The Monk who Lived Again
Outline: True story of Dr. Walter Montano, a Dominican monk, and his search for God; his despair and decision to escape and to try the Protestants. His escape, dramatized, is successful and he goes to a Protestant missionary who leads him to Christ. To be used cautiously. This is taken from the book by the same title. Dr. Montano's voice is on our Spanish recording of this script.
Script Number: 088
Theme: Rest for our souls; Prayer, petition; Works versus Faith; Deliverance; Salvation; Peace with God; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus
Audience: Catholic; General
Genre: Personal Stories
Bible Quotation: Minimal
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
(Music; Narrator - First voice) : The Monk Who Lived Again! (Music)
Seven long years Fray Luis had searched for God in the rigorous discipline of a Dominican friar. It was near dawn on January 3, 1927. In the monastery of Santo Domingo, the young monk stood motionless behind the door of his cell. It was a locked door, and he was waiting!...(Pause 3 seconds - Music) Presently the awakener would make his rounds along the circuitous gallery of the monks. When he should unlock the door, Fray Luis stood ready to carry out his plan to escape! . . (Pause 3 sec. - music)
If in this place, no door of salvation had opened to him, perhaps, perhaps the Devil could help - even the Protestants. He crossed himself at the thought. (Pause 3 sec - music)
Second voice: The Protestants! I had determined to find the answer of life - even if they should have it. (Pause 3 sec. - Organ music) This night had passed like a torturing eternity. It was 4:30 at last! (Sound effects - metal door clanging and footsteps) Suddenly, I heard the rattle of keys at the far end of the monks' gallery. The awakener was coming! I waited breathlessly. What was this I was about to do? Would it be jumping from one hell to another, and bringing ignominy upon my beloved and noble father, Dr. German Gullen Montano? What if I failed to escape? I shivered (thinking of the grimly silent prisons of far-away France)! In the dim light I could see on my wall the picture of the Virgin of the Rosary (my only companion during these lonely years). "Oh, if ever thou wilt help me, let it be now!" But she answered not! What had I to lose, then, but my life? All else had gone when I died upon the altars of the church. (Pause 3 sec. -organ music) Vividly I remembered the crescendos of the great organ, the solemn vows, the renunciation of myself, and even my name, Walter Manuel Montano. I had become Fray Luis instead. But Fray Luis, Dominican friar, had failed - failed to find the living God. (Pause 3 sec. - sound of footsteps)
Now I could risk all for one more desperate attempt to find God. But this time I could not fail. Already the awakener was at my door. (sound of knocking) He said, "Benedicamus Domino," which is "Let us bless the Lord" in Latin.
"Deo gratias," which means "Thanks be to God," I responded. Unsuspecting, he went on to the next cells... I was safe! I pushed open the door, tucked my shoes under my arms, grabbed my two suitcases, and began the race with time. Across the gallery, into the inner patio, through the Chapel of the Rosary, then the outer patio, and at last to Pedro - the boy who kept the keys to the outer doors! (Pause 3 sec. - chimes and organ.) Alas! As we entered the great church, the white-robed friars were filling the loft. Hiding in a nearby confessional box, we waited. Presently I saw the monks lay their heads upon their arms for prayer. The length of this prayer would get us safely into the shadows of the loft and to the last exit. (Pause 3 sec. - door clang) The great door yielded to Pedro's key. I stepped out of the monastery and hurried down the streets of Cuzco, Peru. Dawn had come. But there was another door to open, another key to find.
(Sound of footsteps). I walked rapidly down Santo Domingo Street toward the forbidden Protestants! The street door of the mission property was shut. I pounded upon it (knocking). A gardener, early at his work, replied, "But Father, this is a Protestant mission!"
"Yes, yes, I know. Where is the chief of your order?" Just then a young man put his head out of the window upstairs. "Wait a moment," he shouted, "I will be down."
In the living room of the mission home, the two of us faced each other. I gazed at him questioningly. The blue eyes of the tall Saxon missionary glowed with a tender light. I stood in the presence of a friend. Not daring to waste a moment now, I began. "For years I have desired to find peace and salvation. Now I have come to you that you may please tell me, by all that you hold dear in this world, whether you have peace in your heart. If you have it, tell me. If not, for God's sake, do not deceive me again!"
Tears were rolling down the cheeks of Charles A. Patton as he put his hand upon my shoulder. "I cannot discuss theology or doctrine with you," he said, "but I can tell you that years ago I came to Christ Jesus with my heart burdened with sin and unrest. I confessed all my sins to Jesus, my Lord, and He forgave them - every one. Now I have peace and salvation. He will do the same for you."
The two of us knelt in prayer. My friend's prayer so filled with the burning words of Holy Scripture, began to unveil before my mind a glorious living Christ Who, with the blood of His own perfect sacrifice, could effectively cover my guiltiness. I felt all self-righteousness withering before His beauty and grace; my sins were being brought to light. I found myself confessing them - not in the prayer-patterns of Fray Luis : but to the Living One with Whom I could talk heart to heart. Jesus was my great High Priest with God the Father. My heart was lighter; the burden was lifting. A great door was found. I could hear with understanding the words of the Shepherd-Savior saying, "I am the Door, by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." The key of faith was in my hand at last! Yes, I could trust Him, the living Savior, Him alone, completely. The great door opened! I entered it into peace and salvation!
We arose from our knees; five hours had passed. In that time the gates of light had fully opened upon a new day. And for me, the gates of eternal light had yielded to Jesus as He brought me into the fold of His salvation.