Where better to consider the ultimate motivation of Claret’s life, which explains his relentless missionary work, than that which has come to be called his ‘Apostolic Prayer.’ It was in the ‘Resolutions’ of 1862 when he wrote it for the first time and then in his autobiography. (No. 233) I will ask the Lord, “may I know you and make you known; love you and make you loved; serve you and make you served;” (AEC p 698)
The Lord’s help is needed to work tirelessly and free of charge so he asks for it. We don’t all have Claret’s diligent temperament, but we all receive the gift of commitment to our own mission, unconditionally. For this it is necessary first of all to know God; knowing Him it is possible to love him; and loving Him it will be easy to serve Him. It is not about doing but letting him move us.
Looking at the ‘Resolutions’ that Claret made in 1857, for example, we can understand what his work was at that stage of his stay in Madrid: “We will often visit the hospitals, prisons, and other homes and charitable establishments and we will give them what spiritual and corporeal help we can. I will do the best I can for the churchmen through spiritual and literary conferences: giving them books, etc…” ( AEC p 682) It is as a servant of Christ: doing only what the master wants. Good servants do not expect other rewards than the pleasure that they give their Master.
From this perspective, it is not difficult to overcome the moments of discouragement that sometimes befall us. It is enough to think that, although nothing will remain without reward, the greatest reward is to have served such a great Master, from whom we have received everything we are and have. In the end to work for him is, in some way, to return something of all that we have received from him.