I never really felt a connection to John but rather to St. Senan. St. Senan’s story has virtually faded into Irish folklore but for a time, he was THE Catholic dude on Scattery Island where he founded a monastery. He is considered one of the 12 Irish Apostles having been well educated and traveled around the known Christian world. He also was sort of a “black and white” kind of guy. It was his way or the highway which, in retrospect, is why I identify with him. I don’t pretend to like change or even breaking the rules. This is why I will probably never leave the Catholic Church. That’s why I love Ecclesiastes--“a time to tears, a time for laughter…” Goodness, I love me some rules and a time for everything and everything in its time.
According to legend, St. Senan forbade women from setting foot on Scattery Island. When his beloved sister died, he waited until low tide and buried her as close to the island as he could. So Senan skated around the rules. This bothered me for several years. Again, my scattered mind was working oddly again.
Did this bother Senan? How did he justify skirting his own rules? I tossed that thought around and decided that some rules should be skirted or ignored. Honestly I do deliberately disobey rules like the time my son has ordered that I am not sing any Adele songs while in his presence. Yep, ignored that and started singing louder and more off key, if that was possible. And then are ordinary people put in horrible situations. The Righteous Among Nations honors those who helped Jewish families escape the Holocaust.
So that dilemma about not always following the rules has an answer--a moral person must skip or amend rules like St. Senan. It is the righteous thing to do.