Love your enemies

Sunday, February 23, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of ordinary time — Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5, 38-48 — Whoever keeps the words of Christ, the love of God comes to perfection in him.

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February 15 — Claude La Colombière was born on 1642 in Saint-Syphorien-d'Ozon and died in Paray-le-Monial on February 15, 1682. He entered in the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Avignon and then continued his studies in Paris.

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In Paris, he met the opponent of the Catholic reform. When his studies were completed, he was ordained priest and assigned to begin as a teacher in his former school in Lyon and then he joined the Jesuit team responsible of preaching and became famous for the clarity and safety of his sermons.

After fifteen years of religious life, he made his last period of probation known as the Third Year, which was to prove decisive in his life. Seeking the highest spiritual perfection, he vowed to observe faithfully the rule and constitutions of his order under penalty of sin. Those who lived with him were able to certify that this vow was observed with the utmost accuracy.

In 1674, Claude La Colombière is appointed as superior Jesuits residence in Paray-le-Monial, and it was there that he became the spiritual director of Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, Visitandine Sisters, what made him an apostle aflame of the devotion of the Sacred Heart

In 1676, He was sent in England as a preacher of the catholic Marie-Béatrice de Modène, the duchess of York, the future Queen of England. At the court of Saint-James, he led the life of a religious and was as active a missionary as he had been in France.

His ardour soon damaged his health and diseases of the throat and lungs appeared to threaten his work as a preacher. While awaiting his recall to France, he was arrested and thrown into prison, having been denounced as a conspirator in the papist plot of Titus Oates. 6 His status as a preacher to the Duchess of York and the protection of Louis XIV, of whom he was a subject, enabled him to escape death, but he was condemned to banishment (1679).

He spent the last two years of his life in Lyon, where he was the spiritual director of the young jesuit. He died in Paray-le-Monial on February 15, 2020.