Clerical Articles

The sweat

  • October 6, 2016

A disciple of an elder carried a burden from the seashore to their hut from the skete of St.Anne. He was young and coming from a rich family and that too much painstaking seemed to dissatisfy him. That’s why he asked his starets to allow him use a mule for carrying from the seashore what was necessary.

The elder, knowing his weakness, allowed him to use the mule for this job.

One day, while climbing up the path with the mule carrying his burden, at a turning, where is the most difficult spot of that path (that goes to the small St.Anne) he saw a young man , dressed in a white robe, keeping a sponge in his hand and wiping with it the sweat from the foreheads of all the monks who were passing by and incensing them. Then he approached him and waited to be wiped too on his forehead. But the young man instead of wiping his forehead, wiped the mule on its forehead.

When the monk expressed his discontent for that gesture of the young man, he told him:

“Brother I wipe and incense and reward only those who labor hard and swelter heavily and not those who seek to rest here.

After saying these the young man vanished. After this lesson, the young monk didn’t use the mule anymore, but he gladly carried his burden himself, on his back, like all the other monks.