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

25 July 2007

Instant karma

The brothers in India have a seminary near a small village in Andhra Pradesh. Because the river near the village often dries up during the summer months, the government installed a water well for the people. The well was soon taken over by the high caste villagers, who made it clear that the lower castes were not welcome to use it. If by chance one of the lower castes managed to get water from the well, the high caste people hired a Hindu holy man to purify the well.

One day not many years ago, a young, poor girl was walking to the river to get water for her family. Because it was summer, she would have had to walk several kilometers to find a place where the river still had water. Passing the well, and not seeing anyone around, she decided to fill her jug there. She was caught in the act by a man of high caste, who rushed over, slapped the girl and smashed her water pot on the ground. This incident was witnessed by one of the brothers.

Very shortly after that incident, the town well dried up. The seminary's well was deeper, however, and still had water so the brothers invited the villagers to use their well as long as necessary. One day, the above mentioned brother noticed that both the little girl and the man from the incident above were in queue to get water from the seminary well. He walked up to the man, told him that he had witnessed his treatment of the girl, and informed him that as a result he would not be allowed to have any water from the well that day. Not accustomed to being scolded, the man cursed, argued and hurled insults at the brother, but in the end, there was nothing he could do. He went home without water that day.

Today, the village well again has water, and all are welcome to use it.


Anonymous pog said...

Quite right too - the nasty bully. Yo to the Bro!

25 July, 2007 12:12  
Blogger Stinkypaw said...

Nice story - thanks for sharing it!

26 July, 2007 02:45  
Anonymous Moobs said...

Commie! :-)

28 July, 2007 00:14  
Blogger Open Grove Claudia said...

What a great story! WOW! I love that you don't put God into it, (you know God made the well dry, now makes it run with water) but show the people as they are, and their actions. What could be more God like!

29 July, 2007 19:50  
Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it.

31 July, 2007 05:33  

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