This is the first day of the new season of the Saint Marty channel. Nothing's really changing today. It's time for a Classic Saint Marty. I've delved way back for this post, to the first year of the blog. Actually, this post comes from the first incarnation of Saint Marty, when it was titled Feasts and Famines. I changed the title when I realized people were visiting my blog looking for recipes.
This post has been viewed only once since it was first published. That's like having a book on a library shelf that's only been checked out a single time in four years. I'm hoping to rectify this situation.
Saint Marty wishes you all a restful Sabbath. Take some time to read a good book, or at least a good blog post.
February 25, 2010: Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio
Humility is a difficult quality to cultivate in yourself. If I claim
I'm full of humility, I'm basically proving I'm full of shit. That would
be like donating a kidney to a family member and then expecting that
family member to thank me every time he takes a leak. Humility just
doesn't work that way.
Sebastian of Aparicio had
humility. A Spanish immigrant to Mexico in the 1500s, he made a ton of
money building roads to facilitate trade and commerce. Even after he was
richer than Thurston Howell, he still lived like a beggar, sleeping on
the ground and eating "the poorest of foods," according to the book,
which, in my mind, translates as sauerkraut and lutefisk. When he was
70, he joined the Franciscans, donating every last peso he had to the
Poor Clares. (That would be like Bill Gates trading all of his stuff to
the Salvation Army in exchange for a job as a Christmas bell ringer.) He
became what is called a "begging brother" for his religious community.
That basically means that, for the last quarter century of his life, he
hooked his little red wagon to some oxen and traveled the countryside
for hundreds of miles, begging for corn, picante sauce, salsa, whatever
to feed his fellow friars. He died at the age of 98 with only a pair of
fallen arches to his name, I imagine. Currently, he's one of the
blesseds, a saint-in-waiting.
Now, I'm not a theologian
or Doctor of the Church, but if this guy doesn't deserve a pass to the
head table in the Saint Banquet Hall, I don't know who does. (He
wouldn't eat much, that's for sure.) Sebastian didn't cultivate
humility. He walked around and collected it in an ox cart.
seems to be doing a number on me with humility. If you are one of my
five Constant Readers, you are familiar with the earlier posting about
my decision to pray during Lent for people who have injured or hurt me.
While it has not been a trip to Disney World in any sense, I've been
feeling pretty proud of myself. I mean, c'mon. I'm praying for people
who have been assholes to me. I couldn't be doing a more Christian,
forgiving, selfless act this side of rubbing my face with ashes, putting
on sackcloth, and retreating to a desert cave for a dinner of locusts
and honey. Then I had to go and fuck it up by erupting like Mount
Vesuvius a few days ago. Now I'm the one who needs to be forgiven, and
let me tell you, there's nothing more humbling in the world than having
to look someone in the eye and say, "I'm sorry."
that's what I did tonight. I apologized for my behavior to two people
present at my Exorcist moment on Tuesday. It was humiliating. I could
feel the blood in my face as I spoke, and my palms became sweatier than a
virgin's palms at the Chicken Ranch. It was over in less than 30
seconds (apology offered, forgiveness received), but I would rather have
had a colonoscopy. Afterward, however, I felt like one of the
contestants on The Biggest Loser after losing 25 pounds in a week. It was a tremendous relief.
That doesn't mean I'm looking forward to the other mea culpas
I will be offering this weekend. Root canal sounds more attractive
right now. But, as I said earlier, God's teaching me a lesson. So, I'll
hitch up my oxen and head out on the road. This is turning out to be one
bitch of a Lent. My cart is loaded with corn-fed humility, and I think
I'm developing a couple of humble bunions.
I just hope I don't have to eat lutefisk.
Confessions of Saint Marty