Are there any flowers here?

[From St. Paisios] Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.

Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow.

You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is.paisios of mt athos sitting

As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.

+ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts,” Spiritual Counsels III: Spiritual Struggle

(Elder Paisios was canonized on January 13 last year but he is commemorated on June 29/July 12. )

8 thoughts on “Are there any flowers here?

  1. I have not heard of this comparison or allegory, or whatever it is (I am the stupid person just now and should already be in bed!) but I really enjoyed reading about it and now, thinking about it. I think the discussion could become a bit more complicated, but this is always worth keeping in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. You should write about him for my blog series. 😉

    I keep trying to say something similar to this, but I frequently get the feeling that people would rather not hear it.

    AMDG, Janet

    Liked by 1 person

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