St. Bernard of Clairvaux
"Bargain for a Mule"

St. Bernard of Clairvaux was once traveling with a countryman, poor and simple. Now as it happened, the countryman noticed that, during the journey, his companion kept his eyes modestly lowered towards the ground. The man asked St. Bernard why he was not looking at the country around them. The holy monk answered that it was to avoid distractions during time of prayer.

"Well," scoffed the peasant, "when I pray, I pray. And when I walk, I look about."

"Have you any distractions at your prayers? " asked St. Bernard.

"None at all," the countryman boasted.

"I do not believe it, " the Saint told him. " Now let me make a bargain with you, if you can succeed in saying an Our Father without a distraction, I will give you this animal on which I am riding; but if you do not succeed, you will come to Clairvaux and become a monk."