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Friar Ambrose and the Wrath of God

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The pious Friar Ambrose leaned out the window of his modest cell, when something from above smashed him over the head, vigorously shaking his holy brains.

“Damn you!” he exclaimed angrily, forgetting about his piety. He immediately shook off this sin and realizing the magnitude of the transgression he had just committed, he withdrew his bald, shiny head back into the tiny cell, rubbing it hard with his palm. He forced himself to refrain from uttering the rest of the furious comment, that Satan himself had placed right there, to tickle the tip of his tongue.

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A thin, innocent, weak voice echoed from above:

“Goodness gracious, did something happen to you, Friar Ambrose?”

Ambrose shook off the earth from behind his ears and from the crown of hair growing around the bald patch on his head. He grunted something between his teeth, just for himself, leaned against the sill, on which the curse of God had just struck him, and stuck his head out.

But before engaging in a sharp corrective dialogue with the aggressor, he murmured to himself, attempting to calm his mind, “Do you intend to make me get used to the taste of the earth so soon, My Lord? In this case, may my sins be forgiven!”

And then he shouted:

“What are you doing up there, so that you hit me in the head so hard!?”

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From the window above, the face of Sister Candida, from the St. Perpetua Convent, expressed the desolate consternation of a dizzy lamb — as if she had had a brain block. Sister Candida was on a visit to their convent, together with her pious abbess.

“Oh, it was you, sister? God bless you … ” he said with feigned astonishment, intentionally changing the pitch of his voice.

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But he immediately uttered in a fierce voice: “Damn you, crazy witch, you never look at what you are doing! Yesterday you washed the floors early in the morning, full of godly zeal, and made them so slippery that one could hardly keep his right posture before God. And I, being still lethargic from sleep, did not notice the terrible danger. All I can remember is falling over and kissing the ground so that I almost broke a brand new bottle of wine I had just opened. And I had kept that bottle in my cell in secrecy for so many long days, piously waiting to finally taste it. Not to mention my poor bones, … how they felt … And now, you attempt to break my head, too? … What is your mischievous plan ?! Do you really want to see me dead ?! We need no women here, in our convent, they will finish us all off! ” he concluded in anger.

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Yet, after a short while, feeling that he was supposed to provide an answer to the pious woman, who was still leaning out the window above, to better see him, he resumed softly, in a calm voice, inclining his head with sympathy.

“But what are you doing there, sister? ”

“Well, I was working, Friar Ambrose, like all women, doing this, doing that …”

“Of course, what else …” he answered, between his teeth.

“Look, I was dusting this window sill, when I noticed the flowerpot fall over. It’s such luck that I managed to catch it in time because otherwise, you wouldn’t have just felt a few lumps of earth on your holy head … I am so sorry, did I hurt you badly, Friar Ambrose? ”

“Don’t worry, sister, my guardian angel has protected me again this time. I think my head is still in one piece… For the Lord will not abandon His people!“ he quoted wisely, making the sign of the cross, in the worship of the wonder that had just happened — the wonder that he was still alive.

“Yes, yes, praised be His Holy Name !”

“Glorified, glorified!” he answered quickly in a loud voice, while thinking to himself: “Such luck you didn’t drop the flower pot as well, otherwise I would have kicked the bucket, crazy woman! ”

He withdrew his thinking organ — the one that had just been so recklessly injured — back into his cell and muttered something, picking up the abbot’s red geraniums, which were scattered all over the floor, from the impact, and threw them out through the window. Earth was scattered all over the old carpet, too.

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“I can’t wait to see what the abbot will do to you when he sees what you have done to his flowers. He cares more about these flowers than he does even for the big barrel of wine in the cellar! He’s the son of a gardener, what else can I expect of him! I bet he will make you and that fat abbess of yours recite prayers till dawn … ” Ambrose said to himself with a sadistic grin. With this image in mind, he felt avenged for the things he had suffered, due to the nun’s domestic zeal and her devotion to the work of the Lord.

And with piety, immersed in these vengeful thoughts, he realized that it was God who had sent him this sign. He started walking in large circles inside his cell, looking at the floor, which was carrying the traces of the footsteps of the innumerable monks, who formerly lived there, and their many years of repentance.

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