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April 19

“As regards the foundation of Jaca, I do not know what to tell you, I always give advice with fear concerning the things you ask me about the Congregation because I remember the caution with which saint Ignatius acted with regard to the Company by not interfering with those who were governing. I have no doubt you must have spoken with the consultors (…) I will pray to God and the Most Holy Virgin that you may make the right decision”.

 (Carta al P. José Xifré, 11 julio 1867, en EC II, p. 1172).

EVERYONE HAS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY

Jaca is a Spanish city in the aragonese Province of Huesca. When the members of the Congregation of Missionaries of Claret became a bit numerous, many bishops asked the General Superior (more…)

April 18

“True peace is not found in the retreat and withdrawal from the task which God wants to entrust to his servants. When the tasks come as a result of obedience or duty, one should not be afraid, they lead us to God.”

 (Carta Ascética que… escribió al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p. 20).

PEACE IN THE DAILY WORK

Emphasizing the reason for which one works, Fr. Claret sees a possible link between work and interior peace. There is no incompatibility between work and interior peace, but complementarity.He recognizes the importanceof silence and recollection for interior peace, (more…)

April 17

“When people receive communion only once a year, there is much coldness, when they receive communion two times a year, there is improvement, it is like a spring that flourishes in virtue and gives hope of producing ripe fruits; but when they receive communion two times a month, every week or more days than not, then there is much warmth, that fire which Jesus brought down from heaven to earth begins to burn, and his will is for it to  burn.”.

INFLAMED SOULS

It’s true that during Claret’s era (19th c.), frequent communion was not normal and it was rare to give communion daily or “more days than not.” Thanks to theological advancement and the Vatican II, the practice has changed in our time. (more…)

April 16

“The Spirit of the Lord inspires where it wills, when it wills and whom it wills,. On our part, the important thing is to know the will of God and fulfill it, he will diligently offer us the help and graces we need.

(Ascetic Letter… to the president of one of the choirs of the Academy of Saint Michael).

LISTENING TO THE SPIRIT

If you are advanced in age, with many experiences, positive and negative alike: if you live somehow separated from God, read this text from Claret again and open up to the Spirit of the Lord that inspires where it wills, when it wills and whom it wills. Do you not wish at (more…)

April 15

“The doctors and Fathers of the Church say that if the tree is known by its fruits as it is written in the Gospel, what shall we say of Mary who has given birth to that blessed Fruit which Saint Elizabeth so much praised when she said: Blessed is the fruit of your womb… Who am I that the Mother of God should visit me?” (Carta a un devoto del Corazón de María, en EC II, p. 1500s).

MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

A little known old proverb says: “the fish stuck out its head and the shores noticed it immediately”. Like all proverbs, it has its message. All my actions have repercussions and often someone feels the effect without knowing where it’s coming from. (more…)

April 14

“According to the comparison which St. Augustine took from the prophet David, the examples of the saints are to us, like lighted carbons which dissipate our darkness with their light, our lukewarmness with their burning heat and with their valour they convince us of our weakness.” (El amante de Jesucristo. Barcelona 1848, p. 100).

THE INSPIRING EXAMPLARINESS OF THE SAINTS

When Claret wrote chapter XII of his Autobiography titled: “on the inspiration that moved me to preach missions – the example of the prophets, Jesus Christ, the apostles, the Church Fathers and other saints”, he was not describing them but himself. It contains the features of his (more…)

April 13

“There are many rooms in the Father’s house, and each will be given glory according to the faithfulness with which they have corresponded to grace. Baptism is necessary in order to enter into celestial glory and besides, when a Christian has reached the age of reason; they must fulfill God’s law as Jesus himself said to the young man in the Gospel; but whosoever wishes to be perfect must detach themselves from earthly things and follow Jesus Christ.” (L’egoismo vinto. Roma 1869, p. 53. Retrotraducido en EE p. 413).

TO COLLABORATE WITH JESUS’ PROJECT

“To follow Jesus”: behold the core of the Christian vocation. Jesus invites us to follow him (more…)

April 12

“Most Blessed Mother, may the courtesy of your Immaculate Heart, in accepting us as your Sons, be praised a thousand times! Mother, make us cooperate with such kindness by becoming daily more humble, fervent, and zealous for the salvation of souls.” (Aut 493).

TO RECIPROCATE OUR VOCATION

Mary’s presence was particularly significant in the first Christian community. In John’s narrative of the passion and death of the Lord, we find those words with which Jesus entrusted his mother to John and the latter to his mother (cf. Jn 19, 25-27). The scene is like a representation of Mary’s relationship with those who were her son’s disciples, with those who shared (more…)

April 11

“Procure and do every possible good to your neighbour, spiritual and corporal, temporal and eternal. And when it is not possible for you to do good to them, at least wish them well and commend them to God and be compassionate to them. They may not be grateful to you, it does not matter, God will reward you.” (Carta ascética… al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p. 12).

TO SACRIFCE FOR OTHERS.

“Actions speak louder than words”. The good wishes we exchange are usually mere good words that do not solve problems. What do I benefit if my neighbour wins a lottery and I still remain poor? The raising of Lazarus by Jesus would have been (more…)

April 10

“ I had to overcome many difficulties at the hands of the ecclesiastical superiors and the population before I could leave the parish, but by God’s grace I left.”

(Aut. 121)

DETACHMENT FOR MISSION

This brief information – in which Claret narrates the difficulties he had to overcome in order to follow his apostolic ideal – contains one of his personal qualities that contributed the most to his sanctification – the art of dealing with every kind of obstacles and difficulties. It demanded determination, constancy and self-discipline. In his middle age, when he wrote his famous “Definition of a Missionary”, Claret portrayed himself with three words – nothing daunts him.   (more…)