Brother Thaddeus sifted slightly moving his weight from one knee to the other. He’d been in this position an hour at least he was thinking. All for a minute’s lateness for early morning meditations.
His knees pained him, his back ached and his bladder was screaming at him to do something to alleviate the discomfort. Beside him was a lavatory box. He knew this one well as one of his many chores was cleaning it each week. Being a novice was tough he concluded. He had been told to stay in the kneeling position until he heard the afternoon bells to come to afternoon meditation. He looked around and no one was there. He was alone. He could just hop up, go to the box and make himself comfortable. Who would notice?
Then the words of Father Abbot echoed in his ears. To disobey any order given by Father Abbot was a mortal sin and one that would be punished in the fires of hell. Forever!! That bit scared the life out of him. He’d joined the monastery as a way to get into heaven. As a priest he thought you’d be a certainty to achieve everlasting life with God.
Though he had to admit that during this past six months living the life of a novice he had seen a few things he couldn’t reconcile, behaviours that spelt mortal sin and eternal damnation. But who was he to ask questions.
He shifted once again, felt the weight of his body move to his right leg…..gritted his teeth and said a short prayer just as the afternoon bell rang out.
Jumping to his feet and heading straight to the lavatory box he made himself comfortable, the relief written on his face.
Turning to leave he saw the Father Abbot doing something he was sure wasn’t in God’s plan for life everlasting at his right hand. Another of Father Abbot’s saying came to mind: “What’s yours is really mine.” The irony to Brother Thaddeus was suddenly obvious.