Happy Father Claret Day 2022!

As every 24th October, we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Anthony Mary Claret. This year is a time of special grace because of the celebration of the Synod of Bishops that we have been preparing from 2021 to 2023.

It is proposed to all the members of the Church to advance in the construction of a synodal Church based on dialogue, search and gratitude. Under the patronage of Fr. Claret we beseech the Lord to instil in us what the Synod asks of us: the spirit of “communion, participation and mission”.

Communion. It is an inner attitude that takes root in us and, if nurtured, grows over time. It needs space to grow, and is sometimes threatened by the viruses of individualism, competitiveness, indifference… If we remain in communion of life with the Lord, the Father becomes the centre of our life; He centres us and so we can bear fruit in abundance.

Participation. We are called to be His co-workers in His unconditional concern for others. He urges us to give the gifts we have received and to participate in the mission of the Spirit. Sometimes something as small as a kind look, an attentive ear, or our presence alone is enough to make the other person feel welcome. When we offer our gifts and talents, the Spirit makes them bear fruit in surprising ways.

The mission: “My spirit is for the whole world”. Claret did not confine his missionary vocation to one parish, to one diocese. He spent and wasted himself for everyone with all his strength, with all his heart. He made St. Paul’s confession his own: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel”. And he says it explicitly: “My mission is to make the Gospel known, proclaiming it for nothing, making myself the slave of all in order to win them all over”. And what about us? The mission is not ours; it is a gift received for others. The mission is God’s. He enables us to communicate hope and freedom. We have chosen the most bewildering path imaginable: the path of the beatitudes. There is no true mission if there is no true capacity to suffer for it, to give meaning to weariness, critical moments, mistakes?

And as always, let us place everything in Mary’s heart.

Happy Father Claret Day!

 

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