FOLLOWING CHRIST, POOR AND HUMBLE
Claret went to Rome in order to offer himself to be sent to the missions in any country in the world. In the boat he sought out the poorest, humblest place, which effectively gave him the opportunity to suffer. He bought a ‘ticket for standing-room on the deck near the bow, which was the poorest and cheapest passage’. And he got ready to spend the night sat on ‘a pile of coiled rope’, leaning his head on ‘an artillery piece’.
While he was thinking of Jesus resting in the boat on the lake of Gennesaret, ‘sleeping on a cushion’ (Mk 4:38) a big wave drenched Claret from top to bottom and soaked his luggage: a shirt, a pair of socks, a handkerchief, a razor, a comb, some bread and piece of cheese (which was all his food for the five day voyage from Marseille to Civitavecchia!).
Claret lived in poverty so that his life would bear witness against the desire for riches. Contemplating that, in the Gospels, Jesus did not avoid poverty, work or suffering in order to complete the mission entrusted to him by the Father for humanity, Claret wanted to imitate this.
Therefore, years later, writing the ‘Definition of a Missionary’ this sentence came from his own life: the missionary’s ‘only concern is how he can best follow Jesus Christ and imitate Him in working, suffering, and striving constantly and single-mindedly for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.’ (Aut 494)
Nowadays, when so many people seek to work a little and get a lot, suffer nothing and enjoy themselves without limits, it is logical that ‘Walking with Claret’ will ask if you value work and if you bear the inevitable suffering in your daily life well, following Jesus so as to improve the lives of all.