A monk and his novice were walking through the forest. They come to a stream. On the bank there was a beautifully dressed woman, crying. The monks asked her what was the matter. “I am on my way to a wedding. I have to cross the stream to get there, but the bridge has been washed away. I was searching for a place to cross where I wouldn’t ruin the dress, but I can’t find one and if I don’t make it across soon, I will be late.”
Without a word, the elder monk scooped her into his arms, waded across the stream, and deposited her on the other side. Ignoring her thanks, he waded back and the two monks resume their walk. They continued on their journey, but the younger monk was agitated and obviously had something on his mind. The elder monk stopped and asked him what was the matter.
“Elder, I am confused. Our vows prohibit us from fleshly contact with women, yet you embraced that woman in your arms. How can this be?” The elder monk eyed his novice with kindly concern. “Novice,” he asked, “I left her on the bank of the stream. Why do you still carry her?”
“In Southern and Central America there is a mythic figure common to several cultures. He is born of a virgin, ascends into the sky at the end of his time on Earth, promises to return and his symbol is the cross. His name is Quetzalcoatl, which literally translates to “feathered serpent,” and when the Spanish conquistadors landed, the natives thought they might be his second coming, what with how they occasionally represented him with fair hair and beard! The Spaniards for their part noticed that the local religion had striking similarities to their own, but not being well versed in symbols and archetypes their interpretation was that the devil had implanted a perverted version of Christianity there to try and drive the conquering sons crazy and lead them from the Lord…”