Susanna observed her little selfish child, unwilling to share anything that belongs to him with his elder brother. The elder brother’s attitude was different, always sharing what was his. She started by telling the greedy child a fairy tale about selfishness, the tale of the “burnt cake.”
Once upon a time, a prince was known for his great selfishness as well as being a miser. He would always accuse any one who asked him for help of being inactive and lazy.
Upon death, the angels received him unpleasantly. When he asked for the reason, the following was conveyed to him:
“You’re treated as you treated others. You were never kind to orphans, widows, the needy or those in pain, serving and caring about no one but yourself, ignoring all around you.”
After a while, the devils got hold of him and led him to hell. A lot of food was around. Being hungry, he ran towards the food but the devils were faster and started whipping him with whips of fire and torturing him, giving him no chance of getting near the food. He begged and begged asking for mercy, but alas, the devils knew not the meaning of the word.
Finally, one of the devils asked his associates to listen to what he had to say. The prince asked for another chance to go back and do mercy to his fellow men. They granted him one hour. He quickly left in his chariot and started filling it with various kinds of food. On his way back as the time drew near, a fellow hungry man asked him for something. The prince without delay murmured, “No time for stopping. No time for giving. All I have is just for my sustenance in hell.”
The hungry man persistently kept on asking and the prince searched for something to give. The prince found a burnt cake and threw it at him. As his hour was up, he was taken back to hell. He was tormented and felt hungry but no one gave him anything to eat. At last, he found that ‘burnt cake’.
This tale figuratively shows how misers enslave themselves to their own selfishness, even when given the chance of doing good, they won’t make use of it.
O Holy Spirit, I beseech You to renew my nature.
Take away my selfishness and make me fruitful through love.
Free me O Master from being enslaved to my ego.
Grant me an open heart that knows how to love and how to give.
O Lover of mankind, allow me to bear You within me,
And carry Your love to all mankind.
A Bar of Chocolate: Sweet Yet
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