The shorter days of autumn wrap the sky in a blanket of night with the speckled firmament. Winter is on its way. Nature reminds us to rest after a day’s labor, and the night fires of ancient times tell us we should not work until we are weary.
Late one evening when I was a young friar at the priory reading Aristotle’s Metaphysics, the oldest member of the community walked through and urged me to go to my cell and sleep. I assured him I had much to study. He and his four-foot nine-inch frame hobbled over to the window, looked out over the grove of oak trees, and pointed to the night sky, and said, “Are you going to deny God the opportunity to show you the universe he created just for you. During the day, the sun makes it impossible to see. You can study then.”
His timeless reminder does not escape me forty-three years later. Sometimes when I wake up in the night, I recall his gentle words. I say my morning prayers each day before dawn, and occasionally I look up at the sky and thank God for the joy he took to create a sky filled with twinkling lights to make us happy.
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