Three monks were bringing oil jars to their monastery. For some days, they had practised inner silence following the advice of the senior monk.
As they walked, a stranger who was lost in the forest came by and asked for directions to the nearest village. The three monks looked at each other. The younger monk decided to interrupt the vow and showed the man the shortest way to get to the village. The stranger thanked him and left.
The three monks started walking again and, after a short stretch of road, one of the two monks broke the silence by scolding the young man for speaking. The other monk, meanwhile, continued to mutter within himself.
Arriving at the monastery, he blurted out asking the two why they had interrupted the vow of silence.
The elderly monk of the community was observing and heard what had happened.
He then approached the three monks, saying: “Venerable brothers, it is true that the younger monk spoke and answered that stranger, but it was an act of kindness and it stopped there. You, on the other hand, had no reason to speak. Moreover, you carried a grudge throughout the journey, while you should let it go.”