Rafael Arnáiz Barón (Spanish & English)

“¡Qué necio y pueril es el mundo! ¡Cómo nos alegra un trapo y nos entristece una nube!”

Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938), Monje trapense español, uno de los grandes místicos del siglo XX. Canonizado en el 2009. Cita de “Dios y mi alma,” su diario.


My translation:

“How ignorant and puerile is the world! A piece of cloth brings us joy, while a cloud brings us sadness!”

Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938), Spanish Trappist Monk considered one of the great mystics of the 20th century. He was canonized in 2009.

Spring morning

Several flocks of ducks flew over the house this morning, going north to their summer dwellings.

I thought of counting them. There must have been more than 200 birds in each flock.

And then I came to my senses.

Why this need to count? To appropriate something by putting it into a category or a number? Why compare or count?

Let the birds fly north! Enjoy them as they are!

And most importantly, take in the beauty of their ways in silence just as they leave no traces in the sky.

Kenza.

Inspirations: Spring, morning sky and birds. 

God

“Mama, what is God?

– Put your hand here. Do you feel your heart beating?

– Yes, I do.

– Are you plugged into something?

– No.

– Well, God is what makes your heart beat.”

Inspiration: a conversation with my ten year old son. 

I seldom discuss

I seldom discuss. I used to with almost everyone, now it is very rare.

To discuss a topic means that one is open; that there is harmony between the ones holding a discussion, a harmony based on respect. Every discussion no matter how banal a subject may appear, engages the mind and hence must be honest. By exchanging ideas, one enters into confidence and reveals himself. And I repeat, no matter the subject matter.

To discuss, one should thus be present, fully present, aware of the other, his gestures and eyes and voice, his degree of attention and his thoughts. But it has to be both ways, otherwise the limits that so often isolate a person from another strengthen rather than wither.

Without candidness on all parts, our words run into mud, stall and little of their meaning gets through. If the heart is not open, there will be no current and there will be no light. Each will remain alone with his ideas and opinions, and little would have actually been achieved on the path of knowledge or wisdom.

As I said, the subject that is being discussed has no impact on the process because honesty and openness should always prevail. If you are exchanging ideas on how to make the best omelet, do so. Listen to the other, learn, explain. If you are discussing a political or a social issue, do so as well. We are in control of our words and we must make the effort to listen, to establish a real exchange. Convincing the other is never the aim of a discussion. Rather a discussion is an exchange. If one changes his mind, fine; if not, fine as well; at least both communicated and there was real human contact.

I have so often felt alone during a discussion, and I do not enjoy the sound of my own voice echoing in the void. So now, I do not discuss anymore and retreat in silence. It takes a most special person to get me to actually discuss a subject, and I am grateful to have a few of those in my life.

Kenza.

Maurice Zundel – face à la faute

“[Face à la faute, la notre ou celle des autres] inutile de rester en soi et d’obliger les autres, en les confondant et en les humiliant, à se retrancher dans leur amour-propre. Il n’y a qu’une seule chose à faire : ouvrir l’espace, laisser entrer la lumière, ouvrir les volets de son âme pour que le soleil de Dieu y entre et retrouve avec bonheur cet amour qui n’a jamais cessé d’être en nous et de nous attendre. C’est là l’humilité.”

Maurice Zundel, théologien suisse (1897-1975) -Extrait de “Silence, parole de vie.”