God Is My Broker: A Monk-Tycoon Reveals the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth [NOOK Book]

Overview

This is an incredible story. The author, a failed, alcoholic Wall Street trader, had retreated to a monastery. It, too, was failing. Then, one fateful day, Brother Ty decided to let God be his broker--and not only saved the monastery but discovered the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth. Brother Ty's remarkable success has been studied at the nation's leading business schools and scrutinized by Wall Street's greatest minds, but until now the secret to his 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth ...
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God Is My Broker: A Monk-Tycoon Reveals the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth

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Overview

This is an incredible story. The author, a failed, alcoholic Wall Street trader, had retreated to a monastery. It, too, was failing. Then, one fateful day, Brother Ty decided to let God be his broker--and not only saved the monastery but discovered the 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth. Brother Ty's remarkable success has been studied at the nation's leading business schools and scrutinized by Wall Street's greatest minds, but until now the secret to his 7 1/2 Laws of Spiritual and Financial Growth have been available only to a select few:

   • 87 percent of America's billionaires
   •  28 recent Academy Award winners
   • Over half the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize
   •  No members of the U.S. Congress
Now, for the first time, Brother Ty reveals the secrets he has gleaned from the ancient texts of the monks, and tells how you can get God to be your broker. God Is My Broker is the first truly great self-help business novel. Open this book and open your heart. It will change your life.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
A hilarious book -- sly, smart and deeply satisfying.
Dwight Garner
Addicted to self-help books? Here's the best advice I've ever received about avoiding them: Don't accept counsel from anyone who can't write a decent sentence....Among the writers left standing are two from a somewhat earlier era, Ben Franklin and Dr. Johnson, and, in the contemporary division, Christopher Buckley and John Tierney, who gleefully send up a whole slew of get-rich-quick tomes in God Is My Broker, their prickly new "self-help business novel."
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307799555
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 344,378
  • File size: 3 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter the First

Crisis in the Cloister...
The Abbot Gets a Guru...
A Heavenly Tip




The day began, as all days at the Monastery of Cana began, with the tolling of the bells and the shuffling of sandaled feet across a floor of cracked linoleum. In its day, it had been polished marble, but the marble had long since been sold to pay for necessities during our time of tribulation. By now we were well accustomed to poverty, but little did we know, on that cool September morning, just how dire our situation was.

It was the beginning of my second year, and I was excited at being allowed to speak again after the traditional year of silence.

All during that year I had wondered, silently, what my fellow brothers made of me. I had traded the life of a Wall Street broker for the contemplative life, my briefcase for a rosary, the roar of the trading floor for Gregorian chant. Once, as I was on my knees scrubbing the linoleum (taking care not to brush too hard lest I crack it further), I heard Brother Fabian tell Brother Bob: "I guess 'Brother Tycoon' bought high and sold low!" That one playful gibe caught on, and my nickname among the other monks became Brother Ty. My vow of silence never chafed so painfully, but then I reminded myself that this was why I had sought sanctuary from the grasping world. And, if truth be told, they were not far off the mark. As my managing director had said to me the day I was dismissed from the firm, "This has been one of the greatest bull markets in history. How did you manage to lose so much of our clients' money?" I had no answer. I walked out and headed up the Street to Slattery's Bar.

"Topof the morning," said Slattery. "The usual?"

My usual? How many mornings had I spent here, reading the Journal while knocking back Bloody Marys?

"Slattery," I replied, "let me ask you, as a friend: is it your opinion that I have a drinking problem?"

He looked at me thoughtfully. "Well, does it interfere with your job?''

"Not anymore," I said truthfully.

That was about as much as I recall of that day. I came to lying on my stomach in a storage room next to a case of bottles labeled "Cana 20-20." With some difficulty, and not a little pain, I ascended to my knees and inspected a bottle, which seemed to contain red wine with an orangish tinge. I unscrewed the cap and took a sip. Suddenly I became convinced, without ever having sampled a mixture of grape Kool-Aid and battery acid, that it would taste precisely like the fluid now in my mouth. I spat it on the floor and careened to the men's room to rinse out the gritty residue. I was staring into the mirror, picking what appeared to be particles of rust from my teeth, when Slattery found me. He was closing up for the night, but I begged for a cup of coffee to wash away the taste. He poured it at the bar.

