Thursday, August 20, 2009

To Have Plenty

A monk had a poor brother living in the world, to whom he gave all the profits from his work. But, the more he gave him, the poorer the brother became. So, the monk told the hermit what was happening. The hermit said to him, "If you'll take my advice, you won't give him anything else, but you'll say, 'Brother, I have given you what I had. It is your turn now to work and give me some of your produce.' Accept whatever he brings you, and give it to any poor pilgrim or needy person you find, and ask them to pray for him."

The monk listened to this advice, and followed it. When his brother from the world came, he spoke to him as the hermit had advised, and his brother went away sadly.

The next day, he brought the monk a few vegetables from his garden. The monk accepted them, and gave them to some hermits, asking them to pray for his brother. He received a blessing from them and returned home.

Later, his brother brought him vegetables and three loaves of bread which he accepted and gave away, and again received a blessing.

Now, the third time, his brother brought him expensive food, wine and fish. The monk was astonished at the sight, and called in poor men, and fed them. But, he said to his brother from the world, "Do you need as much food as all that?"

His brother said, "No, not exactly. When I used to accept presents from you, it was as though a fire came into my house and consumed it, but now, when I receive nothing from you, I have plenty and God blesses me."

So, the monk went and told the hermit what had happened. The hermit said to him, "Don't you know that a monk's work is a fire that consumes whatever it touches? It is best for your brother that he should earn a little money for his own efforts, and be prayed for by holy men: then he receives God's blessing, and he will have plenty."

1 comment:

Mary said...

It would be nice to have a more detailed explanation given to the phrase, "a monk's work is a fire that consumes whatever it touches."
Thank You.