A brief Lenten meditation from St. Peter Claver February 24, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Lent, mortification, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
OK, it’s not exactly from St. Peter Claver, it’s from his biography. But the description of his life is, I think, quite edifying, and very appropriate for this time of year:
Usually what we suffer of our own accord, seems lighter and more endurable than what we endure from others. Not so with Father Claver; from whatever quarter sufferings might come, he always met them with the same firmness. Two great maxims which he had learned from Brother Alonso Rodriguez, and which were deeply engraven upon his heart, formed the rule of his conduct. “First – When I am persecuted or calumniated, either I have, or I have not, deserved it. If I have, why complain? I ought rather to correct myself and beg pardon of God for my fault. If I have not deserved it, I ought to rejoice and thank God for allowing me this opportunity of suffering something for His love, and for the rest I ought to rejoice and thank God for allowing me this opportunity of suffering something for His love, and for the rest I ought to keep silence.
“Second- When I am contradicted, why not do as the ass does? If he is abused or maltreated, he is silent. If forgotten or left without food, if made to work, if despised, if overladen, he is silent In a word, whatever is said or done to him, he answers not – he complains not. Thus ought the true servant of God to act, and say with David,”I am become as a beast of burden before Thee.’ We have here in a few words the portrait of Father Claver.”
An example I pray I may put into effect much more in my own life. Yes there are times when justice must be served and we cannot suffer in silence, such as in the grave crisis regarding the Church today, when we see souls falling into hell like snowflakes all around us as a result of the error and abuse that is so rampant today. But when it comes to personal slights or suffering that do not cause scandal and are simply mortifications of our pride, humbly accepting these as gifts from God is the noble, if so very difficult, Christian response.
Not that I am even remotely a good exemplar of this practice. Do as the Saints say, not as I do, and all that.