May 31, 2023 663 Shalom Tidings

Before you judge…

Ever heard of a robber who turned into a Saint? Moses the Black was a leader of a band of thieves who attacked, robbed, and murdered travelers in the Egyptian desert. The very mention of his name spread terror in people’s hearts. On one occasion, Moses had to hide in a monastery and was so amazed at the way he was treated by the Monks that he converted and became a monk! But the story doesn’t end there.

Once, four of the robbers of his former band descended upon the cell of Moses. He had lost none of his great physical strength, so he tied them all up. Throwing them over his shoulder, he brought them to the monastery, where he asked the Elders what to do with them. The Elders ordered that they be set free. The robbers, learning that they had chanced upon their former ringleader and that he had dealt kindly with them, followed his example: they repented and became monks. Later, when the rest of the band of robbers heard about the repentance of Moses, they also gave up their thievery and became fervent monks.

After many years of monastic struggles, Moses was ordained deacon. For another fifteen years, he continued his monastic labors. About 75 disciples gathered around the saintly Elder, who had been granted the gifts of wisdom, foresight, and power over demons by the Lord.

Once, a certain brother committed an offense in Scete, the camp of the monks. When a congregation was assembled to decide ‎on this matter, they sent for Abba Moses, but he refused to come. Then they sent the priest of the church to him, imploring, “Come, for all the people are expecting you,” and finally, he responded to their pleas.

Taking a basket with a hole in it‎, he filled it with sand and carried it upon his shoulders. Those who went out to meet him asked, “What ‎does this mean, O Father?” And he replied, “The sands are my sins, which are running down behind me, and I ‎cannot see them. Yet, I have come here today to judge shortcomings that are not mine.” When they heard ‎this, they set that brother free and said nothing further to him.


Shalom Tidings

Shalom Tidings

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