That happened to Claret during the retreat while preparing for his priestly ordination; at that time he was 27 years old and still remembers it when he was already 54. His first Mass was on the 21st June, 1835 . He fully understood the spiritual experience that sometimes, one obtained “more and more graces” when passing through difficult and more emotional circumstances. Specifically, when Claret was in this retreat his bishop D. Jesus Pablo Corcuera, who had been all his support during his seminary years, was almost dying. Claret immediately questioned where his priestly ministry will lead him, who will be his light and guide.
Thus Claret conveys his personal experience that the presence and beneficial action of God in every human life does not depend on our feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction, but on the generosity of God. His blessing and his “grace” are not conditioned by our merits, not by our psychological and emotional state. They are free gifts of his love often acting in our situations of dissatisfaction and insecurity. So amazing is the growth of the Kingdom of God in us and among us.
That is what Jesus tells us in the parables what the Kingdom of God is like and how it grows among us; how the loving action of God is present in our lives. It acts and grows by its own force, as the smallest of seeds or yeast in the dough, it grows even among the weeds …
Do we measure our spiritual growth according to our merits and our satisfaction, or according to God’s generosity, his love, forgiveness and grace?