Telemachus, a first century monk lived in a monastery several miles outside of Rome. There he led a casual life of prayer, meditation and gardening. He was an ordinary man with no outstanding talents. He had no skills as a scholar, a teacher or an evangelist. On occasion his ear and heart were open to God. One morning God spoke to him – telling him to go to Rome. Curiosity arose in him as he pondered what he had heard. But then he obeyed and travelled to Rome. The noisy, rowdy streets of Rome shocked him. He was about to return to his peaceful, cloistered brothers when he was swept up in a crowd rushing to the circular coliseum to see gladiators slaughter each other; this scene of human cruelty; men butchering less skilled opponents. The crowd was almost hysterical, screaming with blood lust for “More! More!”

Telemachus was shocked. He rushed to the edge of the balcony and shouted, “Forbear! Forbear! Stop this madness! In the Name of Christ!” He was ignored. Again he shouted, “In the Name of Christ, forbear!”

Not knowing what else to do, he jumped to the arena floor and rushed between two gladiators and their slashing swords. Again, “In the Name of Christ! Forbear!” Some more raging ones in the balcony screamed, “Run him through! Kill him!” One of the gladiators wanting to please the crowd, slashed Telemachus across the belly. His bowels poured out as he fell to the ground. He was able to shout one more time, “In the Name of Christ, forbear!” Then he died.

The crowd stood silent as the dead monk lay on the coliseum floor amidst his blood. One by one they left with heads hung low. Only the gladiators remained. From that day forward there has never been killings by gladiators for entertainment in Rome.

This ordinary, non-talented monk was used by God to affect His purpose for man. One impulsive act in response to God’s presence within changed the world.

– Unknown –

By Gordon Kler