Saturday, June 26, 2010

ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA (1902-1975)

Though not in the universal calendar of the Church, we remember today’s saint because of his work to help lay people become holy in the midst of their daily lives in the world. In 1928 Fr. Escriva founded an organization to advance this mission and called it “Opus Dei” or “The Work of God.” When he died it consisted of 60,000 members of 80 different nationalities. Let us renew our own daily offering—the way in which we live out our priestly identity by which we worship God, making an offering of our lives—as we reflect on part of a homily given last year by Bishop Joseph Finn of Kansas City – St. Joseph.

Let us reflect a bit on a special insight that Saint Josemaría had: namely, that all the faithful have priestly souls. One does not have to be ordained or consecrated to have a priestly soul. Remember the words of St. Peter in his First Letter: “You, however, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people; that you may proclaim the perfections of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9). …

This priestly soul is given in the sacrament of Baptism, which configures the new Christian to Christ the King, Prophet, and Priest. It is animated by supernatural grace, in such way that the lay faithful have the capacity – when they are in the state of sanctifying grace - to connect the free offering of their lives with that of Christ the High Priest, and offer to God the pleasing sacrifice of their prayer, their work, and their sufferings---in union with Jesus on the altar and on Calvary. When the baptized live with Christ’s life and act out of a motive of love for Christ their actions are ‘meritorious’ – helpful to their salvation and that of others. They are –amazing as it may seem – true participants in the very work of redemption. …

They are called for nothing less than the transformation of the world in Jesus Christ. They are not only called but given the capacity to offer their work for the redemption of the world, as true co-redeemers with Christ for the salvation of the world. … These are all aspects of the priestly soul that the lay faithful should have, Saint Josemaria taught, without losing their lay mentality - since they are ordinary citizens working in the world, and living with their families, with all the responsibilities that this entails. In addition to a life of prayer and sacrifice, they are also called to be the light of the world (cf. Mt 5:14), by bearing witness to the truth revealed by Christ about human life, sexual morality, care for others, honesty, and so many other truths which are crucial to our society today. Oh how we need such engaged faithful dedicated to the holy work of changing the culture from the inside out!


2 comments:

pat said...

Thank you for posting this excellent video.

I have launched a new website to honour the Irish Jesuit World War I military chaplain Fr Willie Doyle.

I have a special post up there today for the feast of St Josemaria, who was an admirer of Fr Doyle. In fact, he wrote about him in point 205 of The Way!

Check out http://www.fatherdoyle.com for more details.

Thank you.

Helen Gonsalves said...

Thanks for the kind comments. St Escriva is one of my favourite saints. I will check the website thanks for the info. God Bless.