It is hard to say one Our Father without distraction

Thursday, 6/16/11

I like the story about St. Bernard and the Lord’s Prayer.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, back in the eleven hundreds, was riding up into the Alps to give a retreat. In passing a farmer he heard a grunt, and he stopped to look down at the him. The man followed the grunt by saying, “I envy you, with nothing to do but pray while I have to kill myself working in this rocky soil.”

“Well,” the saint said, “Praying can be even harder work that digging around those stones.”

“I doubt that very much,” the man said, “With that beautiful horse and the gorgeous saddle, what do you know of hardship?”

Up till then Bernard hadn’t given any attention to his mount. He said, ”It is a beautiful horse, isn’t it? I’ll tell you what, if you can say the Lord’s Prayer from beginning to end without taking your mind off it, I’ll give you this horse.”

“That’s so generous of you,” the man said; and he began praying, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be . . . . do I get the saddle too?”

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