There was a tradition in a monastery in Greece to give the brothers some money for hard work. Monks in a monastery are referred to as brothers because they live together like one big family. There were monks who wanted to work more and donate the money that they’d earned to the poor. There was only one monk who did otherwise. No one ever saw him give anything to anyone. So other monks called him the Greedy One. Years went by but everything remained the same.
“He’s such a skinflint!” other monks were thinking. Finally, there came the time for the so-called Greedy One to pass away into the afterlife.
When people who lived in nearby villages learned about his death, all villagers flooded the church yard to kiss goodbye to the reposed monk. They shed tears for the Greedy One and mourned his death.
The brothers were astonished.
“What did that man do for you? Why are you weeping by his grave?” they asked.
One of the peasants exclaimed:
“He saved my life!”
Another peasant added:
“And mine, too!”
The peasants had to work from dawn till night in order to feed their children. It was hard to till the land without an ox. If they had an ox, their children were never hungry.
It turned out that the monk, whom the other monks nicknamed the Greedy One, had saved his hard-earned money to buy oxen for the poorest peasants. That was how he had been rescuing them from hunger and poverty.
Those who considered that monk a scrooge were really amazed when they learned about it!
Elder Paisius concluded with the following words:
“How can you judge if you don’t know everything? Jesus tells us not to judge.”
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds