Thursday, February 5, 2009

One particular incident in the life of Saint Makários has been remembered as an example of the Saint’s non-possessive attitude. This whimsical story also shows God’s providential care for those who will follow Him along the narrow way of self-denial in accordance with His word: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Saint Luke 9:23).

They said of Abba Makários that a thief went into his kéllion when he was away. The elder came back and found the thief loading his things onto a camel. So Makários went inside, picked up his things, and helped the thief load them onto the camel. When they were finished the thief began to beat the camel to make it get up, but in vain. Seeing that it did not get up, Abba Makários went into the kellí, found a small hoe, brought it out and put it onto the camel saying, Brother, the camel wants this too. Then the elder kicked it and said, Get up. At once the camel got up and went forward a little, because of his command. Then it lay down again and refused to get up until it was completely unloaded. And then it set off.

But someone else told it this way:

Abba Makários came up to the thief as if he were a stranger and helped him to load the animal. When they were done, he saw him off in great peace of soul saying, We’ve brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the Name of the Lord!

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