Saint Anthony Mary Claret


Resolutions Made on Retreat, from the 10th to the 19th of November, Inclusive



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Resolutions Made on Retreat, from the 10th to the 19th of November, Inclusive1

  1. Every year I will make a retreat.

  2. Every month, a day of recollection.

  3. Every week I will be reconciled.

  4. Every week I will fast on three days, namely, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and on some days I will abstain from desserts.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I will take the discipline or something equivalent; on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the cilice.

  1. At prayer I will think of the mysteries and avoid haste. I will recall the reproof suffered by St. Catherine of Siena.1990

  2. I will continue making my particular examen on Meekness. It is better to do less with meekness than to do more and in haste without meekness, for people are quite disedified at the latter.1991 I will not become upset or complain. I will always be kind towards everyone, even those who are bothersome to me.1992 I will frequently make Meditations 20 (p. 264) and 28 (p. 356).1993

  3. Maxims of perfection that I will keep:

    1. Eat little and work much. Use the things of this world not out of pleasure, but out of necessity.

    2. Sleep little and pray much.

    3. Speak little and suffer many slanders and sorrows without complaining, but rather with joy.

    4. Continual inward and outward mortification.

    5. Spiritual reading from Rodríguez.

    6. Mental prayer from La Puente.

    7. Particular examen on meekness.

    8. I will always walk in the presence of God.

    9. I will work with an upright intention, with attention, and with a firm will in all things.

  4. I will continually ask God’s help:

That I may know Him and make Him known.

That I may love Him and make Him loved.

That I may serve Him and make Him served.1994

I will tell Him: Lord, if you want to make use of me for the conversion of sinners, here I am.1995



  1. Before meals I will say: Lord, I am eating to gain the energy I need to serve you better.

Before retiring I will say: Lord, I am doing this to recover the energy I have spent and to serve you better. I am doing this, my Lord, because you have so ordered.1996

Before studying I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to know, love and serve you, and in order to help my neighbors. I will always be mindful of God. Domine, pati, non mori , pati et contemni pro te: Absit mihi gloriari nisi in Cruce Domini nostril Jesu Christi. 1997



Special Devotions

Sundays, to the Blessed Trinity.

Mondays, to the Holy Angels.

Tuesdays, to the Patron Saints.

Wednesdays, to the Poor.

Thursdays, to the Blessed Sacrament.

Fridays, to the Passion of Jesus Christ and to the Poor Souls.

Saturdays, to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There was never an event that moved her to anger, nor did she ever lose the most perfect meekness, with unchangeable and inimitable inward and outward evenness of spirit. Thus no one ever noticed a change in her face, her voice or her movements that might reveal an inner movement of anger (vol. 2, p. 276)1998

Anthony Mary



Maxims for my Governance6

  1. I will ask the Blessed Virgin Mary for a burning love and a perfect union with God; for the most profound humility and a desire to be held in contempt, and for encouragement to ask and strive for them. I will hold the virtue of everyone else in high esteem, regarding them all as my superiors, and judging all their works in the best light. Reproving, censuring and judging myself alone. This will profit me; all else will be of no avail.1999

  2. The Lord told a Missionary that it was for the salvation of souls that He had preserved him from falling into hell. And he drew me out of the sea and out of other dangers, in order to bring about His greater honor and glory, and the salvation of souls that He redeemed at so great a cost.2000

  3. What has Jesus Christ not done for the glory of His Father and the salvation of souls? Ah, I contemplate Him on the cross, dead and scorned!2001 Therefore I am resolved to suffer pains, labors, death, contempt, mockeries, murmurings, slanders, persecutions, etc., and say with the Apostle: Omnia sustineo propter electos, ut et ipsi salutem consequantur.2002

  4. God and work, a lovely thing; work without God, a cursed thing.

  5. Nunc et semper, totum et nihil.2003

Nunc [Now]: the present life, which is but an instant.

Semper [Forever]: eternity, which will last ever and always.

Totum [All]: Deus meus et omnia.2004

Nihil[Nothing]: Everything of this world.2005

  1. In his, quae Patris mei sunt, et Matris meae, oportet me esse.2006

  2. After Holy Mass, I want nothing but His holy will: I am utterly annulled. In possessing me, He possesses nothing, while I possess everything in Him.2007

  3. I know that I can offer God no morsel more delicious or drink more refreshing, than souls that repent before the pulpit and in the confessional. Jesus gives me His body and blood as food, and He wishes me to invite Him to a banquet of converted souls. This is His favorite food, as He told His apostles.2008

The most exquisite fruits are sought out for the kings of this earth, although it costs dearly to find them. What should I not do for the King of Heaven?2009

  1. I should look on each created thing as a mirror reflecting the goodness, wisdom, power and beauty of God, and I should direct my attention and love to Him.

