Formation Booklet- 20
General Prefecture of Formation Rome,
5th March 2001
THE EUCHARIST AND THE CLARETIAN
-Charles I. Amadi, cmf
“In the coming years we will highlight much more the Eucharistic dimension of our spirituality as a source of unity of life and apostolic fortitude” (JPM. 23.1).
2. Eucharist in the Autobiography of Father Anthony Mary Claret
3. Eucharist in the Works of St Anthony Mary Claret — Selected Spiritual Writings vol. III
4 Eucharist in the Works of St Anthony Mary Claret — vol. II Autobiographical Writings
5. Eucharist in the Constitutions
6. Eucharist in the Directory
7. Eucharist in the official Claretian Documents
7. I l7th General Chapter
7.II. 18th General Chapter
7.III 19th General Chapter (MCT)
7.1V 20th General Chapter (CPR)
7. V 21st General Chapter (SW)
7. VI 22nd General Chapter (IPM)
8. Circular Letters of some of our Superior Generals
9. Spiritual practices for the use in the Congregation of Sons of .the Imm.Heart of Mary
10. CMF General Plan of Formation
11. Other Contributions
12. Eucharist according to Vatican 11
13. Eucharist according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
14. Questionnaire on Claretian Missionary Spirituality
Acts The Acts of the Apostles
CCC Catechism of the Catholic Church
CPR Claretians in the Process of Congregational Renewal
CRE 2000E Claretian Renewal Encounter 2000 in English
DC Declaration on the Charism of St Anthony Mary Claret as the Founder
of Our Congregation
F Decree on Formation
GPF General Plan of Formation Ibid. Ibid en (same)
IPM In Prophetic Mission MCT Mission of the Claretians Today n Number
nos Numbers p Page
PC Perfecta e Caritatis (1965) pp Pages
P0 Presbyterorum Ordinis (1965) RL Decree on Religious Life
SC Sacro Sanctum Concilium (1963) SH Decree on Spiritual Heritage
SL Selected Letters of St Anthony Mary Claret (Spanish) SSW Selected
Spiritual Writings of St Anthony Mary Claret SW Servants of the Word
VC Vita Consecrata
One may not know the qualities of a particular thing until one takes the pain to pinpoint them and it is at this juncture that one can fully and joyfully appreciate it. This is the case with the theme The Eucharist and the Claretian Missionary Life which is done for the first time in English. Some work has been done in Spanish with regard to the Eucharist. All these show how central and rich is the Eucharist in the life of our beloved Father Founder, St Anthony Mary Claret and his Sons, the Claretian Missionaries. It gives also a rainbow view of the Eucharist in our life as missionaries.
The entire research goes back to the time and Eucharistic experiences of Father Founder especially in his writings, our renewed Constitutions and Directory. It covers all that the General Chapters indicate on the Eucharist. The Circular Letters of our Superior Generals brings in a whole lot of spectrum on the same theme. The Spiritual Practices of the Congregation offers us some teachings. Without repeating what the other documents indicate, we get to the modem and practical exposition of the General Plan of Formation. Other contributions by different people come in. We consider also the recent questionnaires on the Claretian Spirituality. All these give us the Founder’s and Congregational Eucharistic experiences which we need to deepen, develop and use. Thus, the past, the present and the future are taken into serious consideration. We are not concerned here with definitions of liturgy and other things but to tap creatively these experiences that can help us with ours to live a well balanced Claretian Missionary and Apostolic life which we shall share with our brothers and sisters in the Church and society.
We have some basic and important references to the Eucharist from
Vatican II Council’s teaching. Again, this is very much strengthened by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Holy Father John Paul II in the Post-Synodal Exhortation Vita Consecrata gives a very synthesized teaching on the Liturgy and in particular the Eucharist.
It is necessary to know that the enumeration used in this work is for orderly and easy reading. The exact source of each extract is given immediately at the end of each number. This is also very useful as we examine the workshop at the very end of this work.
At the very end of this work, we find the group workshop realized by our Claretian Missionaries based on the same theme (Eucharist and CMF life) and their own personal experiences (cf. CRE2000E). We hope that all who read these materials can gain and share a lot with others from the Eucharistic life and Mission of the Congregation and the Church. Let us make use of it to improve and deepen our personal relationship with Christ and with our brothers and sisters. May our Eucharistic celebrations be apostolic, missionary, and challenge us always to read and face creatively the signs of ‘the times. May it open us up to be available and generous to the poorest of the poor. We pray also for a Eucharistic heart like that of Mary, our Mother and that we may be very ardent and zealous like our Founder, St Anthony Mary Claret.
In communion with Christ
“An indispensable means of effectively sustaining communion with Christ is assuredly the Sacred Liturgy and especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.
In the first place, the Eucharist «contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth, that is Christ Himself, our Passover and living Bread, who, through his very flesh, made vital and vitalizing by the Holy Spirit, offers life» to the human family. This is the heart of the Church’s life, and also of the consecrated life. How can those who are called, through the profession of the evangelical counsels, to choose Christ as the only meaning of their lives, not desire to establish an ever more profound communion with him by sharing daily in the Sacrament which makes him present, in the sacrifice which actualizes the gift of his love on Golgotha, the banquet which nourishes and sustains God’s pilgrim people? By its very nature the Eucharist is at the center of the consecrated
life, both for individuals and for communities. It is the daily Vaticum and source of the spiritual life for the individual and for the Institute. By means of the Eucharist all consecrated persons are called to live Christ’s Paschal Mystery, uniting themselves to him by offering their own lives to the Father through the Holy Spirit. Frequent and prolonged adoration of Christ present in the Eucharist enables us in some way to receive Peter’s experience at the Transfiguration: «It is well that we are here». In the celebration of the mystery of the Lord’s Body and Blood, the unity and charity of those who have consecrated their lives to God are strengthened and increased.
Alongside the Eucharist, and intimately connected with it, the Liturgy of the Hours, celebrated in union with the prayer of the Church, either in community or individually according to the nature of each Institute, expresses the call proper to consecrated persons to raise their hearts in praise and intercession.
The Eucharist is also closely connected with the commitment to continual conversion and necessary purification which consecrated persons bring to maturity in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. By their frequent encounter with God’s mercy, they purify and renew their hearts, and through the humble recognition of their sins achieve openness in their relationship with him. The joyful experience of sacramental forgiveness, on the journey shared with one’s brothers and sisters, makes the heart eager to learn and encourages growth in faithfulness”. (Vita Consecrata, n. 95)
THE EUCHARIST AND THE CTORETTAN MISSIONARY LIFE
OF FATHER ANTHONY MARY CIARFT
1. Ever since I was a small boy I have been attracted to piety and religion. I used to attend Mass on all feasts and holy days. I usually attended two Masses, a Low Mass and a High Mass, always together with my parents. I cannot remember ever playing, looking around, or talking in church. On the contrary, I was always so recollected, modest, and devout that when I compare those early days with the present am ashamed because, to my great embarrassment, I must admit that even now I lack the fixed attention and heartfelt fervor that I had then (Auto. 36).
2. I attended all our functions of our holy religion with great faith. The services I like best were those connected with the Blessed Sacrament, and I attended these with great devotion and joy. Besides the constant good example of my father, who had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, I had the good fortune of discovering a book entitled Courtesies of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. How I loved that book! I liked it so much that I learn it by heart. (Auto. 37).
3. When I was ten years old, I was allowed to make my First Communion. Words cannot tell what I felt on that day when I had the unequalled joy of receiving my good Jesus into my heart for the first time. From then on always frequented the sacraments of Penance and Communion, but how
fervently and with what devotion and love: more than 110W — yes, more than now, I must say to my embarrassment and shame. Now that I know so much more than I did then, now that the many benefits I have received since then have accumulated continually, in gratitude I should have become
a seraph of love, whereas God knows what I am. I compare my early years with the present, I grow sad and tearfully confess that I am a monster of ingratitude (Auto. 38).
4. Besides assisting at Holy Mass, frequent Communion, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which I did with great fervour because of God’s goodness and mercy … (Auto. 39).
