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TITLE: ďDO YOU REALLY CARE?Ē
INTRODUCTION: A. The abbot of a monastery called a novice into his office and
instructed him to give the sermon at the next morningís chapel.
The novice was struck with fear. The next morning, chapel came.
He stood in the pulpit. The brothers were there. His hands were
trembling. His knees were knocking. His voice was quivering. There
was a long pause before he first spoke, and then he asked a question.
"Do you know what Iím going to say?"
They had no idea, so all of their heads went back and forth almost in
unison, as if it were choreographed. He said, "Neither do I. Letís stand
for the benediction."
The abbot was angry. He told the young novice that since he didnít
do what he was supposed to do, he was going to give the sermon the
next morning at chapel. The abbot warned the young man that heíd
better do a proper job or face the consequences.
The next day was almost an exact repeat of the day before. All the
brothers sat there before him. His hands shook. His knees knocked. His
voice trembled. Long pause. "Do you know what Iím going to say?" he
Well, after the previous dayís experience, they had a pretty good
idea. So all of their heads nodded yes.
"Then thereís no need for me to tell you. Letís stand for the
The abbot was angry beyond description. He brought the young man
into his office and said, "If you do that again, you are going to be in
solitary confinement, eat bread and water for thirty days, and receive
any other punishment I can think of. Tomorrow morning give the
homily; do it right."
The third day, chapel attendance hit an all-time high. Everyone was
there to see what he would say, and it was almost an exact repeat. He
stood, trembling, voice quivering, and after a long silence asked, "Do
you know what Iím going to say?"
After three days of this, about half of them had a pretty good idea
and they nodded their heads yes. The other half noticed the
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