This Holy Week

I just wanted to share some excerpts from the homily of Saint Josemaria Escriva during his visit to the University of Navarre, Spain on October 8, 1967. Entitled, “Passionately Loving the World”, his message is a very good reflection to all the Christians this Holy Week, especially to the laymen who constitute a very large percentage of the population. May our hearts be renewed with this profound message. Full article here.

On the contrary, you must realise now, more clearly than ever, that God is calling you to serve him in and from the ordinary, secular and civil activities of human life. He waits for us everyday, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.

I often said to the university students and workers who were with me in the ‘thirties that they had to know how to materialize their spiritual lives. I wanted to warn them of the temptation, so common then and now, to lead a kind of double life: on the one hand, an inner life, a life related to God; and on the other, as something separate and distinct, their professional, social and family lives, made up of small earthly realities.

No, my children! We cannot lead a double life. We cannot be like schizophrenics, if we want to be Christians. There is only one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is that life which has to become, in both body and soul, holy and filled with God: we discover the invisible God in the most visible and material things.

There is no other way, my daughters and sons: either we learn to find our Lord in ordinary, everyday life, or we shall never find him. That is why I tell you that our age needs to give back to matter and to the apparently trivial events of life their noble, original meaning. It needs to place them at the service of the Kingdom of God; it needs to spiritualize them, turning them into a means and an occasion for a continuous meeting with Jesus Christ.

I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God. That is why I have told you so often, and hammered away at it, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your everyday lives . . .

Here is a summary of the biography of Saint Josemaria Escriva, the “saint of ordinary life”. Excerpt from the English prayer card. You can also download your own copy here in other languages. We can ask Saint Josemaria Escriva to graciously intercede and bring our prayers to Our Lord God in Heaven by communion of saints!

Saint Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902. He was ordained to the priesthood in Saragossa on March 28, 1925. On October 2, 1928, by divine inspiration he founded Opus Dei. On June 26, 1975, he died suddenly in Rome, after a final affectionate glance at a picture of our Lady in the room where he worked. At the time of his death, Opus Dei had spread to six continents with over 60,000 members of 80 nationalities, serving the Church with the same spirit of complete union with the Pope and bishops which Saint Josemaría Escrivá had always lived. The Holy Father John Paul II canonized the Founder of Opus Dei in Rome on October 6, 2002. His liturgical feast is celebrated on June 26.

The body of Saint Josemaría Escrivá rests in the Prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace at Viale Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.

May this be a meaningful Holy Week for all of us.

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