Since I’ve been less prolific lately, I figured just sharing one longer story might do the trick today until I get the time and energy and inspiration for something of my own. The sayings of the fathers are the real treasure anyway, so far as I’m concerned. If only for an exercise of silence, today I’ll let the saying speak for itself:
An Egyptian monk was living in the suburbs of Constantinople: and when the Emperor Theodosius II passed that way he left his train of courtiers and came unattended to the cell. The monk opened the door to his knock, and at once recognized him to be the Emperor: but he received him as though he was one of the imperial guards. After he had come in, they prayed together and sat down. The Emperor began to ask him: “How are the fathers in Egypt?” He answered: “They are all praying for your salvation.” The Emperor looked around the cell to see if he had any food, and saw nothing except a basket with a little bread, and a flagon of water. The monk said to him: “Will you take a little supper?” And he put the bread in front of him, and mixed oil and salt, and gave him to eat and drink.
The Emperor said to him: “Do you know who I am?” And he said: “God knows you, who you are.” The Emperor said: “I am the Emperor Theodosius.” The monk at once fell down before him and did humble obeisance. The Emperor said: “Blessed are you, for you have an untroubled life, without thought of the world. I tell you truly, I was born an emperor, and I have never enjoyed bread and water as I have today: I have supped with real pleasure.” And he began to do honor to the monk.
But the old man went out, and fled back to Egypt.