Monday, November 9, 2015

The Man Who Falsely Accused Saint Nektarios

It has been asked why St. Nektarios, a Saint of recent times, works so many miracles today. The answer is because he suffered much in his life, often times being falsely accused by the ignorant. Slander, mocking and false accusation, when endured with humility, patience and trust in God, are a great blessing for the Christian. The humbled are indeed glorified.

When St. Nektarios established his female Monastery on the island of Aegina, locals went so far as to accuse him of immorality and that he used the Monastery to perform his debauchery. They speculated that the nuns gave birth to illegitimate children, which they would then throw down the well.

One woman from Aegina named Kerou had a grace-filled and God-fearing 16 year old daughter. The mother had a mania to persecute her daughter for this and tried several times to kill her. The young girl took refuge in the Monastery under St. Nektarios.

The tender-hearted Saint took her in and protected her. Kerou in turn began to slander the Saint. A Prosecutor received the complaint and the next day came to Aegina angry with two constables. He breached the door, despite the rules of the Convent, and went straight to the apartment of the Saint. The nuns became upset and began to cry. The Holy Bishop got up and received his visitors with his usual Christian smile.

Furious, the Prosecutor said to the aged Elder: "You dirty old man, where are the children you are giving birth to? Is that what you are doing here?" He then seized him by his cassock and threatened him, saying: "I’ll shave off your beard hair by hair!"

The Saint did not say a word. He only pointed his hand above and said: "God sees! God knows!"

Indeed, the Prosecutor who was quick to accept slander and dared lift his arm against the Saint became seriously ill within a week. He had terrible pain from his illness. The hand with which he grabbed the Saint dried up. Realizing his error, he felt the need to go to St. Nektarios and ask for his forgiveness.

The Saint, out of forbearance and longsuffering, prayed very much for the man. Within two years the Prosecutor’s hand had to be cut off. Meanwhile, the Monastery of St. Nektarios prospered and the Sisterhood grew. It has become a spiritual hospital, which gives rest to the soul and illumination to the people of God.

The Teacup story....

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said, ‘Not yet!’” “Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’”
“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then… Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet.’”
“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’”
“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited ——- and waited, wondering “What’s he going to do to me next?” An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.’ “And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me, that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’”
Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember,’ then he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He’s doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.
So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stink”, try this….
Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

– Author Unknown