One tough winter a monk left his monastery to go to the village from the foot of the mountain and take care of the health of a child whose disease made him fall to bed. At the edge of the forest he found fallen in the snow a deer dead of hunger and cold but he continued his way. Arriving at the house of the boy he called his father and told him:

`Not far away from here I found a deer which was killed by hunger and cold. Let us go and take it and you shall have food for a while.`

Glad, the man thanked the monk and followed him to that place. But near the dead deer now lied a wolf who having found the animal had eaten more than it needed. Now it lied down, killed by its own greed.

Seeing all this the monk told the peasant:

`You see, some are like the deer killed by worries and needs, by shortages and difficulties. Their soul darkens and freezes in so many troubles. Thet forget about God and the holy things taken away by the hard life they live when only faith could have warmed a little their souls. Only the love and mercy of God could strengthen them. They only need to seek for them.

But others and woe to them, are like the wolf. They have everything they need, more than they would need and however they are dead souls. They live only for themselves when they could give to others from what they have. Their soul is frozen by selfishness, darkened by greed. Woe to them, their sin is even greater. To be overwhelmed by difficulties is a weakness but to be overwhelmed by pleasures is a shame.

At the Judgment to come, the soul shot down by hardships will suffer but the soul shot down by pleasures will suffer much more.

The temptations are of two kinds: either the hardships of life try the hearts proving their patience or the wealth of life comes as a temptation. It is as hard to keep your soul untouched by hardships as it is not to have it humiliated in high positions.

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