My dear Judy,

1 Sep

Our month in the monastery is at an end.  Time will tell how much spiritual benefit Ted has derived from it.  I am certain that beneath his gruff and earthly manner there is a heart of gold.  And yet … am I a wicked and faithless bear for allowing small doubts to creep in?  Am I doing that good and noble bear an injustice?

What happened was this.  The monks make and sell their own cider from the monastery orchard. Ted and a group of his new friends made their way down to the cellars one night and drank the entire stock. Their absence was noted at five o’clock the following morning when we all got up. They were discovered in an unseemly heap on the cellar floor.

Ted told the Archbear that they were tasting the cider to help the monastery’s quality control.  Judging the first bottle to be ‘rotten’, they thought they had better taste them all.  The Archbear was surprisingly receptive to this explanation.  He said he knew Ted’s friends to be monks of good and honest character; and if they had taken a willing part in this exercise, it must indeed have been for honourable motives.  On Ted’s advice he has now increased the alcohol content of the cider.

I am sorely troubled, my dear Judy.  I cannot help wondering why it was necessary for every single drop of the cider to be consumed, in order for Ted to establish its quality.

I am a poor character indeed. I am ashamed of myself for these doubts. I owe it to my Ted to believe in him wholeheartedly.

Your remorseful and unworthy friend,

Father Stephen


One Response to “My dear Judy,”

  1. September 3, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    My dear Stephen, so sorry to hear of Ted’s further escapades. Of
    course I can see his point of view, the cider must be perfect if it is
    sale to the outside community. And, think of it this way, the other
    monks will now benefit from the added alcohol. However, like you, I am
    unsure of his real motives. I am about to leave for Fountains Abbey,
    where I shall pray for Ted to conquer his demons, and pray for you
    to help him do so. It is unlikely I will be able to meet you on
    Friday, as I shall have to spend a great deal of time praying, and it
    take at least a week.
    Yours in spirit,

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