Sanctification in Daily Work
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Annual Retreat at Villa Maria Retreat Center

Villa Maria Retreat CenterIt is still Easter season and I was able to make my annual retreat. This was held at the Villa Maria Catholic Life Center near Springfield, IL. The retreat was put on by the Wespine Center in St. Louis, MO. Pictured is the chapel where we listened to talks from our priest, Fr. Mike Giesler, and held Mass and Adoration as well as just being able to sit in the presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle.

I always take a lot of notes during the talks and meditations. I’m sharing many of these on my Twitter account: @PathToHoliness. Feel free to follow and thank you.

I had not been able to go to an Opus Dei retreat for a couple of years and it was greatly missed. I needed it because it “recharges my spiritual batteries.” The biggest and pleasant surprise was that Fr. Giesler was here. He was the priest at my first retreat back in 1997! He has written several books that you can find easily online. I purchased “How Christ Saves Souls – With Us: The Mystery of Co-Redemption, which was published last year by Emmaus Road Publishing.

St. Josemaria Institute Podcast

St. Josemaria Institute PodcastI’ve been meaning to point out the St. Josemaria Institute Podcast. I get an email notification about it and received one this weekend for the latest episode which is a meditation on the Feast of St. Mark. If you would like to know about the life of St. Mark then listen in.

On April 25th we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. St. Mark wrote one of the Gospel accounts and was a companion of St. Paul on his first missionary journey. However, in the Acts of the Apostles, we discover that St. Mark abandoned St. Paul, and that St. Paul would not allow St. Mark to accompany him on his second journey.

In this meditation, Fr. Javier del Castillo explores the interesting dynamic between St. Paul and St. Mark, and what we can learn for our own life.

2015 Retreat Planned

Roseaire Retreat CenterIt’s official. I’m going on a retreat this year! Last year I never did get one on my calendar. That was the first time in more years than I can remember that I missed going on a retreat. By the end of last year I could “feel” something was missing spiritually. That’s how important an annual retreat can be for your spiritual health and growth.

So, I’ll be attending a Roseaire Retreat and looking forward to seeing their new facilities. They have added a dorm section with more rooms for attendees.

Roseaire Retreat encourages individuals to recognize and foster the unique contribution they make to society when they integrate their faith with their daily work, their family, friendships and social relationships. We offer spiritual retreats, workshops, summer camps and professional workshops to middle school, high school, and college students, as well as young professionals and men and women from all over the country.

The spiritual and doctrinal activities offered at Roseaire Retreat are entrusted to Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei helps people turn their work and daily activities into occasions for growing closer to God, serving others and improving society. For more information about Opus Dei, please see

Annual Retreat Part of Plan of Life

Roseaire Retreat ChapelI have written before about having a plan of life and I will write some more about it soon. I’m taking a few moments to get a new update here on Path to Holiness while I’m on my annual retreat. This is part of my plan of life.

I’m attending a retreat at Roseaire Retreat which is managed by the Tekesta Study Center in Miami. This annual retreat is needed to charge the spiritual batteries so I can go forward toward the goal of Heaven. We live in a world with a lot of challenges to achieving that goal but it is possible with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I’ll be sharing notes from this retreat as I have time to in coming weeks. Now I need to get back to some serious meditation and examination of my conscience.

Kissing the Christ Child

Here’s a video showing St. Josemaria with some young people who brought him a figure of the Christ Child. He talks to them and blesses them with it. One of the things I’ve always loved about St. Josemaria is how he likes to put himself in the scenes from the gospels. Are we putting ourselves in the scene with the manger and the newborn child today?

From Christ is Passing By, 36:

“…a child is born in Bethlehem.”
When the fullness of time comes, no philosophical genius, no Plato or Socrates appears to fulfill the mission of redemption. Nor does a powerful conqueror, another Alexander, take over the earth.

Instead a child is born in Bethlehem. He it is who is to redeem the world.

But before he speaks he loves with deeds. It is no magic formula he brings, because he knows that the salvation he offers must pass through human hearts.

