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Ave Maria Meditations

How the Last Are First Going to the church door, a man met a beg­gar there. He was in a miserable plight, his feet cov­ered with mud and all his tattered clothes not worth three pennies.The man said: “Good day, my friend.”     The beggar: “I never remember to have had a bad day my whole life long.”The man: “May God grant you prosperity.”      The beggar: “I never have known adversity.”

The man: ‘Well, then, may God make thee happy.”      The beggar: “I have never been unhappy.”

The man: “At any rate, may God save you. And I beg you to speak more plainly to me, for I do not catch your meaning.”

The beggar: “You did bid me good day and I answered that I have never had a bad one. In fact, when I am hungry, I praise God; when I am cold, or it hails, or snows, or rains, if the air is clear or foggy, I praise God. If I am favored by men or despised, I praise him equally. And all this is why I have never known a bad day. You did wish me prosperity, and I answered that I have never known adversity,for I have learned to live with God, and I am certain that all that he does can be nothing but good.

Therefore, all that happens to me that is pleasing, or the contrary – sweet or bitter – I receive from him as being very good for me. Thus I have never been in adversity. You have wished me happi­ness, and I answered that I have never been unhap­py, for I have resolved to fix my affections only on the divine will. Hence it comes that I desire only what God desires!”

The Man: “But what would you say if God would will to cast you into hell?”

The beggar: “God cast me into hell? If he did it, I would embrace him with my two arms. With the arm of humility I would embrace his sacred humanity, and with the arm of love I would embrace his divinity, and I would thus force him to descend with me into hell. For hell with him would be more happy than heaven without him.”

Fr. John Tauler OP. 


Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

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