Skip to main content

St Chad

All my life
the wind has spoken to me.

The confusion of noise,
the clash of branches,
the crash of thunder
have said to my soul: Beware!
Are you ready?

Behold, the Lord comes.
He is coming with judgement,
He is coming with majesty,
He is coming in power.
Are you ready?

And all my life
I have not been ready.
I have fallen to my knees
and pleaded for mercy
and heard only the blowing of the wind.

But today
the angels have sung to me.

The purity of tone,
the beauty of melody,
the complexity of harmony
have said to my soul: Peace!
You are ready.

Behold, the Lord comes.
He is coming with love,
He is coming with joy,
He is coming with reward.
You are ready.

And today
I am ready.
I have fallen to my knees
and accepted Jesus' mercy
and heard only the song of the angels.




Recently we visited Lichfield Cathedral, which is associated with St Chad.  Chad, or Ceadda, became bishop of Lichfield in the 7th century, when it was part of the ancient kingdom of Mercia, and played a major part in converting the Mercians from paganism to Christianity.

Most of what we know of Chad comes from the writings of Bede, who tells two stories about him.  The first is that, whenever there was a strong gust of wind, he would drop whatever he was doing and pray to God.  If the wind continued, or a storm blew up, his prayers for mercy became more and more earnest; and this he attributed to the reminder of Judgement Day that the wind provided.

The second concerns his death; that seven days before he died, a sweet singing was heard by Chad and a man named Owini.  Moving across the sky, the singing filled the building where Chad was, before returning by the route it had come.  The song, he said, was from angelic spirits, come to call him to his heavenly reward.


St Chad died on the second of March, which is now his feast day.  The Church of England's prayer on this day is:

Almighty God,
from the first fruits of the English nation who turned to Christ,
you called your servant Chad
to be an evangelist and bishop of his own people:
give us grace so to follow his peaceable nature,
humble spirit and prayerful life,
that we may truly commend to others
the faith which we ourselves profess;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
from Common Worship: Daily Prayer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride: Spiritual Formation Book 13

"Love is a sweet and pleasurable food because it gives rest to the tired, strength to the weak, and joy to the sorrowful. Love makes the yoke of truth easy to bear and its burden light." Bernard of Clairvaux was born in 1090. At the age of 22 he became a Cistercian monk, and persuaded about thirty of his relatives and friends to join him on this path. He became the abbot of Clairvaux when he was 25 years old. During his lifetime he founded many other monastic communities. This edition includes two of St Bernard's books: The Twelve Steps of Humility and Pride and On Loving God . They are short books, with very short chapters, often only a page or so long. The first was written for his fellow monks; the second for "the illustrious Lord Aimeric, Cardinal-Deacon and Chancellor of the Roman Church", who had apparently been asking Bernard questions about the faith. What is the book about? Twelve Steps spends its first half describing what the goal of humility is, b

Melbourne Art Festival: A Surprisingly Good Afternoon Out

Maybe it was the warm autumn weather.  Maybe it was the fun of peeking into other people's back gardens.  Maybe it was the novelty of standing with other people, listening to real live musicians.  Or maybe it was just the giant pink ice creams. Whatever it was, Melbourne Festival had turned into a surprisingly satisfying afternoon.  I'd seen the posters for it and thought it might be a nice change from yet another walk on a Sunday afternoon, but that was about as high as my expectations had been. When we arrived, the male three-quarters of the family were immediately pleased to see the signs for classic cars at Melbourne Hall.  Shortly afterwards, I was pleased to discover that there were only about half a dozen of them, so that we could rapidly move on to less mechanical works of art. The festival was spread out around the village of Melbourne, in churches, halls, and private gardens.  Melbourne is one of those fascinating places anyway, with archways and alleyways and houses

Making a mess

My friend Ellie writes a blog which I now shamelessly crib ideas from, when I am stuck for something new to do with Toby.  Some time ago she wrote about a substance with the poetic moniker of cloud dough .  It sounded simple to make and fun to play with, so I tucked it away in the back of my mind. The recipe is childishly simple: 8 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and mix.  It comes out kind of sandy, although softer and more powdery. Now, Ellie has two gorgeous girls.  Her blog entries were full of photos of them adding pretty objects and creating cute little landscapes.  I, on the other hand, have a full-on hands-on get-stuck-in-as-far-as-possible boy.  This is what happens when you let him loose on a scatterable substance. We make it and it all starts well.  Notice I have prepared for mess with a large tarpaulin and lack of shorts. A few minutes in, and the mess is spreading up the T-shirt.  It's still mostly in the tray though.  From that point o