Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Optional Memorial of St. Anthony Claret, bishop

Today’s saint was a Spaniard who became a priest and tried to enter both the Carthusian and Jesuit orders but was turned away because of his poor health. It seems that Providence had other plans, for in 1850 he was sent to Cuba and became its archbishop. His strong preaching led many to hate him and he survived several assassination attempts. It’s estimated that he preached over 10,000 sermons and published 200 books. Let us ask this great missionary bishop to intercede with us that the World Mission Day which we have just celebrated may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization as we reflect on these words of St. Anthony Mary Claret.

Driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles traveled throughout the earth. Inflamed with the same fire, apostolic missionaries have reached, are now reaching and will continue to reach the ends of the earth, from one pole to the other, in order to proclaim the word of God. They are deservedly able to apply to themselves those words of the apostle Paul: The love of Christ drives us on. The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal. The one who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. …

For myself, I say this to you: The one who burns with the fire of divine love is a child of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he desires and works with all his strength to inflame all people 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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