Thieves and a Hermit

One night thieves went to a certain hermit.

“We came to take your things,” they said to him viciously. Without losing composure, the hermit said to them, “Come in and take whatever you like.”

They emptied his poor hut of every last thing and left hurriedly. They forgot, however, to take a small flask that was hanging from a beam of the roof. The hermit took it down and, running behind the robbers, shouted for them to listen and to stop. “Come back, brothers, and take this too.” And he showed them from afar the small flask.

They were amazed by his forgiving nature and returned, not to take the flask, but to offer repentance and to return all of his things.”This is, indeed, a man of God,” they said among themselves.

Source: Ancient Fathers of the Desert