Charity and Fasting at Christmas

A brother asked an old man: “There were two brethren, and one of them led a life of silent contemplation in his cell, and used to fast six days at a time, and to devote himself to great labor, and his companion used to minister to the sick; which of them will receive the greater reward for his service?”

The old man said, ” If he who fasted were to raise himself up upon the works which are profitable, he would not find himself equal before God with him that visited the sick.”

(adapted from The Paradise or Garden of the Holy Fathers Vol 2, Kindle Loc 1651-55)