Historical setting: 590 C.E. Cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil
A message arrived on a bird’s leg simply mentioning “the nuns of Laon.”
“Laon has no nuns, or convent or monastery. We were there this summer on our journey looking for nuns.” I can attest.
But Ana knows what this means and she’s delighted.
“Laz, do you remember when we stopped there when I was looking for medical knowledge and the young women we met were longing for any learning; they were even listening to me?”
“Yes, I remember that stop Ana, you were the teacher for them. I remember how we met at a house and you answered their questions long into the night.”
“They wanted a Christian community for women and we both talked with them about what we knew of monastic rule and vows. They were already followers of Father Columbanus, which is probably why he sent us to Laon with a message in the first place.”
Ana goes on explaining to Colleen, “And we hadn’t imagined then anything about Luxeuil. We surely had no thought that there would ever be a double monastery in the Irish Rule with Father Columbanus as founder and abbot.”
Colleen wasn’t with us then. But now she realizes the news of these women is also about her own dreams and hopes.
“Does this mean that women are already arriving to enter the community at Luxeuil?” she asks.
“I think that is what these few little words on a bird’s leg could mean.” I can only guess, “So Colleen, we should prepare for these guests to stay in the main room with you. Luxeuil isn’t ready for them yet, and it’s too cold for them in the stable these nights. I’ll send a message back to Brother Servant to let him know they are welcome here.”
Colleen asks if she may say the blessing for our morning gruel.
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Thank you for answering the desperate prayer of this simple midwife who I am, Colleen of the Irish! And even though Brother Laz tells me over and over again, God’s time is different than our time, you are sending me the helpers I’ve been praying for at exactly the right time! Thank you God, for helping me be prepared to deliver the twins for Ana. You must have noticed that I was feeling so helpless. Thank you. Amen, oh, and also bless this food, amen.”