5. In addition to attending these morning and afternoon services, I used to enter the church at night all, when hardly anyone was there, and talk alone with our Lord. With great faith, trust, and love, I would speak to God, my good Father. A thousand times over I would offer myself
to his service. I wanted to become a priest so that I could dedicate myself to his service day and night. I remembered telling Him, “humanly speaking, I see no hope, but you have the power to make it happen, if you will.” Then, with total confidence, I would leave it all in God’s hands, trusting Him to do whatever had to be done: which He did, as I shall say later (Auto. 40).
6. During those first three years in Barcelona, the fervour that I had at home began to cool. True, I received the sacraments frequently during the year. I attended Mass on all feasts and holy days of obligation and daily prayed the rosary to Mary and kept my other devotions, but with non of my former fervour. (Auto. 66).
7. Toward the end of my third year in Barcelona, obsessed as I was, whenever I was at Mass on holy days, I experienced the greatest difficulty in overcoming the thoughts that came to me. It is true that I love to think and dwell on projects, but during the Mass and’ my other devotions I did not want to and I tried to put them out of my mind. I told myself that I ‘d think about them later but that for the present I only wanted to think on what I was doing and pray. My efforts seemed useless, like trying to bring a swiftly rotating wheel to a sudden stop. I was tormented during Mass with new ideas, discoveries, etc. There seemed to be more machines in my head than saints on the altar (Auto. 67).
8. In the midst of this whirligig of ideas, while I was at Mass one day, I remembered reading as a small boy those words of the Gospel: “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?” This phrase impressed me deeply and went like an arrow to my heart. I tried to think and reason what to do, but to no avail (Auto. 68).
9. After arriving in Vic, I confessed and received Communion every week, but after a while the director had me confess twice a week and receive Communion four times a week. I served Mass daily for Father Bres. Every day I made a half hour of mental prayer, visited the Blessed Sacrament during Forty Hours’ Devotion, and also visited the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Dominican Church, ram or shine. And even though the streets were filled with snow, I neveromitted my visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary (Auto. 86).
10. On the 13th of June,1835, I was ordained to the priesthood, not by the bishop of Vic, who had an illness of which he was to die on July 5, but by the bishop of Solsona. Before my priestly ordination I made a forty-day retreat. I have never made a retreat so full of sufferings and trials but neither, perhaps, so replete with great graces. I realised this on the day I said my First Mass, June 21, the feast of St Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of the Congregation, as well as on my ordination day, the feast of St. Anthony, my own patron saint (Aut.102).
11. I sang my First Mass in my home to the great satisfaction of my relatives and the whole town (Auto. 103, 857)..
12. Everyday I celebrated Mass very early and went to the confessional, where I stayed as long as there were penitents. Every evening I walked through the main streets of the town, especially those where there were sick people. I visited then every day to bring them the Viaticum, until they either died or got better (Aut.110).
13. Anthony Claret addressing Mary in his prayer says: I beg you by Him (in the name of Jesus) who, despite my unworthiness is a daily Guest beneath my roof, to whom I speak as to a friend, who obeys my voice and comes down from heaven at my word (Aut.163).
14. Claret presents some of his models in apostolic zeal and mortification (e.g. Venerable Joseph Diego of Cadiz arid Venerable Master of Avila). This is said of the Venerable Joseph Diego of Cadiz: After thehardship of his days, he took his nights’ rest praying before the Blessed Sacrament, a devotion that so pleased him that he gave it his most tender and fervent love (Auto. 228).
15. I not only prayed myself but asked others to pray—nuns, Sisters of Charity, Tertiaries, and all virtuous and zealous folk. I would ask them to attend Holy Mass, receive Holy Communion and, both during Mass and after receiving Holy Communion, to offer to the Eternal Father his most holy Son; and in his holy Name and through his merits, to ask for the three graces I have mentioned, namely, the conversion of sinners, the perseverance of the just, and the relief of the poor souls in purgatory. I also asked then to make visits to the Blessed Sacrament and to make the Way of the Cross (Auto. 265).
16. Among the daily aspirations of Anthony Claret are the following: Long live the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Long live the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar (Auto. 269, 801).
17. Humility, obedience, meekness, and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O my Jesus, help me imitate you! (Auto. 428).
18. …both Their Majesties and the ladies of the court lead very edifying lives: they hear Mass, read the lives of the saints daily, recite the Rosary, and frequent the Sacraments.. .(Auto. 616).
19. Every day in winter I ordinarily rise at 3.00, sometimes earlier.. .1 begin the Divine Office, reciting Matins and Lauds, after which I say the Trisagion, read Scripture, prepare for Mass, celebrate Mass, make my thanksgiving, and remain in the confessional until 11.00… At 12.15
we eat, after which I say the Minor Hours, Vespers, and Compline (Auto. 637).
20. Apart from Matins, Lauds, Scripture reading and an hour meditation done early by Claret, he has Mass — “I will celebrate Holy Mass and afterwards spend a half hour in thanksgiving and in asking graces for myself and others (Auto. 645.10).
21. 1857. On January 15, 1857, at 5.00 in the afternoon, while I was meditating on Jesus, I said, “What do you want me to do, Lord? Jesus answered, “You’ll have work to do, Anthony; your hour has not yet come. For several days since this happened I have been feeling many spiritual consolations, especially during Mass and meditation (Auto. 675).
22. On June 7, 1860, at 11.30 in the morning of the feast of Corpus Christi, after saying Mass and just before I was to lead the procession, I was in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I was filled with fervor and devotion. Suddenly, to my surprise, Jesus said to me, “It’s good. I like the book you’ve written.” The “book” was the first volume of The Well-Instructed Seminarian, which I had just finished the day before, and I knew quite clearly that this was the book He was telling me about. When I had finished the second volume, He was also good enough to give me his approval for it too (Auto. 690).
23. On August 26, 1861, at 7.00 in the evening while I was at prayer in the church of the Rosary at La Granja, the Lord granted me the great grace of keeping the sacramental species intact within me and of having the Blessed Sacrament always present, day and night, in my breast. Because of this I must always be very recollected and inwardly devout. Furthermore I must pray and confront all the evils of Spain, as the Lord has told me. To help me to do this, I have engraved in my memory a number of things, such as that without any merit, talent, or personal recommendation. He has lifted me up from the lowest of the low to the highest post, at the side of the kings of this earth. And now He has put me at the side of the King of Heaven. “Glorify God and bear him about in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20) (Auto. 694).
24. On August 27, 1861 in the same church, during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament that I was conducting after Mass, the Lord let me know the three great evils that were rnenacing Spain: (1) Protestantisrn, or rather, the loss of the Catholic spirit; (2) the Republic; (3) communism. To combat these three evils, He showed me that three devotions should be practiced: the Trisagion, the Blessed Sacrament, and the rosary (Auto. 695).
25. The Trisagion should be said every day. The Blessed Sacrament should be honored by hearing Mass, receiving Communion frequently, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and making spiritual communion. . .(Auto. 696).
26. 1862. On May 11, 1862, at 6.30 in the evening, while I was in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the palace of Aranjuez, I offered myself to Jesus and Mary to preach, exhort, labour, and suffer even death itself, and the Lord accepted my offering (Auto. 698).
27. On the morning of May 16, 1862, at 4:15 while I was at prayer, I thought of what I had written down the day before concerning my experience of the Blessed Sacrament the previous August 26, I had been thinking of erasing it and was still thinking of it today, but the Blessed Virgin Mary told me not to erase it. Afterward, while I was saying Mass, Jesus Christ told me that He had indeed granted this grace of remaining within me sacra mentally (Auto. 700).
28. I know that I can offer God no morsel more delicious nor drink more refreshing than the souls that repent before the pulpit or in the confessional. Jesus invites me to his banquet, to eat his flesh and drink his blood, and He wishes me to invite Him to a banquet of converted souls. I know that this is his favorite food, since He told his Apostles so. The kings of this earth receive the most exquisite fruits, even though they are hard to find. What should I not do for the King of Heaven?
29. During the half hour after Mass, I feel that I am totally annulled. I desire nothing but his holy will. I live by Jesus’ own life. In possessing me He possesses nothing, while I possess everything in Him. I tell Him, “Lord, you are my love. You are my honour, my hope, and my refuge. You are my glory and my goal. My love, my happiness, and my preserver. My delight, my reformer, and my master. My Father, Spouse of my life and soul” (Auto. 754).
30. “Lord, I do not seek or wish to know anything but how to fulfill your holy will. I want nothing but you, and in you and for you alone all other things. You are more than enough for me. I love you my strength, my refuge, and comfort. You are my Father, my Brother, my Spouse, my Friend, and my All. Make me love you as you love me and as you would have me love you” (Aut.755).
