? “… (St Augustine – From the Confessions Book VIII – Chapter IV) St Simplician, pray for us, Amen.