Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Fine Claret

The memorial for St Anthony Mary Claret (+1870) was a few days ago, but I have been thinking for the past several days about his devotion both to our Blessed Mother and to service to others. True devotion to Mary leads us towards helping others because that is where Her heart is.

Here is an excerpt from one of his writings:

The zealous man desires and achieve all great things and he labors strenuously so that God may always be better known, loved and served in this world and in the life to come, for this holy love is without end. Because he is concerned also for his neighbor, the man of zeal works to fulfill his desire that all men be content on this earth and happy and blessed in their heavenly homeland, that all may be saved, and that no one may perish for ever, or offend God, or remain even for a moment in sin.

Such are the concerns we observe in the holy apostles and in all who are driven by the apostolic spirit. For myself, I say this to you: The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he deserves and works with all this strength to inflame all men with the fire of God's love. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty; he labors strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labors, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

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