Saint Claude's Prayer to Jesus, the True Friend

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I think it was in 1974 that a priest friend gave me a little book of the writings of Saint Claude La Colombière in French. The book was covered in a kind of onion–skin paper and had belonged originally to a Religious of the Cenacle. Saint Claude La Colombière became a dear friend. I count on his intercession. I turn to him when I feel my heart growing cold.

The Franciscan Saint John Wall (Joachim of Saint Anne), who was martyred for the crime of being a Catholic priest near Redhill, Corcester, England on August 22nd, 1679, knew Saint Claude. After having spent a night in spiritual conversation with him, the soon–to–be martyr said, "When I was in his presence I thought that I was dealing with Saint John returned to earth to rekindle that fire of love in the Heart of Christ.”

Here is one of Saint Claude's prayers, in the original French and in English translation.

Jésus, vous êtes le seul et le véritable ami.
Vous prenez part à mes maux, vous vous en chargez,
vous avez le secret de me les tourner en bien.
Vous m'écoutez avec bonté lorsque je vous raconte mes afflictions
et vous ne manquez jamais de les adoucir.

Je vous trouve toujours et en tout lieu;
vous ne vous éloignez jamais et, si je suis obligé de changer de demeure,
je ne laisse pas de vous trouver où je vais.

Vous ne vous ennuyez jamais de m'entendre;
vous ne vous lassez jamais de me faire du bien.
Je suis assuré d'être aimé si je vous aime.
Vous n'avez que faire de mes biens,
et vous ne vous appauvrissez point en me communiquant les vôtres.

Quelque misérable que je sois, un plus noble, un plus bel esprit,
un plus saint même ne m'enlèvera point votre amitié;
et la mort, qui nous arrache à tous les autres amis, me doit réunir avec vous.
Toutes les disgrâces de l'âge ou de la fortune ne peuvent vous détacher de moi;
au contraire, je ne jouirai jamais de vous plus pleinement,
vous ne serez jamais plus proche que lorsque tout me sera le plus contraire.

Vous souffrez mes défauts avec une patience admirable;
mes infidélités même, mes ingratitudes ne vous blessent point tellement
que vous ne soyez toujours prêt à revenir si je le veux.
O Jésus, accordez-moi de le vouloir, afin que je sois tout à vous,
pour le temps et pour l'éternité.

My Jesus, you are my true friend,
my only friend,
you take part in all my misfortunes;
you know how to change them into blessings.
You listen to me
With the greatest kindness
When I tell you all my troubles
And you always have something
With which to heal my wounds.

I find you at any time of the day or night
For I find you wherever I happen to be
You never leave me;
If I change my dwelling place
I find you wherever I go
You never weary of listening to me;
You are never tired of doing me good.
I am certain of being loved by you,
If I but love you.
My worldly goods are of no value to you
But by bestowing yours on me
You never grow poorer.
However miserable I may be,
No one more noble or cleverer or even holier
Can come between you and me
And deprive me of your friendship;
And death,
Which tears us away from all other friends,
Will unite me forever to you.

All the humiliations attached to old age
Or the loss of honour
Will never detach you from me;
On the contrary
I shall never enjoy you more fully
And you will never be closer to me,
Than when everything seems to conspire
Against me to overwhelm me,
And cast me down.

You bear with all my faults
With extreme patience,
And even my want of fidelity
And my ingratitude
Do not wound you to such a degree
As to make you unwilling to receive me back
When I return to you.

O Jesus,
Grant that I may die loving you,
That I may die for the love of you.

1 Comments

How beautiful. St. Claude was also St. Margaret Mary's confessor and he helped her a great deal, especially in propagating the messages given her by the Sacred Heart. Later, he became Queen Mary Beatrice's confessor. I did not know about his connection with St. John Wall.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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