Seven Stories and Parables for the Week: Issue 7

A beggar was asking alms by the road. A horseman passed him and whipped him in the face. The beggar looked up at the horseman and said:
— Be happy.
Upon hearing these words, a peasant, who witnessed all that, asked the beggar:
— Are you really that humble?
— No I am not, — the beggar replied, — but if the horseman were happy, he wouldn’t have whipped me.

A king told a hermit:
— Ask me for anything, and I will give it to you!
The hermit replied:
— I want everlasting life, eternal youth, endless wealth, and joy unclouded by grief.
The king admitted:
— I have no power over this kind of things.
— Then please leave me alone, — the hermit demanded. — I’ll ask the One who is capable of granting all those things.
And he started praying to God to grant all that to him in the afterlife.

There was a monk who lived in a monastery but did not care about the salvation of his soul and spent his days in idleness. He lived to an advanced age and was nearing death. When he fell ill with a deadly illness and was about to die, he did not fear death but was happy and praised God as he was getting ready to part with his body. His fellow monks, together with the abbot of that monastery, asked him:
- We have seen how you, brother, have been idle all your life. Why are you so fearless and happy at this frightening hour of death? May God’s power raise you so that you could explain it to us and make us praise God, too.
The monk rose at his bed and told them:
- You’re right, honorable fathers, that I spent my life in idleness and carelessness. Just now God’s Angels have brought me a record of all my bad actions and read it to me. Having read it, the Angels asked me, “Do you plead guilty of all these actions?” I replied, “Yes I do. But since the day I gave up on the world and took the monastic vows, I have never judged anyone and never got angry with anyone. Therefore, I appeal to God that the words of Jesus Christ Judge not, that ye be not judged; if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 7:1; 6:14) be used in my case.” As soon as I uttered these words, the holy Angels tore the account of my sins apart. This is why I go to God with joy and happiness.”

Upon saying it, the brother reposed in the Lord peacefully.

Abba Isaac of Thebes went to a monastery and saw a brother who had fallen into sin. Abba Isaac condemned him. When he went back to the desert, he found an Angel standing at the door of his hut. The Angel said, “I won’t let you in.” Abba Isaac begged him to tell him why he wouldn’t let him in. The Angel replied, “God has sent me to you so that you could tell him where you would like him to throw the fallen brother into?” Abba Isaac immediately fell on the ground crying, “I have sinned, O Lord, forgive me!” The Angel said, “Get on your feet. God has forgiven you but beware of condemning anyone before God condemns him.”

There was a poor woman who did not have money to feed her children. She called a radio station and beseeched God’s help.

One of the listeners was a diehard atheist and decided to make fun of the woman. He found out her address, called his secretary, and ordered her to buy some expensive food. The girl returned with meat, cheese, and candies. She was surprised when her boss ordered her to deliver the food to that woman’s house, and if she asks who sent the food, tell her that it was the devil.

When the secretary gave the food box to the poor woman, she was so grateful that she cried. She couldn’t stop thanking the girl. When the girl was leaving, she asked the woman:
— Don’t you want to know who sent the food?
The woman replied:
— No I don’t. It doesn’t matter because when God commands, even Satan complies.

There was a wise man who happened to visit a rich man’s house. He said, “There are so many things that I don’t need!”

Someone asked an elder, “Is that man rich?”
– I don’t know, - the elder replied. – All I know is that he has a lot of money.
– So he’s rich, isn’t he?
– Being rich and having a lot of money isn’t the same thing, – the elder replied. - A person can be really rich only if he is fully satisfied with what he already has. A person who wants to have more is poorer than the person who has nothing but is nevertheless satisfied with what he has.

A thief broke into a hermit’s cell one night. The thief didn’t find any valuables so he asked the hermit:
— Where’s all your property?
The hermit smiled and pointed at the sky:
— I’ve hidden everything in the higher house.

Source: https://azbyka.ru/days/



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