15th February Saint Claude de la Colombière

This is a special day for the Jesuits, who claim today’s saint as one of their own. It’s also a special day for people who have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—a devotion Claude de la Colombière promoted, along with his friend and spiritual companion, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. The emphasis on God’s love for all was an antidote to the rigorous moralism of the Jansenists, who were popular at the time.

Claude showed remarkable preaching skills long before his ordination in 1675. Two months later, he was made superior of a small Jesuit residence in Burgundy. It was there he first encountered Margaret Mary Alacoque. For many years after he served as her confessor.

He was next sent to England to serve as confessor to the Duchess of York. He preached by both words and by the example of his holy life, converting a number of Protestants. Tensions arose against Catholics and Claude, rumored to be part of a plot against the king, was imprisoned. He was ultimately banished, but by then his health had been ruined.

He died in 1682. Pope John Paul II canonized Claude de la Colombière in 1992.

ACT OF HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN GOD

My God, I believe most firmly that You watch over all who hope in You,
and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon You in all things.
Therefore I am resolved for the future…to cast all my cares upon You…
People may deprive me of worldly goods and status.
Sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving You.
I may even jeopardize our relationship by sin, but my trust shall never leave me.
I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to grab it from me.
Let others seek happiness in their wealth and in their talents. Let them trust in the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, in the number of their good works, the enthusiasm of their prayers, as for me, my Rock and my Refuge, my confidence in you fills me with hope. For You, my Divine Protector, alone have settled me in hope.
“This confidence can never be vain. No one, who has hoped in God, has ever been confounded.”
I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope in it and all my hope is in You. “In You, O loving God, have I hoped: let me never be confounded.”
I know too well that I am weak and changeable. I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue.
I have seen stars fall and foundations of my world crack; these things do not alarm me. While I hope in You, I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon You to sustain this unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Your generosity, and that I shall never receive less
than I have hoped for from You. Therefore I hope that You will sustain me against my evil inclinations, that You will protect me against the deceitful attacks of the evil one, and that You will cause my weakness to triumph over every hostile force. I hope that You will never cease to love me and that I shall love You unceasingly.

“In You, O loving God, have I hoped: let me never be confounded.”

Saint Claude de la Colombiere Novena

Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others.
Other people will glorify You
by making visible the power of Your grace
by their fidelity and constancy to You.
For my part I will glorify You
by making known how good You are to sinners,
that Your mercy is boundless
and that no sinner no matter how great his offences
should have reason to despair of pardon.
If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer,
let me not offend You even more
by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon Me.

(Mention your request here…)

Say 1: Our Father… Say 1: Hail Mary… Say 1: Glory Be…
Amen.

Prayer of Saint Claude de la Colombiere – A Despair Prayer.

Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others.
Other people will glorify You
by making visible the power of Your grace
by their fidelity and constancy to You.
For my part I will glorify You
by making known how good You are to sinners,
that Your mercy is boundless
and that no sinner no matter how great his offences
should have reason to despair of pardon.
If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer,
let me not offend You even more
by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon Me.

Amen.

Prayer of St. Claude de la Colombiere

My God, I am so convinced that you keep watch over those who hope in You, and that we can want for nothing when we look for all in You, that I am resolved in the future to live free from every care, and to turn all my anxieties over to You. “In peace, in the self-same, I will sleep and I will rest, for Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.” (Ps 4: 9-10)

Men may deprive me of possessions and of honour; sickness may strip me of strength and the means of serving You. I may even lose Your grace by sin; but I shall never lose my hope. I shall keep it to the last moment of my life; and at that moment all the demons in hell will strive to tear it from me in vain. “In peace, in the self-same, I will sleep and I will rest.”

Others may look for happiness from their wealth or their talents; others may rest on the innocence of their life, or the severity of their penance, or the amount of their alms, or the fervor of their prayers. “Thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.” As for me, Lord, all my confidence is confidence itself. This confidence has never deceived anyone. No one, no one who has hoped in the Lord has been confounded!

I am sure, therefore, that I shall be eternally happy, since I firmly hope to be, and because it is from You, O GOD, that I hope for it. “In Thee, O LORD, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.” (Ps 30:1) I know, alas! I know only too well, that I am weak and unstable. I know what temptation can do against the strongest virtue. I have seen the stars of heaven fall, and the pillars of the firmament; but that cannot frighten me. So long as I continue to hope, I shall be sheltered from all misfortune; and I am sure of hoping always, since I hope also for this unwavering hopefulness!

Finally, I am sure that I cannot hope too much in You, and that I cannot receive less than I have hoped for from You. So, I hope You will hold me safe on the steepest slopes, that You will sustain me against the most furious assaults, and that You will make my weaknesses triumph over my most fearful enemies. I hope that You will love me always, and that I too shall love You without ceasing. To carry my hope once and for all as far as it can go, I hope from You to possess You, O my Creator, in time and in eternity.

Amen.