1859. In a letter to Fr. Joseph Xifre, Claret is pessimistic about the attitude of the Government towards the Church and skeptical about the civil approval of the Congregation of missionaries.
1865. Claret is optimistic about the operation of El Escorial despite the opposition it experiences. He had just published Consuelo de un alma calumniada [Comfort for a Slandered Soul].
Free of Worldly Motivations
Whenever I went to a town, I did so without any worldly goal in mind; my only aim was to glorify God and save souls. I was often forced to remind people of this because I knew that it was the most convincing argument for good and bad alike. I would tell them: (Aut 199)
You know that men nearly always do whatever it is they do for one or another of the following reasons: (1) for gain or money, (2) for pleasure, (3) for fame. I have not come to preach a mission in this town for any of these three reasons. Not for money, because I don’t want a penny from anyone and I won’t take one. Not for pleasure, for what pleasure could I get out of wearing myself out from early in the morning until night? … (Aut 200)
Maybe I do it for fame? Hardly. You must be well aware of the calumnies I’m exposed to. One person may praise me, but another makes all sorts of charges against me, as the Jews did against Jesus, speaking ill of his person, his words, and his actions until finally they seized Him, scourged Him, and put Him to death on a most painful gibbet of shame… (Aut 201)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Are the true motivations of your apostolate always clear to you?
- Are you aware of the dangers of “worldliness” in your missionary service?
- Do you think that one of the three aims that Claret avoided could be present in your life?
- What motivates your evangelizing action?
- Do you let yourself be evangelized?
and to accept all the consequences that this vocation entails.”
(Josep M. Abella Batlle, Witnesses and Messengers of the God of Life, 39)