A new young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the
other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies,
not the original manuscripts. So, the new monk goes to the head Abbot
to ask him about this, pointing out that if there was an error in the
first copy from the original, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.
The head monk says, ”We have been copying from the copies for
centuries, but you make a good point, my son”.
So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where
the original manuscript is held in a locked vault that hasn’t been
opened for centuries. Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot. So,
the young monk gets worried and goes downstairs to look for him. He
sees him banging his head against the wall. His forehead is all bloody
and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.
The young monk asks the old abbot, ”What’s wrong, father?”
With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, ”The word is