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

363- A Piece of Bread

 

Growing more and more in Christ, a young man dedicated long hours for prayer and spared no effort in his service for others and his care for their salvation. Loving a hermits way of life he restricted himself to one meal a day. He never hungered really and never wished a certain food, but was occupied by the glory arranged for him in Heaven.

He used to frequently visit the monastery of St. Pachomius in Upper Egypt, where he always wondered at the monks commitment to eat twice a day together. He believed that only one meal was enough for a man to live and carry on with his vital activities.

He later joined the monastery and abided to monks daily two meals norm. Surprisingly enough, after a while he found himself feeling severe hunger. He even started sneaking a piece of bread during lunch to take it to his room where he later ate it when he felt hungry. However, there wasnt a time when he ate his hidden piece of bread without crying bitterly and his heart crying out, OLord, how has my life turned to sin?

St-Takla.org Image: Coloring picture of Saint Anba Bakhomious - Courtesy of "Encyclopedia of the Saints' Colouring Images" صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة تلوين للقديس الأنبا باخوميوس (باخوم) أب الشركة - موضوعة بإذن: موسوعة صور القديسين للتلوين

St-Takla.org Image: Coloring picture of Saint Anba Bakhomious - Courtesy of "Encyclopedia of the Saints' Colouring Images"

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة تلوين للقديس الأنبا باخوميوس (باخوم) أب الشركة - موضوعة بإذن: موسوعة صور القديسين للتلوين

When I was in the world, one meal sufficed.

Now in the monastery, not even two meals are enough!

How can I steal bread?

How can I hide my transgression?

I am falling from one sin to another!

Who will save me from this weakening except You my Savior?

I promise You that I wont steal bread even if Ill starve.

On the following day, the young monk went to the dinning hall with all the rest of the monks firmly thinking that he wouldnt take bread again. However, he couldnt stand the hunger once he finished eating and took bread again. He kept doing this day after day and was getting desperate thinking that there was no solution to his problem.

When the monk met his father confessor, he confessed with a deep sense of guilt and embarrassment. He was feeling really ashamed during confession while the father hearing his confession smiled a wide smile full of hope and answered the young monk, The devil knew how to come through to you. He trapped you with a seemingly simple sin. It was because you were embarrassed to confess it that you werent able to get rid of it. But now you repented to the all mercifully and forgiving God. You revealed your weaknesses in front of your father confessor. The power of this sin is now gone. It wont control you anymore. Your Lord will grant you the spirit of triumph and victory for He works in the honest and frank soul that doesnt hide anything.

The monk came out from his father confessors room praising God who grants victory to His faithful and honest children.

When the following lunch time came, the young monk didnt feel hungry as he used to but actually went back to his state before becoming a monk: eating a little with thankfulness and a joyful heart, stopping his old sins and being full of the Lords peace.

→ English translation of the story here at St-Takla.org: قطعة من الخبز.

St-Takla.org Divider

I confess my sins in my sanctuary

Specially those silly ones

Which a young man does not commit.

Grant me, as a son of the Lord, to be frank,

To confess all my sins,

To rest assured of the richness of Your love and mercy.

 

Grant me also to confess in the presence of my father confessor,

That I should be embarrassed now of my silly acts,

So I will not be uncovered on the Day of the Lord.

Let me uncover myself before You, and be covered by Your Grace.


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