Inside The Walls :: N2W 220609

Inspired by KL Caley’s #WRITEPHOTO Challenge to write a
short story about her June 8, 2022, photo prompt.

The little girl poked her head inside the room where she was told she would find the monks.  “Hello. . . “

They both stopped their bitter arguing and turned to face the small child as she stepped into the room, all dressed in white and ready for the service.

“Are you the monks who are helping us today?”

“Yes,” the older man answered, somewhat embarrassed to have been caught arguing. “Your priest became suddenly ill, and he reached out to the Abbot for last minute assistance. Because we’re just behind the church, it was easy to send us.”

The younger man, also embarrassed, stood, and added, “You must be Leesa – the girl who is taking her first communion today. I’m Brother Talbot. We’ve both been priests before joining the monastery but we both still help the current priest with classes and things.”

“And I’m Brother Richardson, we were just, um, discussing the service and who would do which part.”

Leesa smiled, suspiciously but with a hint of knowing that wasn’t the full truth. She clicked her tongue and answered, “I have two older brothers so I’m pretty sure you were arguing. I heard you from down the hall.”

mount-grace-priory N2W

Photo credit: KL Caley

The younger, Talbot, pinched his lips together and turned to face Richardson. “I think she has us Brother.” He turned back to face Leesa and continued. “You are correct. We were arguing, but we were trying to decide how to make your first communion the best possible.”

Brother Richardson held out his hand to Talbot, wanting his help to stand and leaned on his cane to find his balance. “Brother Talbot and I have long-standing different opinions on matters of theology and how mass should be conducted. We both want the same thing but differ in what we think that should be. I believe the church has been doing such services right for a very long time and very little needs to change.”

“Brother Richardson has a very long history of serving the church with very solid teaching and guidance, but I believe the people in our congregations are different now. Few speak Latin and most have and read their own Bibles. Our prayers need not be scripted and . . .”

“Brother Talbot; I think we need not dump our disagreement on young Leesa.  Young lady, how old are you now?”

“I’m nine but will be ten next month.”

Richardson continued. “Very good. I think a traditional service with a brief discussion of what the bread and wine are and symbolize is precisely what is called for. Our traditions on this . . . ”

“. . . are no longer consistent with current thought and beliefs,” Talbot finished the thought.

Richardson pinched his lips together, wanting to reengage the argument but not wanting to fight this out in front of a nine-year old girl who was too young to understand the distinctions of each side.

Leesa was used to her brothers arguing but often had no idea who might be right then or now. “When my brothers disagree, one of my parents sometimes have to sort it out for them. “

“I don’t think asking your parents to . . .”

“No! I don’t think they should do that now. I was going to say we could use what my communion class teacher, Miss Mary Hutton, taught us. She said there are many layers to the things we believe. She said that children and new believers can understand the most basic facts about Christ and communion.  Then later as we grow up and learn more and have time to think through other details, we can grow what we believe. That’s what Miss Hutton did in our class. She told us that communion was a meal where Jesus used the bread and wine to illustrate how he was giving his body and blood to pay for our sins. The bread and wine today help us remember that.

“We don’t have to argue about anything for the service but can learn more in classes or sermons later.”

Communion girl from JnJ studio

Photo credit: J&J Studio in Lafayette Hill, PA via creative common license.

Brothers Richardson and Talbot looked at each other knowing that this was the answer, and they could both get behind it and deliver an inspirational service with this simple nugget of truth.

Brother Talbot, turned back to her and said, “That is a remarkable piece of wisdom Leesa. Is your teacher here today?”

“OH – OH yes! She is. It’s past time for the service to start. I was right there and knew where this room was so she asked if I would come and let you know that people are waiting in the pews for you. We’re late.

Both men looked at their watches and shook their heads.

Brother Richardson said, “Please run on ahead and let Miss Mary Hutton know that we’re coming straight away. I think you’ll enjoy a great first communion. We both look forward to doing this for you.”

Leesa smiled and disappeared out the door. They could hear her steps as she ran down the tiled hallway.

Brother Talbot looked at the now empty doorway and said, “From the mouths of babes . . .”

Bother Richardson nodded, “Indeed brother. Indeed.”

Communion from

GW bio card 4

9 thoughts on “Inside The Walls :: N2W 220609

    1. Hi Willow – you almost can’t go wrong with a story like this. I tend to over-think things and make them more complex than they require.
      This could have be based on some real-life stuff that I somehow survived.
      So glad you liked it.


    1. Hi Jemima,
      Ha – but no.
      I’ve not run into this problem.
      I’m not catholic but have several friends & family who are. Theology is easy to argue about and sometimes our passion runs over our compassion. I do love the image of serious adults getting too distracted only to be pulled back by the simple truth understood by a child.
      You too are correct. That little girl is not related to me.
      She’s just adorable.
      Thanks for sharing some time with my story.


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