The Carter family lived on the farm out on the high prairie in Wyoming where neighbors are few and far between; and wherefore, helping one’s neighbor or even a stranger in need, is still held to be a duty. Mrs. Carter was exemplary in the execution of this duty.
A new snow had fallen the night before. Sunday dawned bright, calm and clear. The family was getting ready to drive into town for Mass, when a stranger knocked at the door. Shivering with cold, he asked if he might warm himself a bit before the fire. Mrs. Carter graciously invited him in, showed him to the fire and began to prepare a hearty western breakfast for their unexpected gift. The boys repressed a groan realizing that this interruption meant they would have to go to a later Mass, which in turn meant that much of their playtime was being eaten up by this inconvenient stranger.
Having finished his breakfast, the guest thanked the family warmly and continued on his way. Shortly thereafter the family was able to be off to Holy Mass. A cold chill ran up their spine as they went out onto the snow covered porch, and saw to their utter astonishment that there were no footsteps in the fresh snow either coming up to or leading away from the house. Their strange guest had come and gone without leaving a footprint. Spontaneously the verse came to Mrs. Carter’s mind: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained Angels unawares” (Heb 13:2). Filled with gratitude, she explained to the children that they had received an Angel into their own home; that was God’s way of telling them that He was pleased with their kindness to strangers.