In an ancient monastery in a far away place, a new monk arrived to join
his brothers in copying books and scrolls in the monastery’s scriptorium.
He was assigned to be a rubricator on copies of books that had already
been copied by hand.
One day, he asked Father Florian (the head of the scriptorium), “Does not
the copying by hand of other copies allow for error? How do we know we are
not copying the mistakes of someone else? Are they ever checked against he
original?” Fr. Florian was taken aback by the observation of this youthful
monk. “A very good point, my son. I will take one of the latest books down
to the vault and compare it against the original.” Fr. Florian went down
to the vault and began his verification.
After a day had passed, the monks began to worry and went down looking for
the old priest. They were sure something must have happened. As they
approached the vault, they heard crying. When they opened the door, they
found Fr. Florian sobbing over the new copy and the original ancient book,
both of which were opened before him on the table. It was obvious to all
that the poor man had been crying his heart out for a long time.
“What is the problem, Reverend Father?” asked one of the monks. “Oh, my
Lord,” sobbed the priest, “the word is ‘celebrate’.”