The first of our series of 15-20 minute times of morning prayer through Lent to start the day with readings from the psalms, the Gospel of Luke, a chapter from Bede’s Life of Cuthbert, and some prayers. The pace is deliberately slow, to allow for contemplation, reflection, and supplication.
Bede begins his ‘Life’ with a quote from the prophet Jeremiah, encouraging in its monastic call to contemplation and silence, something that was to become a powerful theme later in Cuthbert’s life. Interestingly, the Anglo-Saxons saw infancy extending to eight years of age, with ‘boyhood’ beginning after that. The Cuthbert we discover is full of energy, competitive, boisterous, good natured and kind. Bede, rather understandably, feels the need to explain and justify the actions of the four-year-old in the story, setting it alongside the tale of Balaam’s donkey!
Alongside this, we begin the Gospel of Luke with the two angelic visitations, so different in their reception.