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Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Tiger ( St. Porphyrios )

Let’s suppose someone is all alone in the desert. Suddenly he hears a voice crying out in distress in the distance. He follows the sound and is confronted by a horrendous sight: a tiger has grabbed hold of a man and is savaging him with its claws. The man is desperately shouting for help. In a few minutes he will be torn to pieces.

What can the person do to help? Can he run to his side? How? It’s impossible. Can he shout for help? Who will hear him? There is no one within earshot. Should he perhaps pick up a stone and throw it at the man to finish him off? ‘Certainly not,’ we would say. But that’s exactly what can happen if we don’t realize that the other person who is acting badly towards us has been taken hold of by a tiger, the devil.

We fail to realize that when we react to such a person without love, it is as if we are throwing stones at his wounds and accordingly we are doing him great harm and the ‘tiger’ leaps onto us we do the same as him and worse. What kind of love do we have then for our neighbor and, even more importantly, for God?


St. Porphyrios