Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this stone away
This article was first published three years ago, however, in this Easter season with its invitation to find life where life truly is, it seems to follow well from last week’s reflection on that Easter question:
Why look for the living among the dead?
Anthony de Mello was a twentieth-century Indian Jesuit priest. He used stories and parables to awaken his listeners and readers to an awareness of God’s presence in their midst. His stories are wonderful, thought–provoking, often utterly confronting and sometimes seemingly simple, yet always inviting the listener into a relentless search for integrity and genuine holiness. This story about the sannyasi (a holy person, in the Indian spiritual tradition, who has renounced worldly goods and interests to focus on the spiritual search) and the villager has much to say to us this week:
The sannyasi had reached the outskirts of the village and settled down under a tree for the night when a villager came running up to him and said, “The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!”
“What stone?” asked the sannyasi.
“Last night the Lord Shiva appeared to me in a dream”, said the villager, “and told me that if I went to the outskirts of the village at dusk I should find a sannyasi who would give me a precious stone that would make me rich forever”.
The sannyasi rummaged in his bag and pulled out a stone.
“He probably meant this one”, he said, as he handed the stone over to the villager. “I found it on a forest path some days ago. You can certainly have it”.
The man gazed at the stone in wonder. It was a diamond, probably the largest diamond in the whole world, for it was as large as a person’s head.
He took the diamond and walked away. All night he tossed about in bed, unable to sleep. Next day at the crack of dawn he woke the sannyasi and said, “Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this stone away”.
Ms Kerry McCullough
Dean of Mission