Anthony, a middle-aged monk, was on pilgrimage, visiting Benedict his good friend, a monk in another country. Arriving at the monastery, Benedict, a gracious host and friend, welcomed Anthony, and as they started climbing a long flight of steps, said, “We have no elevators here. I apologize for the many steps we have to climb to get to your room.”
Anthony, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, answered, “There are many steps in my home monastery, too.” Then he added, “I count them as I climb…. This is how I count them: one, one, one…!”
Source: Based on a story told by Donagh O’Shea in goodnews.ie
In the spiritual life, it is always the beginning.
A gardener once worked for a heart surgeon. The heart surgeon was an atheist. The gardener was a man of faith. They got on very well together, but often had friendly arguments about the nature of life, and faith, and the spiritual life.
One day the heart surgeon thought he had finally settled the argument when he told the gardener: “You talk about ’soul’, but let me tell you that I have cut open thousands of human hearts in the course of my career, but not once have I found a ‘soul’ inside.”
“Well,” replied the gardener, “I have to tell you that in the course of my work over all these long years in your garden, I have accidentally sliced through many buried daffodil bulbs with my spade, but I have never seen a daffodil inside them.”
Quoted in Margaret Silf, One Hundred More Wisdom Stories
(Lion Hudson, 2014) page 28
- Because something cannot be seen, does not mean it does not exist.
- What is to be, is hidden deeply within us, and will be revealed only in God’s time and through Gods’ power.