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The Kitchen Patron Jai

Posted by femlite on November 25, 2003, at 12:37:44

In reply to Love it! Yes I will be back, posted by Jai on November 25, 2003, at 7:55:38

The old preist was astonished a the sight of Euphrosynos in his sooty and tatterd robes. "What was this dullard cook doing in pardise"? He stared at the cook. It was Euphrosynos but something was different. The cook was standing straight and his face shone with a wonderful happiness. Euphrosynos seemed completely at home in this garden paradise.
At first the old man was speechless. Recovering himself, and without even greeting Euphrosynos he said abruptly, "What place is this? Whose garden is it? Tell me if you know." Even as he asked the the slow witted cook these questions he did not expect him to answer.
The old preist was suprised when the cook answered him immedietly
"This garden belongs to Gods friends. He promised it to them." The cook anwered with such authority the old man belived him. God had answered his prayer. This was paridise and yet he was not happy. He did not wish to share it with the monastery cook.
"And you" he demanded rudely "what are you doing here?"
Euphrosynos ignored his rudeness and answered the old preist quietly. "Through God's goodness I am here in this beautiful garden." He stood serenly as he looked in the old monks eyes.
The old preist was astounded, he could not believe that God's friends also included a kitchen drudge whom every laughed at. He could not hide his resentment as he said, "Tell me what is your business here?" Euphrosynos replied quietly, "I am the master of this garden, over all you see here."
Although the old prest could not believe an unletterd kitchen slave could be Lord over this paradise, when next he spoke his manner was changed.
Can you" he asked politely and hesitantly "give me something from this garden"?
Yes, by Gods grace I can, you have only to choose it."
The old priest looked around at the multitude of marvels surronding him. The golden yellow floweres and clusters of grapes and then he saw a tall tree with the most beuatiful red apples. "May I have some of those apples?"
Euphrosynos walked to the tree, picked some apples and handed them to the old man. As the priest was putting them in the pocket of his big black robe, Euphrosynos said "May you enjoy these apples, Reverend Father."
At that moment the priest was awakend by the wooden gong in the monastery courtyard. The monks were rousing themselves for prayer.
The old preist sat upon his thin straw mat and rubbed his eyes. Gone was the garden and the bright blue sky. Euphrosynos was no where to be seen, nor the tall apple tree. All was dark except the small candle that burned in his prayer corner. I have been dreaming, he muttered sadly.
Even the beuatiful red apples were a deception he cried half weeping with fear. At the thought of the apples the old man thrust his hand in to his pocket. His trembling fingers touched something round. Carefully he removed it and there lay shining in his palm the red fruits. They glowed and a sweet fragerence filled his room. The old man sat motionless for a long time. Was it a trick of the evil one. He must find Euphrosynos. Only the cook could tell him the truth. In side the church the monks were singing. The old priest quickly found him and asked him to follow him outside into the courtyard.The cook waited respectfully for the old priest to speak first. The old man began to speak. "My son, tell me where you were tonight?" "Reverend Father, I was in my cell and then in the churh where yoiu found me." The preist looked at the cook and waited a minute before continuing. "Tonight God performed a miracle. You know about it but for some reason are unwilling to reveal it to me. I beg you to tell me the truth." Euphrosynos smiled and his face reflected the light of heaven. "Yes Reverend Father, God performed a miracle. This night I was in paradise, the place prepared by God for his friends. You saw me there, you were there too." In the silence the old monk could hear his heat beat. "Father Euphrosynos, what did you give me tonight from that beautiful garden?" This was the first time that anybody had adressed the lowly cook as "Father Euphrosynos." The cook said simply, "I gave you those beautiful apples that are in your cell" The priest fell on his knees and gave thanks to God. His prayers had been answered. He had seen paradise before his end. In the morning the old priest hurried to tell the abbot of the miracle. Soon all the monks were listening to him tell of the garden and the beautiful fruit and that Euphrosynos was the lord of that heavenly garden. Everyone turned to look at Euphrosynos. He was standing meekly in the back of the room looking down at the wooden floor. Euphrosynos, the scorned unlettered cook was revealed to be God's friend. And they, his brother monks, had laughed at him for years and had never known him. Blinded by the pride in their hearts they had failed to recognize the pure soul who had toiled in the smokey kitchen.

The story spread and the pilgrims began to come from far and wide to the moanstery. When his simple life of cooking and worship was no longer possible, he left one day and was never seen again.
To the world Euprhosynos the Cook gave the unfading radiance of his goodness and humility, and the miraculous apples, his gift of love.

Thank you for reading this story.




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