September, 16

“To the degrading drunkenness of the pleasures of the flesh and the blood have been opposed to the delicious banquet of the body and blood in the Most Holy Sacrament that brings us to the source of divine life.”

(Carta ascética… al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p. 26).

IN THE INNER STOREROOM

What are the ideals of a large part of our society today, of men and women and especially of young people?  It is usual reckoned as three: health, money, pleasure.  The wheel that keeps turning around is egotism. Looking not for what is good, true or beautiful but rather whatever pampers the senses now or provokes (more…)

September, 15 (Our Lady of Sorrows)

“You will thank Mary if you manage to receive the holy Eucharist with dignity and frequently, having Jesus deposited in your heart as in a tabernacle and accompanying a very afflicted Mother in her anguished solitude” (Explicación de la paloma [=Resumen de los principales documentos…]. Barcelona 1848; p. 31).

WHAT WE MOST THANK MARY FOR

The sorrows of Mary, which Claret invites us to remember, begin shortly after the birth of Jesus and end when Mary leaves the body of her Son lying in the tomb after witnessing the crucifixion and holding him dead in her arms at the foot of the cross.  In the phrase of Claret, this image of the tomb resonates: (more…)

September, 14

“When an institute or convent does not have spirit, it is dead; it will not listen to voices or dispositions, however wise, holy and charitable they may be.”

(Notas sobre el Concilio Vaticano I, en AEC p. 578)

ONLY THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE

For Claret it is the spirit that keeps us on course. It is one’s spirit that lets us be upright before difficulties and challenges.  It is in the small things where consistency of this spirit is tested.

There have been many attempts at reform within the Christian and religious life but only those that have come after listening closely to the Spirit have been successful. (more…)

September, 13

“We should have the heart of a mother in dealing with our neighbour. What makes a mother tender towards her child?  She gives him food, dresses him, educates him, stops him from falling and from any harm.  If she sees him in danger, she tells him, she doesn’t move away, if she sees he has fallen, she lifts him up; if sick, she cares for him, she cries, begs, intercedes for him to get better. Those who have zeal for their neighbour should practice the same.”(L’egoismo vinto. Roma 1869, p. 69. Retrotraducido en EE p. 423).

HAVE THE HEART OF A MOTHER

We know that while religions in general identify woman with the earth, the Bible identifies her more with life.  The woman is the mother of all living beings, transmitting life. (more…)

September, 12

“Fifteen days after our arrival we went to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity at El Cobre, four leagues away from the capital, a center of devotion for all the inhabitants of the island.” (Aut.  510).

WITH THE PIETY OF THE PEOPLE

In all the countries with a Christian tradition there are Marian shrines that bring together thousands and millions of people every year.  There will surely be one where each one of us lives.

In the life of Anthony Mary Claret there are various titles of Mary that accompanied him to the various places where he carried out his life and ministry.  Our Lady of Fussimanya of Sallent, which he frequently visited with his sister, Our Lady of the Rosary in Vic, the Moreneta of Montserrat, (more…)

September, 11

“You not only have to have patience in bearing your defects but also your bodily sufferings and aridity of spirit. Although St. Paul wanted to be on Tabor and to flee from Calvary, he did not leave this hill so as to be more useful and profitable than that one.  It is better, said St. Francis de Sales, to eat bread without sugar than sugar without bread.”

(Carta ascética… al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p. 17).

PACIENT LOVE

There are times in our lives that seem useless, insignificant or of little interest.  But the value of our life is not measured by what we do; our state of mind does not change (more…)

September, 10

“To love those who favour, serve and console us is easy and requires no virtue; but to love, serve and appreciate those who offend us and are troublesome, with no other motive than to please God, is truly supernatural love: this is to love them in God and only for God, as St Francis de Sales said.”

(Carta ascética… al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p. 9).

PARDON ENEMIES

Normally we regard as friends those who like us, because they speak well of us or because they help us.  Who is not grateful and generous to those who favour them or do something (more…)

September, 9

“Now that you call God, Father, and he is, behave like a good son; be afraid to give him the smallest displeasure and strive to please him in all things, just as Jesus has taught us.”

(Carta Ascética… al presidente de uno de los coros de la Academia de San Miguel. Barcelona 1862, p.4).

LOVE LEADS TO GRATITUDE

The God of the Old Testament is presented as God –friend, God – husband or God – Father.  I invite you today to read Ch. 11 of Hosea and there we contemplate the tenderness of God who, on thinking of his people–son, “my heart is troubled within me and I am moved with compassion”.  You can also read (more…)

September, 8 (nativity of Mary)

“So that you progress more quickly in your devotion and also to satisfy your wishes, I tell you that we should love the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1. Because God wants it. 2. Because she merits it. 3. Because we need it, as She is a very powerful means to obtain the corporal and spiritual graces and, finally, eternal health.” (Carta a un devoto del Corazón de María, en EC II, p. 1497s).

HEART OF MARY

If you say to Claret that you want to know and love Mary, he straightaway puts his pen in his hand and fire in his heart.  Because he knows very well the importance of having a great and holy desire to achieve a goal and put in place the means to achieve it. (more…)

September, 7

“He who ardently desires the salvation of his brothers and sisters will never lack words to counsel them, showing them the bad things they must flee from and the good they ought to practice.”

(Memoria de la Academia de San Miguel. Madrid 1866, p. 11).

THE APOSTLE GOES OUT OF HIS WAY

On one occasion a professor remarked to me that Peter was in love with Jesus. I had not considered this before, but thinking about it a lot, I believe that only from this perspective can it be understood that he would be cast as a fisher of men.  He felt fascinated, attracted by his goodness, his words, his mercy, etc. (more…)