Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bad Reputation

Three monks came to Achillas, and one of them had a bad reputation. The first monk said, "Abba. make me a fishing net."

He said, "I won't."

The second said to him, "Will you give us a memento of yourself to keep in our community?"

He answered, "I don't have time."

Then the third, the one who had the bad reputation, said to him, "Make me a fishing-net, and so I shall have a blessing from your hands, abba."

At once he answered, "I will do that."

But the first two, whose requests he had refused, said privately to him, "Why did you refuse our requests and consent to his?"

Achillas answered, "I could tell you that I would not do it because I had no time, and you would not be vexed. But if I did not do it for this monk, he would say, 'The hermit has heard my reputation and for that reason has refused to make me a net.' So immediately I set to work with the string, to soothe his soul and prevent him from being sad."

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