A Vocational reading of Autobiography of our founder in 10 phases of his life
VOCATIONAL EXPERIENCE OF CLARET
APOSTOLIC VOCATION AND EVANGELIZING M1SSION
– P. Bermejo
- It is necessary to re-read and reinterpret the life and vocation of Claret and ours for a greater and growing fidelity towards it, keeping in mind that our Claretian vocation is the unifying key and element of our being and life.
- Likewise it is necessary to make an attempt to give a response to the existing inquietudes regarding our identity in the Church. There is need for us to get convinced that we receive the identity by natural heritage – in a more charismatic level. We are not choosing it; it is imposed on us.
- It is apt to make a historical! reflection with frequency of our sources: ‘memory’ of the received gift by means of a theological reading of the charism and also through a sociological reading of the same. The question is how to actualize our specific gift in the Church and in the world today. We are born to evangelize and we have to maintain this grace until death. Acts 6:2,4. This should be the attitude and disposition of the Claretian if he wants to walk in the footsteps of the Apostles and Claret.
How does our Congregation see today the vocation and life of Claret?
As continual presence of Providence (the Autobiography presents a humble and joyful son of the Providence) which has oriented and guided always every step of his life and mission. The divine Providence always protected me in a particular way (Aut 7). We could say, already from the maternal womb. It is a curious ( or perhaps providential) fact that his brothers or sisters of even number die in young age, whereas the odd numbers (Anthony is the fifth one) survive except the last one, Manuel, who died with 13 years(Aut.6) The entire vocational and apostolic experience of Claret develops itself in different stages and at distinct levels of his maturation until his death. All these stages get integrated into his rich personality of missionary and Saint. Today we all know – General Chapter of 1979 emphasized it all the more in MCT -that the authentic vocation of Claret, his most profound identity is that of Apostolic Missionary. The different stages are not to be taken as separate compartments. In reality, everything is germinally in the beginning, in the plan of God traced for him; but as time passes by, one reality or other gets more matured and each one of it is made clearer and obtains specific weight in the conscience of Claret. Let us see the Vocational stages perfecting the personality of Claret which are capable of enlightening the vocational itinerary of any Claretian. We can perceive in each one of them – according to his dynamic and passionate character the graces and gifts of the Spirit, reactions of the Saint, decision, crises and naturally a constant surrender to the will of God at all moments.
We should note that many times one’s life gets into circumstances not always foreseen and opted (or due to decisions not willed by oneself or by one’s personal decisions, but coming from others). Above all in the case of a religious or committed priest or missionary as was Claret, the plans are not made by himself, but traced out by his superiors. However it may be, everything is grace and providence in the perspective of faith.
Genesis of the Vocational Experience of Claret
The missionary vocation of Claret
- dawned already in the infancy with the thought of eternity.
- was born in contact with the Word of God in his youth
- was confirmed with the vision in the house of Tortades’.and remained clarified and definitively confirmed in the liturgical-sacramental experience of his ordination to deaconate.
Three fundamental experiences cause and provoke it carrying it towards its true aim among various crises and vacillations.
1.The first ideas: the eternity and condemnation of sinners.
2. The profound experience of divine marked by the tender devotion to the Eucharist and very cordial devotion to Bl. Virgin; this will lead him to a radical option for God and for the Kingdom of salvation.
3. A special experience of the world. He could taste the goodness, relativeness and even the dangerousness of the world already in his adolescent years