Stories 8: The Prayer of the Frog

When Brother Bruno was at prayer one night he was disturbed by the croaking of a bullfrog. All his attempts to disregard the sound were unsuccessful so he shouted from his window, “Quiet! I’m at my prayers.”

Now Brother Bruno was a saint so his command was instantly obeyed. Every living creäture held its voice to create a silence that would be favourable to prayer.

But now another sound intruded on Bruno’s worship- an inner voice that said, “Maybe God is as pleased with the croaking of that frog as with the chanting of your psalms.” “What can please the ears of God in the croak of a frog?” was Bruno’s scornful rejoinder. But the voice refused to give up: “Why would you think God invented the sound?”

Bruno decided to find out why. He leaned out of his window and gave the order, “Sing!” The bullfrog’s measured croaking filled the air to the ludicrous accompaniment of all the frogs in the vicinity. And as Bruno attended to the sound, their voices ceased to jar for he discovered that, if he stopped resisting them, they actually enriched the silence of the night. With that discovery Bruno’s heart became harmonious with the universe and, for the first time in his life he understood what it means to pray.

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