Monday, 28 February 2011

Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd

According to an internet encyclopaedia, St David, Dewi Sant, was known to encourage his brothers on his deathbed, to be joyful, and imitate the little things they had heard and seen him do in life, for in death, he would walk the path trod by our fathers; it reminds me of St Paul's exhortation to the Corinthians to follow him, as he had followed Christ. We must strive, of course, to imitate the lives of the saints, whether they be St Paul or St David (preferably both!), who themselves imitated the Lord, because they are our elder brothers and sisters in the faith, who have already won their crown, keeping 'jocund company' with the Lord in heaven.

Moreover, it is often the little things in life that we do which makes a difference. In our days, many people will say 'what is the point of doing this or that', because there is no immediate visible reward: this is because we live in a utilitarian society. Sometimes, the little things are the most important things to do: helping an old lady find the right bus on the timetable, stopping to chat to someone looking a little lonely at a social, being a discrete ear and friendly tea-maker, or even opening the front door when you'd rather just stay on your 'couch and lie in vacant or in pensive mood'.

Daffodils: the traditional flower associated with St David.
I'm no fan of Wordsworth, but I hope you enjoy the occasional hat-tip!

St David was a simple and ascetic monk. Like many holy monks, they were unwillingly called to serve the Church in a particular way, and David was called to be a bishop to defend the faith against false teaching. This great bishop and holy monk was ministering to the ancient Christian Britons in the west of our country well before the re-evangelisation of the English by St Augustine of Canterbury and others, including our own St Felix.

I don't know whether there is any link between St David and our diocese of East Anglia (probably not!), but the patron saint of my home town, St Neot, was a monk and sacristan of Glastonbury Abbey, apparently visited by David a few centuries before. Perhaps little Neot dressed the altar in the abbey, dedicated by David, with his finest linens. David is, of course, the patron of Wales, wherefrom many in East Anglia (priest, seminarian and parishioner alike) claim decent; so a happy feast to all!

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