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The secret of Happiness ...a story from France (1558)-

Fr John Thauler relates of himself that having for many years prayed to our Lord to send him someone who should teach him the true way of a spiritual life, he one day heard a voice which said to him Go to a certain church and you shall find the person you have asked for .

He went to the church, and found at the gate a miserable beggar, barefoot and ragged, whom he saluted saying Good day, my friend. The poor man answered I never, Sir, remember having a bad day The father replied God grant you a happy life The other answered I have never been unhappy. Father, he added it was not by accident I said I had never had a bad day, because when I am hungry, I praise God, when it rains or snows I bless him; if anyone treats me with contempt, or drives me away, or if I meet with any other affliction, I always give glory to God.

I said that I have never been unhappy, and that is true; I have always accustomed myself to will whatever God wills without reserve; hence whatever happens to me whether sweet or bitterI receive from His hands with gladness, as being best for me; and this makes me happy

Where have you found God ? asked the father. I found him answered the poor man, where I left creatures. Who are you? I am a king And where is your kingdom? Within my own soul, where I keep all things in order; my passions obey reason, and my reason obeys God

At last Father Thauler asked him what had advanced him to such great perfection. He replied:

Silence (being silent with men in order to speak to God) and the union which I have kept up with our Lord, in whom I have found and still find all my peace. Such was this poor man through his union with the Divine will. He in his poverty was assuredly richer than the monarchs of the earth and happier in his sufferings than the worldlings in the midst of all earthly pleasures.

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