31. “My Father, take this poor heart of mine and devour it as I do you, so that I may be changed totally into you. At the word of consecration the substance of bread and wine are changed into the substance of your body and blood. Almighty Lord, consecrate me; speak over me the words that will change me totally into you” (Auto. 756).
32. When I am before the Blessed Sacrament, I feel such a live by faith that I can’t describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me; I kiss his wounds continually and embrace Film. When it’s time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from his sacred presence (Auto. 767).
33. The daily programme of Anthony Claret includes the following: … Afterward I prepare for Holy Mass. At 5.00 we begin meditation, which lasts until 6.00, At 6.00, I say Mass in my oratory and remain in thanksgiving until 7.00… I busy myself with prayer, study, preaching, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Forty Hours Devotion, etc (Auto. 801)
34.On August 14 of this year, at 9.30 in the morning while I was at prayer in the church of St Dominic in Vic, during the Forty Hours’ Devotion, the Lord spoke to me from the Blessed Sacrament: “You will go to Rome” (Auto. 839).
WORKS OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY CLARET
(Selected Spiritual Writings volume III)
35. In order to practice these and other virtues, you will need to receive Holy Communion frequently, for this is why the Lord has chosen to remain in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. These are his decisive words: “Behold, I am with you until the consummation of the world.”
“Come to me, all you who labour [at practicing virtue] and are heavily burdened [with sufferings J, and I will refresh you.” “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. . .Finally, He is the Life that enlivens us with the life of grace, not only if we keep his teaching — but also if we receive the Holy Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, the Bread of Life. Jesus Christ Himself has said: “I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever, and the bread I will give is my flesh, for the life [or salvation] of the world.. .In truth, in very truth I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you can have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats me shall also live by me [and of my own life].” (SSW. pp. 153 -154).
• 36. Now just as the body has its food, so the soul has its own proper food, the Eucharist, which is called the bread of angels, since the angels, like our souls, are spirits, and need the same food (SSW. p.155).
37. Against the dark inventions of the genius of error, He (Jesus) has counter posed the sin of Catholic faith, the Blessed Sacrament, which is called the mystery of faith, in which Jesus Christ is ‘really and truly present as the true light which enlightens every man of good will to rise against the vain thoughts of this world and to advance in the knowledge and love of the supreme Good (SSW. p. 156).
38. Over against degrading drunkenness of flesh and blood, he has set up the delicious banquet of His flesh and blood in the Blessed Sacrament, which lifts us up to the fountainhead of divine life (SSW. pp.l56-157).
39. In Communion, by giving us His humanity, indissolubly united to His divinity, He impregnates our whole being with His divine life, leaving in it the seed and earnest of everlasting blessedness. This principle of perfect life, thought remains latent and unperceived in our body during this time of trial and the sleep of death, will nonetheless, like the grain of wheat sown in the earth, develop to its full potential on the day of our resurrection:“And I will raise him up on the bast day.”. . .Those bodies which have assimilated no more than earthy and corruptible elements will remain subject to corruption, but those bodies which have been enlivened by the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ will be spiritualised and will live an entirely heavenly life (SSW. p. 157).
40. It can clearly be seen, then, that Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is our moral and physical life. Our moral life consists of knowing and loving. Now the object and nourishment of the understanding is truth, and Jesus Christ is essential truth itself, while the object and nourishment of the will is goodness, and Jesus Christ is goodness and charity by essence. Our physical life consists of the union of the soul and body and, as I have said, Jesus Christ is not only the life of the souls, but the life of the body as well…(SSW. pp. 157-158). ‘
41. Hence the need to receive Communion, and receive it frequently. From what we observe in the body, we may learn what we should do for the soul. The body must eat daily, if it is going to have life and health. The soul should do likewise, receiving Communion frequently, either in reality or in desire. When Jesus taught us how to pray, He charged us to ask for our bodily and spiritual bread for each day, both together. This was the understanding and practice of the early Christians, who daily gave both soul and body their proper repast, that is, they took both Communion and a meal.. . .A hale and hearty body eats often and well; a sickly body eats little, a dead body eats nothing at all. In like manner, a Christian who is spiritually hale and hearty receives Communion often and well, that is, with fervor and devotion; a Christian who is spiritually infirm receives Communion seldom, reluctantly and lukewarmly; and a Christian who is habitually in mortal sin, or dead to the life of grace, does not receive Communion (SSW. p. 158).
42. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel or Sanctuary of a parish, is the most exact thermometer whereby to register the degree of charity or warmth of love and devotion of the parishioners. When a metric thermometer stands at one degree above zero, the weather is bitter cold; when it stand at twelve degrees, Spring is here; and when it stands between twenty-four and thirty degrees, it’s hot. Just so, when the people receive Communion only once a year, the parish is very cold; when they receive it twelve times a year, things are going better and Sp ring has come with flowers of virtue that give hope of ripe fruits to come; but when they receive twice a month, every week or more, then the fire that Jesus brought down from heaven is burning bright — and it is His will that it should so burn (SSW. pp. 158-159).
43. When Satan tempted our first parents, Adam and Eve, he told them: “Eat, and you will become as gods.” It was a snare of the father of lies. They did not become gods, but rather slaves of Satan and guilty of hellfire. . .But Jesus Christ availed Himself of the same means to do us good, as Satan use to do us ill. He instituted the august Sacrament under the form of food, and He tells us in full truth: “Eat, and you will become as gods. You will be like me, who am God and man.” In effect, those who receive Communion well, will be like an iron bar placed in a furnace, where it turns to fire. Yes, in this same way the soul that received Communion well, will be divinised. The fire rids the iron of its dross, its natural coldness and hardness, making it so soft that it may be shaped to the liking of the smith. The fire of divine love in the furnace of Communion acts in a similar way on the soul who receives Communion well and often: it removes the dross of its imperfections, its natural coldness, the hardness of its self love, and makes it so tender and soft that it may be shaped completely to the will of God in all things, so that it says, as Jesus said to His Eternal Father: “Not my will, but Thine be done.” (SSW. p. 159).
44. To those who approach Holy Communion, Jesus says: “Take and eat; this is my body, broken for you. Take and drink; this is my blood, poured out for you” Take and eat, and learn from me to empty yourself of self, to make room for the glory of God and for the love of your brothers and
sisters, as I emptied myself. Take and eat, and learn from me, for I was obedient even to death on the cross, and even beyond death ori a cross, since everyday I most promptly and gladly obey the words of consecration, and I shall obey them until the consummation of the ages. Take and eat, for I am meek and humble of heart. See how humbled I am in this Sacrament. I am a hidden God, hidden in my divinity and hidden in my humanity, that I might teach you this most necessary virtue. Imitate my meekness; see how for love of you I suffer irreverence, sacrilege, profanation, contempt and insults. Take and eat, learn from me to love one another as I have loved you. For you I have done much, I have suffered infinitely, and I have given myself so that I could do still more; imitate me. Those who approach Communion with fervor and devotion will hear such words. This, in fact, is how the world was converted: it was converted through the preaching of Christ crucified and through the frequent reception of Holy Communion. The pagans, observing how fervent the Christians were, said to one another: “See how they love one another!” What peace, serenity and sweetness! What chastity, charity and other virtues combined! And the sight of this moved them above all to embrace the religion of the Crucified (SSW. pp. 159-160).
45. When we receive Communion, we all receive the same Lord Jesus Christ, but we do not all receive the same graces, and the Lord does not produce the same effects in all who receive. This comes from our being more or less well disposed. . . To explain this phenomenon, I shall use a comparison from nature, namely, the process of inserting grafts in trees (grafting) We know from experience that a wild tree yields little fruit, and that the little it yields is bad. Nevertheless, if we insert into this wild tree a graft of high quality, it yields much good fruit. To some extent, this is what happens to lazy and careless Christians, who yield little of the fruit of good works, and the little ‘they yield is shot through with imperfections. But if the same Christians receive Communion well, they will, like wild trees engrafted with good shoots, begin to yield admirable fruits. This is why Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi used to say that one well-made Communion is capable of making a great saint. . .there has to be some likeness between the graft and the
tree into which it is inserted: the greater the likeness, the better the results will be. In like manner, the greater the likeness in humility, meekness, charity and other virtues that exists between Jesus and the communicant, the greater will be the results that Holy Communion yields.
