There was a monastery that was renowned for its hospitality, a welcoming place for many weary travellers in need of rest. One day while the abbot was deep in prayer an angel appeared, surrounded by golden light. The abbot gazed in rapt contemplation and was filled with a peace beyond measure. Suddenly a series of heavy knocks resounded on the front door. “It is some weary traveler come to find shelter,” the abbot said to himself. “What should I do? If I go and answer the door, the angel might disappear. If I stay, who will care for the traveler?”
Reluctantly the abbot rose, looked resignedly at the angel, and left the room in order to attend to the needs of the dust-stained traveler.
When he returned to his cell, the angel, to the abbot’s great surprise, was still there. The angel said to him, “Had you not gone to help the needy traveler, I myself would have been compelled to leave.”
Source | Joan Chittister, 40 Stories to Stir the Soul
PONDER AND CONSIDER
“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” | Hebrews 13:1-2
An old woman died and was taken to the Judgment Seat by the angels. While examining her records, however, the Judge could not find a single act of charity performed by her except for a carrot she had once given to a starving beggar.
Such, however, is the power of a single deed of love that it was decreed that she be taken up to heaven on the strength of that carrot. The carrot was brought to court and given her. The moment she caught hold of it, it began to rise as if pulled by some invisible string, lifting her up toward the sky.
A beggar appeared. He clutched the hem of her garment and was lifted with her; a third person caught hold of the beggar’s foot and was lifted too. Soon there was a long line of persons being lifted up to heaven by that carrot. And, strange as it may seem, the woman did not feel the weight of all those people who held onto her; in fact, since she was looking heavenward, she did not see them.
Higher and higher they rose until they were almost near the heavenly gates. That is when the woman looked back to catch a last glimpse of the earth and saw this whole train of people behind her.
She was indignant! She gave an imperious wave of her hand and shouted, “Off! Off, all of you! This carrot is mine!”
In making her imperious gesture, she let go of the carrot for a moment – and down she fell with the entire train.
Source | Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight, pages 137-138.
[Prayer of the Frog, Volume 1]
PONDER AND CONSIDER
There is only one cause for every evil on earth: “This belongs to me!”