Knocking On Heaven’s Door

Many, many people. With their best clothes. With the right attitude. The right show of authority, and the right faces as response to that authority, on the sides of the road.

Late November. Middle of the first world war. The funeral procession of Franz Joseph slowly makes its way through the city. Later, it eventually arrives at the tombs of the Hapsburgs, a Capuchin Church. But the doors are closed.

The majordomo, true master of ceremony, gathers for himself even more importance. He makes sure all the eyes are upon him. He takes the position. His body is nothing but authority. He lifts his official state baton and shocks the doors with the bang of all the weight within very large borders.

“Who’s there?” Indeed, the monks inside do find an audible voice when confronted with the might of the whole empire.

The majordomo once again looks around, making sure all those many thousands of people can hear his loud words of importance: “Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria.”

“We don't know him”, the monks inside dare to articulate. And the door stays closed.

The majordomo gets irritated: “Franz Joseph von Hapsburg, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, King of Galicia and Lodomeria”. In his view, it is now settled. How can one NOT open the doors to such an important figure? Behold, all knees are bowed!

But the inexplicable happens. The door stays closed. “We don't know him” say again the monks inside.

The majordomo tries hard to hide his irritation. He knocks again. And again the monks ask: “Who’s there?” The majordomo tries to remember what has he previously missed, and thus he adds: “The Grand Duke of Cracow, the President of the German Confederation.”

“We don't know him” the monks reply.

The majordomo is speechless. There is nothing he understands. His entire life was a life of service. How can somebody not recognize such an authority that he has always bowed to? He looks around, indeed all knees are down. How can it be? But then a thought came into his mind. A very strange thought. And the might is no more. The authority is vanished. All that is left is a bowed knee. So he knocks again - gently, this time. "Who's there?" he hears from behind the closed doors. The majordomo is gone; the man left behind whispers: "Franz Joseph, a brother, a poor sinner".

Now the doors open widely...
Indeed, when we’re knocking on Heaven’s door, we should leave all our diplomas and all our titles and all our fortunes behind: they are all from other people just like us, and mean nothing in the eyes of God. Throwing them away is the only way we can come in.

Letting go of ourselves is the only way to find God. There are two things in mathematics that speak loudly about God. And about us. The first one is the infinite. No, that’s not us. That’s God. We are instead the zero. But a very strange thing happens: when we acknowledge that we are indeed zero, we’re not zero anymore. We’re let in into eternity. An eternity with God. What else could you possibly want?
By the way, the same ceremony (called Anklopfzeremonie - the knocking ceremony) was repeated in 2011 at Otto von Habsburg's funeral.
I hope this isn't too far off topic, but this is what this thread made me think-

There was a ruler of a great nation with many subjects. He called all his royal tailors to have them make an awesome shirt for him to wear. They made him an exquisite shirt off fine silk with many jewels on it. The ruler was still not satisfied. So he sent many of his people to search the country to find the happiest man, and to find out what shirt he was wearing so he could adorn himself likewise.

His people went high and low searching, and when they returned, they told this ruler that the happiest, most content man, didn't even own a shirt.