“An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress… "
[William Butler Yeats]
The Bible’s injunction to “rejoice always” and to “pray without ceasing” seems, at first consideration, to be impossible.
But Francis sees that Leo is already doing both with every breath he takes. The Singing Master of his soul has taught him.
Leo prays instinctively, whether he calls it that or not, and he rejoices in this communion with God.
Religious lore is full of tales of the educated learning from the simple. This is an example of that.
One of the most beautiful stories you will ever encounter is Leo Tolstoy’s Three Hermits which features a random meeting between a Bishop and three barely literate men who teach him, in true humility, a great truth.
Hmmm. Leo. Where’d he get that name?
I think anyone, believer or not, could find their heart warmed by this story. It’s short, about eight pages.
If you’d care to give it a look :