Abbot Prior teaches a lesson with a bag of sand

Pocket Bard’s notes: This is just a sweet little teaching story I happen to like. Reminiscent of Christ’s “beam in your eye / mote in your brother’s eye” parable, just told a little differently. I like the imagery. This could easily be worked into a one-minute bardic piece to pull out as needed.

Abbot Prior teaches a lesson with a bag of sand
The Golden Legend, Volume II, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.351

We read a similar story [to the one about Saint Moses] about Saint Prior. When the monks were talking about one of their number who had sinned, Prior said nothing, but went and slung a sack of sand over his shoulder, carrying a small packet of the same sand in front of him. Asked what this meant, he said: “The large lot of sand stands for my sins, which are behind me so that I don’t think about them. This small packet stands for my brother’s sins, which are out in front of me so that I can think about them all the time and judge my brother. Yet I ought always to carry my own sins before my eyes, to repent of them and ask God’s pardon for them!”


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