COMPOSURE IN ADVERSITY
Claret took this text from Mary of Agreda in a personal moment of difficult discernment. Years later, after suffering persecutions and calumnies he published a brief treatise “Templo y palacio de Dios nuestro Señor” (Temple and palace of God our Lord) (Barcelona 1866; pg. 69 ff), in which he shared with his readers the lessons he had learned from them. Given to using comparisons and metaphors, he synthesized in the prologue- through imagery- the attitude of the Christian in the face of tribulation: every Christian should behave like a compass which sets one of the two legs in the centre and moves with the other until it draws a perfect circle.
To set correctly the centre is to put the heart in God, never loose sight of him: it is the contemplative dimension which every Christian life has to express according to the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. We are the temple of God and his Spirit dwells in us, says St. Paul (cf. 1cor, 3,16). And this presence in us is built up progressively if we love him and keep his words. Jesus assured us: we shall come to him and dwell in him (Jn 14, 23). The perfect circle is nothing but the continuous performance of the duties of one’s own state according to the dictate of the word of God. It implies a positive attitude in thinking, loving and serving, following the footsteps of Jesus in everything.
When we so organize our life, we gradually consolidate a profound peace that separates us from whatever tribulation that threatens us: possible needs, physical or spiritual pains, deceitful fantasies or frustrations… Spiritual masters taught that the tribulations that result from these divisive elements are always misleading.
We have to ask ourselves what form does the person of Jesus take in our life: an abstract idea, someone who saves from every difficulty? Or is he the unifying centre from which everything we do is illustrated and organized in peace and harmony?