YEARNINGS FOR HOLINESS
He was already a priest in the novitiate of the Jesuits in Rome, when Claret saw “myself so backward in virtue” –as he confesses- in front of “everyone else so advanced”, he was nurturing in himself a great sense of humility. Claret always valued humility as something essential for his mission to be effective and fruitful. He valued it and nurtured humility keenly because he was in need of it; some biographers tell us that his temperament was leading him rather to vanity. He had a great aesthetic sensibility which would have led him instinctively to be proud. Being aware of that he made “a particular examination of conscience” on humility over many years.
Claret was contemplating Jesus saying, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” 8Mt 11: 29). What Jesus corrected most in his disciples was their obsession of being the greatest and most powerful among themselves, the ambition and the desire to lord it over others. He had to “work” a lot with them, because they were constantly arguing about who was the first or the greatest. He told them, “Whoever wants to be first among you shall make himself servant of all” (Mk 10: 43-45).
True humility is not easy, because our weak, fragile and helpless human condition aspires for security of being great and powerful as compensation. In our days, true humility is rarely seen in the Church and it is worse in society. Is it not true that ambition is cultivated; power is bought and sought out, success, greatness, fame, galactic……?
In this atmosphere that surrounds us and can poison us, Claret´s behaviour is a timely question that asks about your humility and animates you to value and nurture humility. You will be more free, more of service and happier. You will have more peace.