An old monk prayed many years for a vision from God to strengthen his faith, but it never came.
He had almost given up hope when, one day, a vision appeared. The old monk was overjoyed. But
then, right in the middle of the vision, the monastery bell rang. The ringing of the bell
meant it was time to feed the poor who gathered daily at the monastery gate. And it was the old
monk's turn to feed them. If he failed to show up with food, the poor people would leave quietly,
thinking the monastery had nothing to give them that day.
The old monk was torn between his earthly duty and his heavenly vision. However, before the bell
stopped tolling, the monk had made his decision. With a heavy heart, he turned his back on the
vision and went off to feed the poo. Nearly an hour later, the old monk returned to his room.
When he opened the door, he could hardly believe his eyes. There in the room was the vision,
waiting for him. As the monk dropped to is kness in thanksgiving, the vision said to him,
"My son, had you not gone off to feed the poor, I would not have stayed."
The best way to serve God is to reach out in service to our brothers and sisters, especially
those less gifted than ourselves.