February 15 marks the feast day of Jesuit priest and devotee to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Claude la Colombiere (born 1641, died 1682).
Claude was a reluctant saint, born into a middle class family in south-eastern
Throughout his life, he never backed down from challenges (of which he faced many), placed his confidence firmly in the Lord, and looked to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as his hope and consolation.
Saint Claude spent long hours in prayer, and wrote about the practice of prayer. Below, a prayer of his composition on trust in God:
An Act of Hope and Confidence in God
My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee.
People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honours; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moments of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.
Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervour of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. “For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.” This confidence can never be in vain. “No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded.”
I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. “In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.”
I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.
Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies.
I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”
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THE INAUGURAL CONVOCATION OF
SACRED HEART OF PETERBOROUGH
(ON FEBRUARY 3, 2012)
On the First Friday of this month, I joined a goodly number of friends, benefactors and associates of the new Catholic College, affiliated with Trent University, Sacred Heart of Peterborough, for the founding convocation and installation of officers: Chancellor, President, Dean and Registrar.
It was a very proud day for Bishop Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., who has worked tirelessly for this new seat of Catholic liberal arts education in Ontario. He has entrusted the direction of the college to the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) priests and their associated sisterhood.
Some photos of the preparations for the evening, the festive dinner beforehand and the convocation ceremony itself: