Historical setting: 584 C.E. Ligugè
Our guest, the wine merchant, leaves after breakfast. Odd it may be that this other guest of Ligugè, who I am, waiting for my assignment makes such a warm farewell of his leaving. I’m glad my family is so near that he may come here from time to time with his mules and wagon. Before he leaves I give him the book of remedies, and the page ends I have lettered ready for him to take along and return to the child. When Anatase finishes her project, adding the textures of the herbs to these labels it will be a most welcome gift for Eve I’m sure — such a kind thought for her teacher from a young child.
Thank you God, for letting me have a part in this joyful moment of gifting. I can imagine Eve will cherish the child’s thoughtfulness.
I’ve requested a hovel to be my cell since the guest room here seems to come with an obligation for leaving soon and I’m choosing to stay. It’s still the custom here that I may make my own solitary place beyond these walls then come into the community for the daily patterns of psalms and sacrament. It doesn’t make me a deacon or even a true monk or does it give me any holy orders at all, except as issued by God. And I believe that I am, as God made each of us in her own Creator’s image, a simple flask for holy love. For me this release from titles is the benefit of living outside the walls of order.
The problem is, in these times when humankind seems to long for Roman order all these older styled monasteries are falling from favor. The only monks here are all very old and when they are gone there may be no more youths nurtured in this ancient way of private prayer. I worry that the ways of the true ascetic, the ones who went into an actual, physical wilderness to be attended by the angels as was Jesus will no longer have a place in Christianity. I suppose I could travel toward the East where the Buddha still sits beneath the tree.
Dear God, who will you speak to when the lone monks are all gone into groups and organizations? Amen.
Of course, God is God and bigger than the universe and beyond human view. Why would I worry that people are needed to have this God? It is instead, that God is needed to have these people.