A monastery in Germany trained Christian brothers for various responsibilities within the Roman Catholic Church. One Christian brother in training lived in mortal fear of being called upon to preach the sermon in the daily chapel exercises. As this young man thought about his apprehension, he decided to head it off by going to the monitor of the monastery and discussing the problem with him.
In the course of the conversation he said, “Sir, I am willing to do any menial job that you assign me. I would be delighted to go out into the fields and plow, fertilize, and irrigate them by hand to increase the productivity. If you would care for me to do so, I would be happy to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floors here in the monastery.
It would be a privilege for me to polish the silverware. Any menial job that you call upon me to do I shall be happy to do. However, please don’t ask me to preach a sermon in the chapel.”
The monitor, looking at the young man and recognizing that an assignment to preach was exactly what he needed, replied, “Tomorrow you are to conduct the chapel and preach the sermon.” The next day as this young brother stood behind the pulpit and looked out into the eyes of his peers who had assembled in the sanctuary, he was greatly apprehensive.
He was so nervous he hardly knew what to do. He started his sermon by asking, “Brothers, do you know what I am going to say?” They all shook their heads in the negative. He continued, “Neither do I. Let’s stand for the benediction. Pax vobiscum (Peace be with you).”
Naturally the monitor was infuriated by this. He said to the young man, ‘I am going to give you a second chance. Tomorrow you are to conduct the service in the chapel, and this time I want you to preach a message.”
The next day the scene was the same. And the young man began as he had the day before, “Brothers, do you know what I am going to say?” When they all nodded their heads in the affirmative, he said, “Since you already know, there is no point in my saying it. Let’s stand for the benediction. Pas vobiscum.”
The monitor was livid. Once again he went to the young brother and literally roared at him. “I am tired of your chicanery. Tomorrow I am going to give you a third chance. If you don’t come through, I am going to put you in solitary confinement on bread and water.”
The third day the scene was the same. The brother began as he had the two previous days, “Brothers, do you know what I am going to say?” Some nodded their heads in the affirmative. Some shook their heads in the negative. Then he concluded with this: “Let those who know tell those who don’t. Let’s stand for the benediction. Pax vobiscum.”
The blessing of God will come on the church and onto the world when those who know tell those who don’t.