St. Claude la Colombiere: 1641- 1682; feast day is Feb 15.
Connections: Jean-Claude; Feb 15; 1992; Arrival in Paray on December 27
On Becoming Holy
I do not give up hope, however, of arriving at that degree of holiness which my vocation demands. But that is something I foresee will take a long time.
On Honesty With Ourselves
How I fear for my salvation when I see how inconstant I am. I am now happy, now sad: today I am friendly with everyone, tomorrow I am like a hedgehog that no one can touch without being pricked. This is a sign that nature still reigns within us, that our passions are still unmortified and that we have very little virtue. A man who leans on God is immovable and cannot be overthrown. Whatever happens that is annoying, he is pleased because he has no other will than that of God. O happy, peaceful state; but we must fight to attain it.
As perfection exists in trying to please God in everything and to please him only, we must not hesitate when we get an opportunity of pleasing him and of being praised by him, however much we displease men and lose their esteem.
Friendship with Jesus
Jesus, you are my only true friend.
You share in my troubles, you bear them with me, you know the secret of bringing good out of them for me. You listen to me kindly when I tell you of my afflictions and you never fail to soften them.
I can always find you everywhere; you never go away, and if I am obliged to change my dwelling I never fail to find you in the place where I have gone.
You are never tired of hearing my voice; you never weary of doing me good. I am assured of being loved if I love you. You do not need all that I possess and you are not in any way poorer for giving to me what you possess.
However wretched I am, a more noble, finer, or even a holier spirit will never replace me. As for death, which snatches from us all our other friends, it will only reunite me with you.
None of the disgraces of age or the disfavors of fortune can separate me from you; on the contrary, I will never enjoy your presence more fully, you will never be closer than when all is most in my disfavor.
You suffer my shortcomings with admirable patience; even my unfaithfulness, my ungratefulness does not stop you from always coming back to me if I so wish.
Oh Jesus, grant me the grace of desiring this so that I may be all yours for all time and all eternity. Amen.
Prayer for Holiness
“Oh my God, do I still desire something that is not you? What have I come here to seek if it be not you? My soul, are you tired of your God? O loving God, how wondering it would be if someday you should use my weakness to withdraw a soul from sin! If all that is required is my will, I give it to you with all my heart…Make me holy, O my God, and do not spare me in the making, for I want to be yours, whatever the cost.”
On Matthew 5:28
“The Lord makes an extraordinary moral shift, away from a more material morality of external deed to the interior forum of a person’s heart. The psychological insight is simple and keen: that the human glance is not neutral, that our perceptions are full of intentionality, that we do not go from a neutral “awareness” to an external “deed”. As St. Augustine demonstrated so persuasively, the human spirit is such an active and creative agent that it is always seeking some connection, some effect, some relation in which to cast itself and realize its desires and needs. We look and gaze at something, not simply in order to perceive it, but in order to understand it, or judge it, or possess it, or enjoy it, or love it, or exploit it…
“The whole reality of what a person is already exists interiorly in potency before it becomes externalized in concrete deeds. The life that others see, the environment that I create around myself, the effect my life has upon others – all are results of the state of things in the chamber of my heart. It is my heart that is either paradise or hell, torture chamber or bridal chamber for myself and for others…My life and my actions in the world faithfully reproduce and project the microcosm of my heart. The heart always comes first, and it is there – at the core of my being – that conversion, illumination, and self-sacrifice must begin.”
From Romano Guardini (1885-1968)
“In every believer flows the spring of the new glory. If we take this word seriously, faith is not easy. Everything in and around us contradicts it, often with arguments difficult to refute. It can be pointed out that the greatest power and weightiest deeds come from elsewhere. We might be asked the embarrassing question, ‘whether the redeemed shouldn’t look more redeemed?‘ But after all, the stupendous claim is not of our making, nor proved by our existence; we have it from Revelation, from God’s own words. The Christian himself must struggle to sustain the promise against his own not-too-convincing personal experience. This is what John means when he says that our true selves are yet hidden – not only to others, but to ourselves. Nevertheless, the intrinsic splendor is there and grows in spite of all weaknesses.”