LENTEN FIRE: March 6

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers 

The brother and the dove

A brother was besieged by sexual sin.  He happened to pass through a village in Egypt and when he saw a pagan priest’s daughter he fell in love with her.  So he said to her father, “Give her to me as a wife.”

In reply the priest said to him, “I cannot give her to you until I learn what my god wishes,” and he went to the demon and said to it, “Some monk has come, wishing to marry my daughter.  Shall I give her to him?”

In reply the demon said, “Ask him if he renounces his god and his baptism and his monastic vow.”

So the priest went and said to the monk, “Do you renounce your god and your baptism and your monastic vow?”

The monk agreed to do so, and suddenly he saw something like a dove come out of his mouth and fly up into the sky.

So the priest entered the temple and went to the demon and said, “Yes, he agreed to renounce these three things.”

The Devil then said to him in reply, “Do not give him your daughter as a wife, for his god has not withdrawn from him but will still help him.”

So the priest went and said to the brother, “I cannot give her to you because your god is still helping you and has not withdrawn from you.”

When the brother heard these words, he said to himself, “If God has shown such great goodness towards me even though I, wretch that I am, have denied him and my baptism and my monastic vow, isn’t the good God still helping me right now, then?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: