St. Josemaria Monday
This is the first post on my new kick to study Opus Dei, and to begin to discern my vocation process to see if joining the prelate is my call. So, instead of offering pros and cons, as some might, I want to talk about the thoughts on my mind, and then write about the Founder of Opus Dei’s writing. So let’s get to it.
Life is moving fast. At the time you are reading this, I spent all night preparing myself to steel away into the night in Florida and arrive in the day in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so that I reunite with The Secret Vatican Spy and we can continue our evil plot to take over the world.
I should have arrived by the time most of you are reading this, but I wanted to let you know that I’ll be spending today meditating on the works of St Josemaria Escriva while I fly, as I give you updates via my twitter.
Anyways, Kassie and I talked these past few weeks about Opus Dei. I called my sponsor, (Yes, I still know I’m “a grown ass man” as my friend Carlos put it, who does not need a sponsor. Some things are better done with friends, even if it makes you look ridiculous,) and we talked. He likes my ideas, and is supportive of me and Kassie dating, he was “tickled” by the idea when I informed him.
He knows both of us and has known us since before we decided Catholicism is where we’re called. I have known him for a few years. I’m not sure where Kassie met him or how long they go back, but either way he’s a great Catholic leader and a trusted friend. In fact he’s so awesome I have decided to nickname him Papa Smurf.
Papa Smurf is a great guy and I am glad he’s pleased. He’s like a second father to me, and having his support was more indescribably amazing than there are words in this or any other language. He listened to the dastardly tale of a wedding, and how two Catholics met in the early Denver morning and began a glorious friendship that became something more. Anyways, he likes me dating Kassie, and he liked the idea of us looking into joining Opus Dei.
He knows my heart and supported the thought, as a convert himself, I feel reassured that his thought life on all this is just right in sync with my own. But alas, today is the day we begin discussing the writings of St. Josemaria Escriva on character from his writings found here.
Let’s look at our first passage:
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. -St. Josemaria Escriva
Since this is my practical, and personal blog, we won’t go into a crazy amount of depth. Just meditate on these words. Think on them, let them fill you, for if you desire, you would think and live in the same life that St. Josemaria encourages us to adopt. If you desire and so act, you too can become all flame.*
First he encourages us in fruitfulness, to till the soils in our hearts, to make sure we are at work. “Blessed is the servant who is working when the master comes.”
Be a worker, be useful, the gospel is too good to do nothing with. Allow people to see the gospel at work in you, and let your faith be matched by your love as a single torch.
It’s interesting that St. Josemaria calls our life apostolic, but it is! We are all the offspring of the apostles, and while the office and specific gifts of that office are not ours, what is ours is the evangelistic power, and the same Holy Spirit. Undo the hatred in the world with the fiery love of the gospel. Set the earth alight and to burning with the simple light, that you refuse to put under a bowl. It is this very same little light, the fire of faith and the warmth of love that shall change the world.
* This is a story about two Desert Fathers, Abba Lot, and Abba Joseph.
The story goes like this: Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, ‘Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?’ Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, ‘If you will, you can become all flame.’