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Conversation Between Colleagues

Sacred Clowns and Holy Fools

Lent as a counter-cultural commitment

Slowly, I started to realize that in the great circus of Rome, full of lion-tamers and trapeze artists whose dazzling feats claim our attention, the real and true story was told by the clowns.

Clowns are not in the center of the vents. They appear between the great acts, fumble and fall, and make us smile again after the tensions created by the heroes we came to admire. The clowns don't that it all together, they do not succeed in what they try, they are awkward, out of balance, but... they are on our side. We respond to them not with admiration, but with sympathy, not with amazement but with understanding, not with tension but with a smile. Of the virtuosi we say, "How can they do it?" Of the clowns we say, "They are like us." The clowns remind us with a tear and a smile that we share the same human weaknesses … The longer I was in Rome, the more I enjoyed the clowns, those peripheral people who by their humble, saintly lives evoke a smile and awaken hope, even in a city terrorized by kidnaping and street violence.

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