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?
Today we send short messages by computer or mobile phone that are becoming more sophisticated each day. Advertising agents search for slogans that have an impact and are catchy. Claret combined his messages to pictures to enable their understanding and he ordered them in such a way that each one was followed by two or three pieces of practical advice. As if it were a small thing, he proposes brief ideas to which to return to two or three times a day and puts examples so that we may know how to organize ourselves.
This thought includes what is called a ‘particular examen of the love of God’: How to have in mind this love throughout the day? Claret proposes three keys: what is said, what is done, what is suffered. He invites us to flee from every word that may offend God or neighbour and to always have in mind some short prayer – ejaculatory – that keeps us in constant dialogue with the Lord. It is to these prayers and praises that the text refers. Like the body, he comments, so also the soul needs to breath, it is sufficient to share these prayers throughout the day: at the beginning of the day, at its end, when going out, on sitting down to eat, on starting or finishing a task. For the men and women of the 21st Century we would do well if our spirit breathed like that of Claret.
Is there something of this in your life? Do you have a practice that lets you feel close to God throughout the day? Do you do anything that allows Him to speak to you?