In 601, Pope Gregory the Great wrote to the newly converted king Ethelberht of Kent. Gregory felt keenly the tensions between the active life he had had thrust upon him as pope, and the contemplative life, which he had enjoyed for long periods of his life, and so he sought to join those worlds together to the benefit of Christian communities. Gregory’s letter sits awkwardly with many presentations of early medieval apocalyptic thought. Choice and rhetorical strategies come more clearly into focus if one compares Gregory of Tours with Gregory the Great. The crucial part of interpreting nature may have been to avoid wild prediction. Gregory of Tours carefully related a story in which he saw rays of light one night and feared greatly that they might portend some great misfortune from the sky. Gregory the Great had warned Ethelberht of Kent not to fear signs of the End and encouraged him to be prepared for Judgement Day.