"You know," he said as I scalded myself trying to drink the coffee, "maybe you aren't cut out for Wall Street. Watching you in here mornings, I got the feeling all you wanted was to get away from the Big Board. You don't need a bottle to do that."

His words burned into me even more than the coffee, although not quite as much as the wine. Perhaps after all I wasn't meant for the Street.

"Get away from here," he urged. "Get out into the country. Remember what grass looks like?" He pointed to a calendar showing what looked at this distance like a country field with cows. Or maybe sheep. I was in no position to distinguish between things bright and beautiful.

"Are those sheep or cows?" I mumbled.

"Those are monks, you blind drunk."

"Oh, right." It was a pastoral scene. Monks, doing something pastoral. Maybe with sheep. I was still in no position to judge.

"Why monks?" I asked.

He shrugged. "Those are the ones who make Cana 20-20."

I shuddered and washed some coffee down my throat. "I spilled some of that in the back room. Sorry. I'll clean it up."

"Awful stuff," said Slattery. "I couldn't serve it here. I give it to the winos. But it's a nice place and they're good souls and what the hell, it's a good cause, right?"

"What," I said, "are you talking about? The sheep or the monks?" By now the old windows of the soul were defogged to the point where I could make out the scene on the calendar. In the background, above the monks in the vineyard, was a brick building and a church on a green hill. "It does look like a nice spot."

"I visited it after my wife died," Slattery said. "They have rooms for guests—nothing fancy, just a bunk. Most peaceful vacation of my life. You might like it. Although I guess a winery isn't exactly the place for you these days."

"Slattery," I said, "they could serve that stuff at the Betty Ford Center and no one would drink it."

Slattery smiled as I washed down more coffee. "Well," he said, "maybe Cana is the place for you."

"How far is it from Wall Street?"

"Couple hundred miles," said Slattery. "If you hit Canada, you've gone too far."

I didn't hit Canada. And the week in the Monastery of Cana's guesthouse turned into two years. The vacation became a vocation.

It was comforting, that September morning as I chanted with the other monks, to feel so far from the material world, with all its getting and spending and so little getting of understanding.

I was, after the usual custom, about to go out and check the vines for overnight frost, when the Abbot made a special announcement.

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE
Crisis in the Cloister ...
The Abbot Gets a Guru ...
A Heavenly Tip

THE DAY BEGAN, AS ALL DAYS at the Monastery of Cana began, with the tolling of the bells and the shuffling of sandaled feet across a floor of cracked linoleum. In its day, it had been polished marble, but the marble had long since been sold to pay for necessities during our time of tribulation. By now we were well accustomed to poverty, but little did we know, on that cool September morning, just how dire our situation was.

It was the beginning of my second year, and I was excited at being allowed to speak again after the traditional year of silence.

All during that year I had wondered, silently, what my fellow brothers made of me. I had traded the life of a Wall Street broker for the contemplative life, my briefcase for a rosary, the roar of the trading floor for Gregorian chant. Once, as I was on my knees scrubbing the linoleum (taking care not to brush too hard lest I crack it further), I heard Brother Fabian tell Brother Bob: "I guess `Brother Tycoon' bought high and sold low!" That one playful gibe caught on, and my nickname among the other monks became Brother Ty. My vow of silence never chafed so painfully, but then I reminded myself that this was why I had sought sanctuary from the grasping world. And, if truth be told, they were not far off the mark. As my managing director had said to me the day I was dismissed from the firm, "This has been one of the greatest bull markets in history. How did you manage to lose so much of our clients' money?" I had no answer. I walked out and headed up the Street to Slattery's Bar.

"Top of the morning," said Slattery. "The usual?"

My usual? How many mornings had I spent here, reading the Journal while knocking back Bloody Marys?

"Slattery," I replied, "let me ask you, as a friend: is it your opinion that I have a drinking problem?"