Trees that are to receive grafts are divided into oily, gummy and watery, and the grafts they receive should belong to the same family, so that a graft from an oily tree will not take hold in a gummy or watery tree, and vice versa. Jesus is of an oily stock, for his name is like oil poured out, and this is why Communion, which is the precious graft, does not take hold, either in those Christians who because of their avarice are like gummy trees, or in those others who because of their lust are like watery trees. Hence it is indispensable that both of these become only oily through meekness, mercy, charity and other virtues (SSW. pp. 160-161).
46. But as it is not enough that there be a likeness between the tree and the graft, but moreover that the one engrafting them should take proper care and have the requisite skills, so also I must tell you that it is not enough that regular communicants simply have the necessary requisites for Communion. Besides these — if Holy Communion is to produce great graces in them — it is indispensable that whenever communicants approach the holy table they do so each time with ever-greater attention, care’ and humility, and more lively desires, like the hart athirst, with more hunger, more thirst and more love. Happy the soul •that communicates frequently and with ever-renewed dispositions! It shall be like a tree planted near running waters, that gives fruit in due season. It will be able to say with the Apostles, “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.” In the same way, if the engrafted tree could speak, it would tell us: “I live, and in my trunk I am what I was before, but in me lives the graft, the shoot that has been placed in me and lives in me, and the fruit that I bear 110W ~5 not according to the old tree, but according to the new one.” Thus, then, the Christian who communicates well and often can say, “I live because I am a human being as before; but now I am not what I was before. Now I am according to the new man that has been engrafted unto me through Communion. I am what is in me.” As Jesus Himself says: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live in the Father, so he who eats me shall also live by me”. For this reason, those who receive Communion well and frequently can say with the Apostle that nothing can separate them from the love of Jesus Christ, and that they can do all things in Him who strengthens them (SSW: pp. 161-162).
47. He who offers sacrifices places his sins upon the victim, and the latter must die or be destroyed for them, and afterwards the offerer should eat of the victim in order to share in its merits. This is why there is Mass and Communion. And the Council of Trent desires that at all Masses, the faithful who attend should receive Communion (SSW. p. 164).
48. Jesus made this condign sacrifice once for all on Calvary, by dying for all in common; but afterwards this must be applied to particular, as is done at Holy Mass, according to the command of Jesus Christ when he said: Hoc facite in meam commemoration em — “Do this in memory of me.” And as people go on until the end of time, so will this sacrifice continue until the consummation of the age, as Jesus Christ Himself promised in these decisive words: “Behold I am with you all days, unto the consummation of the age.” (SSW. p. 164).
49. From what we have said thus far, you can see the need for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to continue until the end of time, and the obligation for Christians to attend it in order to share in its particular application. But as I have for some time observed how easily some Christians in these parts dispense themselves from attending it, despite an unequivocal precept of our Holy Mother Church, I feel compelled to point out reason for this negligence of their part, that the virus of Protestantism has infiltrated their hearts. To this end, you must know that at the beginning of the 16 century, Doctor Martin Luther said that the Mass must be done away with. In proof of this he cited the testimony of Satan who, he said, had demonstrated this with irrefutable arguments during a nocturnal conference (cf. p. 165: Karlstadt, Zwingli and Calvin have the same line of thinking) .for this very reason Protestants do not have the Mass, nor do carnal philosophers have any use for it. Finally, this is why some Christians no longer attend Holy Mass: they are carnal Christians and are infected by the Protestant contagion (SSW. p. 165).
50. Ah, if an early Christian raised his head from the grave and sees what is going on among today’s Christian, he would say: Video Christians, christianorum mores non video — I see Christians, but I do not see Christian customs. In my day, Christians attended Mass daily and devoutly, and all received Communion at it with great fervor. Arid now what do I see? I am going back to hide under my coffin lid, so that I won’t have to see what’s going on among these Christians. I am afraid they are going to be told: “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to the people who would yield the fruits of good works” (SSW. p. 166).
51. Let us then attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass not only on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, as is our duty, but also on other days, out of devotion. We must offer the Holy Sacrifice to God not only to make satisfaction for our failings, faults arid sins, but also to acknowledge His supreme dominion over us and to witness to the benefits and graces He has given us arid continue s giving us; for all that we have, we have received from Him. We must offer this Holy Sacrifice in
thanksgiving for His many mercies to us, or rather, we must attend this Sacrifice which Jesus Christ Himself offer to the eternal Father on our behalf. He is both the principal Offerer and the Victim offered. Christ is the one who speaks for us and is our Advocate in heaven with the Father, as Saint John says. And on the Altar we have the One who makes intercession for us, as Saint Paul assures us (SSW. p. 166).
52. To fulfil our duties as good Christians, it is certainly not enough that we attend Holy Mass and receive Communion during it in order to participate more and more in the merits of Jesus Christ. Besides this, it is indispensable that we be priests or sacrificers not only at Mass — together with Christ, the invisible Sacrificer, and the priest, the visible sacrificer — but we must also offer ourselves as victims for the glory of God and in satisfaction for our own faults arid sins… But the sacrifice of self that the righteous make is very agreeable in the eyes of God and greatly satisfactory for their faults and those of the whole nation, as we read in the Holy Scripture (SSW. p. 167).
53. .. .the expositors tell us that the merits of Jesus Christ are of infinite worth in themselves and fully sufficient to redeem thousands of worlds, but that the eternal Father accepted them only on the condition that adults should take their part in this passion in order to be able to enjoy its fruit; that is, we must cooperate, now by hearing Holy Mass, now by receiving Holy Communion, now by praying, now by meekly and patiently bearing slanders, sufferings and labors, now by mortifying our passions and senses, which we must sacrifice and offer to God (SWW. p. 167-168).
54. But we should be greatly encouraged at the thought that if we suffer with Christ on earth, we will reign with Him in heaven. And the wards of Archangel Raphael to Tobias should be a greatconsolation to us: “And because you were acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation prove you.” Let us rejoice, then, in the midst of sufferings, seeing that we have been deemed worthy to suffer something for His love, for our defects, and in order to stare up merits for heaven and make satisfaction for the faults, failings and sins of our brothers and sisters, and to win mercy, grace and glory for them. T,his is the sacrifice of our self that we must offer to the eternal Father, together with the merits of Jesus Christ, Mary Most Holy, the spirits in heaven and the just on earth (SSW. p. 169).
WORKS OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY CLARET –
VOLUME 11 AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS
55. My particular examen will be an the virtue of meekness. To this end I will join my prayer, Mass and Communion (AW. p. 200).
56. Claret enumerates the special devotions he loves: 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 the Lord and the (Suffering) souls. Saturdays, to the Blessed Virgin Mary (AW. p. 201).
57. Anthony Mary Claret receives Graces of union with Christ his Head. Under this heading we may group: a) an extraordinary awareness of Christ’s sending him (March 21, 1859); b) a desire to be united with Christ by lave (April 27, 1859); c) the grace of conserving the sacramental species within him (August 26, 1861); d) conformity with Christ, the laving San of the Father (July 16, 1863); e) the promise that his union with Christ will be indissoluble (September 20, 1866); f) the awareness of the Vivo autem, iam non ego” (October 12, 1869) (AW. p. 293).
58. Among the things that helped Anthony Mary Claret to persevere and advance in perfection are frequent and well-made reception of the Sacraments, celebrating and hearing Mass well (AW. p. 227).
59. What I will stress most “in season and out of season”… Likewise, to hear Holy Mass well an Days of Obligation, and also on other days out of devotion; Likewise, to visit the Most Blessed Sacrament; Likewise, to receive It sacra mentally, not only at Easter tide but frequently throughout the year, and even mare frequently spiritually (AW. p. 231).
SELECTED LETTERS OF ST ANTHONY MARY CLARET
(Spanish text, 1996)
(Letter to Venerable Maria Antonia Paris —Madrid 24/9/1867)
60. Oh! Be it that we all are also obedient like the universe, and with much holy lave like the Angels and saints of heaven and like Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, who obeys the voice of the priest, obeys all his dispositions without argument! If you lock Film in the tabernacle, He is silent; if you place Him for public adoration, He says nothing; if you take Him to villages and huts, He accepts, and so will He be obedient till the consummation of the world. Who will not be obedient? (SL. n.218,p.478).
