Reflections 7th September 2014

A Reflection for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflections 7th September 2014

MT 18: 15–20 ( ) 

In 1701 Claude-Francois Poullart des Places* made a retreat.

Though enjoying his life as a law student, the young Frenchman sensed a certain dissatisfaction in his life.  His written reflections show him, at the age of 21, asking questions about his future.

His ability to speak quite freely to God was even then a mark of his spirituality. His prayer was marked by awareness both of the graces that he had already received from God and of God’s kindness to him, and his reflections spontaneously become a prayer:

You sought me, Lord, and I fled you. You gave me the gift of reason yet I did not want to use it.

I wanted to blur my relationship with you but you would not allow it.

Did I not deserve to be abandoned by you, that you would tire of doing good for me and that you might begin to do me no good? …

How loving you are, divine Saviour! It was not my death you wanted but my conversion.

You treat me always with gentleness, as if you needed me.

It seems to me that you make an honour out of softening a heart as sensitive as mine.

*  Claude-Francois Poullart des Places (1679 – 1709) was the first founder of what is today known as the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Born into a noble family he was entrusted by his mother to the Blessed Virgin at birth. His life-story is recounted in 15 Days Prayer with Claude Poullart des Places by Jean Savoie C.S.Sp. (translated from the French by Marc Whelan C.S.Sp.). His feast day is celebrated on 2nd October. This is the first in a set of 4 weekly reflections leading up to his feast day.