Seven Parables and Stories for the Week: Issue 18

A man once heard that there is Truth in the world. He set out to find her. During his travels, he met the Lie.
– Where are you going to? – The Lie asked him.
– I'm looking for the Truth.
– Oh, that's great, – the Lie says. – I’ve never seen her. I would like to see her, too. Let's go together!
They came to a town and started asking around.
– Does Truth live here?
– Yes, she does, but she’s now gone and we don't know where.
The man and the Lie kept traveling until they came to another town and asked its residents:
– Does Truth live here?
– She’s been lurking around, – was the response. – Who is that with you?
– It’s the Lie, – the man replies.
– Who can find the Truth if he hangs around with the Lie? – the people exclaimed in surprise. – Get rid of the Lie!
– Sounds reasonable, – the man said.
As soon as he parted with the Lie, the Truth came to greet him.
– Hello, – she said, – now you’re a good man.
A miracle, isn’t it?
“...believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” (John 12:36)

There was a man who took a long journey to see the extraordinary abilities of a famous elder with his own eyes. He could not notice anything uncommon, so he asked one of the elder’s disciples:
— Where are the much-praised miracles that your teacher performs?
— It depends on what you call a miracle. Most people think that a miracle is when God obeys someone’s will. We consider it a miracle if someone obeys the will of God.

A Recipe For Heresy
Take a dish of pride (preferably made of gold).
Put some Truth on the dish (for credibility).
Dilute it with poison (to taste).
Sweeten it with adulation (generously).
Decorate it with words that appear wise to an un-educated listener.
Serve to everyone who is accustomed to eating meals without scrutiny!

By Monk Barnabas (Sanin)

There was a monk who lived in a desert and prayed so fervently that he would even get up at night to do his prayers. The peasant who brought him food was just a regular fellow, a little somber, as if he didn’t sleep well at night. The monk decided to spend a whole day with that peasant, and that was what he noticed. The peasant would get up early in the morning and say, “O Lord,” and then go to the fields. He would spend the entire day working in the fields, and when he returned home late at night, he would say, “O Lord” again before he went to bed. “Is that all?” the hermit was upset. He decided to ask his spiritual father for advice on how to teach the peasant to pray. The elder suggested to the monk to do the following, “Take this full cup of oil and walk around the village but  be careful not to spill a single droplet.” The young monk did what he had been told and came to his spiritual father again. “Please tell me how many times did you remember God while carrying the cup?” the spiritual father asked. “Not once,” the monk was speechless, “I was thinking of how not to spill the oil.” The elder continued, “This cup of oil made you so busy that you did not remember God even once. The peasant feeds himself and his own family and you with his labor, and he still invokes God twice a day.”

There was a man who decided to visit a hermit who lived not far from a monastery in Skete. He was wandering around the desert when he finally saw the hermit.
— I’d like to know what my first step on the road to spiritual development should be, — the visitor said.
The hermit brought the man to a small well and asked him to look at his own reflection in the water. The man tried doing so but the hermit started throwing stones into the water, and the water was too rippled to see anything.
— I can’t see my face if you keep throwing stones.
— It is impossible for a person to see his face in troubled water, and it’s equally impossible to look for God if one’s mind is troubled by seeking and fearing failure, — the monk announced. — That’s your first step.

Two friends were going back to their town from a village and were attacked by robbers. The friends ran away, jumped over a fence, and found themselves in a graveyard. They quickly hid among the tombstones. The robbers were afraid to climb the fence and stood outside talking.
One of the friends whispered to the other:
— You know, I’m afraid to stay here. Let’s get out.
— Don’t worry, you shouldn’t be afraid of the dead, — the other friend replied. — The living are much scarier.
“[H]e is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him” (Luke 20:38).

A wandering monk went to a church to pray. Suddenly, he saw a demon wearing a priest’s clothes and preaching. The monk stood in the corner and listened intently to the words of the demon, trying to find fault with what he would say. However, the demon said everything in full compliance with the Good Book, and did not alter a single word. When the sermon was over and people left the church, the monk came to the demon and said:
– I know who you are: you are a demon!
– That’s right, – the demon confirmed.
– I wanted to find fault with you but you made no mistakes! – the monk said.
– I did my best, – the demon sounded flattered.
– So what’s your secret? – the monk asked in surprise.
– I was speaking without love and I know that these people won’t follow my words. And that’s enough for me, – the evil one explained.
God appeared to an old lady who lived in a village.
She told her parish priest who, concerned about the spiritual well-being of his parishioner, told her:
— When God comes to you next time, please ask him to tell you about my sins that are known only to him. It will be a sufficient proof that he is God and not someone else.
The woman came to the confession one month later. The priest asked her if God had appeared to her again. She nodded.
— Did you ask him about my secret sins?
— Yes, I did.
— What did He tell you?
— He said, “Tell your priest that I’ve forgotten his sins.”

— It must have been God, indeed, — the priest said.

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