Chuckle of the Week


The newly arrived novice at the Benedictine Monastery struck the Abbott as a very intelligent young man.  After observing him, and listening to his conversation with the other brothers for a few days, the Abbott decided to assign him to the Scriptorium, which, you recall, produced books in the days before Gutenberg’s invention.

After two weeks working in the Scriptorium, the young novice nervously approached the Abbott.  “Father,” he said, “I am sorry to complain, but I am seriously troubled by some of the mistranslations I have come across.”

The Abbott, who may have dismissed this complaint from one of the other brothers, was so impressed with this young man that he decided to check the manuscripts for himself.  He entered the Scriptorium alone, asking the other brothers to leave.

When, after three days, the Abbott still had not emerged, the brothers were deeply troubled.  Finally, they got up the courage to open the door, to see what might be wrong.

There, they found the Abbott with his head on the table sobbing uncontrollably.

“Father,” one of the more assertive brothers summoned up the courage to ask, “what is wrong?”

Still sobbing uncontrollably, the Abbott, waved a manuscript in the air. 

He cried, “It should have been translated as ‘Celebrate’!”



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Harvard Square Commentary, October 23, 2006