Syria. He was rather old and yet he used
to live in the desert about twelve miles
away from the running water. Many times during
his trips to the water, he thought of going
to live nearer to the spring so as to avoid
all this hassle of coming and going. One
day, while he was thinking again about this,
he looked back and saw someone following
him, counting every single step he made.
"Who are you?" he asked him. "I
am the angel of the Lord and I was sent to
count the steps you make, so that at the
end of your life you will be given the reward
you deserve." When he heard this, the
elderly monk was filled with courage and
went to live five miles further away!
Egypt. There was one of the brothers who
was tempted every day for a full nine years
with impure thoughts. Countless dirty thoughts
would assail him during the day and also
during the night. He was so discouraged that
he thought he would be condemned. "Surely
I am lost, and so, since there is no hope
for me, I may as well go back into the world."
But on his way, he heard a voice telling
him, "These nine years in which you
have been tempted, have gone up to heaven
like a crown of gold. Go back to your hut."
Temptations obtain for us real stunning rewards
if we know how to make good use of them.
Whatever good we do for his glory will never
France. When one day the Cure of Ars entered
the church, he found a woman who was sobbing
heavily. She had just lost her husband. But
what upset her most was the fact that her
husband had committed suicide by jumping
over the village bridge; she was sure that
her husband was lost for ever. The Cure went
up to her, touched her shoulder and said,
"Your husband is in heaven." "Heaven?
How do you know?" "Yes, your husband
is in heaven. I know." "But how
can you be so sure?" the woman insisted.
The Cure answered, "One afternoon he
came to Church bringing a bouquet of flowers
which he himself had picked from the fields.
Timidly, like a small child he told me: 'Take
these flowers please, and put them in front
of the Beautiful Lady'. I am sure this gesture
did not go unobserved by the Virgin Mary.
It must have remained imprinted in her heart.
This is why I am certain that as your husband
was going down the bridge Mary reconciled
him with her Son Jesus."
Malta. In this religious community, one priest
spent all morning working on the computer
to finish the book he had been writing. The
other priest spent the whole morning in kitchen
preparing lunch for all the community. When
they went down for Midday prayer, the one
who was working in the kitchen said to the
other, "I am very proud of you because
this book will help many people!" The
author of the book was not so convinced.
"In front of God, hidden work is much
more blessed" he answered. "It
goes up to heaven as a sweet fragrance."
Priorities in heaven are different than what
they are on earth!
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