My Conscience is Captive

Our reading today is titled, “Cutting Away” by the poet, Patrick Cobello Hansel.

We begin on the road to Erfurt, located in the Landgravia of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire in the year 1505, 512 years ago.  A young man was celebrating the completion of his law degree at the University of Erfurt and was visiting his parents in Saxony.

On his way home, he was caught in a terrible lightning storm.  As the story goes, a lightning bolt struck the ground right next to the man and he was thrown to the ground.  He was stunned.

And from being stunned he regained awareness, suddenly began praying to St. Anne – the patron saint of equestrians, poverty, and teachers – among other things.  In his praying he declared, “I will become a monk!”

He would honor this promise to St. Anne fourteen days later on July 16th – making sure he had one last party with his University friends.  To the disgust of his parents, he entered the Black Monastery in Erfurt on July 17th and started on the path to become a monk. Read the rest of this entry »