A Wonderful Family

Source: Mystagogy

This story was narrated by the mother of a Nun and it concerned her own family. She said:

"During the German occupation we suffered a lot. The day arrived when there was nothing in the house except water!

Then my father took us by the hand and we climbed up the mountain, which towered above our village, and we gathered lupins. My poor mother boiled them a thousand times over, but the bitterness did not lessen. With these we fooled our hunger, but our eyes burned from the bitterness. And one could only imagine that my oldest sister was seriously ill. But what would my brothers eat who were working and still developing?

Once my mother saved a piece of chocolate! Whether it was given to her by an English soldier or if it was given to her by a philanthropic organization, I don't know. Our good mother did not even touch it. She brought it secretly to my ill sister, hoping to strengthen her. In vain, however, for soon after she died and God took her near to Him.

But my ill sister didn't eat it. This is because the day prior she heard that my mother and I would go to the city with the donkey for a certain need and it would take us eight to ten hours to walk there, so she secretly called me near and gave me the piece of chocolate, saying:

'Take it and you eat it, my sister, because you have to walk a lot tomorrow and you need the strength.'

I took it and saved it for the journey the next day. But my good mother put me on the donkey and she walked beside us on foot. I urged my mother to also climb on, but she didn't want to. She felt sorry for me because I was small. I then took the chocolate out of my pocket and gave it to her, saying:

'Mom, take it and you eat the chocolate that you may be strengthened for having walked so many hours, since the donkey is taking me.'

Before she refused, I put it in her hand. Then she paused and looked at it with tears in her eyes. It had returned to her hands!"

This Greek family was tormented with poverty and illness, and had such an ethos, such love, such self-denial! Let us wonder at the them, but let us also imitate them.

12/1/2014

See also
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