THE BREAD OF THE WORD
This paragraph, originally by J. Donoso Cortes, was appropriated by Claret in an era when in Spain, owing to the suppression of religious orders by the civil authorities, there was hardly any preaching. In the seminary the priests were prepared for liturgical functions and parish administration but barely for preaching. Claret saw, as few others, this great deficiency and strove to correct it. After four years of working in a parish (1835-1839), on presenting himself at the Roman novitiate of the Jesuits, he defined himself as very keen to hear confessions and exhort the people, ‘such that in these tasks, he said, I am untiring’. (AEC p. 528)
Months later, during his tours as a popular preacher throughout Catalonia, he was not party to carrying them out alone but rather he would associate with others in the task, starting different groups of preachers, until it developed into a stable group as the Claretian Congregation. And he did not limit himself to spreading the word orally but he would publish catechetical-pedagogical booklets and would end up founding the ‘Libreria Religiosa’, a publishing house which within a few years inundated Spain with pamphlets, fliers and booklets of spirituality.
The mass-media today has immense power. Politicians know this very well and, if they can, they support one newspaper and bury another. We believers should take note and initiate mass-media of quality to displace such seudo-information rubbish. An anarchist of the XIX Century lamented that in his ranks they have not published anything as successful as the ‘Camino Recto’ of Claret. There is a need today in the press, television, internet, etc. for many Clarets who, with a good word, satisfy so much need, and at times desire, for healthy food.