The Butterfly

A simple monk found the cocoon of a butterfly one day as he was working in the fields. Wanting to experience his tiny miracle in action more closely, he took the leaf with the cocoon back to his cell so that he could observe and contemplate as the butterfly emerged.

One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon and the monk sat and watched for several hours as the butterfly struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then the butterfly seemed to stop making any progress. It looked as if it had got as far as it could and could go no farther. It just seemed to be too tired or maybe it was stuck.

Then the monk, in his kindness, decided to help the butterfly, so he took a small knife and carefully, oh so carefully, sliced a larger hole in the remaining bit of the cocoon. A moment later the butterfly emerged easily. It was not beautiful. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings, but the monk was not worried for he had heard that it took time for the wings to fully unfold and dry.

He continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.He watched for a long time but nothing happened. The wings never unfolded nor did the overly plump body thin.

What the monk in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were the way of forcing fluid from the body until they were fully freed from the cocoon and the butterfly was ready for flight.

Freedom and flight could only come after a struggle. By depriving the butterfly of the struggle, he deprived the butterfly of flight. The small creature spent the rest of his life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. Although the monk took very good care of the butterfly for all of its days, it was never able to fly. - Unknown Author

Sometimes we want to ease our struggles, or the struggles of others, so much so that we wish we could completely take them away. Even though this comes from a good place in our hearts we have to remember that we do need struggle in our own lives in order to grow and cultivate virtue.

When you encounter any form of struggle today, don't pray that God takes it away. Pray that God gives you the strength to overcome it and grow from it.

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