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January, 19

“Within a month I will not have a chaplain… As I see the Brothers liking very much to have a Priest form the Congregation and I too want like them, I ask you to send to me a Priest in consultation with the Consulters. I and the Brothers too will appreciate it”.

(Letter to Fr. Joseph Xifré, on 19 October, 1866, EC II, p. 1066).

TO LIVE IN THE FAMILY

In the 19th century all the bishops had a priest with them always. He was the one who was helping him to celebrate the Eucharist in the complicated ritual of that time; he used to be the secretary, etc. He was called “the chaplain”. (more…)

January, 18

“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; (more…)

January, 17

“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).

SPIRITUAL STABILITY

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). (more…)

January, 16

“All those who hunger and thirst not after justice or any personal merit, but simply for the favor of some job, post, or dignity, besiege my house every day and pester me with their ambitions and pretensions. I have to tell them all that it cuts me to the quick not to be able to please them, but that I have made it a rule never to meddle in these matters”

(Aut. 626).

AGAINST ALL THE “TRAFIQUING OF INFLUENCES”

In the agenda of Claret during his 11 years of stay in Madrid as royal confessor, there appears a time dedicated for the audiences; this is the time employed in receiving all sorts of persons who asked for an appointment with the holy archbishop. (more…)

January, 15

“While the this house was still being built, I wrote a little work called The Delights of the Country, which contained a sketch in embryo of the foundation I had started. This little book has been very helpful in Cuba, and ranch owners give copies of it to their foremen and tell them to follow it”

(Aut. 568).

FOR AN INTEGRAL EVANGELIZATION

Let the bishops write pastoral letters on the doctrine and themes of religion; this does not cause anything strange. It is their way of communicating with the basic realities of the people (a communication unilateral enough, for the others). (more…)

January, 14

“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. (more…)

January, 13

“Beside the visitation and confirmations, I preached on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. I never failed to preach, no matter what part of the diocese I happened to be in at the time”

(Aut. 516).

EVANGELIZING PASSION

There are many ways of announce the Gospel. “To preach” is one of them. St. Anthony Mary Claret did it in an untiring manner. When joining in the novitiate of the Society of Jesus already as priest, he had to present a report about himself; he tells literally in this, “I liked very much hearing confessions and exhort the people in such a way that I am not tired in these retreats”. (more…)

January, 12

“The mortification without prayer is body without soul and prayer without mortification is soul without body. These two things much go hand in hand. The roses of prayer are not cultivated without the thorns of the mortification”

(Carta ascética… to the president of one of the choirs of the Academy of St. Miguel. Barcelona, 1862, p. 19).

PRAYER AND CROSS OF CHRIST

Who speaks about the mortification? The practice of mortification of other times has fallen down absolutely into non use. Who does impose himself privations, take up sacrifices or renunciation of something as an expression of conversion and penitence? (more…)

January, 11

“Because I always went on foot, I would fall in with mule-drivers and ordinary folk, and so I had a chance to talk with them about God and instruct them in their religion. This had the added advantage of helping take our minds off the road and giving us a great deal of consolation”(Aut. 461).

ANYTIME IS RIGHT TIME

When Claret was appointed as royal confessor, he poured out himself in a letter to his friend, “Me! Confessor of the Queen?…..Allow me to hear confession to the rural people and illiterates, since there are others to hear confessions for the Queens” (EC I, p. 1334ff).

Claret was deeply impressed (more…)

January, 10

“There were passages that impressed me so deeply that I seemed to hear a voice telling me the message I was reading”

(Aut. 114).

PERSONAL LISTENING OF THE WORD

What Claret narrates us with this very short and simple sentence is his personal way of reading the Bible by “listening” in the text the Word of God and welcoming it to make it into life. He was reading the Bible activating faith and confidence in God, placing the heart in line with him and desiring to know his will to fulfill it. It was a method of reading that we would call today, “existential”, with which Claret allowed himself (more…)