He looked at me thoughtfully. "Well, does it interfere with your job?"

"Not anymore," I said truthfully.

That was about as much as I recall of that day. I came to lying on my stomach in a storage room next to a case of bottles labeled "Cana 20-20." With some difficulty, and not a little pain, I ascended to my knees and inspected a bottle, which seemed to contain red wine with an orangish tinge. I unscrewed the cap and took a sip. Suddenly I became convinced, without ever having sampled a mixture of grape Kool-Aid and battery acid, that it would taste precisely like the fluid now in my mouth. I spat it on the floor and careened to the men's room to rinse out the gritty residue. I was staring into the mirror, picking what appeared to be particles of rust from my teeth, when Slattery found me. He was closing up for the night, but I begged for a cup of coffee to wash away the taste. He poured it at the bar.

"You know," he said as I scalded myself trying to drink the coffee, "maybe you aren't cut out for Wall Street. Watching you in here mornings, I got the feeling all you wanted was to get away from the Big Board. You don't need a bottle to do that."

His words burned into me even more than the coffee, although not quite as much as the wine. Perhaps after all I wasn't meant for the Street.

"Get away from here," he urged. "Get out into the country. Remember what grass looks like?" He pointed to a calendar showing what looked at this distance like a country field with cows. Or maybe sheep. I was in no position to distinguish between things bright and beautiful.

"Are those sheep or cows?" I mumbled.

"Those are monks, you blind drunk."

"Oh, right." It was a pastoral scene. Monks, doing something pastoral. Maybe with sheep. I was still in no position to judge.

"Why monks?" I asked.

He shrugged. "Those are the ones who make Cana 20-20."

I shuddered and washed some coffee down my throat. "I spilled some of that in the back room. Sorry. I'll clean it up."

"Awful stuff," said Slattery. "I couldn't serve it here. I give it to the winos. But it's a nice place and they're good souls and what the hell, it's a good cause, right?"

"What," I said, "are you talking about? The sheep or the monks?" By now the old windows of the soul were defogged to the point where I could make out the scene on the calendar. In the background, above the monks in the vineyard, was a brick building and a church on a green hill. "It does look like a nice spot."

"I visited it after my wife died," Slattery said. "They have rooms for guests--nothing fancy, just a bunk. Most peaceful vacation of my life. You might like it. Although I guess a winery isn't exactly the place for you these days."

"Slattery," I said, "they could serve that stuff at the Betty Ford Center and no one would drink it."

Slattery smiled as I washed down more coffee. "Well," he said, "maybe Cana is the place for you."

"How far is it from Wall Street?"

"Couple hundred miles," said Slattery. "If you hit Canada, you've gone too far."

I didn't hit Canada. And the week in the Monastery of Cana's guesthouse turned into two years. The vacation became a vocation.

It was comforting, that September morning as I chanted with the other monks, to feel so far from the material world, with all its getting and spending and so little getting of understanding.

I was, after the usual custom, about to go out and check the vines for overnight frost, when the Abbot made a special announcement.

"Before going to your duties," he intoned, "assemble in the calefactory. I have something to say to you."

We gathered around the folding card tables pushed together to approximate the shape of the magnificent fifteenth-century Florentine table that we had sold in order to repair the roof.

Brother Bob, sitting next to me, said under his breath, "Another announcement. What is there left to sell? Us?"

The Abbot stood before us, a picture of exhaustion. A barrel-chested man in his mid-fifties, he had normally a booming baritone voice and a hearty manner that cheered us all through the long winters, doubtless the same quality that had made him a legendary captain of the Holy Cross football squad. But this morning, in the dim predawn light, the usually ruddy face looked drawn and fatigued. The strain of fending off bill collectors and watching the monastery literally fall apart had taken its toll. Of late he had been acting erratically; some of the older monks whispered that he had been muttering obscenities in Latin. Now there was something in his eyes I had never seen before: a look of desperation.

