VIDEO TRANSCRIPT A story to illustrate what really matters. Beacon Publishing 8.56 minutes

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1 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT A story to illustrate what really matters. Beacon Publishing 8.56 minutes Matthew Kelly: Once upon a time, on a glorious summer's evening, in an ancient castle in the hills in the outskirts of London, there was a banquet. Six hundred guests from all over the world, movie stars, poets, playwrights, politicians, business owners, super models, and a handful of people who over the years had endeared themselves to the host and were in the public eye of no particular note. Dinner, glorious, sumptuous meal, wonderful wines, from all the best parts of the

2 world. And after dinner, the host steps up, says hello to his guests, and announces that this evening, instead of music or speeches or dancing, he has a treat for them. He has invited one of England's most famous Shakespearian actors to present a selection of Shakespeare's writings. To a gracious applause, the actor stands up and makes his way to the center of the banquet hall, and then begins one after another to present excerpts from the writings of William Shakespeare. To be or not to be. Oh, I am fortune's fool. Shall I compare thee. And then after each presentation, thunderous applause echoes through the castle and up into the courtyard, into the midsummer's

3 evening. For 35 minutes, the actor presents boldly, brilliantly, gently, thoughtfully, passionately, the writings of William Shakespeare, and after each little episode, again the applause thunders through the castle and up into the courtyards. And after 35 minutes the actor takes his seat. But to thunderous applause he steps back up for an encore. And as he steps back up to the middle of the banquet hall, he announces that if anyone has any favorite passages from Shakespeare, he would be happy to present them, if he knows them. Several people raise their hands, and he calls on one man, and he asks for the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. The actor presents it,

4 again powerfully, brilliantly. Another man requests the soliloquy from Macbeth, and again, the actor presents it powerfully, passionately. A young woman raises her hand and requests the 14th Sonnet. And then, an elderly gentleman, somewhere down towards the back of the banquet hall raises his hand. The actor calls upon him, and as it turns out, the old man is a priest. He stands up to be heard. And he says to the actor, "I realize it's not Shakespeare, but I was wondering if you would present for us the 23rd Psalm?" The actor looks off into the distance and smiles, as if remembering some distant place or time, and then replied, "I would be happy to, Father, on just one

5 condition. And that is, that when I'm finished reciting the Psalm, you, too, will recite the Psalm for us, here this evening." The old man began to shuffle in his place and fidgeted with the tablecloth in front of him. He wanted to hear the Psalm, but was unsure about presenting it himself, was uncomfortable presenting it himself. But finally he spoke up, agreeing. And with that the actor began in a loud, powerful, eloquent voice. "The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want." And when he'd finished reciting the Psalm, the people stood to their feet, and they clapped and they cheered like they would never stop clapping and

6 cheering. But when they finally did settle down and return to their seats, the actor looked back down towards the old man and said, "Father, it's your turn now." And as promised, the old man made his way to his feet, shuffled around again nervously and fidgeted with the tablecloth. And then, in a voice that was soft and gentle, he began. "The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want. He lets me lie down in green pastures. He leads me besides peaceful waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the ways of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I'll not be afraid. For the Lord, He is at my side. His rod and His staff, they comfort and

7 protect me. He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." And when the priest had finished, nobody clapped, and nobody spoke, and nobody moved. And as the old man slowly sat down, every set of eyes in the banquet hall were fixed on him. And seizing the moment, the actor stood back up. And he said, Do you realize what you've witnessed here tonight?" The people looked at him with a dazed look in their eyes. He said, "What is the difference between my presentation of

8 the Psalm and the old man's presentation of the Psalm? What makes his presentation so powerful, to fill this castle with such a profound silence? I'll tell you," he said. "The difference? I know the Psalm. But Father, he knows the Shepherd." Get to know the Shepherd. Get to know the Shepherd. If you do nothing else in your life, get to know the Shepherd. Because life is short, and you're dead an awful long time. It's proven. This is not idle speculation. Live life passionately, enthusiastically. Love and love deeply and always. Laugh often and loudly. But above everything else, embrace your God. Embrace your God. For that, you will discover, is life's purest pleasure.

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