31st Thread: We must not regret our wealth


The hands of my mother were stained by the dye and all chapped, like mine, you see. She would look at them. She would say, my grandparents were rich. She said, the women in my family, curled, waxed, massaged, pampered by their flock of slaves, have never worked at anything but weaving. She cried. Her second husband, whom she married after my father died, kept us under his thumb in constant terror. We would have remained our whole life in the country to grieve over our misfortunes if the abbess had not arrived at our door one morning. Exhausted, she asked for asylum because she was afraid she had been betrayed to the authorities. Unknown to my father, we welcomed, fed and nursed her. She was a good person and so fervent that we quickly converted. Her companions joined her and witnessed our baptism for which they crowned us with a garland of freshly picked flowers.
Lemaire-jeune-fille-à-la-lettre-277x300She convinced us easily to follow her to the capital. Thanks to a crafty neighbor, we escaped my mother’s husband to join the faithful. Together, we marched hand in hand, singing hymns, listening to the abbess’ parables, and praying for alms. We were hungry, we were cold, we slept in ditches to avoid arrest, and I had never been so happy. I did not meet your father until much later. I had chosen virginity, but the abbess encouraged us to multiply for the prosperity of God’s kingdom on earth. Soon, our union was blessed by your birth.

Do not fret about dipping your arms in the basin, even if the dye sickens you. Our lord worked with his hands, just like us. In this workshop devoid of all comforts, we must not regret the fortune of our ancestors. We now enjoy the thousand riches of salvation, even if we risk death and torture, even if we live in precarious conditions. Do you understand the stroke of luck that has befallen us? Greed, jealousy, ambition, lust, debauchery shut out our citizens from the kingdom of heaven, that will welcome us soon, you and me and your father, for eternity.


Click on image of drawing to see the work of art that inspired it

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