Brother Sorin was mad. There was no doubt about it any more. He was bonkers, crazy, insane, off his rocker, completely and utterly barmy. To say he was no longer quite all there would be the understatement of the century. He lay prostrated before the wooden crucifix in his cell for hours at a time muttering in a strange mixture of English, Latin and Norwegian. Very little could be deduced from these babblings, and even less (or more specifically, nothing) made any sense.
What was it that had caused him to find himself in such a position? What sequence of events could have led to such a scene as the one we have just witnessed, a once stable, reasonable and pious young monk now brought down to laying with his forehead pressed to a floor much in need of sweeping, with sweat from his scalp running down his forehead and mingling with tears in his eyes to create a salty mixture that seeped into the self-inflicted scratch marks that covered his face? How did the once calm, cool and collected brother of the Dominican Monastery of Saint Thomas Aquinas, with his eyes looking steadfastly towards God and his hands freely extended in assistance towards man, the epitome of unfaltering faith and unquestioning obedience to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, descend into the feeble wretch who looked well into his 60s, with snow white hair and a haggard expression, and seemed not to have strength enough to do anything more than stare forlornly at the ground, raising his eyes very occasionally when he could muster the strength to stare for a few moments at the figure hanging upon the Cross with pain etched deep into His brow, yet peace and a quiet conviction shining in His all-seeing, all-understanding and all-merciful eyes? To answer these important and pertinent questions we must go back many years, perhaps even to Brother Sorin's first days at the Monastery of Saint Thomas Aquinas, for though the terrors which now racked his soul had only begun to surface quite recently, they were many years in the making, hidden deep in the secret places of his soul beyond even his own knowledge. It is there, in the faithful mind of a young man fervent and passionate with love for God and overcome with a desire to devote his life to Him, that Brother Sorin's story begins.