"Brothers," he addressed us, "I will begin with the good news. There can be little doubt that we have lived up to our vow of poverty." He held up a fistful of cash. "We have $304. Our bank account is empty. Our credit is exhausted. We have nothing of value left to sell." He sighed. "Unless the antiques dealers suddenly develop an interest in our vintage linoleum floor. We have one functioning vehicle left, with a quarter tank of gas. We have no hopes of attracting retreatants to be our guests unless we do something about the plumbing and--through no fault of Brother Tom--our food." For the last four months we had been surviving on food stamps and cases of canned succotash and beets that, we had been told by their donor, had fallen off some semitrucks on the Interstate.

"I have appealed once again to our superiors at the Vatican." Our monastery was the last remnant of a once flourishing order, the Order of Saint Thaddeus. Our founder, a fervent twelfth-century penitent who was eventually martyred by Sultan Omar the Magnanimous, had put the order under direct authority of the Pope. But our relations with the Holy See in Rome had been strained ever since an unfortunate incident ten years before. As per tradition, the monastery had sent the first case of the new wine to the Pope. His Holiness took ill shortly after drinking a glass with his dinner. Although it was never conclusively proved that our wine had caused his distress, the chemical analysis turned up a number of "impurities."

"The Vatican was once again disinclined to offer financial assistance," the Abbot said. "My warning that we would have to shut down our winery was not greeted with alarm. And, frankly, who can blame them?"

The Abbot spoke as though struggling to maintain control. "Our wine-making machinery is hopelessly antiquated. Due to our problems with quality control, the Cana label has been dropped by every wine distributor except the one owned by Brother Theodore's uncle. And now even his devotion and loyalty are wavering. Uncle Leo called me yesterday after sampling the Cana Nouveau. He is a kind man. I got the feeling that his charity is being sorely tested."

"What did he say?" asked Brother Theo.

"He described in some detail the difficulty he had swallowing it. Though he does not wish to abandon us, he said that he knew of no liquor store in America, even in the least fortunate neighborhoods, or for that matter, anywhere in the industrialized world, that would buy Cana from him, at any price. He asked me if we had ever considered marketing it as an industrial solvent. I assured him that he must have received a bad batch. At any rate, he is coming next week to taste the new vintage, and I do not think we can try his faith any further. The Lord does not expect us to produce wine from water, but we ought to be able to make it from grapes. If we can't do that, we'd better find some other business, because when the $304 is gone, so will Cana be gone."

There was a deep silence, deeper even than the normal monastic silence. Brother Algernon spoke: "You mean, close the monastery?"

"The rules of the Order of Saint Thaddeus require us to be self-sufficient. I doubt Saint Thad would rejoice if he knew that we have been living on food stamps. Winter is coming. I still haven't paid last year's fuel-oil bill. Unless you have a plan for alternative heat sources, we face a winter without heat, which is not an agreeable prospect in a climate where the temperature normally dips to ten below. None of us took a vow of lunacy. Or hypothermia."

I tried to dispel the gloom. "Perhaps we could use the wine to run the furnace."

My attempt at levity met with silence. Some of the brothers gave me disapproving looks.

"Would that work?" said Brother Jerome hopefully. Brother Jerome, who tended the pigs and hens, was known for his simplicity as well as his piety.

The Abbot sighed heavily, as he usually did when Brother Jerome offered one of his helpful suggestions. "We'll give that prayerful consideration. I think Brother Ty was making an attempt at humor. Perhaps his one year of silence was not sufficient." He glowered at me. "Brother, would you see me in my office. After you help Brother Jerome clean the sty."

He led us in a short prayer and bade us go about our duties. I went off to clean out the pigs' pen in penitential silence. That done, I went to see the Abbot.

He was deep in reading, sitting at his desk, an old door straddling two drab metal filing cabinets. "Oh, Brother Ty." He closed the book. He caught me reading the title.

CREATING AFFLUENCE Wealth Consciousness in the Field of All Possibilities Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"Ever heard of this fellow?" He read aloud from the book jacket: "`With clear and simple wisdom, Deepak Chopra explores the full meaning of wealth consciousness and presents a step-by-step plan for creating affluence and fulfillment on all levels of our lives.' His books have sold millions. They tell me he's on television all the time on the educational channel."

