Seven Stories and Parables for the Week: Issue 2

I have heard about one brother, that when he came to someone’s cell and saw that the cell was untidy, he said, “Blessed is this brother, for he has forgotten about all his worries, or even about everything terrestrial, and thinks so much about spiritual things that he cannot even find time to clean his cell”.

At the same time, when he came to the cell of another brother and saw it was tidy, he said to himself, “The cell of this brother is as clean as his souls, and the condition of his cell corresponds with the condition of his soul”.

He never said about other brothers different things like “this brother is careless” or “that brother is conceited”, but he always has benefit from each of them because of his kind nature.

May the Lord make us all kind by our nature, so that we all can have benefit from each other and the we never notice the weaknesses of our neighbor. 

Once an atheist asked a faithful person:
- What if you find out after your death that there is no paradise you are preaching about?
The faithful man replied:
- And what if in the end of your earthly path you find out that there is eternal hell, which you, atheists, reject?
- I hope this will never happen, - an atheist said.
- You hope? – a faithful one asked again. – This is the difference between your beliefs and mine. You live with shaky hopes, while I live with faith that if there is a creation, then there should be the Creator.

Once a donkey fell into a well and begаn to scream сalling for help. His owner came to the well and threw his hands up when he saw that there was no way to take the donkey out.

Then the owner considered: “My donkey is old, and he will not live for long. I was going to buy a young donkey anyway. This well has run dry, and I was going to fill it and  dig a new one. Why not to kill two birds with one stone? I can fill the well and thus I will bury the donkey”. The master called his neighbors, they all took shovels and began to fill the well with earth. The donkey understood what was going on and began to scream again. People did not pay attention to him and silently continued to fill the well. Soon the donkey stopped screaming. When the owner looked in the well, he saw that the donkey shook the earth off from his back and trampled it down with his legs. To everyone’s surprise, quite soon the donkey could jump out of the well.

Perhaps, there are many misfortunes in our life, and perhaps later we will face even more of them. Every time another stone falls on you, remember that you can shake it off and then you can rise a bit higher. Thus, you will get out of any deep well.

Each problem is a stone, which life throws in you. However, walking on these stones you will manage to cross any rapid stream.

Once many years ago, a ship was being built on the dockyard in Holland. It was necessary to find a long and tough log to make the keel of the ship. Two workers found one log on the yard where the wood for ships was kept.
 - Look, - one of them said, - what a nice log. Let’s take it…
The other one examined the log carefully and shook his head.
- No, - he said, - we cannot use this log.
- Why?
- Can you see this small wormhole? It seems there are worms inside already.
- That’s nothing. What can such a small wormhole do to such a big and tough log? You can hardly notice it. Let’s take it!

They were arguing for a while. The more careful worker finally agreed to take the log, and later the craftspeople made a keel for the ship.

The ship was out in the sea for quite a long time, and there were no storms that could harm it. However, one sunny day it became to sink for no apparent reason. When the divers were sent to examine the sunken ship, they found out that the worms inside had multiplied and finally grinded the wood down. That small wormhole became fatal for that large ship.

The same concerns a soul. If you do not kill a worm of passion at the right moment, it will multiply and cause even more new sins. It will harm the healthy tissues until it finally captures all the corners of the soul.

Whatever you are going to do, say “if there is God’s will for this” no matter what. Otherwise, what happened to one self-confident man, can happen to you too. He was going to work in his vineyard and said to his wife:
- Tomorrow early in the morning I will go to the vineyard.
- You will, if there is God’s will for this, - she said.
- I will go anyway, no matter whether there is God’s will for this or not, - the husband replied.

It was dark yet when he left the house and headed to the vineyard. On his way there, it was raining so hard that he had to turn back and go home. He came back before the sunrise and knocked at the door:
- Who’s there? – The wife asked.
- If there is God’s will for this, - he answered, - then it’s me, your husband.

Once a rich man died, and the whole city knew about his sins. His funeral was beautiful, there were many priests and even a bishop. Soon, a hyena attacked a hermit in the desert and pulled him to pieces. A monk who saw both the funerals of the sinner and the bloody remains of the pious hermit. He cried in turmoil: “Lord! Why is it like this? Why did You let the sinner to have a good life and a good death, while the pious man was doomed to have a bad life and a bad death?” Soon, a God’s angel appeared to him and explained: the rich sinner has done the only one good deed in his life, while the hermit has sinned only once.

With this beautiful funeral ceremony the Lord wanted to pay tribute to the sinner for his only good deed and to show that there is nothing to look forward for him in this life. At the same time, with this dreadful death, which was prepared for the hermit, the Lord intended to erase the only sin the man had committed, and then reward him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Remember this when you think about the judgements of God, and hope for God only. “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (Psalms 37:1).

A doctor was asked once:
- Do you have any remedy against sin?
- Yes, - said the doctor, - here is its recipe: “Take some roots of obedience, gather some flowers of spiritual purity, pick some leaves of patience, some fruits of sincerity, but do not drink the wine of infidelity. Dry all these ingredients with the fast of abstinence, put some good deeds in the pan, add there some water of repentance, salt it with the brotherly love, add some charity and the powder of humility and kneeling. Take three spoons of God’s fear per day, dress the clothes of righteousness and do not prate, because otherwise you will get cold and be sick with sin again.

Translated from: https://azbyka.ru/days/



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