The newspaper headline caught my eye last Thursday, because it sounded like the set-up to a late-night comedy sketch: “Monks brawl with brooms in Bethlehem.”
This has to be a joke, I thought. Just one year ago, I spent a couple of days with a group of monks, on a sort of silent retreat to a monastery deep in Oregon’s wine country. My monks were all beatific smiles and soft voices and gentle movements. Almost from the moment I set foot on their property, I felt all my worries being swept away in a flood of serenity.
Monks don’t go on rampages, I thought. Curious, I read on.
The story was no joke.