From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Mar 23 00:00:08 2021
God is the only teacher
"As Christians, our task is to make daily progress toward God. Our pilgrimage on earth is a school in which God is the only teacher, and
it demands good students, not ones who play truant. In this school we
learn something every day. We learn something from commandments,
something from examples, and something from sacraments. These things
are remedies for our wounds and materials for study."
Are you an eager student of God's word and do you listen to it with
faith and obedience?
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may listen to your
word attentively and obey it joyfully."
March 23rd - St. Aethelwold, Hermit at Farne
(also known as Ethelwald or Edelwald or Oidilwald the Hermit)
St. Aethelwold was, for some time, a monk at Ripon, "where having
received the priestly office," says Bede, "he sanctified it by a life
worthy of that degree. After the death of that man of God, Cuthbert,
this venerable priest succeeded him in the exercise of a solitary
life, in the cell which the saint had inhabited in the Islet of Farne,
before he was made bishop." He found Cuthbert's little oratory so
rudely put together, that the sea-wind shrieked in through the joints
of the planks. Though patched up with clay and stubble, the chapel was
so full of draughts that Aethelwold felt obliged to obtain a calf's
skin, which he nailed against the wall where he was wont to pray, in
order to keep the wind from blowing in his ear.
Bede says, "I will relate one miracle of Ethelwold, which was told me
by one of the brothers who was concerned and for whose sake it was
wrought, Guthfred, the venerable servant and priest of Christ, who
afterwards presided in quality of abbot over the church of
Lindisfarne, in which he was educated. I came, said he, to the Islet
of Farne, with two other brothers, desiring to speak with the most
reverend father, Aethelwold, and, when we had been comforted by his
discourses, and having asked his blessing, were returning home when,
on a sudden, as we were in the sea, the fair weather that was wafting
us over changed and so great and furious a storm fell on us that
neither sail nor oars availed, and we despaired of life."
"Having a good while struggled in vain with the wind and waves, we
looked back at last to see if by any means we might return to the
island, but found that we were equally beset with the tempest on all
sides; but we could perceive Aethelwold at the mouth of his cavern, contemplating our danger. For, hearing the howl of the wind and the
roar of the sea, he came forth to see how we fared. And, when he saw
our desperate condition, he bent his knees to the Father of Our Lord,
Jesus Christ, to pray for our life and safety. As he finished his
prayer, the swelling sea immediately abated its violence and the rage
of the winds ceased, and a fair gale, springing up, bore us over the
smooth waters to the shore. But no sooner had we arrived and drawn our
boat out of the water, than the same storm began to rage again and
ceased not all that day; to the end that it might plainly appear that
this small intermission had been granted from heaven, at the prayer of
the man of God, that we might escape."
Aethelwold spent 12 years on Farne and died there on 23rd March (or
21st April) AD 699. He was buried on Lindisfarne, in the Priory Church
of St. Peter, near the bodies of SS. Cuthbert and Edbert. His bones
were afterwards taken up, in the time of the Danish ravages of AD 875,
and, after numerous wanderings around northern England, were
translated to Durham in AD 995 and more honourably enshrined in 1160.
Edited from S. Baring-Gould's "The Lives of the Saints" (1877).
If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If
you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy
without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs
of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make
them buy it.
--St. Thomas of Villanova
Woe to the person whose reputation is greater than his works.
"Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy." [Jonah 2:8]
How we, each of us, should wash one another's feet
If I then being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also
ought to wash one another's feet [John xiii. 14]
Our Lord wishes that His disciples shall imitate His example. He
says therefore, If I, who am the greater, being your master and the
Lord, have washed your feet, you also, all the more who are the less,
who are disciples, slaves even, ought to wash one another's feet.
Whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister . .
. . Even as the Son of Man is not come to be ministered unto, but to
minister (Matt. xx. 26-28).
We can also say that in this one act Our Lord showed all the works
of mercy. He who gives bread to the hungry, washes his feet, as also
does the man who harbours the harbourless or he who clothes the naked.