“The enemies and…(persecutors) to think that they are with me as a carpenter with the wood, as blacksmiths with iron, as stone cutters, statuesque, sculptors; as surgeons who operate us; we have to pay them with favors, thanks and prayers”
(Resolution of 1861; AEC p. 695).
THE BLOWS POLISH THE STONE
Here we remember the commandment of Jesus to his disciples, “…pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44). The christian message has a great force when interiorized and lived; it can earn friends as well as enemies. The word “enemy” does not terrify the follower of Jesus; we see the enemies in certain way from the evangelical perspective, as the ones sent from God. Jesus has his enemies; and christianity has its own enemies. In the West it is spoken at present as “christophobia”. It is good to know to live it and make use of it. As Chesterton sharply told that the enemy is the one who places you in the hot water, it is he who cleans you better.
With a clean look, Father Claret was contemplating the enemies in their function of “sculptors” capable of forming from it a refined image. Before them, he was considering himself as rough wood in need of receiving a good form or a stone that has to be polished. Naturally this fruit is achieved only with a firm perseverance.
When the enemies spread our defects, laugh at our possible errors or they attack us with any pretext, sometimes they can help us to open the eyes to our reality, to live more lucid before some evils which perhaps demand us without our knowledge; in such case they will be blessing that God gives them as gifts to us “cunningly” and in “hidden” manner, but with great importance in our spiritual itinerancy.
Father Claret as good observer of this “service” of the enemies, prayed unceasingly for them and for himself to know how to make use of so many persecution and slanders. And this prayer is not useless. During his spiritual retreats practiced in Rome on October, 1996, he wrote, “12th day. At 11:30 in the morning, the Lord had granted me the love for the enemies. I have felt it in my heart” (AEP p. 825).
Have I felt sometimes victim of rejection or misunderstandings? How did I confront them? Have I learnt to recognize them as an effective blessing in “disguise”?.