Historical setting: A dark age on the Shore of Gaul
I’m listening to the story the children tell, quoting the words they heard spoken at the burial of their family.
Pumpkin leads in speaking as the youngers mouth along but stumble over incomprehensible but now familiar syllables.
“Prepare these who are unbaptized and ignorant of the holy. I pray for those who cannot speak for themselves that they will be attended by the four Apostles of the Gospels, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John who will teach them of your good works, guiding in goodness until these lost souls are set aright that they may enter into the Kingdom.
“To Father, Son and Holy Spirit I pray for the release of these souls into your care once they are prepared. Amen.”
Pudding footnotes, as we sit down, “So now you know what God named us. Pumpkin is St. Matthew, I am St. Mark and St. Luke is the-six-year old now, and St. John is Precious.”
“Beloved.” I correct, knowing the story as I do.
St. Mark continues the story, “So it is, first thing when the sun rises every morning, no matter what, we all go to the stone piles, and we say the words. And then there is a secret part that God doesn’t see. We tell our family how we are doing, and that we are good and safe anyway and that we love them still.”
“Why is that a secret from God?”
“God might see us crying, and we are pretty sure Apostles of the Gospels are not supposed to cry.”
I answer, “I’ll bet God also hides her longing tears from us.”
“Do you think God cries?” Pumpkin, I mean, St. Matthew, asks half accusing me of heresy and half in wonder.
“I think God’s person who comes here as a man is the priest from the church and he is only assigned to speak for God. The man comes when a human person is needed; but God is always here with you and already knows your tears. Like a mother or Holy Spirit, God is with you when you are happy and shares your joy. And God knows the sorrow of loosing a family. So, yes, I do know that God cries.
“Tomorrow I will follow the road to find the church where the priest is, and I will ask if he could come and see you again, now that you have your God names. I believe he speaks for God.”
(Come again tomorrow.)