St. Rafael Baron, OCSO, at Assumption Abbey, Ava, MO
Scripture Readings: Acts 5:27-33; Jn 3:31-36
“The Father loves the Son.” That pretty well sums up the spirituality of St. Rafael Baron.
He was born in 1911 in Northern Spain, entered the Trappist monastery of San Isidore in 1934 and died from diabetes as an oblate four years later. He was canonized in 2009.
St. Rafael writes, “Though my soul has neither the chastity of Joseph nor the love of Mary, I offer to the Lord my complete poverty. I sing the song of the poor man who has only miseries and weaknesses to offer. But never mind, when offered to Jesus by a heart that really loves him, they are accepted as though they were great virtues.” … “Today is dreary, my feet are frozen. You ask what I am doing. What a question! Peeling turnips! What for? I am peeling turnips for love, for love of Jesus Christ.”
From beginning to end he experienced bewildering contradictions and perplexities – sickness, war, inability to pronounce his vows, abnormal community relations. But for Rafael, Christ is his Companion whom he loves. His one desire was to love Jesus, to love Mary, to love the Cross, to love his monastery. This is how he describes himself: “a crazy monk, made crazy by the love of God.”