Seven Parables and Stories for the Week: Issue 14

Parable by Abba John the Dwarf.
There was a beautiful loose woman in one city. The mayor fell in love with her and proposed to her under the condition that she would be blameless from then onwards.

The woman promised that she would lead a virtuous life, and soon she became the mayor’s wife. Her former lovers learned about it and were upset. One day they decided to ask her out.

“Let’s whistle to her. She will come to us, and the mayor won’t know it,” the lovers said, and so they did.

As soon as the woman heard their usual whistle, she ran to the innermost room of the house and stuck her fingers into her ears.

This is what this parable means: the beautiful-but-shameless woman is our soul; the mayor is Christ; marriage is repentance; the whistle is the worldly temptations; the whistling lovers are demons and passions; the innermost room is a life by the Lord’s commandments.

If our souls keep seeking for God, demons and passions will be afraid of it and run away from it. Oh, if only our souls would always look for God!

St Ignatius (Bryanchaninov), Otechnik

There was a king who told his court sage, “You must answer three questions. If you answer them correctly, I will give you a lot of gold. If you don’t, I’ll have you beheaded. The questions are: What is the most important time? What is the most important person? What is the most important task? You’ve got three days to answer these questions.”

The sage left. He was thinking and thinking and thinking but he could not find the correct answers. Weeping and crying, he went back to the king’s palace. Walking past a field, he saw a girl who herded geese. The girl asked him, “Why are you crying?” The sage told her about the questions that the king had asked.
The girl replied, “Oh, that’s easy. The most important time is now because the past is gone and the future has not come yet. The most important person is the person who is with me now because he can go away and I will never see him again. The most important task is what I will now do for the person who is with me.”

“The only thing that a person has is his attitude, and God helps him according to his attitude. This is why I keep saying that all good things that we have are God’s gifts. What we do doesn’t matter, and all our virtues are just a long string of zeros. Let’s do our best to add zeros to zeros and ask Christ to put a 1 in the beginning of that string. That is how we can become rich. If Christ does not put a 1 in the beginning of the string, everything we do will be in vain.
St Paisius the Athonite, The Spiritual Awakening

There was a person who didn't have enough water, so he started asking God to give him water. He was nagging and begging God. Finally, he heard God's voice, which told him, “I can give you  water, lots of water, but where will you store it? You've got to dig out a well first, and I will fill it up with pure and cool water. The water is mine but the well is yours.”
Monk Symeon of Mt. Athos, “Ascent to The Heaven”

Three girls were walking between railway tracks and were caught in between two fast-moving trains but survived. Demons were standing nearby having an argument:
— Why didn't you push the first girl under the train? —  they yelled at one of the demons. —  Her soul would be ours!
— I couldn't: she had her christcross on!
— Why did you miss the chance? The second girl did not wear a christcross, did she?
— No, she didn't, but she made the sign of the cross.
— What were you thinking about? The third girl is an unbeliever!
— That's right, but her mother had crossed her and said, “Godspeed!”

If you don't want to lose anything, you shouldn't possess anything.
If you don't want to wander, don't leave your house.
If you don't like noise, don't go to marketplaces.
If you are looking for peace, don't have any trouble.
“The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:18).

Someone asked a wise king: how many laws does a country need to be prosperous and wealthy? 
— A country requires just three laws, — the king replied. — The first law is that sickles and plows must shine like a mirror. The second law is that a path that leads to a court of justice must be covered with thick green grass. The third law is that the thresholds of God’s temples must be worn out.

Translated from: https://azbyka.ru/days/