Saturday, August 23, 2014

St. Kosmas Aitolos: The Parable of the Priceless Diamond

St. Kosmas Aitolos, the New Hieromartyr (source)
St. Kosmas Aitolos: The Parable of the Priceless Diamond
A merchant named Irrational had been in business for forty-fifty years. He never had any success. Then he found a purse. He opened it and found some counterfeit coins, some false pearls, and in the middle of the purse a diamond. He took the purse with the money and went to a money changer to see if it was genuine. Examining it, the money changer told the merchant that the money was counterfeit and that only the diamond was real. The merchant didn't believe him but took them and left and went to another money changer. He too said that all was counterfeit except for the diamond, which was valuable. The merchant was sad and took the diamond in his hand and with it the purse with the coins and he left.
On the way he met a blind man and said: "I want to see what power the diamond has."
And, 0 wonder of wonders! When he touched the eyes of the blind man with it, they immediately opened and the blind man saw. The merchant was then happy.
He continued on and met a man who was deaf and dumb, and as soon as he touched him [with the diamond] he began to speak and heat. He met a man who was retarded, and when he touched him he was healed. He touched a poor man with it and he became rich. He touched an old man with it and he became young and robust. He touched a dead man with it and he immediately came to life.
Seeing such miracles, the merchant's heart was ablaze with joy, and so he took the purse with the coins and went and threw them into the sea. He kept only the diamond and went home.
It came time for the merchant to die. So he called his family together and told them: "My children, I have been in business in the world for forty-fifty years. I never had any success. Later, I found a purse in which there were some counterfeit gold coins, pearls, and in the middle of the purse I found a diamond with so much power that it raised the dead, made the poor rich, the blind to open their eyes, the deaf to hear, and healed all manner of illness. But soon I'll be leaving you and I shall die. I have no other inheritance to leave you except this diamond. But your nobility should find a place to put it-somewhere as it deserves-for it will not stay just anywhere.
The time came and the merchant died. The diamond remained for his family. They tried to find a place to keep it as the merchant had instructed them. So they found a marble triangle with equal sides and they put the diamond on top of the marble, but it wouldn't stay. They were sad because they couldn't find a place to put it. They placed a white cloth on the marble to serve as a cushion, but the diamond wouldn't stay. Again they were sad. Later, they spread another cloth on top of the first and put the diamond on top of that. The diamond stayed. Then they were happy and glorified God.
Now we should see who is the merchant; second, what is the purse; third, the dollars; fourth, the gold coins; fifth, the pearls; sixth, the diamond; seventh, the money changers; eighth, who are the merchant's relatives; ninth, what is the marble; tenth, what the first cloth signifies; and eleventh, what the second cloth signifies. These are the eleven subjects that we'll explain.
First, I am the merchant Irrational, drunkard, idler, and lazy. I have been in business for forty-fifty years, and God found me worthy to find a purse. What is the purse? It is the sacred and holy Gospel. I open it and inside I find counterfeit gold coins. What are the gold coins? They are the Jews who say they believe but their faith is counterfeit, of the devil. In the purse I find counterfeit dollars. What do the dollars signify? They are the irreverent who say that they believe, but their faith is counterfeit, of the devil. I find in it false pearls. What do the pearls signify? They are the heretics who say they believe in the Holy Trinity but [their faith] also is false, and it too is of the devil. What is the diamond? It is our Lord Jesus Christ and God. Who are the money changers? They are the prophets who had proclaimed the Son and Logos of the preexistent and omnipotent Father. Who are the relatives of the merchant? They are the reverent and Orthodox Christians, the sons and daughters of our Christ. Whatis the triangular and equal-sided marble? it is the person who says he believes in the Holy Trinity but his faith is insufficient for him to be saved; the diamond does not stay put. What else is needed? The first cloth is needed, but the diamond, that is, Christ, doesn't stay. A person who says he believes in the Holy Trinity has the first cloth, love for God which each person has, but this is insufficient, for the second cloth is needed. Then the diamond stays. What does the second cloth signify? It is the person who believes in the Holy Trinity and loves God and his brethren; that is [they are] the second cloth. Then the diamond, that is, our Lord Jesus Christ and God, stays.
The person who has God in his heart has everything good and can never sin. And when he doesn't have the diamond in his heart, love, that is, Christ, he has the devil. And whoever has the devil has all that is evil and commits all the sins. So, my brethren, I am about to leave you health, and then I shall depart, and I don't know if God will enable me to enjoy you again in person or not. I have nothing else to leave you as consolation, as a shelter, as a guardian, except the diamond. But you must have someplace to put it. This diamond contains all the Christian virtues, spiritual and physical, and he who has been found worthy to have it in his heart will be of good fortune, for he has a valuable treasure.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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