"You're not seriously--" I caught myself It was clear from the poor man's face that he was serious. He was at the end of his tether. Best humor him, I decided. "Any lilies in this Field of All Possibilities?"

"I haven't gotten to the field part yet. He's got this system called `The A-to-Z Steps to Creating Affluence.' It's either extremely profound, or--"

"Total rubbish?"

"To be honest, I had an easier time understanding Aquinas. I have no idea what the man is talking about. That's why I asked to see you. You worked with wealthy people on Wall Street. I understand Chopra has quite a following. What do you make of him?"

"Well," I said, trying to deflect the question, "I doubt he has much practical advice on wine-making."

"Let's look under W," he said, flipping. He read aloud:

"W stands for Wealth Consciousness without worries. Wealth consciousness implies absence of money worries. Truly wealthy people never worry about losing their money because they know that wherever money comes from there is an inexhaustible supply of it.

"Once, when we were discussing a world peace project with my teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, somebody asked him, `Where is all the money going to come from?' And he replied without hesitation, `From wherever it is at the moment.'"

The Abbot glanced at the price sticker on the back of the book with a look of despair. "I paid $14 for this. That money is on its way to Deepak Chopra. That is where my money is at the moment. The question is how to get it to come back."

I said, "Maybe you should have spent the $14 on a bottle of wine. For that, you could get something without rust particles in it."

"You're probably right. I should have gone to the liquor store instead. Certainly that is where the good wine is at the moment."

Suddenly his expression changed. He stared at the text with renewed intensity. "`From wherever it is at the moment... From wherever it is at the moment.'"

He stood. "Brother Ty, I have an errand for you."

I found myself puzzling over the Abbot's mutterings as I drove our '78 Ford pickup into town. He had handed me Cana's last $304 and instructed me to go to the liquor store and spend it on six cases of "decent Chilean table wine." I kept telling myself that he most likely wanted to analyze it in order to improve our own stuff. But as the chassis vibrated along the country road, the question nagged at me: why does he need so much wine to do that? "Wherever it is at the moment." It sounded like what Willie Sutton said to the judge when asked why he robbed banks. "That's where the money is."

Surely the Abbot had nothing improper in mind. The Abbot of the monastery named after Our Lord's first miracle wouldn't turn one wine into another. Surely we should be trying to improve our own wine, rather than putting someone else's wine in our bottles--just to fool Uncle Leo. Anyway, we could hardly afford to buy enough "decent Chilean table wine" to keep our customers deceived for long. The Abbot, I reassured myself, was a holy man, a pious man, a good man who had given up a promising career as a professional football player to lead the contemplative life. I calmed myself by meditating on my vow of obedience.

At the top of a hill, I heard a loud grinding sound in the vicinity of the transmission, followed by smoke. I pulled over. A passing motorist was kind enough to call a garage on his cellular phone. An hour later I found myself sitting disconsolately in Clark's Garage as Clark wiped the oil from his face and told me that a new transmission would cost $650. I showed him my $304, explaining that this represented the sum total of Cana's worth. He took pity on me and went to work. "I'll try," he said, "but I can't guarantee we'll be able to find parts for an antique like this."

I called the monastery and gave the Abbot the news. He did not take it well. He kept repeating, "What about the wine? What about the wine?" I was not getting through.

Suddenly he issued a torrent of language such as I had not heard since my days on the trading floor on Wall Street. My heart went out to the man. The stress was getting to him. I tried to calm him down as best I could, even making a little jest: "At least now we know where our money is at the moment." He did not laugh. There was a loud clatter that sounded like the phone dropping onto linoleum.

"Hello?" I said. Nothing. "Hello?"

A moment later, the voice of Brother Felix came on, full of concern. "What did you tell the Abbot?" I explained about the transmission and the $304.

"I wouldn't bother him any more today," Brother Felix whispered. "He has not taken your news well."

"What is he doing?"

"He has taken off his cincture and is using it to flagellate a book."

"I think I know what book."

"I'd better attend to him," said Brother Felix, and hung up.