61. The ancient Hebrews have a tradition which says that when God created all things, He asked all the angels to say what they feel about them; all replied that they were good as that is the work of God. However, one of the wisest seraphims after asking for permission said: “Lord, everything seems very good to me; nevertheless, lacks a great voice which one will hear from the four corners of the universe which will continually say: Thanks be to Gad, Thanks be to God, Thanks be to God…” (SL. n. 218, p. 478).
62. The Lord did riot reply; but already he has in his divine disposed mind this voice, which is Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, who by this is called the Eucharist, that is to say Thanksgiving, and in the sanctuary day and night give thanks to God (SL. n. 218, p. 478).
63. Fraternal life is best symbolised and brought to perfection in the Eucharist, which is the sign of unity and the bond of love. Our fraternity is also nourished by prayer, especially liturgical prayer. It is fostered by a prevailing tone of family life in which we all live together sincerely and openly. It is also expressed by our sharing in the governance and orderly operation of the community. Strengthened by all these helps we can move forward in missionary community to achieve that personal fullness to which we have been called (CC 12).
64. When a missionary dies, we should celebrate the last rites with devotion, fraternal love and simplicity. We should remember all our brothers who have gone before us in the service of the gospel, commending them to the Lord with the prescribed prayers, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist.We should show the same reverence and respect for our departed parents
arid for deceased collaborators of the Congregation (CC. 19).
65. In the first place, every day we should wholeheartedly celebrate the mystery of the Eucharist, keeping dose to Christ our Lord as be proclaims the word of life. Offers himself for his brothers and sisters, honors his Father arid builds up the unity of the Church. We should cherish conversation with Christ our Lord by visiting and worshiping him in the Holy Eucharist,as well as by faithfully offering daily prayer in the name of the Church.
During sacred seasons and on feast days, we should try to attune our prayers to the spirit of the Church, which offers the faithful a portrayal of the total mystery of Christ in the Liturgy. Through our celebration of the Eucharist and our praise of God, we will receive the strength we need in order to grow in Christian life and become mare productive in our ministry. (CC 35).
66. Since the novices are preparing for profession in our Congregation, they should take care to lay the foundations for a missionary life, acquire a knowledge of its main elements and begin to practice the evangelical counsels. For this reason they should cling wholeheartedly to Christ our Lord,especially in the mystery of the Eucharist, since they are planning to share in his life and ministry. Let them take the Blessed Virgin Mary, thefirst disciple of Christ, as their Mother and Teacher (CC 61).
67. Since they themselves have been conformed through the Sacrament of Orders to Christ the Priest, in whose person they act, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, they should share in his death and life in such a way that they awaken in others the remembrance of the Lard’s presence in the human community. . .(CC 83).
68. They should ask the Lord for and strive to practice the kind of pastoral charity that will malice them ready to lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters. Therefore, they should daily pray to God the Father for the good of the Church and the salvation of the world, especially when they celebrate the Lord’s Supper and say the Liturgy of the Hours. They should always be ready to offer people the help of their priestly ministry (CC 84):
69. Our acts of piety should express the characteristics of our Claretian spiritual heritage, in keeping with guidelines of the Church. Among the characteristic elements inherited from our Father Founder, the following stand out: his Christocentrism, his Eucharistic piety, his love for the Word of God, his way of living Cordimarian sonship in close relationship with his missionary vocation, his devotion to the Apostles, and to the saints who were especially distinguished for their apostolic zeal (Dir. 84).
70. The piety of our communities should give primacy to sacred liturgy, especially to the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours (CC 35). Other forms of community piety should be organised with the liturgical cycle in mind, so that they are attuned in the liturgy and in a certain sense drive from it and lead to it. Every day, each community should devote a minimum of half an hour to prayer, preferably with the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours (Dir. 85).
71. Preserving a sound tradition of the Institute (CC 36), we should try to say the Rosary and visit the Blessed Sacrament individuality, when this is not done in community (Dir. 87).
72. Monthly Recollection — On this day, there should be a meditation an the theme of our missionary life, a talk and an examination that might be in the form of a community review of life. Whenever possible, there should be a con-celebrated Mass or some other Eucharistic act (Dir. 91).
73. Suffrages offered for deceased Claretians, parents of the members and benefactors (Dir. 54).
74. In the exercise of their ministry, the missionary deacons should cultivate a spirituality proper to their Order, proclaiming the Gospel not only by word but specialty also by their way of life. They should feel this responsibility above all when the demands of pastoral planning entrust them mare directly with the animation of a Christian Community and with attendant duties of cultivating it by conferring the Sacraments and offering it a more intense service of the Word. Deacons should encourage ecclesial communion. encouraging the faithful to participate actively in community initiatives and in divine warship.
In devoting themselves to works of charity and human welfare (Acts 6:1-3), they should try to awaken in the Christian community a sense of justice, so that fraternal love, sustained and expressed by the Eucharist, may became the law of life among the believers. ..(Dir. 260).
75.In conformity with the practice taught us by our Father Founder, alms or stipends received for the celebration of Mass are to be used for the support of the community. . .(Dir. 266).
EUCHARIST IN THE OFFICIAL CLARETIAN DOCUMENTS
i).Eucharist in the XVII Claretian General Chapter:
76. In listing the traits that define our distinctive way of being in the Church, the document speaks of “a special devotion to the Eucharist and to the Word of God as primary arid constant sources of our supernatural life and apostolic zeal (DC. 24 d).
77. The Eucharist, as the sacrament of the sacrifice and of the Real Presence of Christ, occupied a preponderant place in the spiritual and apostolic life of St. Anthony Mary Claret. The Eucharistic celebration was the mast intense moment of his personal union with Jesus Christ. As be offered it to the Father for the salvation of men, be felt an ardent desire to sacrifice his life with Christ for the good of the Church and for all men. Praying in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament helped him to maintain these sentiments and ta develop his activities in the sacrificial spirit profoundly penetrated with the redemptive mystery of Christ and the Church (cf. Auto. no. 265, 694, 756, & 767).We must live this aspect of the Claretian spirit today in terms of the Eucharistic doctrine and spirituality which Our Lord has developed in His Church for the good of men.. :This participation in the Eucharist will be the primary source of our evangelical spirituality arid of our self-sacrificing and tireless apostolate (17th General Chapter: Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage of the Congregation, n. 14).
78. Personal participation in the Paschal Mystery, along with the complete abnegation of oneself to the shedding of one’s blood for the salvation of men, and testimony to the power of the risen Christ, lived so fully by the Founder, and subsequently by so many of our confreres, must be an ideal and a stimulus for a generous and ever-increasing fidelity on the part of all members of the Congregation (17t General Chapter: Declaration on the Spiritual Heritage…n.16).
79. As a perfect exercise, deriving from fraternal charity and the other Christian virtues, this community life is a supernatural gift of God. It cannot be obtained except through the action of the Holy Spirit, by means of assiduous prayer “given new force by the teaching of the Gospel, the Sacred Liturgy and especially the Eucharist” (cf. PC. 15), and by sincere repentance for faults against Gad and against our neighbor (SR. n. 110).
80. Community prayer must be the exercise and the expression of this perfect charity in Christ, as a notable part of common life. The community celebration of the Eucharist, and liturgical prayer in common, occupy the first place and should be favoured among us to the fullest extent that the character of our apostolatic vocation permits, and that prudent evaluation of circumstances suggest…(SH. n. 111).
81. The Council pondered on the benefits of community life. These benefits are increased by the teachings of the Gospel and by liturgical participation, especially in the Holy Eucharist (PC. 15) Our Missionaries will cultivate community life and make it a “true family gathered together in the name of the Lord, which rejoices because He is present among them” (PC. 15). Thus, they will respond not only to the will of Him who proceeded them with a lave to which they must reply, but also to the mandate of offering to the world a testimony of God, because “where two or three are ‘gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them” (Mt.18, 20) (Decree on Religious Life, n. 27).
