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Catholic Activity: Teaching About Selfishness

A story about St. Macarius the Younger for people who take the largest piece.

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St. Macarius the Younger of Alexandria lived about the fourth century and was one of the Desert Fathers. Surprisingly enough, when he discovered his vocation to be a hermit, he was a confectioner — which proves that no matter where you may be, or what you may be doing, if you truly want to do God's will He will make it clear one day. St. Macarius lived in a tiny hermitage as a member of a desert community called the Cells, so called because everyone lived in a cell. Each hermit built his own cell and, when a new member came to join them, each offered the newcomer his cell, willingly building himself another. They lived in silence and out of sight of one another except on Saturdays and Sundays when they gathered together to celebrate Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist. They made baskets and mats and in this quiet way contemplated God and loved one another.

One time St. Macarius was given a bunch of fresh grapes. He thanked the donor of the gift, and when the latter had gone carried the grapes to a neighboring monk who was ill. That monk thanked St. Macarius and when he was gone, carried the grapes to a neighbor who, as soon as that monk was gone, carried the grapes to his neighbor, and this continued. Late that same evening St. Macarius saw a monk coming to his hut bearing him his bunch of grapes, and "gave thanks that he had seen in the brethren such abstinence and such loving-kindness."

Activity Source: Saints and Our Children, The by Mary Reed Newland, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York; reprinted by TAN Publishers, 1958

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