THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS
At one time or another, each person asks himself what he lives for, what does it matter really to live, what should he take care of, what is it that he should never spoil and that his happiness depends on it. Father Claret posed this to himself as a young man in Barcelona with a promising future. A verse from the gospel wounded him, “What will one gain by winning the whole world if he destroys his soul?” (Mt 16:26). In his matured approach he repeats with more clarity what he appreciates with all his soul. The only thing he seeks is to take care of his life well. These words deserve a commentary.
Claret distinguishes between “life” and “soul”. The first – “life” can be understood as the course of time passing away, limited to a series of years. The “soul” is referred to as a completely personal being, understood from the very depth “the self” that remains always marked by a vocation of eternity. Today we call it the “heart” or personal centre or identity. Whatever we may call it, it is obviously more decisive than the first one.
Such distinction helps him not to confuse the valuable with what is fleeting or relative. The relative one is always important and shouldn´t be depreciated; but it is not the first. Without establishing this distinction, it is impossible to have a correct scale of values.
But, what is first? What is really valuable? Claret expresses it when speaking about “concluding his life and fulfilling the ministry received from God”. The most valuable thing for him is to fulfil the mission received from God. This was his hidden treasure and precious pearl; it was the main aim of his life. True fullness is not limited to satisfying personal desires and plans; and not even the pleasures that are often deceiving. For Claret, God was “very much sufficient”. And for you, dear reader friend, will there be perhaps some other things above Him? If God is not the most important one, there is nothing important in life.