The stories of the wise
One of the monks of Scete committed a grave error, and the wisest hermit was called upon to judge him.
The hermit refused, but they insisted so much that in the end he agreed to go. He arrived carrying on his back a bucket with holes in it, out of which poured sand.
“I have come to judge my neighbor” – said the hermit to the head of the convent. “My sins are pouring out behind me, like the sand running from this bucket. But since I don’t look back, and pay no attention to my own sins, I was called upon to judge my neighbor!”
The monks called a halt to the punishment immediately.
The way to please the Lord
A novice went to Abbot Macarius seeking advice about the best way to please the Lord.
- Go to the cemetery and insult the dead – said Macarius.
The brother did as he was told. The following day, he returned to Macarius.
- Did they respond? – asked the abbot. The novice said no, they didn’t.
- Then go to them and praise them.
The novice obeyed. That same afternoon, he returned to the abbot, who again wished to know whether the dead had responded.
- No – said the novice.
- In order to please the Lord, behave as they do – said Macarius. - Pay no heed to the insults of men, nor to their praise; in this way, you shall forge your own path.
Choosing One's destiny
“I am willing to give up everything”, said the prince to the master. “Please accept me as your disciple.”
“How does a man choose his path?” asked the master.
“Through sacrifice,” answered the prince. “A path which demands sacrifice, is a true path.”
The master bumped into some shelves. A precious vase fell, and the prince threw himself down in order to grab hold of it. He fell badly and broke his arm, but managed to save the vase.
“What is the greater sacrifice: to watch the vase smash, or break one’s arm in order to save it?” asked the master.
“I do not know,” said the prince.
“Then how can you guide your choice for sacrifice? The true path is chosen by our ability to love it, not to suffer for it.”
A famous Sufi master was invited to give a course in
“The master is just waking up. Please be patient.”
Time passed, and people started leaving the room. At midday, the assistant returned to the stage, saying that the master would be starting the lecture the minute he finished talking to a pretty girl he had just met. Most of the remaining audience left.
At 4PM the master appeared – apparently drunk. This time, all but 6 people stormed out.
“I will teach you this,” said the master, ceasing to act drunk. “Whoever wishes to go down a long path, must learn that the first lesson is to overcome early disappointments.”