82. Liturgical Renewal and our Life of Piety. In exhorting religious to cultivate the spirit of prayer and prayer itself, the Council invites them to accomplish it by drinking from the “genuine fountains of Christian Spirituality: i.e., the Sacred Scriptures and the Eucharist (PC. 6; cf. P0. 14, 18). This is not a matter only of a principle proclaimed in theory. The document itself explains: “They should celebrate the Sacred Liturgy especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with both lips and heart as the Church desires and so nourish their spiritual life from this richest of sources” (Ib.). The Mass unites in a marvellous way both Scripture and Eucharist in its two complementary parts comprising one sale celebration: the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy (SC. 56). The Divine Office accompanies this central act of worship, and it is a public prayer of the Church through its meditation and proclamation of the same inspired Ward. If the piety of our communities respects the primacy of the Eucharist and the Divine Office, it certainly will live according to the rhythm of the Liturgical Year, throughout which the Church celebrates the mystery of Christ.. Our piety will be, through it, ecclesial and Paschal… Community piety should “be so organised that account is taken of the liturgical cycle, in such a way that they coincide with the liturgy and in a certain way are derived from it and lead towards it.” (SC. 13; “Inter Oecumenici”, 17) (RL. n. 114).
83. In the Liturgy, Vatican II associates the religious Life with the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist. In this way the religious life becomes transformed into a true sign for the world of heavenly life incarnated in men and women who as a sign for all men live on earth in anticipation the life of heaven (RL. no. 40).
84. From this is derived the total ecclesial character of the religious profession. Through its liturgical cerebration, it is even associated with the Eucharist in its reality as a sacrifice of Christ and sacrament of the unity of the Church (RL. n. 41).
85. As the Eucharist constitutes the center of liturgy and worship, all efforts of formation in spirituality and piety should converge toward it. Following the outstanding example of our Founder, yet our students live the Eucharist in all its fullness: first, as the sacrifice of Christ and of His Church, with which they should associate themselves personally joining with Christ in His obedience in order to dedicate themselves afterwards to others, impelled by the charity that impelled Christ; second, as the sacrament of the community and unity of the Church, trying to project that unity on the collective life of the community signified and realised by the Eucharist; and third, as Sacrament of the presence of Christ, Who in the tabernacle invites them to approach His presence and render Him worship, to activate their faith and their response before Him in order io dispose themselves more worthy ministers of His Word for the purpose of spreading His Kingdom throughout the world (cf. Canst. 1, 122) (F. n. 46).
86. Directors of formation will see to it that the ones being formed understand and live the meaning of the entire Liturgy arid the Sacraments in the light of the Eucharist. Let this be done principally with reference to Baptism, Penance, and Holy Orders, which those called to the priesthood will one day receive.(F.n. 47).
87. Although the liturgy is the center of worship arid of the Christian life itself, nevertheless, liturgical action does not exhaust spiritual life (cf. SC. 12). For this reason, each one of our members, although called by vocation to pray in common, should nevertheless, according to the recommendations of the Gospel, pray to the Father in secret. And furthermore, they should pray without ceasing (SC. 9-12). it was certainly a notable preoccupation of Father Founder, from the beginning of the formation of our Missionaries, that they develop an intense life of prayer (Const. i, 120, i21)…personal search for God, leading toward a greater interior supernatural knowledge of Christ, which they will later on provide for the people of God in their life and their words.. . (F. n. 48).
88. Personal response to the entire liturgical life and above all to the Eucharist springs exclusively from lively faith, nourished principally by constant meditation on the Word of God (F. n. 49).
ii) Eucharist in the XVIII Claretian General Chapter
89. In celebrating the Eucharist in common, in the Liturgy of the Hours, in reflecting an the Word of God, in prayers that analysis the facts of our lives and contrasts them with the Gospel all these are the focal paints where our expression of faith and our community prayer take shape as a common encounter and dialogue with the Lard (cf. PC. 6) (RL. n. 32).
90.In practice: – frequent community celebration of the Eucharist; – fostering initiative and preparation in the liturgy, celebrating it without haste and with the serious reflection demanded by the Word of God; – when possible, making the con- celebrated Eucharist the basic community ad (RL. 114, 122) (RL. n. 33).
iii,) Eucharist in the XIX Claretian General Chapter(MCT)
91. Father Claret describes his vocation as the result of a complex experiential process that can be traced through his infancy. This process includes, among other elements, an early sense of friendship with Christ (above all, in the sacrament of the Eucharist), in whose deep sense of Sonship Claret gradually came to discover God the Father, who sent Jesus because he loves the world (MCT. 53)
92. … It comes as no surprise that the Eucharist was his (Father Founder’s) favorite place for encounter with Christ, first in His Real Presence and then as sacrifice and communion. This encounter with Christ in the Eucharist was, for Claret, a source of his apostolic energy (MCT. 60).
iv) Eucharist in the XX Claretian General Chapter (CPR)
93 The living of the mystery of the Eucharist throughout the day, as our Father Founder did, will nourish our identification with Christ and with his Spirit, and will empower us to confront the presence of Evil in our history (CPR. 55).
v) Eucharist in the XXI Claretian General Chapter (SW)
94. Our missionary service of the Word achieves its aim whenever it raises up or consolidates the kind of faith-communities in which the Eucharist is cerebrated and in which each believer feels like a person, lives in solidarity and acts as an evangelizer (cf. CC. 47) (SW. 11).
95. Let us fraternally share in listening to, living, cerebrating and announcing the Word, above all, in the Eucharist (CC 34-35) (SW. 15.1).
vi) Eucharist in the XXII Claretian General Chapter(IPM)
96. The prophetic character of our missionary service of the Word should drink from “the springs of a solicit and profound spirituality” (VC 93). We want our Congregation to be ever more and more a school of authentic missionary spirituality inspired in Claret and our tradition. Hence:
In the coming years we will highlight much more the Eucharistic dimension of our spirituality as a source of life and apostolic fortitude (IPM 23.1).
97. … In almost 150 years of life, our Congregation, born in a room of the diocesan seminary of Vic, has been led by the Spirit to many countries of the earth to announce the Gospel. Though our deficiencies may have been many, nevertheless, in our missionaries, the Word has become gesture, service, sermon, class, music, painting, sculpture, book, poem, liturgy, outcry and silence (I,PM 40).
98. You are also called to be — in communion with the Bishops of each place — “an evangelical and evangelizing leaven of the cultures of the third millennium and of the social orders of peoples” (Homily on the Feast of the Presentation, 2 February 1992,11.5). For this, you will have to cultivate a profound intimacy with Christ through prayer, assiduous listening to the Word, and the Eucharist… and discernment of the challenges of the present hour, and make your heart ever mare generous to step out and encounter your neighbour who needs lave and hope (The Pope’s Discourse to the Members of the XXII General Chapter, n. 4. Para.2).
CIRCULAR LETTERS OF SOME OF OUR SUPERIOR GENERALS
i~)Father José Xifré: The Spirit o! the Congregation (1892)
99. He presents the Holy Mass as element of spiritual life. Among the remedies against lukewarmness, be enumerates the following: the Holy Mass, prayer and Divine Office (p.41).
100. He has this to say on the Missionary in relationship with God. Priests — Think on how you treat God during Mass and how you comport yourselves before and after Eucharistic celebration. Reflect on what you do when you administer the Eucharist, whom you represent and with what object and by this you must know how to carry yourselves (p. 105). Co-Adjutor Brothers — Carry out all your spiritual acts (exercises) with true devotion, spirit and fervour … especially during meditation, Mass and Rosary. Mass is to be included among the most important acts (p. 210).
101. Among the daily important exercises in the Colleges of Postulants, he enumerated the following: Meditation, Mass, Rosary, spiritual reading and visit ta the Blessed Sacrament (p. 224). Other weekly activities — confession and Eucharist (p. 224).
ii) Father Martin Alsina: Gratitude to God honouring the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus every Friday (cf..Circular Collections published in Madrid, p. 161).
102. Thanksgiving to God honouring the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus every First Friday was recommended (p. 161), need to have the exposition and make visit (p. 162).
iii) Father Nicholas Garcias: Missionary Priest
103. He asks that priests be holy because of the work they do, what it
is all about, it is holy. Among these things he treated was the Mass,
the Sacraments, preaching of the divine Word of God. The missionary
priest must give glory to God with Mass, Divine Office and Warship (Annales
1943, p. p. 219 & 235).
iv) Father Peter Schweiger: Heritage of the Congregation (1950 Marian Year)
104. Heritage of the Congregation is to be Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it does not make any reference to the Eucharist. Does it mean that the Congregation did not receive from the Founder this heritage? Does it mean that the Eucharist was something personal of the Founder and of same members of the Congregation but does not constitute an element of the congregational charism? (Annales 1950, pp. 289ff).
