Thought for the Day – 15 February
St Claude was an amazingly gifted man and he recognised that his gifts should be put at the service of others. He spent himself in the service of Christ and was chosen to direct someone with an important mission to the whole Church of Christ. He is recognised for his important decisions, decisions that may be helpful to contemplate as we enter the Lenten season: 1) to sacrifice his earthly desires to serve the Lord; 2) to honour his call to the vows of the Jesuits; 3) to recognise the truth in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and propagate the devotion; 4) to go where the Lord would have him, suffering without complaint; and 5) to continue unafraid and undeterred in preaching the Good News. Saint Claude la Colombière never lost sight of the Lord, never gave up hope, never let his confidence be shaken in the total love and mercy of God. How often can we say the same of ourselves?
At his Canonisation, St John Paul said “A true companion of Saint Ignatius, Claude learned to master his strong sensitivity. He humbly maintained a sense of “his wretchedness” so as to rely only on his hope in God and his trust in grace. He resolutely took the way of holiness. He adhered with all his being to the Constitutions and Rules of the Society, rejecting all tepidness. Fidelity and obedience were expressed, before God, by the “desire … for trust, love, resignation and perfect sacrifice”
Aspiration to Jesus, my Friend by St Claude
Jesus! You are my true Friend, my only Friend. You take a part in all my misfortunes, You take them on Yourself; You know how to change them into blessings.
You listen to me with the greatest kindness when I relate my troubles to You, and You have always balm to pour on my wounds. I find You everywhere. You never go away! If I have to change my dwelling, I find You there wherever I go. You are never weary of listening to me. You are never tired of doing me good. I am certain of being beloved by You if I love You; my goods are nothing to You, and by bestowing Yours on me You never grow poor; however miserable I may be, no one more noble or holier can come between You and me and deprive me of Your friendship; and Death, which tears us away from all other friends, will unite me forever to You. All the humiliations attached to old age, or to the loss of honor, will never detach You from me; on the contrary, I shall never enjoy You more fully, and You will never be closer to me than when everything seems to conspire against me, to overwhelm me, and to cast me down.
You bear with all my faults with extreme patience, and even my want of fidelity and my ingratitude do not wound You to such a degree as to make You unwilling to receive me back when I return to You, or to come to me when I call on You. O Jesus! grant that I may die praising You, that I may die for the love of You.
St Claude Pray for us!