Seven Stories and Parables for the Week: Issue 3

A monk came to his mentor and asked:
— Father, I’ve been coming to you for so long. I’ve confessed my sins over and over again. You have given me so much advice but I still cannot improve. What is the use of my visits to you if I fall into the same sins again even after our meetings?

The spiritual father replied:
— My son, take two pots — one empty and the other filled with honey.
The disciple did so.
— And now, — the elder ordered, — pour the honey from one pot to the other several times.
And so he did.
— Now look at the empty pot and smell it.

The disciple looked and smelled and said:
— Father, the empty pot smells of honey and there is some honey on its bottom.
— This is how, — the spiritual father said, — my instructions sink into your soul. If you acquire at least some virtue in the course of your life, for Christ’s sake, the Lord in his mercy will add up to it and save your soul to live in the paradise. For a cook never puts pepper in a pot which smells of honey. Likewise, God will not reject you if you only keep in your soul the basics of righteousness.

Air is like God. It is always near, and you can’t see it. You learn how necessary it is when you lack it.

Sun is like God. It can both warm you up or burn you. You cannot look at it directly without pain in your eyes. All living creatures are drawn to it. All living creatures are fed by its power.

Sea is like God. When it is transparent and tender, it is like a Big One being tender towards a Small One. When it roars and seethes, you can’t argue with it.
A man is like God when he provides for his family and is ready to fight for it. And when he spares his words and seldom smiles.

A woman is like God, too, when she breastfeeds and when she gets up to her crying baby at night. When she dissolves in her children and breaks the habit of thinking about herself.

There’s so much in this world that is like God. Where do atheists come from?

Gagarin journeyed to the outer space. The Soviet radio announced that “we have flown into the space, and yet we haven’t seen God. Now we know for sure there is no God.”

Upon some consideration, a Christian retorted with, “Yes… seems you didn’t fly high enough...” 

A new ship was roaming the seas for several years. It was light, fast, and could withstand any storm. It was pleasant to look at. Suddenly, in spite of calm and sunny weather, it sank for no evident reason whatsoever. When divers set out to inspect it, it turned out that the bottom of the ship had been eaten away by wood worms. The worms had multiplied and devoured the wood. The small holes that they had made proved to be fatal for the huge vessel. 

This is true of the soul, too. Even a single worm of passions, left unattended, can multiply a thousandfold, generating new vices, conquering all parts of one's soul and corroding its healthy tissues.

Dirty laundry needs to be washed sooner or later. You can dump the dirty clothes into a huge vat to postpone the unpleasant moment when you have to wash that huge pile. The problem is that over time the dirt penetrates deeper into the fabric, and it becomes harder to rub it off. You may have to boil the laundry, burn your fingers and rub skin off your palms, and rub, rub, rub it as hard as you can… Many days, many years. Imagine how many dirty shirts can one accumulate in her lifetime? Alternatively, you can do the laundry as soon as your clothes become dirty. While the spots are still new, you can wash them away with water. Other spots will require soap. The deepest blemishes will require caustic alkali, which irritates your eyes. Every laundress will tell you that grease and blood are the most difficult kinds of dirt to wash. Our sins and bad actions are our dirty laundry, and each of us is his own laundress. We have a unique opportunity — great in some ways and bitter in other ways — not to accumulate our sins throughout our entire lives, until the very last moment when our actions will be judged, but to start compensating for them during our earthly lives, i.e., during the time when it is still possible to change something. It is a proper and reasonable way to go, so we shouldn’t be surprised when each white stripe in our lives is followed by a black one: imagine what blackness would await us after absolute whiteness?

An elder told a brother, “The devil is your enemy, and you are a house. The enemy never stops throwing all kinds of rubbish at you, trying to shove it onto you. However, you must be diligent in throwing the rubbish away and keeping your soul clean; if you become neglectful, your house will be filled up with the rubbish and you won’t be able to get inside. From the very beginning, as soon as the devil starts throwing his rubbish, you must collect it and throw it away, so that your house remains clean thanks to the grace of Christ.

A young disciple approached an elderly hermit and complained of being haunted by sinful thoughts. The elder took him outdoors into the open field.
— Spread out your lap… Open your bosom!
The disciple obeyed him.
— Can you stop the wind from blowing into your clothes?
— No, I can’t!..

— The same is also true with thoughts... We cannot stop their motion. We can only prevent them from remaining permanently in our souls…

Source: https://azbyka.ru/days/



Post a Comment