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

160- The Kind Word


St. Macarius was walking from the Scetis Desert to the mountain of Nitria. He asked his disciple to go before him. On his way, the disciple saw a pagan priest carrying a load of wood on his back. It was noon and very hot and the priest was in a hurry.

The disciple felt sad about that priest who was wasting his life. He said to him, "You, servant of the devil, where are you running to?" Image: A Coptic Orthodox Monk walking in the wilderness - by Amgad Wadea صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: راهب قبطي أرثوذكسي يسير في البرية، في الطريق - رسم أمجد وديع Image: A Coptic Orthodox Monk walking in the wilderness - by Amgad Wadea.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: راهب قبطي أرثوذكسي يسير في البرية، في الطريق - رسم أمجد وديع.

The priest was very angry, threw the wood on the ground and kept beating the monk with all his might and left him half-dead. He carried the wood again and went his way.

Later, the priest met St. Macarius who felt sorry for the priest who was carrying a heavy load and walking fast in the hot desert. St. Macarius said to him, "You industrious man, may God help you."

The priest was affected by the words of the saint that came out from a kind heart and a smiling face. The priest approached St. Macarius and said to him, "What good you found in me that you greeted me in such a way?"

The saint replied, "I saw you work hard, though you don’t know for what reason."

As the priest felt at ease looking at the features of the saint, full of kindness and gentleness, he threw the wood on the ground and said to the saint, "I was affected by your greeting and realized that you belong to the great God, not like the evil monk who cursed me, so I had to beat him very hard."

St. Macarius realized that the priest was talking about his disciple.

Kind words affected a pagan priest who asked St. Macarius to accept him as a monk.

They went where the disciple was lying. They carried him to the church in Nitria mount. The monks looked after the injured brother marveled to how the pagan priest accepted the faith and desired to become a monk after meeting their spiritual father only once.

St. Macarius used to tell his disciples, "Bad words have damaging effect on people while kind humble words can convert sinners to holy ones.”

→ English translation of the story here at الكلمة الطيبة. Divider

Dwell in me O Humble Holy One,

So I can become humble.

Let no harsh word come out from my lips.

Let me be a witness for Your Gospel,

And Your dwelling in me,

You Who do not shout, and no one hears Your voice,

You Who love sinners and are kind to everyone.

Grant me to be gentle to my brethren,

But from where do I get such gentleness

Unless I unite with You Who are the True Love?

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