“All the christians of the beginnings of the Church were very exemplary whom Tertullian called as Compendium of the Gospel; it means, the very Gospel was revealed, abridged and put into practice in their behavior”
(L´egoismo Vinto. Roma 1869, p. 74. Retrotraducido en EE p. 427).
GOSPEL INCARNATED INTO LIFE
Already as a small, Claret participated in the classes on the Gospel. The ideal of life he dreamt was to identify himself with it. And he was looking always where this ideal was realized. He was searching in the saints in concrete ways to realize it. When judging the behavior of the priests, he made them to undergo the test according to the gospel.
Claret knew the slanders spread out against the catholic priests and took note of them well, because, perhaps there might be some truth in them.
“What would become of the Catholic religion if we had to judge it by the conduct of most of its members, let alone that of all its ministers? Look, if you doubt, at those ministers of religion and you will observe that they are steeped in worldly pleasures and involved in political intrigues. They have become such egotists and, hucksters that they have forgotten entirely what their divine Master told them, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. They neither study nor teach morality…..They do not preach the Gospel, but are occupied incessantly with the interests of political parties….” (Aut 730-731).
This behaviour was in contrast to his style of understanding the same preaching, “From the very beginning, the style I aimed at was that of the Gospel: simple and clear” (Aut 297).
Today the word of Claret could be a call to live according to the Gospel. This citing was addressed to the priests; but when addressing the laity he was insisting on the same ideas making use of always the “comparisons, likenesses, and examples from history and experience, most of them from Scripture. I had observed that one of the best attention-getters with all sorts of people, whether learned or ignorant, believers or unbelievers, was the use of comparisons drawn from things in nature” (Aut. 297).
Nature and Gospel – joined together- can be great inspirers of our behaviour.