What does he first do? He laughs and cries and sleeps defenseless, as a baby, though he is God incarnate.

And he does this so that we may fall in love with him, so that we may learn to take him in our arms.

St. Josemaria Escriva

The Venerable Bishop Alvaro del Portillo!

Let’s celebrate another venerable man, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo. He was the first Prelate of Opus Dei and a close friend of founder St. Josemaría Escrivá. Pope Benedict has signed a decree that recognizes his “heroic virtues.” According to Rome Reports:

This step is actually key, as his beatification process goes further. It means, that Benedict XVI recognizes that “Don Alvaro” exemplified Christian virtues in his life.

Now, those working on his cause for beatification, must present a documented miracle to the Vatican. If it’s approved by experts, theologians and of course the Pope, his beatification could follow. Alvaro del Portillo was born in Madrid, Spain in 1914. His mother was Mexican, his father was Spanish. He studied Civil Engineering, Philosophy and Theology.

Cause For Canonization of Fr. Joseph Muzquiz Opened

One of the first priests of Opus Dei may someday soon be declared a saint in the Catholic Church.

The cause of canonization of Fr. José Luis Muzquiz, was officially opened in the Archdiocese of Boston on June 2. Father Joseph, as he was always known in the United States, was one of the first three priests ordained for Opus Dei in 1944. At the request of St. Josemaría, he came to the United States in 1949 to begin Opus Dei’s work in this country.

For biographical information about Father Joseph a good source is the recent book by John Coverdale, Putting Down Roots: Fr. Joseph Muzquiz and the Growth of Opus Dei (available here).

Here is what his prayer card says:

The Servant of God, Father Joseph Muzquiz
Prayer for Private Devotion

God, you helped your servant Joseph work with generosity and simplicity. He spread the message of sanctity in secular life to many people, teaching them to find joy and peace in their daily life. Help me to seek first the kingdom of God, by sanctifying my everyday work and dedicating myself generously to the salvation of souls. Glorify your servant Joseph, and through his intercession, grant me the favor I ask of you.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

Marian Year in Opus Dei

Opus DeiThe latest in an ongoing series from Opus Dei about the life of Mary was just published on their website.

Life of Mary (V): The Annunciation

The fifth reflection on our Lady’s life during this Marian Year in Opus Dei. This month we consider the Archangel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary, and Christ’s entry into the world.

St. Josemaría iPhone App

Here is my already favorite iPhone app and I just downloaded it. The St. Josemaría iPhone App!

The first iPhone application with Saint Josemaría Escrivá teachings, life and catholic prayer devotions.

Saint Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei, opened a new path of holiness in the Catholic Church, teaching that people can become holy by performing their work and daily duties with a Christian spirit.

Finding God in daily life:
Opus Dei is a Catholic institution founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá. Its mission is to spread the message that work and the circumstances of everyday life are occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.

Opus Dei complements the work of local churches by offering classes, talks, retreats and pastoral care that help people develop their personal spiritual life and apostolate.

As Pope John Paul II reminded us on October 6, 2002, during the Solemn Mass of Canonization, in his preaching, St. Josemaría Escrivá never ceased to insist that “interior life, that is, the life of relationship with God, and family, professional and social life, made up of small worldly realities should not be separated, but that they should constitute one sole existence, that is ‘holy and full of God'”. These affirmations effectively summarize the message of St. Josemaría and, at the same time, of his figure, because-in him-the message, priestly activity and the human person were fused into one.

“You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’ you can be sure you’ve already begun.” (Saint Josemaría Escrivá)

“To pray is to talk to God, but about what? About Him, about yourself; joys, sorrows, successes, and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation. In a word: to get to know Him and to get to know yourself: to get acquainted.” (Saint Josemaria Escriva)

Contents of Application:
•Saint Josemaría Escrivá Prayer Card
•Saint Josemaría Escrivá Writings
•Daily catholic prayer devotions
•Videos of Saint Josemaría Escrivá via Youtube

Opus Dei Priest To Lead LA Archdiocese

An AP article has made a major announcement for the people of Los Angeles.

