Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

16 May 2006

Legenda Fratrum, IV

The art of diplomacy.

After Mass one Sunday, a parishioner presented one of her homemade cakes to the priest, who took it back to the cloister for the brothers to enjoy. Trouble was, the woman was a terrible cook. The reaction of the first brother to take a bite of the cake was enough to convince the others to fast from sweets that week, at least that particular sweet. A few days later, the now-stale cake was thrown away. After Mass the next Sunday, the baker woman found the priest:

Baker: Father, how was the cake?
Brother: You know, the brothers are still talking about that cake!

Baker woman was so pleased with herself that a few weeks later she baked another cake, and presented it to the priest after Mass. This one went straight to the dust bin. Next Sunday:

Baker: Did the brothers enjoy the cake, Father?
Brother: Let me tell you, you've never seen a cake disappear so fast in all your life!

7 Comments:

Anonymous pog said...

Now that's diplomacy at its best - and not a single lie in there ...

17 May, 2006 10:29  
Anonymous heather said...

If you took your vows of poverty seriously then you'd be grateful for any sort of cake. Honestly, is it down to the infidels like myself to be reminding you of it all. (If it is then could you put me on the payroll?)

17 May, 2006 21:23  
Anonymous Moobs said...

I once had "supper" at the Venerable Institute in Rome. To be more accurate, the priests had finished their supper. We had a post-prandial dessert wine and 4 different types of grape whilst sat on the roof looking out over the city. As the
summer heat was beginning to become oppressive they were moving to Summer lodgins in the hills.

As I sit at home scoffing my Pop Tarts and Pot Noodles I sometimes wish I had taken the path to the priesthood.

18 May, 2006 10:29  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

Heather, the reaction of the first brother to take a bite indicated that it was heavenly. In order to avoid a sin of the flesh, the other brothers refused to taste it.
Of course, I did say that the woman was a terrible cook so you can be excused for leaping to the conclusion that the cake tasted terrible. I am well aware that not everyone has my impeccable sense of logic.

Moobs, it's never too late.

18 May, 2006 21:32  
Anonymous Moobs said...

I think my wife may disagree.

19 May, 2006 08:34  
Blogger Br. Lawrence said...

In the good ol' days, you'd just send her off to a nunnery.
And visit her at night in the tunnel.

19 May, 2006 17:09  
Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

That was brilliant! I think that as long as gratitude is expressed for kindness, balance is maintained and one need not actually mortify the flesh with bad pastry.

I'm new to your delightful blog and am catching up on previous posts.

07 August, 2006 18:31  

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