“Brother André Bessette joked, “My superiors showed me the door and I stayed there,” and, “I was at the door forty years without going out.” According to the Holy Cross constitutions of the time, the porter lived, ate and prayed somewhat separately from the community, near the entrance. Brother André’s first room had a roughly upholstered bench for a bed, a wardrobe, a pitcher and a bowl. Only a crucifix and an image of Saint Joseph hung on the walls. …. Speaking later in life of all his responsibilities, Brother André said, “I never refused to do what was asked of me. I always answered, ‘Yes,’ and I finished at night what I couldn’t do in the day.” Many nights he got little sleep but still rose early in the morning to start his round of work all over again. In light of all these jobs, Brother André once said, “A good-for-nothing is good for everything.”

—from the book God’s Doorkeepers: Padre Pio, Solanus Casey and André Bessette


“If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you.”

– St. Thomas of Villanova


“It is undoubtedly true that each of us, men and women, irresponsible and thoughtless as we often are, hold within our hands the happiness and sorrows of others. We cannot help it or escape from it. The power is in us inalienably almost from birth to death—in us, because we are persons—and we are responsible for the use we make of it. Indeed, so mysterious is this power that the very presence of a person who does not realize his responsibility is often the source of the keenest pain of all . . . The failure to exercise the power to give happiness to others is not merely negative in its results; it is the source of the most positive suffering of all. Thus there is no escape from the responsibility involved in the possession of this power. Not to use it where it is due is to destroy all happiness. Strange power, indeed, to be committed to such weak and unworthy hands; yet there could be but one thing worse: that none could interfere with the joys and sorrows of others. We might envy their happiness and pity their sorrows, but we could not help them. It would be a world of isolated individuals wrapped in inviolable selfishness; each must take care of himself and the world must go its way.”

— Fr. Basil W. Maturin