The Young Monk

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A new monk arrives at the monastery where he is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not the original manuscripts. So, the new monk goes to the head Abbot to ask him about this, pointing out that if there was an error in the first copy from the original, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies. The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son”. So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript is held in locked a vault that hasn’t been opened for centuries. Hours go by and nobody sees the old Abbot. So, the young monk gets worried and goes downstairs to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall. His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old Abbot, “What’s wrong, father? With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies, “The word is ’celebrate’!”

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