This is my most favorite story. It comes
from the desert fathers, those early Christians
who left everything and went to live with
HIM in the deserts of Syria and Egypt.
John the Dwarf was a very saintly Abba.
was dying and so he called his disciples
and told them this story :
"Once there was a prostitute.
been a wanton woman for many, many
One day, a handsome young lord was
by and as soon as he saw her, he fell
in love with her. Love at first sight.
to marry her, he proposed to her. Amazed,
she replied, "Are you serious?
not know who I am?" But the young
insisted. "Yes, I know who you
but I love you deeply. I cannot live
you, and I want to marry you."
crazy about her. "But I am unclean,"
"Don't worry, my love will cleanse
The woman could hardly believe her
How could anyone possibly love her?
filthy, she had slept with many men...
this man was rich, young, handsome.
hardly believe her luck. This was a
blessing. It took her a long time to
but eventually she agreed, and they
wed. A sumptuous marriage. He built
a beautiful mansion and gave her all
could ever desire. Indeed, he would
anticipate her needs. He cherished
But the men of the village resented
marriage. They had lost a woman whom
had been able to enjoy whenever it
them. They wanted their 'fun' back.
must win her back, " they argued.
we shall do it. It would not be that
After all, this woman was and is still
prostitute, even though she is married.
body, her heart, her passions are just
carnal as ever..." So they agreed
go and seduce her back into her former
They did not dare go through the main
They went to the back door and began
for her as they used to do before when
wanted to use her.
The woman heard them. And sure enough
felt torn apart inside. For it was
the village men thought about her -
her cravings, her yearnings were still
easily aroused as ever. But, on the
hand, how could she forget all that
had done for her? He had saved her.
given her back her dignity as a woman.
had freed her. A mortal tug-of-war
within her .... between passion and
"What can I to do?", she
emotionally to herself.
There was only one safe route. And
what she did.
She rushed to the bedroom where her
was. She fell on him and started begging
him to embrace her and cuddle her close.
"Hold me, hold me tight,"
insisting, "love me, please love
lest I betray you!"
And the Abba concluded : "My sons,
is the parable of our lives. The prostitute
is ourselves, who have often betrayed
and adulterated with other things not-God.
But one day a rich, handsome, young
Nazareth met us. Yes, his name is Jesus
He fell in love with us and wished
us. Love at first sight. He knew us.
our filth and yet he wished to live
of love and intimacy with us.
He is so crazy! Obviously the devils
men of the village - try their very
to bring us out of our home. They want
exploit us. To maul us. And there is
one way not to succumb and return to
Yes, my sons, remember, only ONE way.
also, like the once-prostitute-now-wife
run and fall on Him and beg Him frantically
to hug you and not let you go. And
what? He will do it willingly, very
Yes, we are loved that much. So much!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby
granted for any non-commercial use, provided
that the content is unaltered from its original
state, if this copyright notice is included.