One of the noble men of Alexandria went to the El-Calali Desert (the cells desert) asking for the blessings of the desert fathers. He brought with him some money to offer to the monks.
He went on visiting the cells of the monks, one after the other presenting them some money and asking them to pray for him. Each monk responded by saying that he would pray for him but totally refused to accept the money, because he had enough for his needs. The prince tried with all the monks but in vain.
At last he went to St. Macarius and begged him saying, "Please accept from me this small amount of money for the service of the fathers."
St. Macarius said, "By the grace of God we all have what we need. The brothers work hard for their needs."
The prince felt very sad, thinking that God had refused his offering. He said to St. Macarius, "Father, for the sake of God don’t disappoint me and accept this small amount of money which I brought with me."
St. Macarius replied, "Go my son and give the money to the brothers."
The prince said, "I’ve tried and no one would accept it and some of them wouldn’t even look at it."
The saint asked the prince gently to take the money with him and give it to the needy in the world. The saint continued by saying, "Those who live the monastic life are dead to the world, they need nothing from the world."
The prince was still not comfortable thinking that God had refused his offering. The saint was gracious to the prince and asked him to wait a little while. He took the money from him and poured it into a pit in the desert in front of the gate of the monastery. He then rang the bell and all the monks came to the gate. They were about 2400 monks.
The saint asked them saying, "Brothers, for the sake of Christ, if any of you is in need, let him gladly take from this money." They all went around the pit and no one took any thing from it.
No one of the 2400 monks accepted any money offered with love to them. Each one considered that he had died with Christ and he was not in need of anything. For the sake of the Lord, he worked very hard for his needs and what was left he offered to the needy in the world.
The prince was overwhelmed and threw himself at the saint’s feet asking him to accept him as a monk in his monastery. The saint explained to the prince how hard it is to be a monk. Notwithstanding, the prince insisted. As for the money, they used it to construct a building in the monastery.
This is not the case for the monks only, but also for every true Christian in whose heart enters the Lord Jesus Who rose from the dead. He is not in any need. His pleasure is to give and give generously, not in taking and collecting. He lives all his life overflowing over others giving generously.
Let me die with You and rise with You,
So I can enjoy Your glorious resurrection.
I do not need any thing from this world.
In You I find my needs and my glory.
I have You, so I desire nothing else.
I enjoy You, so my life overflows with constant giving.
I find my pleasure in giving not in receiving.
The Fleeing Hermit
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