I desire to suffer for Jesus Christ.2010

I desire to prevent all the offenses that are committed against God, and I want all chastisements, sufferings and sorrows to fall upon me.

I want my word to be like the lance that pierced the Heart of Jesus:2011 so may it pierce the hearts of sinners and convert them.

I will never speak a word of self-praise. Abbot Arsenius,2012 though he was eminent in letters and was the teacher of the Emperor Theodosius’ sons Arcadius and Honorius, who themselves became emperors,2013 never spoke of himself. He would consult the simplest monks about matters of the spirit, saying that in this highest science he did not even deserve to be considered a disciple (Rodríguez, vol. 3, ch. 26).2014

To know what I must believe, I do not ask philosophers..., I ask pious women and children, two vessels of election: the one, purified by tears, the other, anointed with the perfume of innocence (Donoso Cortés, Contemporary Conversations, p. 486).2015

1863

MSS Claret II, 101-103

Introductory Note

This year was more peaceful for Claret than former years – which is by no means to say that it was less active. As there were no royal tours this year, he could devote himself to writing: “This has allowed me to spend more time preaching, hearing confessions, and writing books and leaflets.”2016

The resolutions are almost the same as those for 1862. He stresses meekness, because it was this resolution that cost him most to practice, given the importunings of so many people who sought favors through him. 2017

In Lights and Graces for this period, we observe a spiritual change not yet incorporated into the resolutions: a fuller living of a son-like love for the Father – to love God as Jesus did, and to love as the Son loves.

The Saint again made his retreat in El Escorial.

Text


Resolutions Made on Retreat, 1863, from October 23rd to November 1st, Inclusive1

  1. Every year I will make a retreat.

  2. Every month, a day of recollection.

  3. Every week I will be reconciled.

  4. Every week I will fast on three days, namely, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and on these days I will abstain from dessert at night.

  5. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I will take the discipline or something equivalent.On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I will wear the cilice.

  6. At prayer I will think of the Mysteries.2018

I will avoid haste, remembering the rebuke St. Catherine of Siena received.2019 St. Aloysius spent at least an hour just to say Matins (p. 191).

  1. I will continue making my particular examen on meekness. I will remember the meekness of Jesus, my model and master, who says, Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.2020

I will remember the meekness of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was never moved to anger by anything, and never lost her most perfect meekness, maintaining an unchanging and inimitable outward and inward evenness of spirit. Thus, no one ever saw a change in her face, voice or movements that might betray some inner movement of anger (v. 2, p. 276).2021

I will consider how useful humility is; for humility pleases God, whereas meekness pleases our neighbor.2022 It is better to do less with patience, meekness and kindliness, than to do more with haste, anger, annoyance and quarreling, for people are scandalized by the latter.



  1. I will never lose my temper; I will be silent and offer everything that pains me to God.

  2. I will never complain; I will resign myself to the will of God, who has disposed that this should happen to me for my own good. Poverty, humiliation, sorrow and contempt.

  3. I will always be kind to everyone, especially those who most annoy me.2023

  4. I will never speak well or ill of myself or my concerns.

  5. I will say: Lord, if you wish to use me for the conversion of sinners, here I am.2024

  6. Before eating I will say: Lord, I am eating to gain energy to serve you better. Lord, I am using these worldly things not out of pleasure, but out of necessity.

  7. Before retiring I will say: Lord, I am doing this to recover the energy I have spent, and to serve you better. I am doing this, my Lord, because you have ordered that I do so.

  8. Before studying I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to know, love and serve you, and to help my neighbors.

Devotions for the Days of the Week

  1. In all things I will strive for: 1) purity of intention, 2) great attention and 3) firmness of will.

  2. I will take the greatest care to do every single thing I am doing as if I had nothing else to do.

Anthony Mary

1864

[Particular Examen on Love of God]

MSS Claret II, 105-108

Introductory Note

This was a particularly eventful year in the life of Saint Anthony Mary Claret.



