23 August

Aug 23, 2018 | Claret With You

Vich, August 23, 1865. Because I was unable to decide whether to return to court or not, I discussed it with the Superior General of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who in turn enjoined the four Consulters of the Congregation to pray over the matter until we met again on an assigned day. The day arrived, and of the five votes cast, three were opposed to my returning and two were for it. Following the majority vote, I have resolved not to return. In the meantime I will busy myself by giving retreats and similar services here in this city.
Aut 852


In this last paragraph of his autobiography, Fr. Claret shows us the heart of his spirituality: to know God’s will and to fulfil it with the greatest possible perfection. Having left the Court due to its recognition of the kingdom of Italy by Queen Isabel II, he wanted to know if he had to remain in office as the royal confessor or resign. While he was not sure, nor the superiors, what decision should be made in such a perplexing situation, his only recourse was the prayer, to discern and know God’s will.
Father Claret had used this type of prayer in many crucial moments of his life: he had to clarify whether to remain in the parish of Sallent or leave for the missions (1839); whether to continue helping in the parish of Viladrau or be an itinerant apostolic missionary (1841); whether to continue to live with his fellow missionaries of the newly founded Congregation or accept the post of Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba (1849); whether to leave the court and return to his Congregation or go back to the task entrusted to him (1865). In the case of Sallent, he requested the help of the prayers of his sister Mary, who lived with him; in the case of the Archbishopric of Santiago de Cuba, the most respected priests of Vic helped him to discern the will of God; in the last case, his missionaries advised him as to what decision to take.
Rather than presenting a list of petitions, the object of the prayer is to discern to know how to ask what God wants and to guide our life according to his project. According to Jesus, to obey the will of his Father is the only way to grow in our fraternal relationship with him. Prayer for discernment of Fr. Claret is the search for knowledge of the will of God and the deepening of the desire to surrender to it. The phrase of Mary “do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5) is the basic rule to live the miracle of abundance in our empty jars.
After submitting your needs in the prayer of petition, do you usually add: “Lord, not my will, but yours?”

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