The Telling Place: The Story Of The Monk And The Moon.


A thought: Black Friday , that day of ‘commercial rampage’, the day after Thanksgiving Day, is fast approaching. Even here in the UK, where Thansgiving isn’t celebrated – sorry, America – that ‘sales day’ will be screened on the tv news as some people will go wild, and wrestle tvs and other items from the hands of other shoppers, and head towards the tills, and save a few £pounds.


Here’s a story:

An aged monk, a devout man of faith, lived a very simple kind of life, all by himself, in a very small hut at the foot of a mountain. Each day he would perform a ritual, give what little food he had to the poor, and return home at night to sleep.

One evening in wintertime, a thief came to the hut, broke in, only to discover there was absolutely nothing of value to steal.

The old monk returned home, and caught the thief still in his hut. ‘You must have come a long way to visit me, my friend’, he told the thief, ‘and you should not return empty-handed.’ The old monk looked around, and said, ‘Please take my clothes as a gift.’

The thief was amazed and didn’t know quite what to say. He took the clothes and ran off into the night.

Now the monk sat naked, watching the moon. ‘Poor fellow,’ he said to himself, ‘I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon’. 

Priorities? Values clarification?

C S Lewis summed this up, when he wrote: “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward … it would seem that…our desires [are] not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about…when infinite joy is offered us, [and, we are] like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.’

Too easily pleased? What do you think?

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