A Diabetec Saint
"There once was a clown that fell every
time he entered the ring, he went to
fro, dragging his enormous shoes, and
doing great efforts, he would manage
everything out on the floor. Just when
thought everything was in order, he
trip over something… the mat he was
would collapse and he would fall again
again on the ground sweating. ??
I know a Trappist (a monk who belongs
very strict contemplative order) in
who is very much like this clown. Everything
he does just turns out to be a mess
drags his feet, he falls, he finishes
all sweat and he accomplishes nothing!
this poor man gives the angels, watching
the spectacle of the world from heaven,
to laugh at. Although he isn't doing
exercises like the rest of the performers
- deadly jumps or somersaults on the
who cares? He only knows how to fold
unfold mats… and this, very clumsily.
he wins the applause of angels!"
The man who wrote these words died
years ago on April 9th 1911. He is
Youth Day Madrid 2011 youngest patron
Rafael Arnaiz Barón was born into a
religious, well-to-do family. His father
was in the military and so he had to
quite a lot. Eventually he found himself
in Madrid where he enrolled in a school
Prayer attracted him and he would spend
in the Oratory of the Caballero de
and take turns in night adoration.
he was twenty-three years old, he joined
the Cistercian Trappist Monastery of
Isidro de Duenas (Palencia). Because
severe diabetes, he had to leave his
'white habit' three times, each time
himself a terrible failure! On each
however he returned, because he knew
would help him and would never leave
alone. ??All this was at the height
Spanish Civil War.
Even in the most difficult moments
life, Rafael continued to have the
of humor that always characterized
this saint, the love of the Father
and he was sure that "all things
from the love of God." He understood
perfectly that sanctity should not
with perfectionism. Perfectionism is
by focusing all of one's efforts into
to reach an ideal. This is stoicism
stretching out and not walking the
Jesus Christ. Holiness is accepting
of God as He manifests itself. Accepting
the will of God in our little "achievements,"
as well as in our limitations and errors.
He wanted to be a perfect monk. Instead
made him a holy monk… mainly through
diabetes, his frailty and ill health.
His last words before dying were "take
me, and give Yourself to the world."??Rafael
died at dawn on April 26, 1934, when
only 27 years old. ?
His one desire was to live in order
love Jesus, love Mary, love the Cross,
his Trappist monastery. He was "a
Christian, inflamed by the love of
alone!" Humiliation and humor
his constant reliable companions. They
accompany you also… if you want them!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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