Clark called a parts distributor and, after being put on hold for five minutes, turned on the speakerphone and went back under the hood. The speaker blasted annoying music from the kind of radio station that calls itself progressive. These days it would not do to torture an American consumer on the phone with silence.

It was going on noon, time to take out my breviary, the prayer book that we always carry. Seven times a day, at regular hours, we recite our "Office," the daily cycle of prayers: Matins, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline. I took out my breviary, looked up the noon reading for today and tried to recite it silently. I had to struggle through the din of the speakerphone.

I remember the moment vividly. I was trying to concentrate on the lines concerning Our Lord's driving the demons out of a possessed man--the poor Abbot came to mind--when a radio announcer's voice boomed out of the speakerphone. It was a voice from my past, the voice of Wall Street, full of urgency.

"There could be some swings this afternoon after the USDA report on farm output, with special volatility in pork bellies."

I tried to ignore the voice on the phone. Get thee behind me, Satan, I commanded it. I returned to my breviary and read about the demons being driven out of the possessed man. There on the page in front of me were the following words:

And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Now something possessed me. "Can I use this phone?" I asked Clark.

My old friend Bill was surprised, to say the least, to get my collect call.

"Jesus Christ," he practically shouted, "is that true about you being in a monastery?"

I told him it was; he apologized for his language. I came straight to the point: "Bill, I know you were always good about giving. Well, here's your chance to help old Mother Church." I explained about Cana's finances. Then: "I've got a very hot tip that pork bellies are about to go off the cliff."

Bill's excitement was palpable. He yawned. "Is this as hot as all your other tips?"

"Bill," I said, "I know my track record isn't the best. But this source is different."

"Have you been drinking again?"

"Bill, I haven't had a drop in two years. You wouldn't want to drink the stuff we make. That's the whole point."

"What do you mean?"

"Never mind. I swear to you two things. One, I'm sober. Two, this is the monastery's only shot. I need to borrow two grand for one afternoon."

"Two grand?"

"Bill, that's lunch money to you."

There was a long pause. Finally, he said, "I'll consider this an early Christmas donation. Okay now, you want to short pork bellies two thousand?"

"Yes." I tried to sound confident as we worked out the details of betting that the price of pork bellies on the commodities exchange would plummet.

"All right," he said. "Done. Where do I reach you?"

By the time Clark located the right parts it was late afternoon. The truck wouldn't be ready until the next day, so I hitchhiked back to Cana. I got a ride pretty quickly. Most people will brake for hitchhiking monks.

I went immediately to the Abbot's cell. A group of monks were standing outside it with looks of great concern. They told me that the Abbot's condition had worsened in the hours following my phone call. After flagellating the book, he had apparently hurled it into the fireplace, shouting, "Ego te expello!" He had to be restrained from leaping into the fire after the book. It was then they decided to call Dr. Cooke, a sympathetic psychiatrist who worked at one of the nearby prisons. He was in with him now. Brother Felix said, "Dr. Cooke used the phrase `reality disruption.' I think it's what we used to call a nervous breakdown."

I kept vigil with the brothers, offering up my poor prayers for the Abbot's recovery. I rebuked myself for not fully realizing what a strain he had been under, and for not anticipating the result of my phone call.

At last, Dr. Cooke emerged from the cell. "I've given him an injection," he said. "He's a strong man, so you'd better watch him. He's calmed down now, but he keeps repeating something: `That is where it is at the moment.' Is that from one of your prayers?"

The monks shook their heads. I decided it would be best not to illuminate the Abbot's meditation.

Just then Brother Algernon came to tell me there was an urgent phone call for me. It was Bill.

"Well, Brother, you got some good sources up there in that monastery. Bellies took a dive, just like you said."

"How much of a dive?"

"As of the bell, you're up $27,000. What name do you want on the account?" He paused. "Still planning to share it with the monastery?"

I hung up, stunned. This was the first decent stock tip I'd ever gotten, and it had come from--God. The Lord had heard our prayer, and provided. I have always been careful with the word "miracle," but how else to explain what happened this afternoon at Clark's garage?

