Thursday, November 19, 2009

Deathbed Forgiveness

A brother who lived near a great hermit was said to enter his cell from time to time and steal the contents. Though the hermit saw him do so, he did not rebuke him, but struggled to produce more than usual, saying, "I believe that the brother is in need."

While he worked harder than usual he tightened his belt and ate less. When the hermit was on his deathbed, the brothers stood round him. He looked at the thief, and said, "Come here and touch me." He grasped his hands and kissed them, saying, "I thank these hands of yours, my brother; it is because of them that I go into the kingdom of heaven."

The thief was stricken with remorse and did penance, and he became a true monk, and followed the example of that great hermit.

No comments: