In addition to these external labors, the monk had his daily regime and personal ascetic practices. One has but to read a little of the Irish monastic “Rules” that have come down to us to see the ascetic intensity, single-mindedness, and severity with which these monks pursued their goal. Yet they were not pursuing asceticism as an end in itself: they were seeking to enter into a deep relationship with the Source of all beauty and truth: Christ God.
This Christ-centered striving directly flowered in tremendous artistic creativity. The monks became “co-creators,” creating things beautiful because they had been fashioned in the image of Him Who is the Creator and because they had consciously developed an inner likeness to the Source of all that is, both heavenly and earthly. This can be seen in the carved Celtic crosses, manuscript illuminations, the beautiful “Litanies” and poems that have come down to us, but, most clearly of all, in the “Lives” of these saints. It is this spiritual beauty that today attracts the soul of Westerners.
--Monk Nicodemus, Saint Herman Calendar 2001: Saints of Scotland, Platina, Cal., p. 3
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!