Third son of the notary Bertando, Claudio de la Colombière was born in France in 1641. He wrote that he "had a horrible aversion" to religious life, but he chose to become a Jesuit. Lyon, Avignon and Paris are the stages of his brilliant formation. He was then ordained a priest and appointed superior of the small Jesuit community in Paray-Le-Monial, where he received the jobas confessor to the Visitation, a quiet female monastery, where Margherita Maria Alacoque arrived a few years ago. The nun opens her spirit to him and speaks to him of the revelations in which the Lord asks for the spread of the cult of the Sacred Heart. For his part, La Colombière supports the theological foundation of devotion because the heart of Jesus is a symbol of God's love for man. In 1676 the superiors ordered his father to go to London, where he was appointed preacher to the Duchess of York. At the time, the Catholic Church was outlawed in England. As a result, he confines himself to saying Mass and delivering sermons in the palace chapel. His home, however, becomes a bustle of scattered Catholics looking for guidance. Arrested and expelled from England, he returns to Paray, but his health is now undermined. He died in 1682 in that trust in God and in his merciful love that he had proclaimed in his sermons and handed down in his writings.
JESUS THE ONLY FRIEND
Jesus, it is You, the only and true Friend; You not only participate in my every suffering, but you even take it upon yourself and know the secret to change it into joy. You listen to me with goodness and when I tell you my bitterness you do not fail to sweeten them. I find you everywhere, you never go away and if I am forced to change residence, I find you wherever I go. You do not suffer boredom in listening to me; you never get tired of doing me good. If I love you, I am sure I will be loved in return; you do not need my goods, nor do you impoverish yourself by giving me yours. Even if I am a poor man, no one (noble, intelligent or holy) will be able to steal your friendship from me. The same death, which divides all friends, will reunite me with You. All the adversities of age or chance, will never be able to distance me from You; On the contrary, I will never enjoy your presence so fully and You will never be so close to me as the moment when everything will seem to conspire against me. By dying, one is resurrected to life.
ACT OF CONFIDENCE IN GOD
My Lord and God, I am so convinced that You care for all those who hope in You and that nothing can be lacking for those who expect everything from You, that I have decided, for the future, to live without any concern and to pour all my worries about you. Men can strip me of all possessions and of my own honor; illnesses can deprive me of the strength and means to serve you; with sin I can lose even your grace, but I will never, ever lose my trust in You. I will keep it until the end of my life and the devil, with all his efforts, will never be able to tear it from me. Others may also expect their happiness from riches and their ingenuity; may they also rely on the innocence of their lives, on the rigors of their penances, on the quantity of their good works and on the fervor of their prayers; for me all my confidence is my own confidence; confidence that has never deceived anyone. This is why I have the absolute certainty of being eternally happy, because I have the unshakable confidence of being so and because I hope only from You. Unfortunately, from my sad experience, I must admit that I am weak and inconstant; I know how much temptations can do against the most affirmed virtues; and yet nothing, as long as I keep this firm trust in You, will be able to frighten me; I will be safe from any misfortune and I will be sure to continue to hope, because I hope this same immutable hope. Finally, my God, I am intimately persuaded that the trust I have in You will never be too much and that what I will get from You will always be above what I have hoped for. I also hope, Lord, that You will support me in easy weaknesses; you will support me in the most violent assaults; you will make my weakness triumph over my feared enemies. I am so confident that you will always love me and that I too, in turn, will love you forever. And to bring this trust of mine to the highest degree, oh my Creator, I hope for you from yourself, for time and for eternity.
Video by Elena Bosco
Voice of Emmanuele Luciano