Friday, September 4, 2009

Losing the Reward

One of the hermits said, "There are some who do good, yet the devil insinuates a mean spirit into them, so that they lose the reward of all the good they do. Once when I was living in Oxyrhynchus with a priest who was generous in almsgiving, a widow came to ask him for a little barley."

He said to her, "Go and fetch some, and I will weigh it for you."

She brought him some. But when he weighed the measure she had taken, he said, "It is too much," and so he made the widow ashamed.

After she had gone, I said, "Priest, did you lend barley to that widow, or what?"

He said, "No, I gave it to her."

So, I said, "If you wanted to make her a gift, why were you so exact about the measure that you made her ashamed?"

~~The Widow's Mite by John Everett Millais, 1870.

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