16th January

Serenity

I am content and at peace. As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me. Psalm 131: 2

Cuthbert kept throughout the same countenance, the same spirit. At all hours he was happy and joyful, neither wearing a sad expression at the remembrance of a sin nor being elated by the loud praises of those who marvelled at his manner of life….

After two years he resigned the bishopric and returned to the solitary way of life on the island…. He remained alone, satisfied with the converse and ministry of angels, full of hope and putting his trust wholly in God, though his body was now infirm and afflicted with a certain sickness.
Life of Cuthbert by an anonymous monk of Lindisfarne

(Following the imposition of Roman regulations at the Council of Whitby) there were certain brothers at the Lindisfarne monastery who preferred to conform to their old usage rather than to the monastic rule. Nevertheless Cuthbert overcame these by his modest virtue and his patience, and by daily effort he gradually converted them into a better state of mind. In fact very often during debates in the chapter concerning the rule, when he was assailed by the bitter insults of his opponents, he would rise up suddenly and with calm mind and countenance would go out, thus dissolving the chapter, but none the less, on the following day, as if he had suffered no repulse the day before, he would give the same instruction as before to the brothers…. For he was a man remarkable for the strength of his patience and unsurpassed in bravely bearing every burden whether of mind or body.
Bede’s Life of Cuthbert

The serenity of Christ
The serenity of kindly Cuthbert
The serenity of mild and loving Mary
The serenity of Christ, King of tenderness
Be upon each window and door
The four corners of this place
The four corners of my bed
Be upon each thing my eye takes in
Upon each thing my mouth takes in
Upon my body that is of the earth
Upon my spirit that came from on high.
Carmina Gadelica – adapted

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