Christian Stories of Wisdom

WISDOM STORY: The Monk’s Three Sins by Nathalie Leone

November 30, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A monk felt resentment toward the abbot of the monastery.  Unable to rid himself of this aggression – rather the reverse – he brooded over it, justifying it, and making excuses; thus, the hatred increased rapidly.  In the solitude of his cell he was assailed by a terrible thought: He wished to see the abbot dead. Hardly had this thought taken root in his mind than the abbot had an apoplectic fit.  He collapsed and died forthwith.  That very evening the Devil appeared to the monk.  He greeted the monk, but the poor brother did not reply.  He moaned, wrung his hands, rolled on the ground, and blamed himself for this vile act. The Devil deployed all his artifices, but the monk could not be [...]

WISDOM STORY: Saint Francis And The Wolf by Nathalie Leone

November 16, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Francis loved animals.  He saw a sacred link between animals and men and spoke to all his brothers in the same way, whether they were feathered or furred, and whether they walked upright or on all fours. One day Francis was on his way to the abbey of Gubbio.  He walked at a brisk pace, leading his donkey by its bridle.  Just as he began to see the towers of the abbey coming into view above the trees, his path was blocked by some peasants. “Brother Francis, do not go any further!  Ferocious wolves are prowling around.  They are starving and will devour you if you go on!” “I have not hurt them at all and neither has my soul.  Don’t worry.  Return to God!  Good night.” Francis then passed by [...]

WISDOM STORY: The Clothes Chest by Nathalie Leone

November 9, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Father Poemen used to say, “If you have a chest full of clothes and do not open it for a long time, the clothes inside will go moldy.” The same is true of the thoughts in our heart.  If we do not act upon them, they eventually spoil and change for the [...]

WISDOM STORY: The Miser by Nathalie Leone

November 2, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Once upon a time there was a miser, a man whose hands were shaped like an eagle’s claws.  The moment he held anything, he was unable to let it go.  This was useful for grabbing hold of branches if he fell from trees, but painful if he grasped a poker the wrong way. If his stomach had functioned the way his money did, it would have split as soon as he was born, like a bag bursting at the seams.  And yet his avarice ruined even his health, for the larger his nest egg grew, the more worn out the merchant became.  In fact, he constantly checked his stash of money; he no longer slept or ate, as he was so anxious about its security. However, one night in the small hours an idea occurred to him.  In his [...]

WISDOM STORY: Three Pieces Of Advice From A Bird by Nathalie Leone

October 26, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A man caught a small bird.  “I am no use to you as a captive,” the bird said to him, “but give me back my freedom and I will give you three pieces of advice that will be more useful than the miserable scrap of flesh that you might garner from my small body.” The bird said it would give the first piece of advice while still in the man’s hand, the second from a nearby branch, and the third from the top of the mountain. The winged creature was scrawny, so the man accepted.  The bird’s first piece of advice was this: “If you lose something – even if you value it as much as your life – do not be distressed.” The man released the bird, which then settled on a branch.  It ruffled its [...]

WISDOM STORY: The Knight And The Keg by Nathalie Leone

October 19, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom The knight was as comely as an angel.  Even if he rode all day, on his return he was fresh and the folds in his clothing were as unruffled as they had been before he set out. And yet he spread horror.  He desecrated, burned, killed, and ravaged men and beasts who crossed his path.  He was so cruel that people even thought he was born heartless. He did not distinguish between respected holy days and normal days, never went to church, and never fasted, not even during Lent.  And rumor had it that he had never in his life heard a sermon.  “He isn’t even baptized,” it was whispered.  He instilled the fear of an antichrist.  On Good Friday, the knight joyfully proposed to his companions that they [...]

WISDOM STORY: Providence by Nathalie Leone

October 12, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A priest had shut himself in his cell to write a sermon on divine providence. Suddenly he heard an explosion.  The dam that protected the small town had just given way and the river burst its banks in a roar of flood water that swept along everything in its path. The priest, distraught, was about to give way to panic when he caught sight of his sermon on divine providence.  He pulled himself together and calmed down. The village was flooded and most people stayed cloistered indoors.  Some of them, however, did venture out, waist-deep in water, in search of help.  A rescue boat soon arrived under the presbytery windows. The rowers called out to the priest, gesticulating to him. “No, no,” he said to [...]

WISDOM STORY: Prayers Heard! by Nathalie Leone

October 5, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Two men in conversation were seated on the edge of a pubic fountain whose fine jet of water splashed them gently. The first man said: “When I need a favor, either for myself or others, I ask for it on my knees, behaving with the good Lord as I would with a merchant who seeks only to dispense his surplus knowledge.  And I pray, ask, and beg.” “Are your prayers always answered?” asked the other man, skeptical. “Always.  Either the favor is granted or I feel my will merge in such a manner with God’s will that, at that very moment, I wish for everything he wishes [...]

WISDOM STORY: The Louse by Nathalie Leone

September 28, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom In a monastery in the Loire region, there lived twelve monks under the lax law of their father abbot.  Lulled by the rhythm of the seasons, working in the fields, transcribing manuscripts, and fulfilling duties, they were quite happy and had no other desires. But one day the father abbot died.  After respecting the mourning period, the twelve monks gathered one morning in the common hall, where they looked at one another in dismay. Having entered the monastery at almost the same time, they were like true brothers.  So who amongst them was going to take the place of father abbot? “Brother Jacques.” “No,” Brother Jacques moaned in response.  “I… I… would never be able to.  I… I… [...]

WISDOM STORY: The Desert And The Locust by Nathalie Leone

September 21, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A young monk who had just reached the desert decided to consult an elder. “Father, I have been living here for one year and locusts have come six or seven times already.  You know what a scourge they are.  They infiltrate everything, enter the tents, slip between the blankets, make their way into clothing.  They even hop into food.  I’m at my wit’s end.” The elder, who had been living in the desert for forty years, answered him: “The first time a locust fell in my soup I threw away the lot.  On the second occasion I threw out the locust and kept the soup.  The third time I ate everything – soup and locust.  Now when a locust attempts to get out of my soup, I put it back in.” [...]

WISDOM STORY: A Conscientious Monk by Nathalie Leone

September 14, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom A monk, having at a very young age entered the monastery where he spent twenty years, had misgivings as to his progress. He decided to visit Father Joseph, who welcomed him warmly and listened to him. “Father,” began the monk, “I am trying to follow the rules. I fast, I observe the contemplative silence, I carry out the work in monastery, I pray, I endeavor to banish vain thoughts. What more can I do?” The old man stood up, looked at the sky, raised his arms, and, stretching out his fingers that resembled rays, said to him, “Why don’t you turn yourself into a flame [...]

WISDOM STORY: Bernard and Francis by Nathalie Leone

September 7, 2017

From: Christian Stories of Wisdom Francis had just withdrawn from the world and had embraced complete poverty. But the people of Assisi, his friends, his parents, and his acquaintances of long standing all thought him mad. They held him in contempt. When he went into town, people jostled him, threw nuts at him, and scolded him. They insulted him to his face and hurled at him all abuse they could think of. Francis bore everything, without getting angry. He never even answered them. Now a man was observing him from the window of his house. He was surprised to see him put up with such scorn so readily. “Either he really is completely mad,” he said to himself, “or he has received special grace from God.” This man’s name was Bernard [...]