Cuthbert is given the Herculean task of winning the Lindisfarne monks over to the Benedictine rule of life, which he, himself, has only newly adopted after the Synod of Whitby. But, despite the bitterness and aggression shown towards him by those who were reluctant to change, he remained patient, kind, and sensitive to others, yet strong and resolute. Also interesting that Bede understands the ‘tedium’ of the long nights of prayer. There is nothing romantic here, just hard graft. This passage gives us the greatest insight into the daily monastic life Cuthbert experienced as prior of Lindisfarne, and it is deeply moving in its humanity.
Jesus feeds the crowds with bread and fishes, and the disciples report what the whole country, including Herod, is saying about Jesus’ identity. Then Peter utters the ultimate profession, “You are the Christ of God.” There it is. But how little he realises what he has said, for then comes the call to participate with Jesus in the redemption of the world, to be partakers with him of Earth’s restoration – “take up your cross daily and follow me.”