A young couple on their honeymoon were visiting a little town outside the main city. It was a very conservative, hard-shell Baptist kind of place: No drinking and no dancing!

It was a ritual for these two, to enjoy a single-malt scotch whenever they were together! So the very first thing they craved was a scotch, to kick off the celebrations. They asked the first person they met – a total stranger –  where they might get a drink.

“In this town,” the stranger said “we use whiskey only for snakebite: to wash and clean the wound. Here whisky is simply used as a first aid. Nothing more and nothing less.” Then he added slyly, “If you guys are so thirsty for whiskey, there’s only one poisonous snake here and it’s in the zoo. So you better hurry, get a ticket to the zoo, go to the snake park, get hold of the one and only cobra through the iron bar of its cage and give it a big hug! The zoo keeper will appear immediately with whisky.”

Source: As remembered, reimagined, and retold by Philip Chircop SJ


  • As a deer longs for flowing streams,  so my soul longs for you, O God. -Psalm 42:1
  • How thirsty are you? What are you willing to do to quench your thirst?
  • Kabir, the 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint, said: “I laughed when I heard them say the fish in the ocean is thirsty.”  Are you aware that you already dwell in the ocean that can quench all your thirst?




Author: philipchircop

I'm a Jesuit from Malta, an artist at heart and madly in love with all things beautiful and soulful: music, painting, sculpture, photography, film, theatre, poetry, good company, good food, good wine and more. I believe that beauty is a wonderful entry into the mystery of the God “whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” God can be sensed in all things if and when we engage in a long, loving look at the real that surrounds us. I consider myself a seeker with bottomless curiosity, an eternal student of life, exploring fresh and creative ways to proclaim the Good News in the hope of helping fellow pilgrims and seekers to embrace real and radical changes that will lead to conversion and transformation.

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