“Mother, the important thing is to have patience and praying much to God and to the Most Holy Virgin Mary and fulfilling the Rules you have and getting sanctified; and the rest of things will come on its due time and carry out the timely proceedings peacefully and calmly; these hurries, these anxieties that you have for the final approval does not seem to be very spiritual as I desire in you”. (Letter to the Venerable Mother Anthonia Paris, 1 January, 1870, en EC II, p. 1447).
Mother Antonia Paris de San Pedro, Foundress of the Religious sisters of Teaching of Mary Immaculate, today they are known as Claretian Missionary Sisters, died On 17 January, 1885 in Reus (Tarragona). John Paul II declared her Venerable in 1993.
The spiritual trajectory of Mother Antonia was complex. Having joined in the convent of the Society of Mary of Tarragona in 1841, the civil laws did not allow her to profess until 10 years later ; when finally she was permitted she felt God calling her to found a new Institute with the help of Claret. In January, 1850 he came to know personally the great missionary, the already bishop elect of Santiago and she had proposed him about the said foundation. This would take place 5 years later in Cuba where Mother Antonia had moved with four companions in 1852. When they were planning the journey, Claret promised them, “I shall do all the favors possible” (EC I, p. 469). And he fulfilled it.
With the support and consent of Claret – necessary one being the diocesan bishop- the convent is founded in Santiago de Cuba for the time being with the normative of Tarragona. In 1860 the approval of the Constitutions of the new Institute is proposed, but they find difficulties. In the following years various modifications to the text are presented and the approval is postponed. This creates in Antonia Paris the understandable uneasiness and the state of impatience which the archbishop wants to avoid.
Father Claret was always in a hurry; he wanted to do a lot and often he found shortage of time. But he was neither distressed nor fell in a state of anxiety. He has success and failure, but neither those things made him conceited nor depressed him; he practiced poverty and the attitude of commending himself in the hands of God; but however, this did not lead him to an irresponsible quietness. He continued always “practicing the timely procedures”.
Am I balanced in my approach between a peaceful surrendering in the hands of God and awareness of my personal responsibility?