Taking Care of Children Is the Greatest Prayer

 

With kind words the abbot said to the father: “I was glad for you last night. You sang all night and prayed. You did well! But you would have had a bigger blessing to sit a half an hour next to your wife and help her feed and put the babies to sleep. Because for you, the ones who are married, the prostrations are your children. When they will grow up you will have time for the rest.

There was a pious family with nine children. The husband was a very pious man and very zealous in the spiritual life. He wanted to be literally like a monk.

His wife was constantly complaining to the abbot that she was very tired and needed help. In the evening, all the family was coming to the monastery. The wife was sitting with the children who were crying over different things. Being very tired, the mother cried with them. On the other hand, her husband used to go into the chapel of the Holy Unmercenary Doctors, to do prostrations, to pray and watch. Her wife was entitled to complain.

The next day, the abbot, seeing the spouses together, saw that something happened between them and they had a fight. He soothed the mother with kind words and said to the father: “I was glad for you last night. You sang all night and prayed. You did well! But you would have had a bigger blessing to sit a half an hour next to your wife and help her feed and put the babies to sleep. Because for you, the ones who are married, the prostrations are your children. When they will grow up you will have time for the rest. ‘A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city’ (Proverbs 18:19). You should always agree one with the other.”

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