St. Augustine of Canterbury
St. Augustine of Canterbury is like so many of the reluctant heroes we read about in stories. He entered a monastery fully expecting to spend his whole life inside its walls. Instead, he was sent to the edge of the civilized world, called by Pope Gregory the Great to go to Britain and bring Christianity to the people there. In a letter to Augustine, Pope Gregory gave a very simple reason for why he was sending him: “we are seeking in Britain brothers whom we do not know.”
At the start of the week, we spoke of the unity that the Holy Spirit gives to us. Here, we see a manifestation of that. Gregory and Augustine feel a kinship with the people in Britain–though neither of them are British–and so wish to seek them out and bring Christ to them. They feel the unity, and know that the unity will only be deepened by bringing the Britons into the Church. There are no limits to the people that the Holy Spirit can bring together in this unity. Do we ourselves believe in this boundless unity, and seek out brethren whom we do not even know?