1865. Claret sends Mother Paris the booklet Tardes de verano [Summer Evenings], a small book of apologetics aimed at Protestants, which he had recently published.
1867. The Abbess of Las Huelgas (Burgos) has asked Claret to go preach to them, but the Queen, paying attention to the current circumstances of the times we are in, does not think he should leave Madrid.
Urged by Love of His Neighbor
I am also driven to preach without ceasing by the sight of the throngs of souls who are falling into hell—for it is a matter of faith that all who die in mortal sin are damned. It is estimated that about eighty thousand die each day, and how many of them die in mortal sin and hence are damned…“talis vita, finis ita—your death will be as your life has been.” (Aut 205)
I tell you quite frankly that whenever I see sinners, I grow restless, I cannot quiet down, I cannot be consoled, my heart goes out to them… (Aut 211)
Charity urges and impels me; it makes me run from town to town shouting, “My son, sinner, look where you’re heading; you’re about to fall into hell. Stop! Don’t take another step! … (Aut 212)
Another force that drives me to preach and hear confessions is my desire to make my neighbors happy. Oh, what great joy there is in healing the sick, freeing the prisoner, consoling the afflicted, and cheering the sad. All this and much more is done in bringing one’s neighbors to the glory of heaven… (Aut 213)
FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION
- What do you feel in the face of the throngs of people who live without the light of the Gospel?
- What relationship do you think there should be between tolerance as a value of social living and apostolic zeal?
- In a society of many cultures and religions, what should be understood as happiness for your neighbor?
and accustom itself to become enkindled with great love
for His sacred Humanity.”
(St. Teresa of Avila, Life, 12. 2)