The man who did not have

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The man who did not have

Nicolae tells a story of a man who sought entry into a monastery, although he didn’t feel qualified. The man approached the abbot, and confessed:

Know, Father, that I have neither faith nor light, nor essence, nor courage, nor trust in myself, and I cannot be of any help to myself, much less to any others; I have nothing


soul.

“How could such a man be accepted into a monastery?” one might think.

But the abbot replies, “What does that have to do with anything? You have no faith, have no light; giving them to others you will have them, too. Searching them for another, you will gain them for yourself. Your brother, your neighbor and fellow man, him you are duty bound to help with what you do not have.”

And with that, he accepts the man into the monastery. “Go, your cell is on this hallway, third door on the right.”

The thoughts of this man are echoed in the minds of many men and women around the world. I have neither faith, nor essence, nor courage. I cannot be of any help to myself. How do we develop these things?

How, indeed? The abbot’s answer: Giving another that which you do not have – faith, love, confidence, hope – you will acquire them as well.

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