The Word Is…

By Steve Goodier

I heard a funny story of an ancient monastery charged with copying old books and scrolls for the faith.

One day, Father Florian, who headed the work of the scriptorium, was asked by a new monk: “Does not the copying by hand of other copies allow for chances of error? How do we know we are not copying the mistakes of someone else? Are they ever checked against the originals?”

“A very good point,” Father Florian agreed. “I will take one of the latest books down to the vault and compare it to the original.”

After a day had passed and the priest had not returned, the monks began to worry. When they went to the vault, they found him weeping over an ancient manuscript.

“What is the problem, Father?” asked one of the monks.

“A mistake,” he sobbed. “The word was supposed to be ‘celebrate!’”

We can be assured that “celibate” was never confused with “celebrate,” but “celebrate” is a word we may need to hear more often.

Is there plenty of celebration in your life? How about your spiritual life? Is it an exercise in following rules and practices? Or does it look more like a joyous celebration?

Not that we can be, or ought to be, happy all the time. Life isn’t like that. There is, after all, a time for laughter and a time for tears. And besides, there is much growth in pain. But “celebrate” is one of those great words that resides at the heart of a vibrant life. For the truth is…the more we celebrate, the more we find to celebrate. And the more we find to celebrate, the more fully we live.

So, as William Arthur Ward exhorts:

“Celebrate your life joyfully;

Celebrate yourself humbly;

Celebrate your blessings gratefully.”

When it comes to full and abundant living, the monk got it right. The word is “CELEBRATE.”

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