Thought for the Week

Argyllshire Advertiser - - DISTRICT NEWS - with Mar­i­lyn Shed­den

Amidst all the ex­cesses, all the cel­e­brat­ing, all the ex­trav­a­gance of the last cou­ple of weeks, there was one amaz­ing voice.

I am think­ing of an el­derly her­mit who lived a life of soli­tude and aus­ter­ity in an old leaky car­a­van.

Sis­ter Wendy was a nun who had re­nounced the world and all its plea­sures to live a life of com­plete and to­tal com­mit­ment to God. How­ever Sis­ter Wendy, the self ef­fac­ing nun who lived in poverty, un­ex­pect­edly be­came a TV celebrity.

She was liv­ing a her­mit’s life in a win­dow­less trailer at an English monastery, pray­ing for hours upon hours and ven­tur­ing out­side only for Mass and to get books from a mo­bile li­brary.

That is un­til pro­ducer Ni­cholas Ros­siter per­suaded Sis­ter Wendy to talk about the paint­ings in Bri­tain’s Na­tional Gallery for a 1991 BBC doc­u­men­tary. She and Mov­ing Art were an in­stant hit.

Her 1997 se­ries, Sis­ter Wendy’s Story of Painting, took her 30,000 miles through Europe, the Mid­dle East and the US to talk about works rang­ing from pre­his­toric cave paint­ings to Pi­casso and Pop Art.

Re­cently she said of her fru­gal and faith filled life: ‘I give thanks for my life of such un­imag­in­able hap­pi­ness.’

Sis­ter Wendy has just died at the age of 88, and in her poverty, the riches she had of faith and con­tent­ment, were all she needed for her own ful­fil­ment.

It again re­minds us that the real gifts in life are be­yond price – the gifts of love, of friend­ship, of health, of chil­dren. These are the great­est trea­sures we can ever have.

These are the gifts I wish for you in this com­ing year.

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