GLORY OF GOD AND THE LIFE OF THE BROTHER
“Zeal” is the most appropriate word to summarize the life of Claret; it means to be “on fire”, boiling. It is the redness seen on the face of a man who has a passionate love for something and makes us think about fire. It is to be fervently active, ever open to carry out a work, an objective and something captivating. In the case of Claret, this is clearly manifested by “the glory of God and the salvation of souls”. The zeal is the love that Jesus had for his Father and the things of his Father.
We are impressed to read in the Autobiography of Claret the statements that portray how he felt hurt because of the ill treatment of some towards God, their Father, “If you saw your father being beaten and stabbed, wouldn’t you run to defend him? Wouldn’t it be a crime for you to look on indifferently at your father in such a plight? Well then, wouldn’t I be the greatest criminal in the world if I didn’t try to prevent the outrages that men are perpetrating against God, who is my Father?” (Auto. 204). And among the resolutions of his retreat in 1849 (cf. AEC, p. 658), he writes, “….One loves in this world if he is pleased to allow God to be God and be loved and served by the whole world and feels pained when he is offended and hurt….”.
We know how Paul and the other apostles were burning with this zeal. We know above all, how a life nurtured with this zeal is necessarily revealed to others, dedicated to the aims of the Father or to be the light that attracts others and leads them closer to the Lord to be saved. Like Paul, he feels as an “ambassador of Christ” (2Cor 5: 20) and follows the advice of the apostle, “Be zealous in fulfilling your duties. Be fervent in the Spirit and serve God” (Rom 12:11). The zeal for the house of his Father was devouring Jesus.
Have we sometimes experienced this sort of zeal?