Saint Jerome in his study (Pieter Coecke van Aelst  |  wikipedia.org)Saint Jerome in his study (Pieter Coecke van Aelst | wikipedia.org)

A new young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.

One day he notices that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The Abbot says: "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son. I'll check it out." And he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript is held, locked in a vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot.

Eventually the young monk gets very worried and walks downstairs to look for him.

He finally finds the abbot deep down in one of the ancient cellars. He sees him banging his head against the wall. His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably: "Wrong! Wrong! All that time, wrong!"
The young monk carefully asks the old abbot: "Father... father, please tell me, what's going on, what's wrong?"

In between the sobs, in a choking voice, the old abbot replies: "Oh, my dear son... the word is not celibate but — celebrate!"

Tomáš Fülöpp
Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium
November 23, 2009
Tomáš Fülöpp (2012)

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LanguageENGLISH Content typeARTICLELast updateOCTOBER 20, 2018 AT 01:46:40 UTC