Drink From the Fountain of Life

Listen to my words. You are going to hear something that must be said. You slake your soul’s thirst with drafts of the divine fountain. I now wish to speak of this. Revive yourself, but do not quench your thirst. Drink, I say, but do not entirely quench your thirst, for the fountain of life, the fountain of love calls us to him and says: ‘Whoever thirsts, let them come to me and drink.’

Understand well what you drink. Jeremiah the prophet would tell us; the fountain of life would himself tell us: ‘For they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, says the Lord.’ The Lord himself, our God Jesus Christ, is the fountain of life, and accordingly he invites us to himself as to a fountain, that we may drink. Whoever loves him, drinks him. You drink who are filled with the Word of God. You drink who love him fully and really desire him. You drink who are on fire with the love of wisdom.

Consider the source of the fountain; bread comes down to us from the same place since the same one is the bread and the fountain, the only-begotten Son, our God, Christ the Lord, for whom we should always hunger. We may even eat him out of love for him, and devour him out of desire, longing for him eagerly. Let us drink from him, as from a fountain, with an abundance of love. May we drink him with the fullness of desire, and may we take pleasure in his sweetness and savour.

For the Lord is sweet and gracious; rightly then let us eat and drink of him yet remain ever hungry and thirsty, since he is our food and drink, but can never be wholly eaten and consumed. Though he may be eaten, he is never consumed; one can drink of him and he is not diminished because our bread is eternal and our fountain is sweet and everlasting. Hence the prophet says: ‘You who thirst, come to the fountain.’ He is the fountain for those who are thirsty but are never fully satisfied. Therefore he calls to himself the hungry whom he raised to a blessed condition elsewhere. They were never satisfied in drinking; the more they drank, the greater their thirst. It is right that we must always long for, seek and love the Word of God on high, the fountain of wisdom. According to the Apostle’s words ‘all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in him,’ and he calls the thirsty to drink.

If you thirst, drink of the fountain of life; if you are hungry, eat the bread of life. Blessed are they who hunger for this bread and thirst for this fountain, for in so doing they will desire ever more to eat and drink. For what they eat and drink is exceedingly sweet and their thirst and appetite for more is never satisfied. Though it is ever tasted it is ever more desired. Hence the prophet-king says: ‘O taste and see how sweet, how gracious the Lord is.’

— From Christ the Fount of Life in the Instructions of Columbanus (543-615)


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