Historical setting: 590 C.E. Cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil
Brother Servant arrived here with a bird to send messages to Luxeuil. So our message announcing the births of our sons probably set the dovecote at Annegray atwitter but never actually reached any human eyes. Colleen is serving our guest while in the other room Ana and the Sisters of Laon are preparing the babies for the grand entrance. Colleen is asking the monk about the general requirements for becoming a nun. He told her of a teacher available, but he knows her question is personal and he answers her directly.
“By the grace of God, you will find you belong there.”
“Why would you think I was asking for myself?
Brother Servant answers, “When I said we have a teacher I could see in you a holy twinkle of hope. I knew you weren’t just asking on behalf of the two Sisters from Laon who already read and write.”
Now they are all here in our midst. Brother Servant leaps to his feet so fast his sitting bench tips backwards and startles the sleepy little Gabe in Ana’s arms. Sister Marcella brings Gregory right behind Ana and Gabriel, and Sister Paula closes the door behind them. The monk is truly agape at this beautiful procession of women and babies. Surely the Irish monks had a thought of it, but they received no message to confirm.
He captures his awe back and makes his thankful prayer, “Dear Holy Creator God, thank you for sending babies to Ezra and Ana after all. In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit receive our gratitude, Amen.”
God has heard that same prayer over and over again these last few days, and now it is repeated with all the unctuous verbiage of a holy man. It is nearly like a baptism, but not. And that begs the next question, probably most fittingly my place to ask.
“Brother Servant, would you suppose Father Columbanus would baptize these babies, or is the parish church behind Annegray the recommended place for that?”
“That secular church is closer to you than is Father Columbanus, now that we have moved, so I can understand why you ask, but that place is rumored to be a cauldron of hellish Paganism. Until it can find some saintly purification and sanctification it might be a snake pit of heresy. It is no place for practicing Christians.”
(Continues Wednesday, March 1, 2023)