Hild of Whitby: My Soul’s Desire

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Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

“Hild founded the great double monestary at Whitby (where men and women lived side by side under her rule), and there she was sought out for her wise counsel by ordinary folk and rulers alike.”

This excerpt comes from her prayer entitled “Wrestling with the call of God”

“Take me often from the tumult of things into thy presence.
There show me what I am and what thou has purposed for me to be.
Then hide me from Thy tears.

O King and Savior, what is thy gift to me?
And do I use it to thy pleasing?

Now we must praise the guardian of heaven, the might of the Lord and His purpose of mind.
The glorious all Father, for He, God eternal, is kind.

The will of God be done by us,
the law of God be kept by us.
Our evil be controlled by us,
our sharp tongue checked by us.
Quick forgiveness offered by us,
speedy repentence made by us.
Temptation sternly shunned by us,
blessed death welcomed by us,
angel’s music heard by us.
God’s highest praises sung by us.

Christ, You are the Truth;
You are the Light.

You are the Keeper of the treasure
we seek so blindly.

My soul’s desire is to see the face of God
and to rest in His house.
My soul’s desire is to study the Scriptures
and to learn the ways of God.
My soul’s desire is to be freed from all fear and sadness
and to share Christ’s risen life.
My soul’s desire is to imitate my King,
and to sing His purposes always.
My soul’s desire is to enter the gates of heaven
and to gaze opon the light that shines forever.

Dear Lord, You along know what my soul truly desires,
and You alone can satisfy those desires.

I have prepared a place for you.
Says the Lord, a place that is for you,
And only you to fill.
Approach My table, asking first that you might serve.
Look even for the lowest tasks.
Then, the work of service done,
you may look for your own place at the table.
But do not seek the most important seat
which may be reserved for someone else.
In the place of My appointing will be your joy.

Lord, show me the right seat;
find me the fitting task;
Give me the willing heart.

May I be equal to Your hope of me.
If I am weak,
I ask you to send only what I can bear.
If I am strong,
may I shrink from no testing
that shall yield increase of strength
or win security for my spirit.

I trust in Thee, O Lord.
I say, ‘Thou art my God.
My times are in Thy hand,
my times are in Thy hand.”

Hild of Whitby (614-680) in Celtic Daily Prayer (New York: Harper Collins, 2002) 167-170.

Today is our 29th anniversary. This post seemed fitting as Jenni is much like Hild. People seek spiritual counsel from her. She, like Hild, points people to journey with God in a beautiful way.

Only when we receive everything from God, including our calling, as a gift, can we live generously year after year. Someday we will all assume the place prepared for us and take our seat at the table.

In the meantime, the journey requires a willing heart to serve. When we do what God desires and when we entrust our times in God’s hands we impact the community God gives us like Hild (or Jenni) for His glory.