Sanctification in Daily Work
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The Concept of Holy Shamelessness

Here’s a concept many, many of us don’t really think about and may have never heard of. However, it is one that I first found in the writings of St. Josemaría in “The Way.” In writing about our sanctity he says, “If you have holy shamelessness, you won’t be bothered by the thought of what people have said or what they will say. (The Way: 391)” We should laugh at scorn and ridicule. Do you make a sign of the Cross when you say the blessing before a meal in public? I know I used to think other people would laugh at me so I convinced myself that just saying a silent blessing was enough. But why, when I don’t mind making a sign of the Cross at home or alone? Really, why should I care what others think when I believe that what God thinks is most important?

Anyway, this is just a concept that has really stuck with me because you can apply it to many things. Another personal example is when in a group conversation people start using profanity or making jokes about very inappropriate things> What do you do? Laugh along? I don’t anymore. I have asked people to not use the Lord’s name in vain when talking with me. That was very hard to do but I found out I didn’t get the kind of negative response I thought I would get. There are many more ways to look at this concept and how it can apply in anyone’s life.

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.

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

Your Public Example

Another point from The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva is this one in the first chapter.

How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.

One of the points that struck me when I first read this was “bearing and conversation.” This said to me that living out my faith does not mean putting on a robe and sandals or having a large cross hanging from my neck. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that. However, most of us living in the world and not in an order don’t need to dress out of the ordinary. Some people need to wear a uniform for work for example. By ordinary I do not mean like a lot of the inappropriate clothing that is so common today.

No, we need to wear our faith by our actions, by the words we use. Can you imagine if no one used profanity, shared pornographic images or jokes or talked bad about someone else? What if everyone did their job without complaining? What if we helped each other instead of thinking only of ourselves and ignoring those around us in need? It would be a very different world.

We’re called to this and even if no one else lives their faith, we should. People will notice. They may make fun of us. But we’ll make them think and we’ll be an example for them.

I admit it’s not always easy. A very simple but tough thing for me was getting in the habit of making a sign of the cross and saying a blessing at a public meal, either by myself in an airport or at a convention banquet. I have had strangers come up to me and thank me for doing it though. Talk about some positive affirmation. Let’s all give it a try.

Get Up And Do Something

I’ve been trying for years to figure out what my “voice” is on Path to Holiness. My first reason for creating it was to help promote the spirituality of Opus Dei which has had such a profound impact on my life. I still want to do that but I also want to do more than that. So here’s my first shot at a way I might use this mechanism to accomplish what I feel called to do.

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

This is a part of the first point in The Way, by St. Josemaria Escriva. You can find his and his books are not expensive .

When I first read The Way and especially this first point, I mediated on it and what it meant to me. I realized that it’s not enough to just say my prayers and go to Mass. I am called to do more. Not to do miraculous things, no. But to change my life so that just my example will have a positive impact on everyone I meet. I need to not just have my faith but I must live it and that means getting off my butt and doing something even if it’s just some little thing no one but God will know about.

I don’t know about you but I believe in the spiritual life. Our thoughts and actions have an impact on it. We can’t say that our actions don’t have an impact on others. Of course they do. A positive or negative thing I do impacts everyone.

So, here’s my start. I’ll write as often as I can and I welcome your feedback and comments.

St. Josemaria App Giveaway

Just in case you don’t have the St.

Josemaria App on your smart phone, here’s a chance to win a free one.

Thanks to EB Solutions, app developer, the St. Josemaria Institute is offering all of our subscribers the chance to win the highly-rated St. Josemaria App.

We will be selecting five lucky winners!

Among the many great features, the app includes the complete published writings of St. Josemaria Escriva, the New Testament, the Holy Rosary, the Way of the Cross, and many other devotions.

The deadline to enter to win is September 16, 2012. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The winners will be announced on September 23, 2012.

St. Josemaria Feast Day Mass Locator

This Tuesday is the feast day of St. Josemaria Escriva. I’m traveling that day and hoping to be able to attend one of the Masses being held in his honor.

But in case you are able to then check out the St. Josemaria Feast Day Mass Locator. I’m going to try to make the afternoon Mass in Minneapolis.

You can find the prayer for the intercession of St. Josemaria Escriva here.

Christmas Greeting From St. Josemaria Institute

Here’s a Christmas greeting from the St. Josemaria Institute:

“God is here.”

“This day shall light shine upon us; for the Lord is born to us.” (Is 9:2) “This is the great announcement which moves Christians today. Through them it is addressed to all mankind. God is here. This truth should fill our lives, and every Christmas should be for us a new and special meeting with God, when we allow his light and grace to enter deep into our soul.”

