Humility, Saints and Poets

Saint Francis was never ordained priest, let alone bishop. David, born of royal blood, became a bishop at his birthplace beside the sea in Pembrokeshire.

Francis died praising God; David urging his followers to be faithful to the little things. A quarter Welsh, I should attend to my patron.

One interpretation of David’s words is to take care of the little tasks of daily life, to do them well and cheerfully. Another, which by no means contradicts that, is not to be ambitious for the riches of this world, to be content with the little things. David was content with little: bread, water and herbs – surely that means vegetables, including his emblematic leek. Yet another reading is to be faithful to the little people; certainly the life’s work of a bishop.

For Dylan Thomas the little people of his imagined little town of Llaregub were saintly sinners, for

‘It is Spring in Llareggub in the sun of my old age, and this is the Chosen Land.’[1]

Therese would agree that, even if we are not in Wales,this is the Chosen Land, and so we are saints, even sinful saints, that walk beneath its sun. She did not always find it easy to see the saints in her sisters!

[1] Dylan Thomas: ‘Under Milk Wood‘, p48.

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