There was once a great theologian called John Tauler, a Dominican who lived in Cologne, and who was famous for his virtuous life and great preaching. He prayed ardently to God for eight years to find someone who would teach him the way to virtue. One day when he was praying for this intention, the theologian heard a voice from Heaven that said: "Go to the door of a certain church and there you will find a man who will instruct you in the spiritual life."

When the theologian went to the church, he saw only a poor, barefooted beggar dressed in tattered clothes, whom he greeted in the following way: "God grant you a good day, my friend."

The poor man answered: "Sir, I don't remember ever having had a bad day."

The Doctor of theology said: "May God grant you a good and happy life."

The beggar replied: "Why do you say this, since I was never unhappy?"

Hearing these words, the learned doctor rejoined: "May God bless you, my friend. I wish you would speak more clearly, since I do not understand what you mean."

Then the poor beggar explained: "I will do so gladly, Doctor. When you wished me a good day, I answered that I never had a bad one, because when I am hungry, I praise God; if it is cold, hailing or snowing, if it is raining, if it is good weather or bad, I praise God. For this reason, I never had a bad thought. When you wished me a good and happy life, I answered that I was never unhappy, because I learned to resign myself always to the will of God, being convinced that all of His works can only be very good. Thus, I accept with great joy and satisfaction everything that happens to me as coming from God's hand, whether prosperity or adversity, sweetness or bitterness. This is why I was never unhappy. I never wanted anything except God's good pleasure."

After hearing this answer from the beggar, the theologian questioned: "What would you say, my friend, if God should want to condemn you?"

"Ah," rejoined the poor man, "if God should want to treat me so roughly, I have two means, humility and charity, with which to compel Him to descend to hell with me. I would much rather be with God in hell than in heaven without Him."

From this, the theologian learned that true resignation, accompanied by a profound humility, is the shortest route to the Love of God.

The doctor next asked the beggar from where he came, and the poor man answered that he had been sent by God. "But where did you find God?" - "I found him," said the beggar, "As soon as I renounced creatures." - "And where did you leave Him?" - "I left Him," continued the beggar, "in pure and upright hearts and among men of good will."

Greatly admiring the beggar's wisdom, the theologian probed him still further; "Finally, my friend, who are you?" The beggar replied that he was a king. When the doctor asked him where his kingdom was, the beggar answered: "In my soul, since I know how to rule and govern my external and internal feelings so well that all my feelings obey reason. This kingdom is doubtless more excellent than all those that exist in this world."

Then the doctor wanted to know what had led the beggar to such a great perfection: "It was silence," answered the poor man, "And my lofty, sublime meditations, and the union that I have had with God. Since I met God, I have never found rest or consolation in any creature of this world. It is my God, not the creatures or the things of this world, who will console me now and forever, Amen.

Source: Australia needs Fatima.