A meeting with a monk


His glasses reflected the light, and the hem of his cassock swept the floor. Beneath his hood, his expression was all eyebrows and severity. When he reached out to shake my hand, he swiftly wrapped me in what I took to be an affectionately masculine bear hug. I soon realised there was nothing affectionate about it: he had me in a headlock so tight, I could hear the loud ticking of his watch in my ear.

“Why don’t you come back to the church of your grandmother?”

“Eh? Can’t hear you.”

“Why, I said why don’t you return to the church of your grandmother?”

“I can’t answer that,” my muffled voice came from under the wings of his robes. “It’s not that easy.”

“It’s the easiest thing in the world,” he shouted.

He manipulated my head under his armpit like a wrestler. At last I was able to free myself.

“God wants you to return to the church of your grandmother. I’m asking, why don’t you?”


Mark O’Flynn False Start – a memoir of things best forgotten (238)


How’s that for muscular Christianity? Mark O’Flynn’s memoir is a little classic in “the rich tradition of the great Australian yarn”, as the blurb says.

Image by Ludek (Own work),  Wikimedia Commons

9 thoughts on “A meeting with a monk

    1. Very funny, isn’t it? There’s another story in the book about an apparition of the Virgin Mary – I must put that one up some time. One of the questions the crowd asks her is “What about Dermot?”

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, the nuns and brothers were pretty handy with the strap too. One of my teachers used to hit us over the head with a huge maths book. That explains my present state of mind.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s