Passing Through the Eye of a Needle
(Mt. 19:23-26; Mk. 10:24-25; Lk. 18:24-25)
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
he Venerable John Moschus writes: One of the holy fathers said that a woman of senatorial rank came to worship at the Holy Places. When she came to Caesarea, it pleased her instead to stay there in solitary retirement. She asked the bishop to give her a young woman who could train her in religion and teacher her the fear of God. The bishop selected a modest young woman and gave her to the great lady. Sometime later the bishop encountered her and asked, “How is the young woman I gave you?”
“She is fine,” she replied, “but not much benefit to my soul because she is so humble that she lets me go my own way. I need somebody who will stand up to me and not let me do whatever I want.”
So the bishop took away the first young woman and sent another, a stern one who used to address her as ‘fool of a rich woman’ and heap similar abuses upon her. Afterwards, the bishop asked her again how she found the young woman and the lady replied, “This one is good for my soul,” and she became distinguished for her humility.
John Moschos, The Spiritual Meadow, trans. John Wortley (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1992) p. 185.