A Big Mistake

In an ancient monastery, a new monk arrived to dedicate his life and to join the others copying ancient records. The first thing he noticed was that they were copying by hand, books that had already been copied by hand.

He had to speak up. "Forgive me, Father Justinian, but copying other copies by hand allows many chances for error. How do we know we aren't copying someone else's mistakes? Are they ever checked against the originals?"

Father Justinian was startled! No one had ever suggested that before. "Well, that is a good point, my son. I will take one of these latest books down to the vault and study it against its original document."

He went deep into the vault where no one else was allowed to enter, and started to study. The day passed, and it was getting late in the evening.

The monks were getting worried about Father Justinian. Finally one monk started making his way through the old vault, and as he began to think he might get lost, he heard sobbing. "Father Justinian?" He called.

The sobbing was louder as he came near. He finally found the old priest sitting at a table with both the new copy and the original ancient book in front of him. It was obvious that Father Justinian had been crying for a long time.

"Oh, my Lord," sobbed Father Justinian, "the word is 'celebrate'!!"

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