The 9 Peaches of Divine Justice: Theological Reflection on My Wife Doing the Right Thing

I received many good responses to my last blog about my wife doing the right thing. Some said that they found themselves in tears. The moral of the story is to do the right thing. But morals don’t usually bring us to tears. What gets me (and maybe what got you) is that Ed even more than simply not treating us unfairly, he also went miles beyond treating us fairly. He acted unfairly to himself! This is one of the best glimpses of how God loves us.

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain in Greece was asked once about what divine justice was and he answered by telling a charming story.

Elder Paisius of the Holy Mountain

Suppose two men are sitting at the table to eat. In front of them there is a plate with ten peaches. If one of them greedily eats seven peaches leaving three for his friend, he is being unfair to him. This is injustice. Instead, if he says: “Well, we are two and the peaches are ten. So, each of us is entitled to 5 peaches.” If he eats the 5 peaches and leaves the other 5 for his friend then he applies human justice. However, if he understands that his friend likes peaches very much, he can pretend that he is not very fond of them and eat only one, and then says to him: “Please eat the rest of the peaches, as I do not really like them and besides my stomach aches and I should not eat any more.” This person has divine justice; he prefers to be unfair to himself by human standards and be rewarded for his sacrifice by God’s grace, which he will abundantly receive.

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