Thursday, March 11, 2004

We have to forgive; we must not judge.....

a story from an Athonite elder:

In the Holy Trinity hut of St. Anne’s Skete [on Mt. Athos] there lived, many years ago, five natural brothers. Because of Satan’s envy, they started quarrelling among themselves in such a way that they became known as troublemakers. They did ask forgiveness of each other every night, however, and thus they were forgiven.

Many years were passed in this way. Then one day no noise was heard coming from their hut. That night the dikaios of the skete was informed in his sleep that all five brothers had reposed in the Lord. He went with some other fathers to the hut, and indeed they saw that it was true. All five of them had departed to the Lord in a position of prostration, while asking forgiveness of each other. The forgiving and merciful God had taken them away right after Vespers.

Thus God gave a sign of justification and salvation, a proof of correction and forbearance, and a sign that one should never judge his fellow men.

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