The young monk knocked gently on the door of the cell of the solitary monk saying, "Agapy 1. "But the solitary monk didn't answer. He repeated himself a second and third time, but there was still no response. The monk had no choice but to enter as he knew that the solitary was very sick. The monk was surprised when he found, sitting next to the solitary, a very distinguished man.

The solitary asked the monk, "Why did you enter without permission?" But the visitor interfered saying, "Let him in, for God wants him to take the blessing!"

The visitor then

asked permission to leave and saluted the two monks. The monk then asked the solitary, "Who was that foreign visitor?"

"The customs of monasticism," said the hermit, "provide that you don't ask questions about matters that do not concern you!"

The young monk, however, insisted on knowing who the distinguished visitor was because when the man saluted him he felt strength filling him.

At last the solitary said to him, "I'll tell you under the condition that you don't tell anyone until the day of my departure. . . I suffered from severe pain and felt unable to rise up to open the door of the cell. That's why I left the door opened to allow you to enter.

"As the pain became very severe, I held the Holy Bible, the source of my consolation which I thought of not as a book for reading but for meeting God the Logos, His angels, and Saints in both the Old and New Testaments. I became accustomed to combining the reading with prayers, entering into gratifying conversation with my Lord, for he is the source of my happiness, joy, and consolation.

"I held the Holy Bible and, as the pain became so severe, I felt that I needed a friend to comfort me. I needed to talk with Jeremiah2, the "Weeping Prophet."I opened the Book of Lamentations then I raised my eyes to God and cried, 'Send me Jeremiah the prophet to comfort me!' And as I started to read in the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah the prophet appeared to me and we entered into comfortable conversation. You came to the cell and found him talking with me and had the chance to meet him!"

My beloved, there is no doubt that you are like me and are in need of friends to accompany you and support you. There isn't a friend greater than God the Logos. You meet Him when you read the Holy Bible or the written theological declarations. Through the Bible, you enter into a conversation with your Friend as He is the Logos, who grants life, and who is the Giver of pleasure and gratification to the soul. Then you say with the Psalmist,

"With Your words I am delighted."

"With Your words I live."

"I found Your word sweet, so I ate it." (Psalm 119)

Through the written heavenly declaration, the Holy Spirit lifts up your heart, your thoughts, and all your depths to Heaven so that you hear the heavenly voice that says, "You are heavenly and to heaven you will return!" And you won't hear again the voice that says, "You are dust and to dust you shall return!"

Don't let the reading of the Holy Bible be a routine job that you are obliged to do, nor simply a quieting of your conscience. But rather, through it, you meet the heavenly people and the Saints who all love you and support you.

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1 "Agapy" is the Greek word for "Love."

2 Jeremiah is known as the "Weeping Prophet" because of the mourning nature of his prophesy and his sadness over the sinfulness and rebellion of his people and the subsequent calamity that befell them. This is even more evident in the book of Lamentations which Jeremiah authored and which follows the Book of Jeremiah in the Holy Bible.

(Copied from : Short Stories for Youth -- By Hegemon Tadros Yacoub Malaty Church of The Martyr St. George - Sporting, Alexandria -- Story # 11 )

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