25 November

Nov 25, 2018 | Claret With You

“I have learned that zeal is an ardent and violent love that needs to be wisely controlled. Otherwise it might go beyond the limits of modesty and discretion. Not because divine love, however violent, can be excessive in itself, nor in the movements and inclinations it gives to our spirits, but because our understanding fails to choose the proper means…..”
Aut 381


The word “zeal” is hardly used now. Today we speak of taking things with warmth or passion or that it is something that tells us a lot and it touches the bottom of our heart. This is what happened to Claret with the cause of God and man. He left to his missionaries the aim of trying “to set the whole world on fire with God’s love” (Auto.494). He went thus throughout the world; for him, this was the zeal, the passion, the reason for his being.
He knew that this enthusiasm was the only thing he had; it was this that dragged him by “zeal of the glory of God”. But all don’t know how to “administer” this “zeal” in the same measure and equilibrium. There are both calm and quiet prophets as well as loud-mouthed, tormenting and tormented prophets. He never wanted to be like these latter two. James Balmes, the philosopher wrote about the preaching of Claret, “Less terror, soft in all”. The experience taught him that if you frighten them, bad people become hard hearted and the good people become crazy. He knew priests so much occupied with the things of God and forget “the good manners” and even the basic respect for their brothers.
Transmission of faith is not an easy task today. And the heroic effort of parents of the family, teachers, priests and catechists is admirable. But perhaps in certain contexts an “aggressive” testimony may be necessary, namely, boldness which is neither intimated nor neurotic……. Sometimes we have to practice “the prophetic denunciation” before the unjust situations that are certainly accepted by God. But this peculiar “aggressiveness” cannot go against the basic respect for the persons and manners…. Thus, the believer will humbly propose and offer others the treasure gifted to him.

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