105. The great celebrations of the Church always culminate with a solemn ad in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
In the homage which we want to render to our Mother in the Marian Year. . .it lacks this obligatory and indispensable crowning in the honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Of course, we have omitted it in order to give it major emphasis. (Annales, 1953, pp. 242-244)
v) Father Gustavo Alonso: Claretians in Formation (Rome, 1990)
106. While Claret emphasises the importance of the Word of God , he goes on to say “Likewise, an irreplaceable presence in this network of relationships with Christ is the Eucharist, which goes far beyond a simple remembrance of Christ as a loving victim. It is a presence with which our everydayness, made up of weakness and aspirations, is shot through. Like the Word, this presence of Jesus gathers us around a table, creates a community of interwoven personal relationships, and enkindles us with apostolic zeal (cf. Auto. n. 698). This ‘explains why, in keeping with our Founder’s experience and teaching, the Constitutions of the Congregation (n. 35) speak of the celebration of the Eucharist as an element that can not be lacking in the Claretian’s daily life. Among us, any formation community that does not manage to concretise or feel this need, can not be considered to be genuine”… The identity which the disciple of Jesus must form and bring to maturity in his own life can not be achieved without a personalised relationship with these brothers arid sisters, who are the vicarious presence of the Lord (cf. Mt 26:11) throughout the course of history, a history he has promised to abide in and transform. A formation that does not have this reference paint cannot have an evangelical soul. In such a community the Eucharist would be unable to engender communion and the Word would lose its capacity for hope and change” (pages 21-23).
vi) Father Aquilino Bocos Merino: Missionary Testimony of our Martyrs (Rome 1992).
107. They formed a praying community. The joining of suffering and prayer made the gift of final perseverance blossom among them. They found ingenious ways so that each of them could keep an reciting the Office of the Martyrs and the Little Office of the Virgin Mary and, above all, so that they could receive Communion, thus making the Eucharistic Bread the center of that imprisoned community and the source of their intensely sturdy spirituality. The Lord, the Eucharistic Bread, became hiddenly present among them, unknown to their jailers. With surprisingly rapidity they too learn to became bread broken and wine poured out for the life of the world. Those Communions prepared them for the last definitive offering of their body and for withstanding the evils of the world. The sacramental presence and welcoming of the Lord into their midst, account for all that we admire in our brother Martyrs (n. 19)
SPIRITUAL PRACTICES FOR THE USE IN THE CONGREGATION OF SONS OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
108. Father José Xifré, Superior General asked Father Vallier lo put this work together for the formation of our Missionaries. This was edited in Madrid in 1888. The daily acts are well spread out. This work is divided into 33 chapters. There are three chapters which paint out clearly the Eucharist and how to live a Eucharistic life. Chapter 6 talks of “the manner to bear Mass; chapter 14 treats of “Visit to the Blessed Sacrament” and chapter 25 on “communion”.
Manner of hearing Mass — Mass has to serve us as a map of the Passion of the Lard. We have to go to Mass and we have be at it as if we are going to Mount Calvary and we are in it having been elevated lo Christ, hearing Him speaking, seeing Him breathing, seeing Him the side open seeing Him brought down from the Cross, dies in the hands of his Virgin Mother and seeing Him buried (pp. 46-47).The easiest way to hear Mass is to make memory of the sacred passion (pp.54-57).There is emphasis on the preparation for Mass, asking for pardon for sins committed, to have spiritual communion, thanksgiving, pray and ask for the different needs and promise to do things rightly throughout the whole day (p. 58).
CMF GENERAL PLAN OF FORMATION
109. This repeats SH 14 and MCT. 60 (GPF. 204).
110. Since the Eucharist constitutes the centre and apex of the liturgy and af worship, all of our efforts at formation in spirituality and piety should converge toward it. Following the example of our Father Founder, we must strive to live the Eucharist in its fullness, as:
• The Sacrifice of Christ and of his Church, to which we should be personally associated in obedience along with Christ, so that driven by His own charity, we may then give ourselves over to others.
• The Sacrament of the communion and unity of the Church. We should try to project the unity symbolised and effected by the Eucharist onto our community life.
• A privileged moment in which the Father is honored and the Master is made present, sharing with us his life-giving words and giving Himself to us so that we might commune with Him.
The Sacrament of the permanent presence of Christ in the Tabernacle where he invites us to come into his presence and be with Him to revive our faith and make us fitting ministers of his word in order to spread his Kingdom throughout the world.
A prophetic reminder spurring us an to struggle against all that is apposed to the Reign of God.
• The nourishment that keeps our awareness of our missionary vocation alive and thriving throughout our formative itinerary (GPF. 205).
111. In keeping with the experience and teaching of our Founder, our Constitutions speak of visiting, worshiping and celebrating the Eucharist daily. This must be a never-failing element in the daily life of the Claretian, one that should be lived wholeheartedly, since we must give ourselves totally to him who gives himself totally to us. In the formation communities, the Eucharist should be the fundamental community act (GPF. 206).
112. In order for the Eucharist to have its full transforming and missionary power among us, it is necessary, from a pedagogical paint of view:
To Center our whole life in it, not reducing it to the moment of its sacramental cerebration.
• To highlight its ecclesial and apostolic character.
• To integrate into its celebration the reality of the people (their struggles and sufferings, their hopes and achievements), as well as all we are and do.
To discover it as a power that transforms us into builders of peace, reconciliation and justice.
To cultivate an adequate liturgical formation.
• To be educated to the meaning and dynamism proper of this celebration, also focusing on the missionary demands and commitments that derive from it.
To pay constant attention to the truth of the signs involved in the Sacrament: proclamation of the Word, offertory and consecration, sign of peace, breaking of bread, communion under both species (GPF. 207).
113. The predilected devotions which constitute the foundation of his life (Anthony Mary Claret) of piety are that of the Holy Eucharist and of the Holy Rosary says Cardinal Vidal y Barraquer in the Pastoral Exhortation of 11 May 1934 (cf. Pedro Franquesa — St Anthony Mary Claret, Holy Eucharist — Mary. Collectanea Mariana, Madrid, p. 220, published in 1952).
114. To my own judgment, the synthesis of the spiritual life of the Servant of Gad (Anthony M. Claret) during his stay in Cuba was devouring love to the Holy Sacrament of the Altar… and the most singular devotion to the Most Holy Virgin Mary says Father Francis Barrada, Canon of Cuba (ibid. p. 221).
115. Among us diocesans, he (Anthony Mary Claret) promoted the most lively incentives for devotion especially to the Sacred Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Pope, says Doctor Rial, Penitentiary of Tarragona.
123. The fruit of his personal devotion was his Eucharistic apostolate. And in the first place, as centre of his devotion and apostolate, we know the Claretian teachings about the Eucharist. The Eucharist can be considered as sacrifice and sacrament. As sacrifice, we call it Mass; as sacrament, we call it Communion..
124. The effects of the Eucharist — Is the balsam which preserves from corruption’, because it is the living Bread which comes dawn from heaven that gives life to those who eat it, nourishing them with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ ,which transforms us and make us like gods just as an iron is put into the furnace becomes fire .
125. The finality (aim) of the Eucharist — By means of the Eucharist Jesus Christ sanctions the New Law: a) the continuation of the Sacrifice of the Calvary; b) the personal and corporal presence of Christ to be our Advocate, Father, Master, Doctor, Pastor; etc; c) the Most Holy Communion . He remains in the Eucharist to be our Father, Master, Friend, Brother ; to keep us company, to be our food, Viaticum ; to pray for us till the end of time and to make us the Way, the Truth and Life.
127. Above all, he made sure that special care is taken with regard to all that concern the Eucharist. In all, he wants great neatness. In the pastoral visit, he always looks for the cleanliness of the Blessed Sacrament . He wants that the tabernacle be neat and always with a lamp.
128. On Worship and decorum, Archbishop Anthony M. Claret wants the seminarians to proceed with great modesty and reverence, above all before the Blessed Sacrament exposed . Finally, remember castigations for the profanations and irreverences . He (Claret) was very zealous of divine cult . He exhorted everyone to frequent Communion.
