THE MEEK CONQUER
In the first letter of St. Peter, presbyters of the Church are asked not to “lord over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock” (1Pe 5, 3). Without doubt, at the beginning of the Church, there were pastors, who, carried away by an exaggerated zeal for the things of God according to their understanding, failed to show tenderness and kindness to those they wanted to serve. How easy it is for service to turn to power and despotism! Paul’s case in Thessalonica was different, where when he preached the gospel message to the pagans, inviting them to abandon their idols and convert to the living and true God” (1Th 1, 9), he showed them such a tenderness that they could notice his readiness to “share with them not only the Gospel but his very life” (1Th 2, 8).
Claret encountered many people in his missionary life, especially in the Canary Islands (1848-1849), who were in “irregular situations” with the Church, without a tranquil conscience and without the possibility to receive the sacraments, due to the rigoristic jansenistic formation of the clergy. The latter was no longer representative of the love and tenderness of God. “Due to these doctrines they were not absolving the people of their sins” (EC 1, pg. 279). Claret translated this scaring of the faithful as “serving the devil”. On the contrary, he preferred the generous style of Jesus, he accepted his invitation to imitate his meekness, and thus, “he found rest for his soul” (Mt 11, 29). Besides he remembered the second beatitude (Mt 5, 4), to which he gave an original interpretation: The meek will possess the earth, that is, “Aut 372. It was his experience in the missionary apostolate: the multitude opened up their hearts to him.