Monday, January 26, 2009

Love is Patient

The brothers said that Gelasius had a parchment book worth 18 shillings, containing the whole of the Old and New Testaments. The book was put in the church so that any monk who wanted to could read it. But a traveling monk came to visit the hermit and when he saw the book, he coveted it, stole it, and took it away. The hermit knew who the thief was, but he did not give chase or try to catch him.

The thief went to a city and looked for a buyer. He found a man who wanted it, and began by asking 16 shillings for it. The man, who wished to beat him down, said, "Let me have it first to show it to someone and get advice, and then I will pay whatever is the right price." So the monk gave him the book for this purpose.

The buyer took the book to Gelasius to discover whether it was a good bargain and worth this high price. He told Gelasius the price the seller was asking.

The hermit said, "Buy it. It is a good bargain, and worth that much."

So the buyer returned to the seller, but insteaf of doing what Gelasius had told him, he said, "I showed this book to Gelasius and he told me it was too highly priced and not worth what you said."

The thief said, "Did the hermit tell you anything else?"

The buyer answered, "Nothing."

Then the thief said, "I don't want to sell it. " Stricken to the heart, he went to the hermit, did penance, and asked him to take the book back, but Gelasius would not. Then the monk said, "Unless you take it back, I shan't have peace of mind."

Then the hermit said, "If you can't have peace of mind unless I take it back, I will do so."

The brother remained with Gelasius until his death, and made progress by learning from his patience.

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