Some Were Eating Honey

VI.i.17.   One of the fathers declared that there are three worthwhile aims for monks to pursue with fear and trembling and spiritual joy, sharing in the holy Sacraments, breaking bread with the brethren, and washing the brethren’s feet. He told the following story as an illustration: 

There was a certain old man who was a seer, and it happened that he was sharing a meal with some of the brothers. And as they were eating this old man saw in the spirit that some of those at the table were eating honey, others bread, and others filth. And he marvelled  and prayed to God, saying, “Lord, reveal this mystery to me, that whereas the same food is put before all of them on the table, yet as they eat it seems to be changed, and one eats honey, another bread, and yet another filth.”  

And a voice from above came to him, saying, “Those eating honey are those who eat at the table with fear and trembling and thanksgiving, and pray without ceasing. And their prayer rises up before God as the incense. And so they eat honey. Those who eat bread are those who simply perceive the gifts of God and give thanks for them. But those eating filth are those who pick and choose, saying ‘This is all right but I don’t like that’. They ought not to think like that but rather glorify God and offer him praise, so that there may be fulfilled in us that which is written, ‘Whether you eat, or whether you drink, or whatever you may be doing, do all things to the glory of God.'”


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