The Monk Who was the Friend of Thieves

       Once, some thieves came to a little cell where an old monk lived all by himself. Bursting in the door, they said: “We have come to take everything that is in your cell.” The old man replied: “What ever you see, my sons. Everything is yours for the taking.” They then proceeded to put everything they found in the cell into one big sack and fled. But the monk noticed a little bag with some seeds for growing tomatoes which they had overlooked behind a table leg. Snatching it up, the old man hurried out of his cell and pursued the robbers, shouting as he ran, “My sons, my sons! Look – look here! You forgot this!” Turning and watching him in bewilderment, they felt amazed at the patience of the old man and were crestfallen. They made their way back, then, and returned everything they had taken to the cell. Later, they said to one another: “This is a man of God.”

Questions for Reflection:

Why do you suppose the old monk cared so little about losing all his personal belongings?

Can you think of a reason why the monk was so intent upon the thieves taking the bag of seeds as well?

Why were the thieves "crestfallen" at the behavior of the old monk?

How might you have reacted to the thieves in these circumstances?


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