From Nerses to Hilda and Back Again?

I love the way the liturgical calendar confronts us with contradictions. Today is the feast of two great saints, Nerses of Armenia and Hilda of Whitby. Nerses was a man of inflexible principle, sent into exile and eventually poisoned (or so it is alleged) for ‘speaking truth to power’. Hilda, by contrast, was a listener, a compromiser, who helped bring peace to the English Church by accepting the Roman date of Easter and all that it implied. The Church needs both her principles and her compromises; but above all she needs the wisdom to know when to stick to the one or yield to the other, that God may be glorified in all things.