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The Historical Works Of Venerable Bede

INDEED, many men, as we have said above, both nobles and commoners, came to see the man of God, to be comforted by the grace which abounded on his lips; and because from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and because he loved all with brotherly love, he showed himself affable to all, thinking the salvation of others to be his own gain. Nor did he bury in the ground of sloth the talent of the Lord’s money, but in the zeal of daily charity sought to increase it, that when his Lord came, he might not appear empty in his sight. Now a certain religious nobleman came among others to see the man of God, that he might be refreshed by him with the honey of heavenly doctrine. Whilst his sweet conversation was protracted to a great length, and the sun, passing beyond the midst of heaven, doubled the increasing shadows, the man of God, not wishing to dismiss his guest without something to strengthen him on his journey, told his boy, if any wine remained, to bring it to his dear friend, that he might return home refreshed in mind and strengthened in body. But from the great number of his visitors, the cask in which the wine was kept was dry, though the holy father’s charity was not: the boy, in a sorrowful accent, whispered this into the holy father’s ear, who blushed for shame, but with heart abounding in charity, and trusting on the Divine concurrence, he uttered a secret prayer to God, doubting nothing that he would be heard, or that he would have his petition granted; relying entirely on the mercy of him who brought a living fountain out of the dry rock for his thirsty people, and who in Cana of Galilee turned the water into most marvellous wine. He said to the boy, “Go, confiding in the goodness of God; and bring us quickly whatever you find in the vessel.” The boy ran quickly, in obedience to the holy father’s orders, and found the vessel running over with most excellent wine. Giving thanks to God, he drank to the health of his companions and of the friend that was come to him, who returned home strengthened by this twofold hospitality. But this holy servant of Christ, that he might not be accused of boasting, or be talked of in public among the people, solemnly enjoined the lad not to speak of this miracle all the days of his life, desiring more to be known of God than of men: knowing of a certainty that humility is the guardian of all the virtues, and ascends to the kingdom of Heaven on the steps of charity, for truth itself has told us that “every one who humbles himself shall be exalted.”








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