8th May

Praise In Icy Conditions

Lord, you raised me up from the gates of death so that I may recount your praises before your people. and tell of your deliverance. Psalm 9: 13,14.

The radical new lifestyle that Drithelm adopted after his near death experience had twin peaks.

The first peak was voluntary poverty. Following a day of prayerafter his recovery he divided his estate into three. The first third he gave to his wife, the second third to his children, and the last third to himself. That third he promptly distributed to people in the neighbourhood who were in greatest need. Is that a model worth considering when we make our wills?

The second peak was the singing of God’s praises in and out of season. His hut was on the edge of the monastery grounds, by the river Tweed. He frequently, as a penance, stood in the water, sometimes up to his waist and at other times up to his neck, reciting scriptures or singing psalms for as long as he could endure it. He did this even in winter, standing in the river with bits of ice floating about him! Bystanders would say ‘Its wonderful that you can stand such cold’ and Drithelm would reply: ‘I have seen it colder.’ And when they asked ‘How can you endure such austerity?’ Drithelm dryly replied ‘I have seen more austerity’.

This man of Melrose became a talking point in the region, and many people were influenced for God by his example.

November is a ‘no’ month. It is easy to allow ourselves to be pulled down.
So I decided to make it a ‘yes’ month. Each day I make sure there is something for which I can say ‘yes’ to God.
Margaret Burns of Northumberland

Champion, save me from being a fair-weather Christian.
When I get cold feet
remind me of the example of people such as Drithelm.
May the praises of God be in my mouth
whatever I feel like
today and every day.