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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

107- The Gift of Losing the Eyesight

 

St-Takla.org Image: Saint Didymus the Blind, modern Coptic Art in St. George Church, Sporting, Alexandria, Egypt (the library) - by Mervat Naguib - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة القديس ديديموس الضرير، صورة قبطية من الفن القبطي المعاصر في المكتبة الاستعارية بكنيسة مارجرجس باسبورتنج، الإسكندرية، مصر - رسم ميرفت نجيب - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت

St-Takla.org Image: Saint Didymus the Blind, modern Coptic Art in St. George Church, Sporting, Alexandria, Egypt (the library) - by Mervat Naguib - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة القديس ديديموس الضرير، صورة قبطية من الفن القبطي المعاصر في المكتبة الاستعارية بكنيسة مارجرجس باسبورتنج، الإسكندرية، مصر - رسم ميرفت نجيب - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت.

Once St. Anthony went to visit St. Didymus the Blind, the Dean of the School of Alexandria, who lost his sight at the age of four years. Moreover, he was the one who invented the method of carving letters on pieces of wood so that one can read by his fingers instead of his eyes. He was ahead of the Frenchman Braille by more than 15 centuries in inventing carving the letters on wood for those who lost their sight.

St. Anthony asked, "Are you sad for losing your sight?"

St. Didymus was silent for a while, so St. Anthony repeated the question twice. Finally St. Didymus answered, "I thank God for every condition. Nevertheless Im sad that I lost the gift of sight and was denied seeing many things, specially reading books."

St. Anthony commented by saying, "How do you grieve over the loss of your sight which man shares with the animals, and even with small insects? You should rather rejoice that God granted you the inner sight, which you share with the heavenly hosts, which makes you comprehend the superior heavenly mysteries."

Truly we thank God for the gift of sight and taking it back is to offer a sharp insight spiritual sight. We thank Him for the gift of losing the bodily sight and for enjoying a greater and eternal sight.

This story, which occurred in the fourth century, reminds me of what happened in the twentieth century when a young officer lost his sight in the war. A saintly nurse in the military hospital took care of him and it ended by marrying each other.

One day he heard someone talking about him and his wife saying, "Shes lucky because hes blind. He married her without seeing the features of her face; if he was not blind hed have not married her."

The officer moved closer to where the talking came from and said, "I thank God from the bottom of my heart for taking away the sight of my eyes and granting me an inner sight by which I see the beauty of this superior wifes soul. Shes a wonderful person, the best one I ever met in my life. If the features of her face arent like her inner beauty, that is like a mask which hides the beauty of her soul. Ive won greatly by losing my sight."

The man lifted up his heart to cry out, I thank You God because You took away the sight of my eyes, and granted me the inner sight of the heart. You granted me Your eyes by which I see the beauty of the soul and not of the body. Before, I used to see what was from the outside, but now You gave me to see through You what is in the heart.

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: عطية فقد البصر.

St-Takla.org Divider

Do not look to any other way by which you go to Him.

If He did not allow by His grace to keep this way, we would have been totally confused.

I am not asking you to look for the way; the way itself came to you.

Stand up and march.

St. Augustine


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