Vigils Reading

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Vigils Reading

December 2, 2022

Knowing How to Wait

A meditation by Saint Rafael Arnaiz[1]


In La Trapa, we Trappists have a consolation that is little known in the world …  Here in the house of God, away from all that hustle and bustle, we can clearly see how short everything is as time passes …  The world knows it too, but it’s different.


When the world talks about how quickly life passes, it does so with a hint of sadness.  It laments how short-lived everything is …  People often live in the past, and what good does it do them?  …  They don’t change their ways.  They just use whatever time they have left to keep searching for the things they didn’t find in the life they’ve already lived.  Then their final years come, and then they become even more aware of their nostalgia for the past and how short-lived everything is …  Old age is so sad, according to the world.


In La Trapa, monks don’t care about the past …  They just have the great consolation of knowing that whatever remains of this life will pass, too.  What more is there to do, then, but wait?  And they wait with such joy and peace, certain of what is to come.


What peace it brings to the soul to think that neither human beings nor world events can hinder the coming of what awaits us …  With each passing day, we are a step closer to the beginning of our true lives.  What the world sees as the end is what the monk sees as the beginning.  Everything comes, everything goes …  only God remains.

[1] Saint Rafael Arnaiz. The Collected Works.  Ed. Sr. Maria Gonzalo-Garcia, OCSO. Trans. Catherine Addington. MW 61. Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications, 2022. 415.



December 2, 2022
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