Saint Paisios of Athos tells a story about God revealing Paradise and Hell to a simple man (perhaps the saint himself). Here’s the story:

“Well, one night while he was asleep, he heard a voice telling him: ‘Come, I will show you Hell.’  He then found himself in a room where many people were sitting around a table, in the middle of which was a pot of food.  Yet all of them were hungry, because they could not eat.  Each held a very long spoon with which they took food out of the pot, but were not able to reach their mouths.  And so: some complained, others shouted, while others cried…”

“Then he heard the same voice telling him: ‘Come, I will now show you Paradise as well.’  He then found himself in another room where many people were sitting around a table, like the previous one.  And, again, there was a pot of food in the middle of it, and the people had the same long spoons.  All of them, however, were well-fed and happy, because each person would take food from the pot with his spoon and feed the person next to him.  Do you now understand how you too, from this earthy life forward, can live the life of Paradise?”

All of us have been given a “spoon” of sorts that we can use to either share with others or to try and keep it to ourselves. How do you use your “spoon?”

For the cost of one dinner out each month, you can “visit Jesus” in prison by helping to provide Orthodox Study Bibles, Icons, prayer books, correspondence studies, and devotional readings for a man or woman living inside the dark world of a prison. You can help produce new studies and devotional materials for these precious people. You can help train clergy and laity to volunteer at a prison or jail.

Please answer the mandate of our Lord Jesus to visit the “least of these my brethren” by joining the Matthew 25:36 Fellowship today. Your monthly gift of $25.36 will help do all those things and more. If you haven’t taken time to watch the short video about this Fellowship, just click here:

May each of you live the life of Paradise each day…

Love in Christ,

Fr. Stephen