Outwardly, persecution was mounting against him. “You can have no idea,” he wrote to Fr. Xifré, “how hard hell is working against me. The most atrocious slanders, words, works and even death-threats have been set in play to discredit and terrify me. But with God’s help I pay no heed to them.”2025

Inwardly, the Lord corrected him,2026 made him experience his own nothingness, and led him to understand, with a force and clarity hitherto unsurpassed, what humility really means.2027 However, God also favored him with great spiritual insights, above all as he was re-reading the works of St. Teresa of Avila.2028

These two realities – love and the cross – are manifest in his resolutions. The love of God now becomes the subject matter of his particular examen. His inner sense of God’s presence grows deeper. He is drawn not only to the presence of God, but also the presence of Christ, within his heart. He wants to have a son’s heart.

He reinforces his practice of patience with the motive of love, and he reaffirms his resolve to remain silent in the face of slander and persecution.

Text


Resolutions Made on Retreat (1864) from the 13th to the 19th of Dec., Inclusive

  1. Every year I will make a retreat.

  2. Every month, a day of rigorous recollection.

  3. Every week I will be reconciled.

  4. Every week I will fast for three days, namely, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and on those days I will abstain from dessert at night.

  5. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I will take the discipline or something equivalent.

  6. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I will wear the cilice.

In reciting [the Breviary] I will think of the Mysteries [of the Passion]. I will avoid haste, remembering the rebuke that St. Catherine of Siena received (Life, p. 69)

St. Aloysius Gonzaga spent at least an hour reciting Matins (Life, p. 191). The Abp. of Granada, Don Hernando de Talavera, used to recite it standing.2029



  1. I will make my particular examen on the love of God.2030

  2. I will walk in the presence of God, within me. I will remember those words of the Apostle: Vos enim estis templum Dei vivi (2 Cor 6:16).2031 Nescitis quia templum Dei estis (1 Cor 3:16).2032 As St. Teresa points out in the Way of Perfection (ch. 28, p. 516), St. Catherine of Siena (Life, p. 15) and Blessed Alacoque (Life, p. 228). I will continually imagine that my soul is Mary and my body is Martha, and that Jesus is seated in my heart,2033 and I will say to Him with the greatest affection: Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in aeternum (Ps 72:26).2034 The compass.2035 Christum habitare per fidem in cordibus vestris (Eph 3:17).2036

Donec formetur Christus in vobis (Gal 4:19).2037 By sentiment, by disposition and by faith (Life of M. Olier, vol. 1, p. 145).2038

  1. [sic] For God, I will have the heart of a son; for myself, the severity of a judge; and for my neighbor, the heart of a Mother.2039

  2. As I find myself so persecuted these days, I will consider that it all comes from God and that he wants me to offer Him the homage of bearing, out of divine love, every sort of affliction, whether in reputation, in body or in soul.2040

  3. I will consider that three hundred years of faithful service to God are repaid, and more than repaid, by one hour of sufferings, persecutions and slanders that God allows, so great is its worth (Thomas of Jesus, vol. 2, p. 603).2041

  4. Do not wish to justify yourself, because your reasons would only be weapons against you. You should simply tell God: Domine vim patior, responde pro me.2042 Imitate Jesus...2043 (Thomas of Jesus, vol. 1, p. 343).

  5. I will tell Jesus: “O my Jesus! One who is afflicted, persecuted, forsaken, crucified by outward works and inward crosses and abandonments, who is silent, suffers and perseveres with love – such a one is your beloved and pleases you, such a one is just and the one you most esteem (Thomas of Jesus, vol. 2, p. 619).

I will remember those words: In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra.2044

  1. I will say: Lord, if you want to use me for the conversion of sinners, here I am.2045 Before eating, I will say: Lord, I am eating in order to gain the energy I need to serve you better. Lord, I am using these earthly goods not out of pleasure, but out of necessity.

  2. Before retiring, I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to recover the energy I have spent and in order to serve you better. I am doing it because you have ordered it so. Before studying, I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to know, love and serve you more, and to help my neighbors.

  1. [sic] I will take pains to do every single thing well.

Anthony Mary

1865

MSS Claret II, 109-112

Introductory Note

This year Claret made his retreat in the city of Vic, to which he had withdrawn after leaving the Queen’s service, because of her recognition of the new Kingdom of Italy.

Claret’s situation at this time can be seen in his Autobiography, nn. 831-852. He was advised not to return to Madrid, and he accepted the advice. But the locution he had received in prayer on August 14th was still in effect: “You will go to Rome.”2046 His spirit was at rest over the decision he had made, yet he could not go to Rome at the moment because of illness, so he decided to make his retreat. He made it together with the community of Missionaries, himself serving as retreat master. The handwritten outlines of the talks he gave are preserved in MSS Claret X, 43-80.2047

These resolutions follow the same lines as those of the preceding year. The Saint renews his resolve to practice the presence of God, although he explains his method in greater detail. He continues his particular examen on the love of God, but also shows how this love informs all other virtues, especially humility. One instance of this explicit stress on love is the way he treats the Augustinian maxim, Noverim Te, noverim me, which he has until now used in connection with humility, whereas in these resolutions he highlights the element of love, adding: ut amem Te.

