CONSTITUTION OF THE INSTITUTE (1858-1870)
THE SPIRIT OF THE CONGREGATION
This book was written by Fr. Xifre in 1867, and completed it in 1880. We can say that it was the work that inspired the life of many Claretians at the beginning, due to the scarce knowledge of the works of the Founder. The Spirit of the Congregation is a small book divided into three parts: the first speaks of the means for one’s own sanctification; the second, of the rules to give successful Missions and Spiritual Exercises, and the third, of notes and suitable matters for the missionaries. The project was approved by the Fr. Founder, although he read only one part. It was in 1902 or 1903 in Cervera where the Rev. Fr. Clement Serrat, Superior General, was and when the Spirit of the Congregation came up in conversation, he said: This work was very well appreciated by the Fr. Founder. When its beloved author was writing it, the Fr. Founder saw it and read it, and in finishing it all he could say was: Very well. Go ahead with the work. It is God’s will that you write it.
Trust and Offering
In addition to attending these morning and afternoon services, I used to enter the church at nightfall, when hardly anyone was there, and talk alone with our Lord. With great faith, trust, and love, I would speak to God, my good Father. Thousand times over I would offer myself to his service. I wanted to become a priest so that I could dedicate myself to his service day and night. I remember telling Him, Humanly speaking, I see no hope, but you have the power to make it happen if you will. Then, with total confidence, I would leave it all in God’s hands, trusting Him to do whatever had to be done: He did, as I shall say later. (Aut 40)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Have you had any special difficulties in following your vocation?
- How did you overcome them?
- Did trust and surrendering yourself into the hands of the Lord help you?
- Does this paragraph (Aut 40), connect with your vocational experience?
the soul is somehow God through participation. Although it is not God as perfectly as it will be in the next life, it is like the shadow of God…
For the will of the two is one will, and thus God’s operation and the soul’s is one.”
(St. John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, III.78)