Father John Taulerus relates of himself that after having for many years prayed the Lord to send some one to instruct him in the true spiritual life, he one day heard a voice saying to him, Go to such a church, and you will find what you ask for; On reaching the church, he
finds at the gate a beggar, barefooted and with scarcely a rag on his back. He salutes him: a Good day, my friend; The poor man replies,Sir, I do not remember ever to have had a bad day;
The Father rejoins. God grant you a happy life; to which he answers, But I have never been unhappy. And then he goes on to say,Listen, my Father; it is not without reason that I have told you that I have never had a bad day; because, when I suffer hunger, I praise God; when it snows or rains, I bless him; if I am treated with contempt, or repulsed by any, or if I experience misfortunes of any other kind, I always give glory to my God for it. I said,
besides, that I have never been unhappy, and this also is true; because it is my habit to desire, without reservation, all that God desires; therefore, in all that happens to me, whether it be pleasant or painful, I receive it from his hands with joy, as being what is best for me; and herein lies my happiness.
And if it should ever happen says Taulerus, that God willed you to be damned, what would you say then?;If God were to will this, replied the beggar, I would, with all humility
and love, lock myself so fast in my Lord s embrace, and hold him so tight, that if it were to be his will to cast me down into hell, he would be obliged to come along with me; and thus, with him, it would then be sweeter to me to be in hell than to possess without him
all the enjoyments of heaven
Where was it that you found God ? said the Father.
I found him where I took leave of creatures was the reply.
Who are you ?The poor man answered, I am a king And whereis your kingdom ?
It is within my soul, where I keep everything in due order; the passions are subjected to
the reason, and the reason to God
In conclusion, Taulerus asked him what it was that had led him on to
so high a degree of perfection? It has been silence, he said, observing silence with man, in order to hold converse with God; and also the union which I have maintained with my Lord, in whom I have found, and still do find, all my peace
Such, in short, had this poor man become through his union with the divine will;
and certainly he was, in all his poverty, more wealthy than all the monarchs of the earth, and in his sufferings more happy than all the men of the world with their
Source: THE WAY OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION - St. Alphonsus Ligouri Page 366