Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to this story, with the remark, “At least you’re not the only ones being harassed in NH.” The reference was to Saint Benedict Center’s religious discrimination case that yet remains a subject of litigation. My response was, “Thanks… Somehow, that doesn’t console me.”
The exchange reminded me of a lighthearted but edifying anecdote about Brother Francis.
One of the brothers was attempting to console Brother Francis when our superior had experienced some physical pain. The brother employed that common American line, “If it makes you feel any better, Brother…” and proceeded to inform Brother Francis that he suffered, too, from some thing or another. The attempt at commiseration didn’t exactly work. Brother Francis’ childlike and innocent rejoinder was, “Why should that make me feel better?”
He thought it genuinely strange that he should take consolation in the suffering of another. Misery, it seems, does not always love company.