‘Iesus Christus, Deus homo: Jesus Christ, God-man. This is one of “the mighty works of God,” (Acts 2:11) which we should reflect upon and thank him for. He has come to bring “peace on earth to men of good will,” (Lk 2:14) to all men who want to unite their wills to the holy will of God—not just the rich, not just the poor, but everyone…’

St. Josemaria Escriva
“Christ Triumphs through Humility”
Christ is Passing By, 12-13

Click here for the complete text of “Christ Triumphs through Humility”, a homily by St. Josemaria Escriva given on Christmas Eve, 1963.

Christmas Cards From St. Josemaria Institute

The St. Josemaria Institute has Christmas cards available for order. They’ll send some Prayer for the Family cards along with your order and all proceeds benefit the Institute.

Inspired by St. Josemaria’s love for representations of the Child Jesus, Our Lady, and the Holy Family, we have selected a beautiful painting of the Madonna and Child for the cover that we hope will inspire the true Christmas message in everyone on your list.

“Every time Christmas comes around, I love to look at representations of the Child Jesus. Statues and pictures which show a God who lowered himself remind me that God is calling us. The Almighty wants us to know that he is defenseless, that he needs men’s help. From the cradle at Bethlehem, Christ tells you and me that he needs us. He urges us to live a Christian life to the full — a life of self-sacrifice, work and joy.”

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 18

Suggested Donation: $10

10 cards and 10 envelopes per packet
Inside Greeting: May the light of the newborn Christ be with you and your family throughout the year.
Inside Cover: “This day shall a light shine upon us; for the Lord is born to us.” (cf. Is 9: 1,5; Lk 1: 33)

Anniversary of Canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva

It’s hard to believe that it has been six years since the canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva. Here’s a two minute overview video that was just released. I was one of the tiny dots that represents the crowd at that outdoor service in St. Peter’s Square! Blessed Pope John Paul II called St Josemaria “the patron saint of ordinary life”.

The canonization ceremony took place on Sunday, October 6 at 10 o’clock in the morning. “For the honor of the Blessed Trinity … we declare and define that Blessed Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer is a Saint and we enroll him among the Saints, decreeing that he is to be venerated in the whole Church as one of the Saints,” Pope John Paul II solemnly proclaimed. The formula of canonization was closed by an “Amen” from the whole congregation, and enthusiastic applause broke out all the way down from Saint Peter’s Square to the Castel Sant’Angelo. After the Mass was over, the Pope wanted to greet all those present, and in the “Popemobile” he went around the Square and along the whole length of the Via della Conciliazione, accompanied by the Prelate of Opus Dei. Along the way, many babies and small children received a blessing and a kiss on the forehead from the Pope.

New Video Clips From Passionately Loving the World

You might enjoy seeing some of these new video clips just released.

To celebrate the founding of Opus Dei on October 2, 1928, and the 5th anniversary of the release of Passionately Loving the World, the St. Josemaria Institute is releasing never before seen (unedited) clips from Passionately Loving the World.

Fr. Dick Rieman, first member of Opus Dei in the United States, makes a brief appearance towards the end of the documentary. He talks about being at the canonization of St. Josemaria in Rome on October 6, 2002. After the canonization he told his students back home, “I am the only guy who has had pizza with a saint.”

In these exclusive clips, we share more of Fr. Dick’s story on meeting St. Josemaria Escriva in Rome for the first time; and, the meaning of holiness, of being a child of God, and being Christ to others.

Here’s one of the video clips you’ll find:

Fr. Dick Rieman is the first member of Opus Dei in the United States. In this clip from Passionately Loving the World, Fr. Dick explains how all Christians are called by God to holiness. Passionately Loving the World is a short documentary about ordinary Americans living the spirituality of St. Josemaria Escriva in the middle of the world today. From farmers to fire-fighters, they work hard, love their families, celebrate successes and endure failures. Through it all they try to grow closer to God. Order the DVD:

Get Your Instant Escriva

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Masses for Feast of Saint Josemaria

June 26th, the anniversary of Saint Josemaría’s death in 1975, is now his feast day. Masses will be celebrated in many cities around the U.S. You can find a list of them here. Here’s the invite from St. Louis. Unfortunately I’ll be in Iowa and won’t be able to attend.

Video Bio of St. Josemaria Escriva

I just noticed on the St. Josemaria Escriva YouTube channel a great video explaining who he was.

Looking Ahead To There Be Dragons

We’re getting closer to the release of the movie, “There Be Dragons.” This is the movie poster. It sure looks like it will be a good one.

Roland Joffe, the director who brought us the highly acclaimed and deeply spiritual film The Mission has returned to his roots with the epic movie There Be Dragons, a powerful story of war, tragedy, love and redemption. Featured in the NY Times, the $35 million Dragons is rated PG-13 and planned for release in theaters worldwide in Spring, 2011. Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War (early 1900s), Dragons tells the story of two childhood friends who become separated during the political conflict to find themselves on opposite sides as war erupts. One chooses the path of peace and becomes a priest while the other chooses the life of a soldier driven by jealousy and revenge. Each will struggle to find the power of forgiveness over the forces that tore their lives and friendship apart.