Monday, February 16, 2015

The Story of Mrs. Good and Mrs. Bad (with 4 Lenten Menu Plans)

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, as depicted at Kykkos Monastery, Cyprus
There is an old traditional Greek Orthodox story that I recently read in a book. It's a very short story,
but the kind of thing that really sticks with you. It's a story that Yiayia (Grandmother) might tell to her Grandchild.

Once upon a time, there was a lady named Mrs. Good. Every day, when she left her home to go to the market, she would encounter on the road her neighbor, Mrs. Bad. Every day Mrs. Good and Mrs. Bad visited with each other and discussed the events of the day - their children, their husbands, and the news of the country.

At the end of each day, Mrs. Good went home to Mr. Good and told him how wonderful Mrs. Bad was - what a delightful neighbor she was - how wonderful she was to chat with - and all her virtues.

And, every day, Mrs. Bad went home to Mr. Bad, and vented to him about how horrible Mrs. Good was. What a horrible neighbor she was - and how horrible to chat with - and all of her vices.

That's the whole story, as it is traditionally told.

But, I'd like to encourage you to fast-forward this story to the 21st Century. Imagine Mrs. Good and Mrs. Bad each have a Facebook Account, a Twitter Account and a Blog.

What do you think Mrs Good posts about Mrs Bad? What do you think she posts about her her own Husband, her Children, her Parents and her Friends - and even Politicians?

How about Mrs. Bad? What does she post about Mrs. Good? What do you think she posts about her own Husband, her Children, her Parents and her Friends?

Where would you see the rants? Where would you see the venting? The "Open Letters?"

This from Matthew 12: 34b-37

. . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Or, in the words of St. John Chryosostom:

“Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. ” 

AS we enter the Lenten Season, whether on Ash Wednesday or on Clean Monday, let us consider not only the food we eat, but the words we speak & write.  

And, if you're looking for what to cook and eat this Lenten Season, you might enjoy these posts:

Lenten Potluck Ideas

Menu for the First Week of Orthodox Christian Lent

Lenten Menu -A Meal for Every Day of Great Lent 

A Month of Gluten Free Vegan Meals with Recipe Links

This post was featured on:

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa

This is being shared on:
Mom 2 Mom Monday
Modest Monday
What'd You Do This Weekend
The Art of Homemaking Mondays
Menu Plan Mondays
Anti-Procrastination Tuesday 
Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural 
Virtual Vegan Potluck
Think Tank Thursday
Coffee & Conversation
This is How We Roll Thursday 
Plant Based Potluck Party
Home Acre Hop
Gluten Free Fridays
From the Farm
Real Food Fridays 
Faith Filled Fridays









  1. Hi Anna! I think this post is an excellent way to start thinking about the Lenten Season. It's true that I often 'give up' something (as St John said, 'fish or fowl'), but do I give up negativity? I've never really thought about that.
    I hope I can be a Mrs. Good all the time and not find it necessary to bash other people!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I really enjoy reading your blog : )

  2. Hi Anna,
    I am so glad that you reminded us of these important values as we enter the Lenten Season> I grew up learning these virtues but we sometimes forget that ii is critically important to consider not only the food we eat, but the words we speak & write. I think we have become too accustomed to listening to and sharing harmful gossip. We need to think about the consequences of our words. Thank you for sharing this timely and thought-provoking post as well as your wonderful Lenten menus at the Plant-based Potluck Party. I appreciate it. I'm pining and sharing this.

    1. Thanks so much! I've noticed that *you* always have sweet, kind comments! I truly appreciate it : )

  3. I'm with you that it's so important to watch what we say at all times, but especially during Lent. Thank you for the reminder. Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party on Organized 31.

    1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate you hosting! : )

  4. I hadn't heard this story before, such an important lesson. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday morning :)

  5. Hi Anna,
    Loved your story. It is something that we all need to remember and that is what comes out of our months is so important to showing what in our heart. I loved the FB reference because that seems to be one of the places people bash and say hurtful words to other and that was one of the reasons I disconnected from FB - it seem to become a gossip column. I believe it is true that we must achieve a healthful to have healthful body. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & Twitted. Thanks for all the links to all the great recipes.

    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment. It really is easier to be more careless with our words online than we are in person. Thanks so much for hosting! : )

  6. Thanks Anna for sharing this story and its message at the Plant Based Potluck Party # 33. I've found that what I think and say about someone else either can enhance my life or bring me down. I strive to take the upper road. Warm regards, Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author of "Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, and Bliss," Blogger at and

    1. So much for dropping by & commenting! It's lovely to "see" you again! : )


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