“Resurrection,” Mikail Nesterov, 1892, WikiArt.

When questioned by monks of resurrection,
I, Sister Muriel, saw renewal, Christ same but
Different, new creation, purity of soul and
Heart, crucible-formed by divine light. Of
Other religions I was asked, temples, rituals.
“They are all of god,” I replied. “Within each
Of us dwells temple of god, by charitable
Deeds, kind words, we are deific reflections.
Every foundation stone, holy place is erected
In name of god, seen or unseen, however
Defined.” My faith was thus, contemplated
In solitude of Irish fields and forests.

Fresco depicting a Bacchian (Dionysian) rite, Villa of Mysteries, Wikipedia.

Of temptation, evils of flesh I was questioned.
“Are we shackled in flesh or blessed for body
And senses we perceive?” I asked. Natural world
Instructs us, tests us, fulfills or condemns for
Acts committed or neglected.” To monks, I asked,
“Are you fearful of ancient Greeks, of Dionysus?
Do you shun wonders of flesh, wine ecstasies,
Minds god-rising?” Condemning eyes, they
Answered not, for within nearby forests,
Druids worshiped in wholeness of body and
Soul, blood sacrifice, death is death, whether
Slain war captives or crucified Christ.

Would I be condemned? Cast from faith I love?
My scripture sky-written, verses found in eyes
Of children, mother’s love, seed sowing, harvests,
Every season acts of living faith, beyond words
Written on brittle papyri. Yes, in god’s sight,
Truth is truth, light is light. “What are highest
Blessings?” I was asked. For those I prayed:
Farmers, peasants, they sought health, harvests,
Childbirth, peace, and things meager, blanket
Hearth fires, bed on which to sleep. Whilst cold
And hungry, can they be expected to accept
Christ, to elevate eyes beyond basic needs?

“Mother Holding Child in Doorway,” Adriaen van Ostade, 1667, WikiArt.

Mercies shared! As advocate to, for those I serve,
I expect no charity in return for prayers, sick
Tending, sips of willow-bark tea. In god-turning
World, my reward is their health, life-happiness,
God’s blessings, for theirs is kingdom of heaven,
Not promises of lofty place after death but within
Arms of loved ones, on earth, here and now.
Farmers, fishers, peasants need not suffer more
Than what earthly servitude demands. As sister
Of Christian faith, of these beliefs I profess,
Teachings holy scripture added to sacred verses
Welling in my heart, thus my faith affirmed.

Fictional character of circa 600 A.D. Ireland, Sister Muriel
expresses her faith, beliefs outside emerging Christian faith.
Will her feelings and beliefs evolve over time?
Thanks for reading.

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