The abbot got up very early one morning, which was not abnormal. But he had been awakened by the sound of footsteps in the ceremonial hall, which, on the other hand, was unusual, because at this hour, the monks were in principle performing their morning “chanting” (“Zzzzz…”). He went to see what it was.
In the darkness, he saw a hooded figure. A robber.
"What do you want, my friend?" he asked her in an affable voice.
- Shut up and give me the key to the donation box! replied the thief, brandishing a long, slender knife.
The sight of the weapon did not frighten the abbot, who only felt compassion for the young man.
“Of course,” he said, calmly handing her the key.
While the malefactor emptied the box of the money it contained, the abbot noticed that his jacket was torn, that his face was pale and his features drawn.
- When was your last meal, my child?
- Shut up !
- You will find something to eat in the cupboard, next to the donation box. Serve yourself.
The thief, surprised, paused briefly then, still pointing his knife at the monk out of caution, hastened to fill his pockets.
'Don't you dare call the cops, otherwise…' he shouted.
"Why do you want me to call the police?" calmly answered the abbe. The donations are meant to help the poor like you and I gave you the food of my own free will. You didn't steal anything. Go in peace.
The next day he related this episode to the monks and the assembly of the faithful, who congratulated him. A few days later, he read in the press that the burglar had been caught robbing another house. He was tried and sentenced to ten years in prison.
“Today, I come to take the secret of your kindness and your inner peace. »
A little over a decade later, the abbot was awakened from his slumber by comings and goings in the altar room. He got up to see what was going on and, as you might have guessed, he discovered the thief in front of the donation box, with extra wrinkles, a dagger in his hand.
- Do you remember me ? he shouted.
"Yes," grumbled the abbe, putting his hand in his pocket. Here, here is the key.
The thief smiled, put down his knife and continued in a softer voice:
“Keep it, sir. During my long years in prison, I never stopped thinking of you. In all my life, only one person has been kind to me and interested in my fate: it's you. Yes, I came back to steal something from you, but I realized that the first time I hadn't taken what I needed. Today, I come to take the secret of your kindness and your inner peace. That's what I really wanted from the start. Please give me the key compassion. Make me your disciple.
Shortly after, he became a monk and became richer than in his wildest dreams, with an abundance of goodness and serenity. That's what we all want, deep down. What a beautiful booty!