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Old 12-27-2002, 04:08 AM   #15
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
Here's a story that my sensei told me just yesterday. The priest and the sinner:
Once there was a priest and a sinner. The priest one day told the sinner, "You must leave your sinful ways and repent or you will cetainly go to hell." The sinner in anger told off the priest, "Wether I sin or not, it is my business. How would you know for sure that I will go to hell. You are not God."

"It is how it is written. It is the only way that one will go to heaven," the priest answered back. Angered even more the sinner told the priest, "Heaven or hell, that is my problem with God, not with you. You have no right to decide if I go to heaven or hell."

Finally the time comes when they both have to meet God. God asks the sinner, "What have you done in your life?" The sinner replied, "Oh God, I know that I have sinned in many ways. I can only now leave my fate to Your merciful hands." God then said, "Before your death, you have repented truthfully and sincerely. You have asked for My mercy even before you died. For this you have earned the right for your place in heaven."

Then God turned to the priest, "What have you done in your life?" The priest answered, "Oh God, I have done all of Your biddings to earn my rightful place in heaven." Enraged, God said to the priest, "Is that why you have done my biddings, just to earn your right in My heaven. You didn't do it because of Me? Not because you are thankful?" In fear, the priest said, "But, that is how it is written." God then said to him, "You are arrogant and a hypocrite. Yet you think you have the right to tell that he (the sinner) will surely would not go to heaven. It is I who decide, not you. For this, you have earned your place in hell."

Unknown to anybody, the sinner had repented sincerely to God, begged for mercy and forgiveness. Nobody knew because he did it with his heart and soul before he died, not through any man or any words.
This story is not about how to get to heaven nor it is about religious practices. It is about us, the connection between people. People are quick to judge others by appearance or by what they have done in the past. But we never really know what is lying in their heart and soul. People change. And they will be able to keep changing until they die.

The story is about sincerity. The priest kept praying and doing all of the biddings, but was never sincere in the prayers nor in the deed, the goal is completely different. Without sincerity, the priest is just another hypocrite, the prayers and the deed became meaningless, even became sinful.

The sinner on the other hand, only with one sincere prayer, has earned the rightful place that at first he might not even had imagined.

I don't know if this has solved any problems, it's just a nice story on people, judegement, and sincerity that I wanted to share.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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