17 October

Oct 17, 2018 | Claret With You

“Holiness supposes two things: being clean from sin and eminent in virtue. With the aim of acquiring it, you ought to take Jesus Christ as a model, the first priest and pontiff, meditating on his life and trying always to have him present in your thoughts, in your affections, in your words, in your work and in suffering for his love”
Advice to a priest who has just finished an Ignatian retreat. Vich 1844; p. 4


A wise commentary by Claret. Could it be otherwise?
With the passage of time I have been discovering that often I don’t know what to do in a particular situation. But at almost all of these crossroads, including the most complicated, I have at the same time been very clear that there are a series of actions and attitudes that are not admissible. What seems to be a dead end begins to open up; at least we know what steps we should not take and what we should avoid at all cost; we see clearly what would be counterproductive.
Claret begins by noting these minimal requirements: holiness presumes being clean of sin. But also, he says it in the positive, being eminent in virtue. A few days ago I was impressed when a priest in his homily insisted, ‘the problem is not in the bad things that we do, that we do little of, but rather the good we leave out doing’.
It is not enough that we don’t stain ourselves, if that was all we lacked! The challenge is for the whiteness to shine through. Neither does it mean being so careful that, to avoid our life being stained, we remain paralyzed; we cannot calmly meditate while the world burns before our eyes without lifting a finger. I suspect that the commentaries of Jesus about those who guard their talents with such fear are about this: to live and to love implies risk.
If Claret had lived in the 21st century and if he had fed off his ecclesial life he would invite us to constantly invoke the Spirit; only He can infect us to feel, to want and to think as Jesus. We must not stop doing it; He will show us the path to be eminent in virtue.

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