AUG. 7: ST. CAJETAN, FOUNDER OF THE THEATINES.
St. Cajetan (1480-1547) was remarkable for his spirit of prayer and charity. St. Cajetan’s great zeal in seeking the salvation of souls earned for him the title “The Hunter of Souls.” He is the founder of the Congregation of Clerks Regular, the Theatines.
CHRIST DWELLS IN OUR HEARTS OF FAITH (A LETTER OF ST. CAJETAN)
I am a sinner and do not think much of myself; I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord, that they may pray for you to the blessed Christ and his Mother. But do not forget that all the saints can not endear you to Christ as much as you can yourself. It is entirely up to you. If you want Christ to love you and help you, you must love him and always make an effort to please him. Do not waver in your purpose, because even if all the saints and every single creature should abandon you, he will always be near you, whatever your needs.
You know, of course, that we are pilgrims in this world, on a journey to our true home in heaven. The man who becomes proud loses his way and rushes to death. While living here we should strive to gain eternal life. Yet of ourselves we cannot achieve this since we have lost it through sin; but Jesus Christ has recovered it for us. For this reason we must always be grateful to him and love him. We must always obey him, and as far as possible remain united with him.
He has offered himself to be our food. How wretched is the man who knows nothing of such a gift! To us has been given the opportunity to receive Christ, son of the Virgin Mary, and we refuse him. Woe to the man who does not care enough to receive him. My daughter, I want what is good for myself; I beg the same for you. Now there is no other way to bring this about than to ask the Virgin Mary constantly to come to you with her glorious Son. Be bold! Ask her to give you her Son, who in the blessed sacrament of the altar is truly the food of your soul. Readily will she give him to you, still more readily will he come to you, giving you the strength to make your way fearlessly through this dark wood. In it large numbers of our enemies lie in wait, but they cannot reach us if they see us relying on such powerful help.
Nor, my child, must you receive Jesus Christ simply as a means to further your own plans; I want you to surrender to him, that he may welcome you and, as your divine Saviour, do to you and in you whatever he wills. This is what I want, this is what I beg of you, this, as far as I can, is what I compel you to do.
O God, who endowed the Priest Saint Cajetan with the grace of imitating the apostolic way of life, grant us, through his example and intercession, to trust in you at all times and to seek your Kingdom without ceasing. Through our Lord.