Even your former sins can lead others to Christ. Palladius of Galatia tells the story of Moses the robber, who, having turned monk, converted other robbers by his example. Precisely because he had been a robber, other robbers paid attention to him.
A certain Moses—this was his name—an Ethiopian by race and black, was house-servant to a government official. His own master drove him out because of his immorality and brigandage. For he was said to go even the length of murder. (I am compelled to tell his wicked acts in order to show the virtue of his repentance.) It was said that he was the leader of a band of robbers . . .
In the end this abandoned man, conscience-stricken as a result of one of his adventures, gave himself up to a monastery and to such practice of asceticism that he publicly brought to the knowledge of Christ even his accomplice in crime from his youth, the demon who had sinned with him.
Among other tales this is told of him. One day robbers attacked him as he sat in his cell, not knowing who it was. There were four of them. He tied them all together and, putting them on his back like a truss of straw, brought them to the church of the brethren, saying: “Since I am not allowed to hurt anyone, what do you want me to do with these men?”
Then these robbers, having confessed their sins and recognized that it was the Moses who used to be such a renowned and far-famed robber, themselves also glorified God and renounced the world because of his conversion, saying to themselves, “If he who was so great and powerful in robbery has feared God, why should we put off our salvation?” –Palladius of Galatia, Lausiac History, 19:1, 3-4IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I overcome some difficult sin or temptation?
Could I use my story to help others who suffer from what I suffered?
Lord, fill me with your love, and make me a witness of your truth to everyone.
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