Friday, September 18, 2009

The Grace of God

Two brothers in a community lived a holy life, and had made such progress that they could see the grace of God in each other. It happened that one of them went out of the monastery on a Friday morning and saw a man eating. He said to him, "Why are you eating at this hour on a Friday?"

On Saturday, the usual celebration of mass was held. His brother saw that the grace which had been given the other had left him, and he was distressed. He went to his cell and said, "What have you done, brother? I do not see the grace of God in you as I used to."

He said, "I am not aware of having sinned, either in deed or in thought."

His brother said, "Did you say an unnecessary word to someone?"

Then he remembered, and said, "Yes. Yesterday I saw someone eating food in the morning, and I said to him, 'Are you eating at this hour on a Friday?' That is my sin. Do penance with me a fortnight and we will beg God to forgive me."

They did so. After a fortnight the brother saw the grace of God again coming upon his brother and they were comforted and gave thanks to God who alone is good."

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