Monday, July 8, 2013

Monks and Platypus {Anomalies}

Mary Lake at Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC, Canada
After collecting Peter and a friend from another live-in weekend at the Benedictine Monastery's high school seminary in BC, a long and boring border wait was followed by a bizarre exchange with the customs guard in the booth.

We suffered the usual stern exchange once our ID documents were in his possession, including, "Where do you live?" and "Why were you in Canada?" I answered, "The boys were at the monastery in Mission for a weekend visit," which launched a series of strange follow up questions:

"What is that?  Church of England? Roman Catholic? Orthodox? Protestant?"
"It's Catholic, Benedictine, the religious order founded by Saint Benedict."

"So do they walk around in floor-length sackcloth whipping themselves all day?"
"No. They do wear habits, which are full length, black garments with hoods."

"So did they beat their hands with rulers?"
I turned around and asked the boys, "Did the monks beat your hands with rulers?"
"The boys got to swim and play roller hockey, they had prayer time and talks.  They have a great time up there. The monks are very holy," I added.

"I think God has a sense of humor."
"I hope so."

"Otherwise why would he have created the platypus?"
"Now why does everyone always pick on the poor platypus?"
"I'm not picking on the platypus..."
"The platypus is an anomaly, that's why people pick on the platypus," said Peter's wise friend.
Anomalies do seem to invite being singled out, don't they?

Seminary of Christ the King; Monastery of Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC, Canada

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