A monk came to his mentor and asked:
— Father, I’ve been coming to you for so long. I’ve confessed my sins over and over again. You have given me so much advice but I still cannot improve. What is the use of my visits to you if I fall into the same sins again even after our meetings?
The spiritual father replied:
— My son, take two pots — one empty and the other filled with honey.
The disciple did so.
— And now, — the elder ordered, — pour the honey from one pot to the other several times.
And so he did.
— Now look at the empty pot and smell it.
The disciple looked and smelled and said:
— Father, the empty pot smells of honey and there is some honey on its bottom.
— This is how, — the spiritual father said, — my instructions sink into your soul. If you acquire at least some virtue in the course of your life, for Christ’s sake, the Lord in his mercy will add up to it and save your soul to live in the paradise. For a cook never puts pepper in a pot which smells of honey. Likewise, God will not reject you if you only keep in your soul the basics of righteousness.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds