Historical setting: 584 C.E. Ligugè
On this day I’m assigned a bench near the front of the scriptorium. So the work I do must be of fine quality as fewer monks are ahead of me to check my work. It’s a sign my accuracy is trusted. I’m also supplied with a monk’s robe and tonsure so not to disturb the appearance of unity. A tonsure isn’t just convenient hair, here it represents a sacred commitment. That feels like an outward symbol, as I am indeed committed to the love commandment of Jesus. But then I suppose, the outward show of this embedded nature of me really shouldn’t be needed. And in other places I wouldn’t be allowed this appearance without committing to the creed. But I can’t honestly speak the creed though I know the words. I still believe I know of Jesus as a human friend and I also believe in the wider holiness of all humankind. Yet here I am shorn.
The elder monk tasked with insuring the quality of work comments they had no idea of Nic’s talent. So, may my centuries of practice shine as a memorial to my dear friend Nic.
Matthew, Mark and Luke are fully complete so now we are venturing into John. We are instructed to leave wide margins and to give the first letter a particularly wide width of frame in which many hours of art may be applied. Time is unlimited since we have no more assignments ahead. I don’t know why fewer books are needed in these times. Perhaps there are so few who can read, or maybe the kings and counts are sponsoring their books from scribes with more youthful errors now in the Benedictine scriptoria.
Word is, King Chilperic wants to re-write the creed. Apparently, the Trinity thing is not to his liking either. [Footnote] But of course, his bishop, the Bishop of Tours is firmly opposed. Maybe the wealthy patrons are starting to have concerns that even the gospels are out-of-date in these new times.
My prayer is silent as well it must be. Dear God, are you seeing this? Those assigned to be holy are clinging to the ancient human control, and those assigned their power by ancient human lineage are wondering about the holiness of it all. How wide must this circle be scribed to find the meeting place for all of these? As it is now and forever, Amen.
[Footnote] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilperic_I, retrieved 4-13-21, mentions, “Gregory … objected to Chilperic’s attempts to teach a new doctrine of the Trinity.” Referencing Gregory’s History of the Franks, Book V.
[artwork] John 1:1
(Continued Tuesday, August 31, 2021)