The H

Image result for monk writing illuminated manuscript

The H

Brother Gerald’s eyes strained under the dull flickering of the tallow taper. The page was nearly complete. He put down his quill and reviewed the neatly spaced lines, slavishly comparing them to Hildegard’s text before him.

“Perfect,” he thought; then crossed himself in repentance for the momentary lapse in modesty.

He picked up the shell and began mixing the powdered gold and egg white he would use in the illumination of the “H.”

Padre


 

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #82 – “Illumination” in 73 words

The Taylor (Tailor)

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Artwork: Ludwig Johann Passini

This is an adaptation of a poem I wrote some years ago to honour a really inspirational man I had known as a teenager.  Brother Dominic was a truly humble man with a heart for God.  In this rendering of the poem, I have used the name Mattheus rather than the original Dominic, as I have recently used that name Dominic in a short fiction piece.  This is not to diminish the debt I owe to the example of Dominic in my own spiritual development.

Dom Mattheus is his name,

T’is twenty years since first he came,

To live his life by the Rule,

A threaded needle as his tool.

 

Repairing habits, sewing seams,

With lines as strait as any machine,

Each stitch an act of divine devotion,

By a humble man who sought no promotion.

 

To pray and stitch, was his daily task,

The chance to serve was all he asked,

Small tasks unnoticed, seen by few,

But by Him above, it is He who knew.

Padre

 

 

The Porter’s Bag

abbey-gate

Abbey Gate, Bury St Edmunds

 

Brother Dominic had been Porter at the priory for nearly 18 years, now. He was proud (if that wasn’t too much of a sin) of the work he did. He was responsible for the dual role of welcoming pilgrims to the monastery, but also of securing it from the influences of the world.

All that stood between the holy sanctuary within and the sinful chaos without was the rough wooden gate, and himself.

Forty years before, he had entered that same gate himself for the first time. He was only ten then, an average farm lad but with a religious disposition. He was brought here by the village priest after his mother had died, and he was to become a novice. His worn clothes really not much more than rag, but now he would get a warm habit, and regular meals.

And novice he had become, then a full brother of the order. He was keen to help, and kept “the Rule” as well as any. He was rewarded for his efforts when at 32 he was appointed keeper of the gate.

That’s all there was to it, really. He had a cell in the gatehouse, and a small office. Three younger brothers assisted him. Days had become routine, but he liked the regime. Early prayers, breakfast, and mass which were followed by duties at the gate. Then more worship, vespers, and to bed. But within this routine, he had important duties. Dominic as the Porter was keeper of the keys. All of the keys! Every gate, storeroom, and door was in his charge.

A key at a time might be issued out to his subordinates, but the bag on his hip was sacrosanct. Only the Porter could lay hands upon it. Only he knew all which it contained. This was a point of envy (if such is not too much a sin) among his assistants.  They longed to have control of the bag, and to know all of its secrets.

Dominic smiled to himself as he thought of the curiosity of the younger monks about his bag. Still smiling he closed the door of his office and withdrew the flask of wine from the his mysterious bag.

Padre


This story was prompted by the challenge on The Secret Keeper’s page to use five prompt words to create a poem or story. This week’s words were:

ROUGH | GATE | RAG | HIP | WINE |