The people of the town where he lived loved him, because he was as generous as St. Antoninus. Everyone was sure that this friar would go very far. He would be Master of the Order some day, or even the pope, like St. Pius V. The friar would sometimes hear people say this, but he was undisturbed. He only wanted to be the best Dominican he could be.
One night, after a long day of preaching, and visiting the sick, and reading, the friar paused to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. As was his custom, he prayed for help to reach his goal of being the best Dominican he could be. In his head, he went through the list of his Dominican heroes and heroines, comparing their work with his.
As he was doing so, an angel of God suddenly appeared to him. The friar was greatly amazed. After the usual polite introductions, the angel said to him, "You may ask me one thing, but one thing only, so choose wisely."
It did not take the friar long to consider what question to ask. After only a short pause, he replied, "Who is the greatest Dominican saint? I wish to know, so that I may follow in his or her footsteps. I have been so busy trying to imitate them all, that I am sometimes very tired. I'm sure it would be easier to have only one person to imitate rather than so many--and all so mighty in virtue."
"Who did the Messiah say was greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" the angel asked the friar.
The friar thought, then answered, "He said the one who made himself the servant of all."
"Then Brother Martin is the greatest--for he was wise in the way of love and strong in the way of prayer. He performed many miracles and preached great homilies by way of his deeds. And in all this, he put away any and all thought of himself. He loved God and his neighbor, and thus became a man defined by love. If you wish to be a great Dominican, follow Brother Martin's example and become the servant of all. As of yet, you still serve others to serve yourself. Learn to serve others for their sake alone."
"Is there a book I could read, so I could learn Brother Martin's way?" returned the friar.
"You have the Gospel, follow it."
The friar was still confused. "I have been, but what else?"
"You have the sacraments, live them."
"I have done this, too."
"Then go be with your neighbors," replied the angel.
The friar scratched his head, "And do what?"
"Nothing," the angel said. "Just be with them."
"Is that it?" exclaimed the friar.
"That," returned the angel, "is everything."
Br. Paul, OP~