I rushed to tell the Abbot the good news, hoping this would lift him from the depths of despair.

"Father Abbot?" I entered his cell. He was sitting up in bed with a strange glassy expression on his face. "How are you feeling?"

"Bene. Et tu?"

I had never heard him speak conversational Latin before. I made a clumsy stab at a reply. "Dominus vobiscum."

He spoke for some time, either about the weather or the transmission. My Latin being what it was, I could only nod sympathetically and interject an occasional "Certe!" Finally I said to him, "Father, I have wonderful news."

"Quid?"

"Could we speak English? Just for a moment?"

"Lingua Latina lingua Dei est."

"I'm sure it is, but I don't know the word for pork bellies in Latin."

"Abdomina porcorum."

"Why don't I come right to the point," I said. "I know this might sound blasphemous, but I was reading my Office at the garage when I was inspired to take a gamble on the market. I called an old friend of mine and talked him into betting $2,000 that pork bellies were about to go sharply down in value. And guess what--it happened."

"Quid?"

"We made $27,000."

"QUID?"

"Here, let me write it out for you." I took the pad next to his bed and put down:

$MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

He began to mumble. I leaned closer. He was counting, in Latin. He looked up at me. "Twenty-seven thousand ... dollars?"

I nodded. "It's in an account in our name at my friend's firm on Wall Street."

The Abbot's eyes widened. "So that's what he meant!"

"Who meant?"

"Deepak Chopra. That was where our money was at the moment! Wall Street!" He smiled. I shall never forget that smile.

"What are you talking about?" I said nervously. "God showed me the way, not Deepak Chopra, M.D. It was in the noon reading today. The story of the Gadarene swine. In our own breviary. Not in that silly book you threw in the fire."

"The fire!" the Abbot shrieked. He jumped out of bed and ran out of his cell before I could restrain him.

"The book!" he shouted. "The book!"

He ran into the calefactory, knocking over Brothers Felix and Bob, and began madly pawing through the ashes in the fireplace. "The book! Where is the book?"

Brother Felix asked, "Why do you want the book, Father Abbot?"

"That book saved our monastery!"

Brother Felix whispered to me, "We retrieved the book. We thought it might help the doctor with his diagnosis."

The Abbot was still shoveling ashes onto the linoleum. "Better let him have it," I said. The book was charred and burned away at the edges. The cover was slightly altered:

EATING AFFLUENCE

"Here, Father Abbot," said Brother Felix, holding it out to him.

The Abbot took it gently, as if it were a Dead Sea Scroll. He sat down and carefully turned to a page he seemed to recognize. He read aloud: "`In order to acquire wealth you must intend it. The universe handles the details, organizes and orchestrates opportunities.'"

I held up my breviary. "But it was this book that gave me the inspiration."

"And who sent you on that mission?" replied the Abbot. "I intended you to make money. And the universe handled the details."

I argued with him, to no avail. He took the book with him back to his cell. A great change had come over him--although at the time we had no idea just how great. But I already knew that our own lives would never be the same, for that day God had revealed Himself to be our broker. Next to the speakerphone in Clark's Garage I had learned the First Law of Spiritual and Financial Growth (To be Continued)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    Buckley at his best!

    This book illustrates how desperate people can get looking for the fast buck. Easy reading, hard to put down! Buckley's typical use of halarious footnotes and satire shines through to demonstraate Buckley at his best!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 1999

    I had to force myself to turn off my tape player

    This audiobook was a gift. I must admit that I did not ask for the book because I was interested in the title or the story or the author. So why did I request it? I am a fan of Mark Linn-Baker. I didn't know what to expect from the story - the title itself is vague enough to make you wonder if it is a religious book or a book on finance. Well, it's a little a both combined with good comedy. (I was listening to the book late one night and had to muffle my laughter so that I would not wake the entire house). This was my first book from Buckley and I definitely will look for more of his writings. Mr. Linn-Baker gives a fine performance. He offers a variety of voices that aid the listener to visualize the story and the characters. Who needs a video or television with a good storyteller?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Epicly

    Epicly awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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