Do Thy Duty, That is Best

Once, a monk was in meditation in his tiny cell, in the hours before dawn, as had been his practice for many, many years. Suddenly he was overcome with a wondrous feeling of love as there appeared before him the vision of his Divine Mother. He was filled with emotion, and his heart was bursting with joy.

- At last you have come, my Divine Mother, never leave me I pray you. Never again shall I search for you in vain. Greater joy hath no man.

Hours were as seconds in the Divine Mother's presence. Her infinite love and compassion filled his whole being. But suddenly his contemplation was disturbed. He heard the bell of the cloister and knew the poor were at the monastery gates waiting to be fed. It was his daily task to feed the sick and hungry who gathered every morning at this time. He became uneasy.

- What shall I do? I cannot leave the Mother's vision, yet the poor are already restless at the gates. They must be fed.

For some time he was in turmoil, until he remembered the words of his master, "Do thy duty, that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest." Quickly he arose and hurried from the cell.

Later, his duty performed, the monk was overcome with a great emptiness as he hurried to his cell.

- She will surely be gone. I have made a great mistake to have left her presence.

But, on entering the tiny cell, he saw her vision, her smiling form, as before, awaiting him. The cell was bathed in her light.

- Oh Mother, he cried, falling to his knees at her feet, you have stayed.

- Hads't thou stayed, I surely would have fled, replied the Divine Mother.