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Hallo again to all.

That the feast of St David of Wales fell on Ash Wednesday this year seems well suited given the notoriously austere lifestyle of the monk and his community. Born in either the late fifth or early sixth century, he is traditionally thought to be the son of Saint Non and the grandson of Ceredig ap Cunedda, king of Ceredigion, now a county in mid-Wales. He founded several monasteries in Wales, Britain, and Brittany, and was known for his anti-Pelagian rhetoric, which led to his appointment as primate of the region, and later Bishop of Mynyw, closer to his home (now St. David's).

The Monastic Rule of David required 'that monks had to pull the plow themselves without draught animals; to drink only water; to eat only bread with salt and herbs; and to spend the evenings in prayer, reading and writing. No personal possessions were allowed: to say "my book" was an offence. He taught his followers to fast, especially refraining from eating meat or imbibing alcohol.'* One legend holds that some of his fellow monks at one point rebelled against the strictness of the rule, for which St David became known as Dewi Dyfrwr (David the Waterdrinker).

It seems rather fitting, then, that St David is typically recognized during this season of fasting. A season of giving up in order to increase our closeness with God. This year, most congregations likely skipped over St David's Day, superseded by the occurrence of Ash Wednesday, or perhaps parishes celebrating David of Wales as a patron transferred the observance to today, celebrating with daffodils, leeks, and red dragons. We imagine that David would have preferred the observance of Ash Wednesday regardless. A day of fasting, study, and prayer seems the truest and most representative way to honor this saint of the church.

As noble as we find this manner of life, it is not one to which we find ourselves called. The holy Lent we hope to live must allow us to live in the world, continue our jobs and place with our families while striving to draw nearer to God.

This Lent, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is bringing images of Christ from around the world to social media, each with unique messages and symbolism. Images of Jesus laughing and Jesus as teacher have already been shared, along with reflections and invitations to comment or request prayer, tied together with #TheChristWeShare. Comments and prayers, have come from across the Anglican Communion, with new and diverse interpretations.

We are in part drawn to the simplicity of this offer. A hint to draw us back to Christ during our every-day lives. Though not full of our season of fasting—not as deep as praying the Stations of the Cross nor as interruptive as some sacrifices many take up, this symbolic reminder in the noise of our Facebook and Twitter feeds has us gratefully stopping. What symbols or images of the church or its saints are your favourite? Let us know!

Hwyl am y tro. See you again next week!

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5 March 2017

*David of Wales., 2012.

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