A new monk arrives at a monastery famous for its illuminated manuscripts. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old text, using the finest of brushes for the calligraphy and the most beautiful pigments and gold leafing for the illustration. And he can’t help but notice that his fellow monks are copying copies, not the original books. Surely this could lead to error. So he goes to the head monk and points out that they might be making mistakes. Because if there was one error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all the others.
And the head monk says, “We’ve been copying from copies for 300 years. Nonetheless, you have a good point.”
So the old religious man goes down into the deepest, darkest cranny of the archives to check the latest edition against the original.
Hours pass and nobody see him. Finally the new monk clambers down the stairs to look for him. And he hears heartbroken sobs. And there’s the old monk, beside the original book which is lit by a flickering candle.
“What’s wrong?” the new monk asks.
“The word isn’t celibate,” says the head monk, “it’s celebrate.”
celibate – not having sexual activity, especially because you have made a religious promise not to