Three monks knelt in the dark morning hours before dawn. The first thought he saw the figure of Jesus come down from the cross and rest before him in midair. Finally, he said to himself, I know what contemplation is.
The second felt himself rise out of his place in the choir. He soared over his brother monks and surveyed the timber-vaulted ceiling of the church, and then landed back in his place in the choir. I’ve been blessed, he thought, with a minor miracle, but in humility I must keep it to myself.
The third felt his knees growing sore and his legs tired. His mind wandered until it came to a stop on the image of a luscious hamburger laden with onions and pickles.
No matter how hard I try, said the devil’s helper to his master, “I can’t seem to tempt this third monk.”
[Source: Thomas Moore, Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life, Harper, 1994]