17. Peace

The monk spend the next days in peace. A quiet had come over the hermitage, the desert and the valley around him. He attended Mass in the cave where Mass was read, he said Mass. He prostrated himself in the mornings and said his Office. He sang hymns to the sky, to the sparrows that would visit his hermitage.

In quiet, he would say the prayer of St. Francis, still his mind, envision the feast at the wedding of Cana. He would see before him the empty water vessels in a dry room. A clamor of servants rushing in, desperately trying to understand where all the wine had gone. He saw himself as an old woman, sitting quietly in a corner, observing and unobserved. The Blessed Mother, entering into the space, asking what the commotion was about. Quietly, sadly, yet smiling, leaving the room. A conversation in hushed tones outside the room, then the Blessed Mother returning with her Son, saying “Whatever he tells you to do, do.”

The monk observing in his mind the Lord gently, quietly, telling the servants to fill the vessels. The old woman, observing, unobserved. The Lord, walking quietly past each vessel, touching the water with the tip of His finger, then quietly walking out of the room. The servants, frustrated and confused, going to the jars, smelling first, then seeing wine, tasting the wine. Hurrying to fill containers, sending them out to the feast. The old woman, walking to the door and looking into the feast, revelers not realizing what had transpired.

The monk, then allowing the scene to fade, unobserved like his place as an old woman unobserved, then observed and loved by God. The monk, feeling his soul filled with the love of God, the love of Christ, praying without words.

A sparrow lands at the door, chirps, pecks at the sand outside. The monk stirs, and is once again in his cell. Yet somehow in some little way transformed, as if touched by the tip of a finger.

17. Peace

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