St. Josemaría Escrivá: Finding God in Daily Life

Today is the feastday of the founder of Opus Dei, whose full name is St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. He is the saint of everyday holiness and has been called “the saint of ordinary life” for his message that holiness and sainthood are attainable by all the faithful. St. Josemaría taught that such everyday holiness could allow countless people to meet God right where they were.

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FIFTEEN LESSONS FOR DAILY LIFE FROM ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVÁ:

1. Don’t compromise your principles

‘One must compromise.’ Compromise is a word found only in the vocabulary of those who have no will to fight — the lazy, the cunning, the cowardly — for they consider themselves defeated before they start. (The Way No. 54)

2. Don’t waste time

Don’t let your life be barren. Be useful. Make yourself felt. Shine forth with the torch of your faith and your love.

With your apostolic life, wipe out the trail of filth and slime left by the corrupt sowers of hatred. And set aflame all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you bear in your heart. (The Way No. 1)

3. Pay attention to the little things

Will-power. A very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things — which are never futile or trivial — with God’s grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a leader: to compel and to urge and to inspire others, with your word, with your example, with your knowledge and with your power. (The Way 19)

4. Embrace sacrifice

The Lord’s calling — vocation — always presents itself like this: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Yes: a vocation demands self-denial, sacrifice. But how pleasant that sacrifice turns out to be — gaudium cum pace, joy and peace — if that self-giving is complete! (Furrow No. 8)

5. Pray boldly

Be daring in your prayer, and the Lord will turn you from a pessimist into an optimist; from being timid, to being daring, from being feeble-spirited to being a man of faith, an apostle! (Furrow No. 118)

6. Care for others

I think it is very good that you should try daily to increase the depth of your concern for those under you. For to feel surrounded and protected by the affectionate understanding of the one in charge, can be the effective help which is needed by the people you have to serve by means of your governance. (Furrow No. 395)

7. Accept obstacles

Is the burden heavy? No, a thousand times no! Those obligations which you freely accepted are wings that raise you high above the vile mud of your passions.

Do the birds feel the weight of their wings? If you were to cut them off and put them on the scales you would see that they are heavy. But can a bird fly if they are taken away from it? It needs those wings and it does not notice their weight, for they lift it up above other creatures.

—Your “wings” are heavy too! But if you did not have them you would fall into the filthiest mire. (Furrow No. 414)

8. Finish the task

Sanctity is made up of heroic acts. Therefore, in our work we are asked for the heroism of finishing properly the tasks committed to us, day after day, even though they are the same tasks. If we don’t, then we do not want to be saints! (Furrow No. 529)

9. Persevere

As the flames of your first enthusiasm die down, it becomes difficult to advance in the dark. —But that progress is all the more reliable for being hard. And then, when you least expect it, the darkness vanishes, and the enthusiasm and light return. Persevere! (Furrow No. 789)

10. Be at peace

As soon as you truly abandon yourself in the Lord, you will know how to be content with whatever happens. You will not lose your peace if your undertakings do not turn out the way you hoped, even if you have put everything into them, and used all the means necessary. For they will have “turned out” the way God wants them to. (Furrow No. 860)

11. Call on Mary

Holy Mary is the Queen of peace, and thus the Church invokes her. So when your soul or your family are troubled, or things go wrong at work, in society or between nations, cry out to her without ceasing. Call to her by this title: Regina pacis, ora pro nobis — Queen of peace, pray for us. Have you at least tried it when you have lost your calm?… —You will be surprised at its immediate effect. (Furrow No. 874)

12. Surround yourself with wise counsellors

Mediocre men, mediocre in mind and in Christian spirit, surround themselves by foolish people when they are in power. They are falsely persuaded by their vanity that in this way they will never lose control.

Sensible men, however, surround themselves with learned people who live a clean life as well as possessing knowledge, and become, through their help, men who can really govern. They are not in this matter deceived by their humility, for in making others great they themselves are made great. (Furrow No. 968)

13. Please God, not men

You are in a position of authority and you go by what people say? You are a doddering old man! —First of all you should worry about what God will say; then, very much in the second place, and sometimes not at all, you may consider what others might think. “Whoever acknowledges me before men”, says the Lord, “I too will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father who is in heaven.” (Furrow No. 970)

14. Holiness is for everone

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.’ He calls each and every one to holiness; he asks each and every one to love him: young and old, single and married, healthy and sick, learned and unlearned, no matter where they work, or where they are. (Friends of God)

15. Always stay humble

For all your learning, for all your fame, your eloquence and power, if you are not humble, you are worth nothing. Cut out, root out that self-complacency which dominates you so completely. — God will help you — and then you will be able to begin working for Christ, in the lowest place in his army of apostles. (The Way No. 602)

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2 Responses to St. Josemaría Escrivá: Finding God in Daily Life

  1. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:

    Catholicism Pure & Simple
    Catholicism without compromise

    ← Feast of The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
    St. Josemaría Escrivá: Finding God in Daily Life
    Posted on June 26, 2020 by Catholicism Pure & Simple
    Today is the feastday of the founder of Opus Dei, whose full name is St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. He is the saint of everyday holiness and has been called “the saint of ordinary life” for his message that holiness and sainthood are attainable by all the faithful. St. Josemaría taught that such everyday holiness could allow countless people to meet God right where they were.

    St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer brought to humanity a precious gift by his living example expressing God’s will through him as an ordinary man but with an extraordinary soul which was in alignment and affixed to God’s Holy Spirit. This is what I’ve experienced myself when we allow God to speak to us in little things, where usually we are part of the clamor and background noise of this fallen world becoming caught up in the ways of the world, we lose sight of God’s presence in our personal lives; His gentle ever-present mystery of this world full of miracles that most people are unfortunately not seeing or hearing, and in essence “not seeing the forest for the trees,” running blind, as they get pulled into the vortex of deception and tumultuous conflict where all things tend to vie for their own survival only, even though all is vanity and futile without the life sustainer Jesus Christ, who is the only pathway to the door we must truly want to find and enter through into our eternal lives with God the Father. This is by no means an easy road to travel, but, the truth is it’s not an impossible journey, because, we always have the shining hope and true guidance of Jesus Christ who is the way the path and the life! Amen.
    Lawrence Morra
    I’m leaving many links to blog essays I’ve written that I see do correlate here with this wonderful article and my hope is someone may be inspired a bit from what I wrote. God Bless You. Lawrence
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/05/25/start-your-day-the-right-way-and-pray/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2019/09/07/both-fathers/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/02/22/a-passing-ship/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2019/08/12/thanks-to-god-for-my-suffering-and-cross/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/02/10/god-led-me-to-write-this-blog-as-it-should-be-written-so-it-shall-be-his-will/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/03/08/this-life-is-an-unbelievable-awe-inspiring-amazing-gift/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2019/11/08/he-alone-is-the-way-the-path-and-the-life-and-none-come-to-the-father-but-by-the-son-2/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/03/17/the-spirit-is-willing-but-the-flesh-is-weak/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/02/13/to-be-right-with-the-lord-our-hearts-must-be-right/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/06/04/prophesy-now-confirmed/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/02/15/money-is-the-root-of-all-evil/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/02/29/fulfillment-and-victory/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/03/16/god-send/
    https://lawrencemorra.com/2020/03/26/making-a-difference/

  2. Beautiful message contained in this very important article that I wanted to respond to in a very supportive way to only enhance its meaning and purpose though my own personal observations and experiences recently that I have written many essays about. Rather than bring it all to this comment now I decided I should reblog this article and provide what I hope is truly supportive to this wonderful effort of yours here. Thank you very much.
    God bless you.
    Lawrence

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