The pope on Tuesday named Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, Texas, to take over the Los Angeles archdiocese when its current archbishop retires.

The appointment of the Mexican-born Gomez as coadjutor for Los Angeles puts him in line to become the highest-ranking Latino in the American Catholic hierarchy and the first Latino Cardinal in the U.S.

Gomez, 58, is a priest of the conservative Opus Dei order.

It’s nice to see Opus Dei formed priests in positions like this one. We need more of them!

Opus Dei YouTube Channel

Opus Dei has a YouTube channel now.

The Opus Dei Office of Information has created the Saint Josemaría channel to make the founder’s life and teachings better known.

It offers many hours of videos of Saint Josemaría Escrivá. People from all over the world have the opportunity to listen to someone who is now in heaven speaking on about God.

Here’s an example of one of the videos already posted. This one is about The Way.

Mid-Missouri Circle Meeting

During one of our regular Mid-Missouri Circle mtgs. for cooperators of Opus Dei I showed them some of what you can do on an iPhone such as tweet a photo.

A circle meeting is a nice opportunity to get together for a scripture reading, mediation supplied by someone from the Wespine Study Center in St. Louis, examination of conscience and just to get caught up on the activities of each other and Opus Dei.

“Opus Dei Makes Me a Better Mum”

Opus DeiRosemary Keenan writes in the UK Times Online:

What sets Opus Dei apart from the fickleness of the world is the ‘unity of life’ that members try to lead. “This is the real you, the person you are behind closed doors,” I often say to my children, “not the public image you portray when you’re outside with your friends.”

Likewise, living ‘unity of life’ is the essence of being a member of Opus Dei and why I love it so much. “May your behaviour and your conversation be such that everyone who sees or hears you can say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ,” writes St Josemaria in “The Way” – which just about sums it up. Living unity of life means remembering to be thankful for every minute of each day whatever the set-backs, instead of partitioning the day into times to please God and reserving the rest for ourselves. It’s about avoiding the stumbling block of becoming a “Sunday Catholic” who steps out of church feeling elated only to go weak with impatience at the sight of the car being blocked in or your husband blaming you for something that has gone wrong.

Read the whole article!

Marian Year in Opus Dei

Opus DeiThe Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, has announce a Marian year in Opus Dei to give thanks to God for showing Saint Josemaría, 80 years ago, that this path towards sanctity is also meant for women. St. Josemaría was very devoted to our Blessed Mother which is one of many things that has drawn me to him and The Work. Here are excerpts from his announcement letter:

My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me!

This month we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the moment when St. Josemaría saw that Opus Dei was also intended for women. We know that on October 2, 1928, when he received the foundational light, our Father thought that the Work was only for men. Thus we can imagine his surprise and joy when a few months later, on February 14, 1930, our Lord made him understand that he was also counting on women to carry everywhere—through their example and word—the message of sanctification in professional work and in all the circumstances of ordinary life. Years later, with deep gratitude to divine Providence, he said that “truly the Work, without that express wish of our Lord and without your sisters, would have been left crippled.”[1] He often made reference to this, my daughters, to show what a great responsibility each one of you has. Although it’s a small digression, I ask you to commend to heaven an intention that will make you very happy.

As in 2008, when we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Work, it has seemed to me that the best way to channel our thanksgiving is to stay very close to our Lady during these months. Therefore it gives me great joy to convoke a new Marian year in Opus Dei, from the upcoming 14th of February to the same date in 2011. During these months, let us strive to honor our Mother more and better, above all by putting great care into the prayer and contemplation of the Holy Rosary, and spreading this devotion among our families and friends. And let us give express thanks to God for the work of the women who look after the material care of the centers of the Prelature, which contributes so decisively to maintaining and improving the environment of a home that God infused into the Work, when he inspired it in our Father in 1928.

Youth Speak About Faith

Opus Dei has a new video out which features young people from various countries speaking about how they have found happiness in living their Christian faith.