He rounds out the resolutions, “For God, I will have the heart of a son,” with the addition “and of a spouse.” This spousal aspect is not completely new in Claret. Among the titles of Christ he considered during the week, he assigns the title of “Spouse” to Fridays.2048

The resolution to suffer slanders in silence reached heroic degrees, as can be seen not only from the viciousness of those who attacked him, but also from the love of his Missionaries, who went out of their way to defend him.2049

Text

Resolutions Made During the Retreat Begun on August 27, 18652050


  1. Every year I will make a retreat.

  2. Every month, a day of strict recollection.

  3. Every week I will be reconciled.

  4. Every week I will fast on three days, namely, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and at night on these days I will abstain from desserts.

  5. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I will take the discipline or something equivalent. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, I will wear the cilice.

  6. In reciting [the Office], I will think of the Mysteries.2051 I will avoid haste, remembering the rebuke suffered by St. Catherine of Siena. St. Aloysius Gonzaga spent at least an hour just to recite Matins (Life, p. 191). Don Hernando de Talavera, Archbishop of Granada, recited the Office standing.2052 Don Pedro de Castro recited it kneeling.2053

  7. I will make my particular examen on the love of God, and out of love for God I will be at pains to do all things well, and I will abstain from talking about myself, neither praising or abasing myself because, as Rodríguez says, humiliations of that sort are simply hooks baited to gain applause.2054

  8. I will continually walk inwardly in the presence of God, and out of love for God I will recall those words of the Apostle: Nescitis quia templum Dei estis (1 Cor 3:16).2055 Vos enim estis templum Dei vivi (2 Cor 6:16).2056 And so it is taught by St. Augustine and by St. Teresa in the Way of Perfection (ch. 28, p. 516), St. Catherine (Life, p. 15) and Blessed Alacoque (Life, p. 228). I will continually imagine to myself that my soul is Mary and my body, Martha, and that Jesus is seated in my heart,2057 and I will tell him most affectionately: Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in aeternum (Ps 72:26).2058

Deus meus et omnia, like St. Francis of Assisi.2059 Simile of the compass. One point is fixed in the center, while the other describes a circle, the symbol of perfection. I will recall what St. Paul says: Christum habitare per fidem in cordibus vestris (Eph 3:17).2060

Donec formetur Christus in vobis (Gal 4:19).2061

Heart Bl. Virgin Mary to Sister Agreda, vol. 6, p. 41.2062 St. Bernard (Compendium Spiritualis Doctrinae, p. 100).


  1. For God, I will have the heart of a son and a spouse; for myself, the heart of a judge, and for my neighbor, the heart of a mother.2063

  2. In slanders and persecutions I will remain silent. I will only say, Domine vim patior, responde pro me.2064 I will remember those words of Isaiah: In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra.2065

  3. I will say: Lord, if you want to use me for the conversion of sinners, here I am.2066 Before eating, I will say: Lord, I am eating to gain the energy to serve you better. Lord, I am using these earthly goods not out of pleasure, but out of necessity.

  4. Before retiring, I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to recover the energy I have spent, and in order to serve you better. I am doing it because you have so ordered.

  5. Before studying, I will say: Lord, I am doing this in order to know, love and serve you more, and to help my neighbors.

  6. I will take all possible care in doing ordinary things well.

  7. I will frequently say: Noverim Te, noverim me, ut amem te et contemnam me.2067

1866

MSS Claret II, 113-116)

Introductory Note

Claret’s Autobiography ends in 1865. For the following years, his Retreat Resolutions are almost our exclusive source for learning of his inner life. The resolutions for this year were written at the Royal Estate of Aranjuez. Pius IX had indicated to Claret that he would be doing a better service to the Church by returning to the Queen’s service. Claret, obedient as ever, returned to Madrid where, he said, “great tribulations await me.”2068

It is noteworthy that despite the many sufferings the Saint was undergoing, the resolutions for this year do not make the least mention of patience and meekness. There seems to be only one spiritual concern: life in God even in the midst of the ministry, an attitude of spiritual childhood.

This exclusively God-centered attitude may have been influenced by the liturgical season during which this retreat was made, between Ascension and Pentecost.

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