THE PARENTS, OUR GIFTS
When speaking of his parents, Fr. Claret does not begin by presenting us with their fortune, their age, etc, but their identity as believers. In a way, he is speaking about himself, his nurturing which explains his way of being; he mentions just three traits about his parents who constitute the experience lived and learnt from them. He experienced the affection of his parents who sacrificed themselves for him and for his brothers and sisters. That is why he says, “I had very good parents” (Auto. 25) and addresses them as “my beloved parents” (Auto. 229) and “my loving father” (Auto. 36). He remembered them affectionately all through his life recognizing that their role in his understanding on the truth and his heart in practicing the religion and other virtues (Auto. 25.28).
They taught him to earn the daily bread by the sweat of his brow (“upright”) by putting him to work in the family textile workshop. In Barcelona he will learn to combine work and study and so, later on, he will explain love in terms of working and suffering. He was transparent and sincere in respecting others´ belongings. Obedience and availability lead him to seek the will of God and fulfil it in the important moments of his life (“they were God-fearing”). His Eucharistic devotion would reach its culmination of the mystical experience of being a living tabernacle by carrying day and night the Eucharistic presence in his inner self. His parents´ devotion to “Mary most holy” left in Anthony a special awareness; by this his whole life will be covered by “marianism” and Mary will be “his all after Jesus” (Auto. 5).
The seeds his parents sowed in his childhood are converted into an extraordinary living experience in his future as a mature man.
What do I value most as the spiritual and moral heritage I have received from my parents? Does it remain present in me, perhaps transformed, strengthened and more consolidated? Or have I abandoned it?