• Stephen Hill

A LITTLE PARABLE ( I heard this from Eddie Piorek some years ago)

Once upon a time there were three old monks who lived in solitude in a monastery. The monastery was on a little island in the middle of a large lake. The three monks had a very simple prayer life. The only prayer they ever prayed was, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" They lived in peace using that very simple prayer and not much else.

One day it came to the attention of the local Bishop that these monks needed to learn a more advanced and sophisticated way to pray. They weren't being good enough monks and the Bishop considered closing the little island monastery down.

After some thought, the Bishop decided to go and visit the monks, stay with them for a few days and teach them better prayers to pray. So he took a boat over to the island and was made welcome by the monks.

He took the next few days to teach them different prayers and was satisfied that they had learned a better way to pray and would put it into practice. He admitted that he was relieved that he wouldn't have to close the monastery.

He left the island and took the boat across the lake again. He was sitting on the boat enjoying the sunshine as the boat made its way across the placid lake.

Suddenly he was jolted out of his peaceful reverie when he spotted something approaching the boat, skimming across the surface of the lake. As the dark shape grew closer, it became three distinct shapes, and then, to his shock, he realised it was the three elderly monks running on the surface of the lake water.

As they came close to the boat they called out to the Bishop, "Sorry, Your Lordship, can you remind us again of those prayers you taught us?"

"Forget it!," said the Bishop, "Just go back to the way you were praying before!"

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