129. Claret gives reasons for frequent Communion: to cure sickness; to be pure; to preserve oneself from sin ; to rescue the dead to have spiritual life ; and to sanctify oneself.
134. Claret points out double aspects of the Eucharist — Communion and Mass. Instituting the Eucharist, Jesus Christ institutes at the same time the Mass and the Holy Priesthood. “Do this in memory of me” “ “. The Protestants deny this but the Catholics, we can certainly conclude: Thus, Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist.
136. According to Anthony Mary Claret, the effects of the Holy Mass/Communion are numerous: The Lord is with the person who participates at Mass, one takes Jesus as his Advocate, puts into Jesus’ hands the defense of one’s cause… a way of pardoning one’s sins.., one receives abundant graces…, satisfies divine justice for the faults committed…, exercises the theological virtues…, enriches one’s poverty., often grants corporal health…, God rewards the person.
137. This Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to the Father in order to honour and thank Him, to make satisfaction for our sins and ask for mercy. Again in it, Jesus prays and will continue to pray till the end of time.
138. In the Illustrated Catechism, Father Anthony Mary Claret following the teachings of the Council of Trend gives the difference between the sacrifice of the Mass and that of the Calvary as follows: “…the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the same as that of the Calvary, the unique difference is the manner of offering, for on the Cross, Jesus Christ offered himself really dying while on the Altar He offered himself representing his death. On the cross, He was a victim covered with blood at the sight of men; on the Altar, He is a victim cave red with glory at the sight of angels. There, He really died; here (Altar), Re died mystically. There (Calvary), He offers himself to redeem us; here, to claim us by the price of redemption. There, He merited us this price; here, He gives it to us.”
139. The principal minister of the Mass is Christ, who offers Himself to the Eternal Father; the priest who is at the altar celebrating the Holy Mass also offers it as commissioned and representative of the people, in away all who assist at Mass offer and sacrifice together with the priest ;. However, this is not enough. We do not have to be priests only in the Mass, but also we, ourselves as victims for the glory of God and in the satisfaction of our faults and sins.
140. Following the testimony of SI Lawrence Justin, it is concluded that there is no sacrifice so powerful as the Mass to obtain the mercy and pardon of God and to assure eternal life. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a compendium of the wonders of God…
142. Anthony Claret bad an extraordinary exterior modesty when be cerebrates Mass . According to Mr. Fernandez Montana: Many times that heard the Mass which he (Anthony Claret) celebrated, he did it with the greatest devotion, and other times, to give us Holy Communion, he speaks to us with the Host in the hand, and observes him transformed and truly ardent in the fire of divine love.
143. Anthony Mary Claret, the apostle of the Eucharist encouraged and promoted daily celebration of the Mass and that priests should do that with great dignity . Seminarians should assist at daily Masses ; widows are encouraged to participate at daily Masses ; daily Masses are important for souls in Purgatory and as an arm of spiritual combat.
145. Anthony Claret continues — It is not enough that the faithful hear Mass frequently. He wants that they hear it well: knowing what they are doing and how to do it , with modesty recollection , reverence ,devotion arid fervour.
146. Father Founder gives same methods and means which help one to participate very well at Mass: a) To recite the Rosary. b) To read from any book the mysteries of the Mass. c) To do like that devout person who to hear Mass very well, there are three letters that count: black, incarnated and white. Black is the consideration of our past sins … Incarnated is the consideration of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ… and White is the consideration of the glory that one expects.. Other methods be offers are reciting prayers that are in line with the Passion, or following the ordinary of the Mass or thinking of the Passion.
~ Colegial instruido, vol. 1, p. 193.
~“ Constitutions for Missionaries, p. 84.
148. Re was again inflexible in his requirements for the preparation before Mass and thanksgiving after. He sends this message to his missionaries: the importance of ‘Mass with preparation and thanksgiving which will never be less than 15 minutes’ . To the seminarians: ‘You should participate at Mass with devotion, preparing yourselves before and making thanksgiving after’
149. Father Founder insists an good comportment and disposition during Mass: all has to be in order and let there be no noise .He asks all priests to celebrate the Holy Mass with attention, concentration, reverence arid devotion, without haste (hurry) but with calm arid serenity and respecting the rubrics make sure that people see you as devote during Mass.
150. In order to keep a check on the accomplishment of these dispositions, Father Claret introduced the following: The missionaries will be diligently examined annually an the manner of celebrating Mass . The Holy Mass will be a great theme for conference and afterwards practical liturgy . The prelate, during one ordination asked the acolyte “to serve faithfully at the altar during the offering of the Mass” . With this end, he proposed in the Colegial instruido the manner of serving the Mass and the rubrics they have to observe.
CLARETIAN MISSIONARY SPIIRITUALITY
152. Among 825 Claretians who responded, here are some indications:
- 81 persons see the Eucharist as an essential content of our spirituality.
- 284 have Eucharist as a source that inspires and nourishes our CMF spirituality.
- 137 see the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist) as one of the privileged dynamisms or means of our spirituality.
EUCHARIST ACCORDING TO VATICAN II
153. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy dedicates Chapter Two to The Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist (S.C. #7 #10, para.1, II; #47 #48 #51 #56).
154. P.O. 5. It gives concentrated summary on the Eucharist.
155. (PC. 15).
EUCHARIST ACCORDING TO THECATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
156. The Sacrament of the Eucharist (CCC 1322-1419). This gives a very substantial and summary teaching of the Church an the Eucharist.
DOCUMENTS OF THE CHURCH
1. Perfecta Caritas
2. Presbyterorum Ordinis
3. Sacrosanctum Concilium
4. Catechism of the Catholic Church
5. Vita Consecrata
1. Autobiography of Saint Anthony Mary Claret. Claretian Publications, Chicago, 1976
2. Works of Saint Anthony Mary Claret. vol. II, Autobiographical Writings. Claretian Publications, Quezon City, Philippines, 1995
3. Bermejo Jesus: Works of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, vol.III, Selected Spiritual Writings. Claretian Publications,Quezon City, Philippines, 1991. •
4. Berrnejo Jesus: San Antonio Maria Claret. Cartas Selectas. Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1996.
DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL CHAPTER
1. Declaration of the 17” and l8th General Chapters (1967 and 1973).
2. The Mission of the Claretians Today (MCT) (l9th General Chapter 1979)
3. The Claretian in the Process of Congregational Renewal (CPR) (2Oth G.Chapter 1985).
4. Servants of the Word (SW) (2lSt General Chapter 1991).
5. In the Prophetic Mission (IPM) (220d General Chapter 1997)
CIRCULAR LETTERS OF FATHER GENERALS
1. Father José Xifré: The Spirit of the Congregation (1892)
2. Father Martin Alsina: Gratitude to God honoring the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus every Friday (cf. Circular Collections published in Madrid, p. 162).
3. Father Martin Alsina: Gratitude to God honouring the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus every Friday (cf. Circular Collections published in Madrid, p. 162).
4. Father Nicholas Garcias: Missionary or Claretian Spirituality
5. Father Peter Schweiger: Heritage of the Congregation (1950 Marian Year)
6. .Father Gustavo Alonso: Claretians in Formation (Rome, 1990)
7. Father Aquilino Bocos Merino: Missionary Testimony of our Martyrs (Rome 1992).
OTHER CLARETIAN DOCUMENTS
1. Formation of Missionaries. General Plan of Formation (GPF). Rome 1994.
2. Claretian Catalogue Rome,1995.
3. IV Semana Sacerdotal Claretiana: Ei Ministerio de la Eucaristia y la Espiritualidad Claretiana. Vic, 1993
4. Questionnaire on the Claretian Missionary Spirituality 1999/ 2000
1. Spiritual Practices for the use of the Congregation of Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
2. Peter Franquesa — St Anthony Mary Claret, Holy Eucharist — Mary. Collectanea Mariana, Madrid, published in 1952).
 Ascetical letter written by His Excellency Archbishop Anthony M. Claret to the president of one of the choirs of the Academy of St Michael. Religious Bookshop, Barcelona,1863, p. 30. Illustrated Catechism, p. 379.
 Camino recto, p. 87; Llave de oro, p. 29. Retreats … for First Holy Communion, p.p. 242-244 ; Life of St Monica, p. 82; Constitutions for the Missionaries, p. 125, Colegial instruido, p.p. 97& 169.