Friday, October 16, 2009

Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

A hermit lived a common life with another brother, who was a man with a merciful heart. Once, in a time of famine, people came to his door to take part in a love-feast, and he gave bread to everyone who came.

When his brother saw this, he said, "Give me my share of the bread, and do what you like with your share." So, he divided the bread into two, and went on giving away his own share as usual.

Crowds flocked to the hermit, hearing that he gave to all comers. God, seeing what he did, blessed that bread. But the brother who had taken his share, gave none away, and when he had eaten all his bread he said to the other hermit, "I've only got a bit of bread left, abba; let me come back and live with you."

The hermit said to him, "Certainly, whatever you like." So they began to live together again and to have everything in common. Again, they had plenty of food, and again the needy kept coming to receive a love-feast.

One day the brother happened to go in and he noticed that there was no bread left. A poor man came, asking for alms. So the hermit said to the brother, "Give him some bread."

He said, "There isn't any left, abba."

The hermit said, "Go and have a look for some."

The brother went in and saw the bin full of loaves. He was afraid at the sight, and took some and gave them to the poor man. He recognized the faith and goodness of the hermit, and glorified God.

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