When I first heard this story, at the Izote restaurant in Mexico City,I felt that I could really relate to the message: great and positive change can come from adversity.
Like most other people, I had accquired several cows in my lifetime, cows upon which I had come to rely for my identity and for my life-purpose. Consequently, I clung on to those cows knowing that to lose them would be very painful. Many times, of course, I wondered if my cows were right for me. Most of those times, I was too afraid to give them up - they had become so familiar to me and I relied on them so much that it was hard for me to imagine my life without them.
When I first heard the story, my job - a job I truly loved - had been eliminated at the multinational corporation which employed me. My cow had been taken away from me, through no fault of my own, at a time in my life when the last thing I wanted was to go looking for another job.
The person who told me the story was suggesting to me that I could find new peace, happieness and financial well-being in my adversity - just as the family had when the Monk stole the cow.
I began to think of other cows that I had lost during my life and realized that, in many ways, things had worked out as well for me as they had for the family in the story. Along the way, I have learned to discover that great happieness can come from adversity. In fact, I suspect that the road to true and lasting happiness, must pass through times of trial and tribulation. There is a saying in Spanish: "God writes straight on crooked lines". The trick is not to get lost in crooked lines of our own - or others - making and to discover the true purpose for which we exist.
In "The Monk who Stole the Cow" I will tell you several stories from my own life - how I left my family and my native land to join the Legion of Christ and how, eventually I found true contentement and a measure of prosperity after leaving the Legionaries of Christ. The aventures begin in Dulbin, Ireland and unfold in Spain, Mexico, Italy, the United States and Gabon, in Central West Africa.