For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord
The small, forgotten child of God is always happy, radiates happiness, and lives in simple enjoyment of His Presence. I studied the saints of North America with my son, who’s in second grade, and we came across St. Andre Bessette
After his vows [in the order of the Holy Cross Brothers], Brother Andre was sent to Notre Dame College in Montreal (a school for boys age seven to twelve) as a porter. There his responsibilities were to answer the door, to welcome guests, find the people they were visiting, wake up those in the school, and deliver mail. Brother Andre joked later, “At the end of my novitiate, my superiors showed me the door, and I stayed there for forty years.”
He was too sick to work; he couldn’t write or read; he had failed in practically everything before he came to the monastery. He was a desperate case, yet holy because of his unlimited trust in God.
It’s so easy to forget how miserable we are. Perhaps we’re thinking about our miseries, and probably we figure we don’t deserve them, and we wish for something better, but how often do we remember that we deserve misery, even the small annoyances?
When I do remember how miserable I am, how seldom I fulfill anything of what I ought to be and do, I get frightened (at first). But St. Teresa of Avila, when she thought of her own miserable self and how she had disappointed God for so many years simply by living a ‘surface’ life, she thought of Mary Magdalene, and she trusted that Jesus would not reject another Mary Magdalene at His feet, pleading for mercy.
And, isn’t that where we find peace? It is of course a very intimate place to lie at Jesus’ feet, because there is no question of what we are there – it is a sort of zero point, to actually lie like a worm on the ground. Yet, that place is the key to happiness, to simple, uncomplicated and genuine happiness. And, we know that this happiness is shared by the Church Triumphant in Heaven – when they discover yet another miserable Mary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus.