Jo Mundy's lifelong vow
On the 6th July 2012, Jo Mundy made her lifelong vow of celibacy in the chapel at Shepherd's Dene, committing herself to live simply as a contemplative urban solitary according to the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict.
The Old Testament reading was Psalm 119, 1 – 8 and the Gospel Matthew 9, 9 – 13. In his homily Bishop Frank contrasted the attitudes to Jesus of the Pharisees and the tax collector. The former seemed to assume, because of all their religious practices, that they were somehow superior, whereas Matthew, the outsider, responded with immediate obedience.
There is, perhaps, a warning there for us, and the need of a corrective – the precious gift and grace of humility. The purity of response evinced by Matthew is beautifully expressed in the opening words of Psalm 119: 'Blessed is the one who praises God with an upright heart'.
The way of praise and the practice of thanksgiving opens the heart to attune our ear to God, and to see more clearly the beautiful actions of Christ. It draws our attention away to God and others, and allows the growth in us of a humble rather than a religious spirit.
That work of grace will sustain Jo on her journey. May it be our salvation now and always.
Pictured above L to R: Jo's grandson Andrew, Jo Mundy, Bishop Frank White,
the Revd Dr Sue Hartley, Jo's son David
View the news archive