In some faith traditions, it brings you closer to heaven if you have a monk in a monastery praying for you or a priest saying mass for you.
Almost like cloistered monks there are a few dozen children in a Haitian orphanage called Little Children of Jesus.
As difficult as things seem to be for some of these children, there's always a certain 'default attitude' among them. That default attitude is joy. If nothing else is happening, if nothing else is going on, the emotion you are most likely to see flash across one of these orphan's faces is joy.
I still have no idea why this is the default emotion that is found at this orphanage, but it is. The workers and the children alike seem to exhibit pure joy so often. It lifts the heart to be with some of these children as they smile greater smiles than any I've ever seen.
Just yesterday a worker pointed out that he likes this sense of joy from the children as much as me. It's not just us, the out of town visitors, who can appreciate it. It's the "mamas" and "papas" (the workers) who are in the orphanage day in and day out who appreciate these little joy-filled monks as well.
In some faith traditions, you might pay a monk to pray when you feel like you aren't praying enough. Any day of the week when you aren't having that great of a day and aren't really feeling like smiling, I can guarantee that in a hidden corner of Haiti in an orphanage called Little Children of Jesus - there are dozens of handicapped Haitian orphans putting joy out there into the world to replace the joy you aren't feeling like putting out there today.
Having a nice time on our behalf, like little cloistered monks, there are a few dozen children at a Haitian orphanage smiling right now.