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October, 19

“Frankly I tell you that I am fed up with eight years of persecutions for this blessed Escorial.  Don Dionisio, with every letter, tells me that he is bored, that he can no longer carry so much responsibility.  What can I do?  Sometimes I think it would be better to suggest and advise Her Majesty to hand over El Escorial to the Franciscans, or to the Benedictines, or to the Jesuits, etc.” (Letter to D. Paladio Currius, 27 de julio de 1867, en EC II, p. 1183).

DISCERNING IN SUFFERING

The monastery of El Escorial had been the victim of successive expulsions during the first half of the 19th century. Following the expulsion of the monks there had been looting and pillaging. (more…)

October, 18

“You have to look at and imitate the humility and meekness of Jesus; humility is the foundation of all the virtues; and just as a tall building without a foundation falls, so too you will fall if you are not humble” (“Letter to the missionary Teófilo”, en Sermones de Misión. Barcelona 1858, vol. I, p. 11).

TO HAVE THE SENSITIVITIES OF JESUS

There is a constant theme in the Gospels, above all in Mark’s, which shows that each time Jesus performs a miracle or excites the people and they extol him, he silences them and sends them away.  In some study on the psychology of Jesus it has been deduced that this characteristic is a sign of his mental health.

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October, 17

“Holiness supposes two things: being clean from sin and eminent in virtue.  With the aim of acquiring it, you ought to take Jesus Christ as a model, the first priest and pontiff, meditating on his life and trying always to have him present in your thoughts, in your affections, in your words, in your work and in suffering for his love” (Advice to a priest who has just finished an Ignatian retreat. Vich 1844; p. 4).

CONFIGURED WITH CHRIST

A wise commentary by Claret.  Could it be otherwise?

With the passage of time I have been discovering that often I don’t know what to do in a particular situation.  But at almost all of these crossroads, (more…)

October, 16

“Prayer is for man what the soul is for the body and what water is for the earth, it is the key to heaven.  It is for man what weapons are for the soldier and just as the soldier without weapons is lost so also is the Christian without the holy weapon of prayer” (Diálogos sobre la oración, en T. DE VILLACASTÍN, Manual de Ejercicios Espirituales. Barcelona 1864; p. 13).

FAITH NEEDS FOOD

Specialized studies suggest that St. Anthony Mary Claret was not a great innovator but that he had the singular gift of selecting what was thought up by others, resetting them, organizing them and taking profit from them. The one who does best is not the one who invents (more…)

October, 15

“Jesus rode upon a donkey when He entered Jerusalem in triumph. I, too, gladly offer myself to Jesus to make use of me in his triumphant march over his enemies… ;of course, I know that the honors and praises I hear will not be for me, the donkey, but for Jesus, whose dignity I, though unworthy, bear” (Aut. 669).

EVANGELICAL HUMILITY

This type of thought can, without great effort, keep us properly humble.  We suffer a great deception when we step onto the stage to look down on others, believing the praise and acknowledgements attributed to us without passing them through the sieve of humility.  It is wise and prudent to get right the value we have in the balance of public opinion (more…)

50th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Temple (1970-2020)

In this month of October 2020, we recall and celebrate two important dates: the 150th anniversary of the death of Fr. Claret (October 24, 1870) and the 50th anniversary of the consecration and inauguration of the new Temple-Sepulchre dedicated to the Saint.

In another article we have listed the various graves that have contained, and sometimes hidden, the remains of Saint Anthony Mary Claret from 1870 to the present day.

Below we are offering a synthesis of the long chronicle of the Claretian Community of Vic in which the festivities of the consecration and inauguration of the new Temple-Sepulchre are narrated. That chronicle in 1970 coincided with the centennial of the death of our holy Founding Father.

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October, 14

“I will occupy myself in praising God, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints as they are prayers and devotions and I will try to exhort my neighbour in virtue.” (Explicación de la Paloma [=Resumen de los principales documentos…]. Barcelona 1848; p. 24).

CONSTANT PRAYER

We are separated by more than a century.  It seems incredible that Claret would see so clearly the rhythms of life we were experiencing today.  We have his efforts to bring to light materials to give to Christians, above all lay people, that will help them to return to normal life following an intense experience like a retreat.  How to maintain, among the frenzy of daily life, the good intentions of those times dedicated more to an encounter with the Father? (more…)

October, 13

“Ignorance in matters of religion is great nowadays, almost general; and the worst part is that there are very many who take pleasure in it.  They prefer the darkness to the light; they like vices more than virtues and are tempted by the gross pleasures before them, they don’t care nor want to care for the pleasures of heaven which the Lord has promised and prepared for them if they believe and act as he has commanded them.”(El ferrocarril. Barcelona 1857, p. 79).

THE SEDUCTION OF EVIL

He continues to sing although without the success of former times.  Neither does his life appear to have followed very closely the principals of justice and equality that he once defended loudly, but here is his song: (more…)

October, 12

“I have here the ultimate and principal pledge that you need to be a good missionary: honour Mary and love God a lot.” (“Carta al misionero Teófilo”, en Sermones de Misión. Barcelona 1858, vol. I, p. 26).

THE TWO GREAT LOVES

When Claret was giving missions on Grand Canary he lamented the deficient formation of the priests of that island: it was of the Jansenist tendency.  This was a very widespread trend in the 17th and 18th Centuries, which brought a rigorous morality to spirituality and a lamentable lack of the tenderness of God the Father.  Given this, the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary had a great role to play.

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October, 11

“At the beginning of my stay in Vich I was undergoing an experience not unlike what goes on in a blacksmith’s shop.  The smith thrusts an iron bar into the furnace and when it is white-hot he draws it out, places it on the anvil and begins to hammer it.  His assistant joins in and the two of them keep alternating hammer-blows in a sort of rhythmic dance until the iron takes the shape the smith had planned. You, my Lord and Master, thrust my heart into the furnace of the Spiritual Exercises and frequent reception of the Sacraments; and after thus setting my heart on fire with love for you and the Blessed Virgin Mary, you began to hammer away at me with humiliations and I too began hammering away with my particular examen on this virtue that I needed so badly” (more…)