Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
13th September 2015
King Alphonsus and
There was once
in Aragon a very pious King called Alphonsus. This King
saw that most of the young Princes who dwelt in his
Palace were very worldly and seldom, if ever, thought of
prayer or of thanking God for the benefits they were
daily receiving from Him.
One day he
thought he would give them a lesson. He prepared a great
banquet and invited them all to come to it. As soon as
they were assembled he gave a sign to begin the meal.
Not one of them thought of making the Sign of the Cross
or of asking a blessing on their food before they began.
In the midst of the enjoyment of the feast the door of
the hall suddenly opened and a beggar came in. He was
covered with rags and his whole appearance showed that
he belonged to the lowest class of society.
one word, or even asking permission, he sat down amongst
the nobles, not far from the King, and began to eat and
drink as if he had as much right to be there as the
others had. All the young nobles were full of
indignation at such conduct and looked towards the King,
wondering why he did not at once give orders that the
intruder should be cast forth from the hall. But the
King sat there in silence.
When the beggar
had eaten and drunk as much as he could, he rose up, and
without as much as looking at the King, or thanking him
for the food he had received, turned towards the door
and disappeared. As soon as he had gone out a murmur of
disgust broke forth among the guests. "What
impertinence!" they cried out; "a miserable man like him
to dare to come in here, and to eat and drink at the
King's table, as if all belonged to him, and to go away
without saying even one word of thanks!" And for some
time they continued to speak in the same strain of what
had just occurred.
At length the
King rose up and said: "My friends, you are wondering
among yourselves why I permitted that poor man to remain
in the room and you are indignant at his conduct. It was
by my orders he came here. I wanted to give you a
lesson. You speak of his impudence and his ingratitude
and his rudeness. But you yourselves are as guilty as
he, and even more so. Do you not daily receive from your
Father in Heaven marks of His bounty and His love for
you, and do you ever think of giving Him thanks? Let
this be for you, then, a lesson. For the time to come,
be grateful to Him, and never let a single day pass
without thanking Him for the blessings He has bestowed
They bore the
King's rebuke in silence, for they saw it was well
deserved, and they profited by the lesson they received.
in Examples, Vol II, Pgs 46-48 by the Rev. D. Chisholm.