posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 10:05 PM
I cannot remember the exact anecdote (it's probably apocryphal anyway.)
In a Medieval monastery in Germany, there's a monk whose job it is to feed the poor who arrive looking for food at the monastery gate. There is
always such a crowd that it would disturb the monks at their prayers, and so this monk, we'll call him Hans, is sent to give out food from the
monastic larder so the poor don't starve.
It gets to be such a big task that Hans is awarded an assistant. We'll call him Dieter. Dieter doesn't always feed the poor, but when Brother
Hans's other duties require him in the chapel at the noon hour, or if Hans has made a trip to town, Dieter knows its his job to distribute bread and
a little cheese to the homeless at the front gate.
One day, dieter is praying in his cell and the Blessed Virgin Mary appears in all her glory, attended by a choir of angels. She tells Dieter that she
has a message of a miracle that will make the monastery the site for pilgrimages from around the world soon. She tells Dieter that She will reappear
on Friday with the big announcement.
On Friday, Mary and the angels show up in the monk's cell, but Dieter isn't there. It turns out that Hans was sick, and so it was Dieter's day to
feed the poor. The Abbot was furious that his monastery was passed over for a miracle, because of one monk's priorities.
The Abbott dismisses Dieter from the cell where Mary appeared, and builds a chapel to Mary. The Abbott sets a vigil of monks in constant prayer in
what had once been the monk's cell.
Next Friday, Mary appears. Turns out the big miracle is that a Christian actually cared about the poor more than he did his own salvation, and earned
God's approval for living the Gospel, instead of merely talking about it.
"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Matthew 10:39