The priest of an old Irish town will encounter opposition that will make him regret.
|Priest Norman looked outside the cathedral doors at the radiant rainbow; it reminded him of the promise of God to never destroy the Earth by a flood. He smiled as he took in the moist air still fresh after the morning rain. The enormous fluffy clouds brought his mind to what heaven will be like.
It was a cool Saturday morning and Norman had completed his prayers. He stepped onto the cold, cobblestone trail in his old, small town in Ireland. A squirl with a gingernut sat on a tree nibling on the nut.
A heavyset man in a long green sweater and blue pants approached the priest. “Greetings, good priest. How goes the morning?”
“God is good, son,” said Norman. “I have a special sermon for tomorrow. The Lord gave it to me as I was in meditation.
“Aye, I know it will be amazing. God has blessed you Father,” said the man. “I must go back to my shoe shop. It is almost time for opening. Good day sir priest.”
Norman smiled and nodded as the man left. Norman went along the path for his small house two blocks away. As he walked, three men eyed him with a sharp glare. They turned to each other and began muttering.
Something about the three men made Norman tense and gave him slight knot in his stomach. He looked away and made his way home. When he arrived at his humble stone house with a small fireplace, he sat on his wooden stool in front of his wooden table and pulled out his sermon book.
After going over his message, Norman was about to go to his fellow priest, Liam when a tiredness overtook Norman. He laid on his bed to sleep for brief nap. In his sleep he had a odd dream; he was teaching a sermon when one man in the congregation transformed into a red dragon. He grew large and opened his mouth and devoured one third of Norman’s flock.
The dragon laughed and darted into the air and crashed through the vaulted ceiling. Norman awoke. He sat up and frowned with a sigh. “What could it mean?” he said to himself. He stood and opened his door; it was now twilight! How could he have slept so long?
People broke down their shops and men were retiring from laboring in the corn fields. Norman saw markings on a bicycle path in the dirt that ran along the rows of buildings. He stooped over it and saw it was a message. Priest Norman is a usurper, not worthy to preach!it read.
Norman’s heart broke as a tear streamed down his face. Who could have done this? Norman shook himself and left the cruel writing to seek conciliation from Priest Liam.
Ten minutes later, he knocked on Liam’s door. He opened and he smiled. “Good evening, Priest Norman. May I help you?”
“I think someone is plotting against me. I found a cruel message citing maliciousness against me.”
“Come in an tell me about it,” said Liam.
Norman rehearsed the whole account of the message on the bicycle path as well as his dream and the three men glaring at him.
“It sounds like the Devil is trying to corrupt and steal from your followers. I think your dream is symbolic of it.”
“What shall I do?” said Norman.
“We can only pray,” said Liam.
“Then let us.”
Both priests bowed and Norman began. “Oh, Lord, let not the enemy supplant your congregation that you have given to me to shepherd. I beseech that your holy angels would keep their minds pure from deception and evil. Amen.”
“Thank you, my friend. I will see you tomorrow,” said Norman as he left Liam’s home.
When Norman went back to his house he plummeted into quick slumber. He awoke with the suns early golden rays coming through his window. He stood and stretched. He dressed in his priest’s black long sleeve shirt with the white color and white front mark.
He made his way to the cathedral and walked down the pew and took his place at the podium. Twenty minutes later, it was full of men and women dressed in modest suits and dresses. The children were dressed likewise.
“Please turn to Revelation chapter one,” said Norman.
There was a ruffling of pages and just as he opened his mouth to speak, a tall man with dark, beady eyes stood. “Nay, sir priest. You are at fault. You keep us from the blessings of God. We have followed your way and we live in a shanty, broken town. God promises success to those who follow Him.”
It was one of three men who had given him a cold stare the day before.
“You err my friend. Where does it say that?” said another man in a green and black suit who stood.
“Malefactor!” said the beady eyed man. “God has spoken to me. I am now to lead the congregation. Those who want success, stand with me!”
A man stood-followed by another. Three more stood and soon there was a tumult arising in the cathedral.
“You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Norman,” the man said. The man’s words were as cold as ice.
“Come with me who want the blessings of the true Lord,” said the man.
The man walked down the middle aisle and many people left with him as he walked out. Those who remained gasped and looked around with gaping mouths and wide eyes.
Norman looked down and shook his head. “Why, Lord!” he said in a cry.
Liam the priest came from beside Norman. “Do not fret, Priest Norman. God has purged his church. Remember what Saint John said-‘They went out from among us, but they did not really belong to us.’”
Norman looked up and took a deep breath. “You are right. The Lord has purified the sheep from the goats. Thank you my friend,” he said with a smile.