PathToHoliness

Sanctification in Daily Work
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Opus Dei Benefits the Disabled Too

Opus Dei is often seen as a way of sanctifying one’s work – which it is. But it’s not just about professional work. It’s about raising up every aspect of daily life to the level of prayer and union with God. As children of God, we must act like His children, even in the most ordinary aspects of our daily life:

Heaven and earth seem to merge, my daughters and sons, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your heart, when you strive for holiness in your everyday lives.
~St.

Josemaria Escriva, from Passionately Loving the World, Oct. 8, 1967

On his blog, Human Life Matters, Mark Pickup has a beautiful post about how those of us with disabilities, though we may not “work”, can still contribute to society and benefit from Opus Dei:

I have been unable to work in years because of multiple sclerosis. Still, I believe that even my circumstances of everyday life — relegated to a wheelchair — can be fertile ground for growing closer to God…

We, the incurably ill and disabled, are not life unworthy of life. We have contributions to bring to the table of the Human Community, even if it is only by our presence.

We can challenge society to include those who may difficult to include, or those who bring discomfort to sophisticated or polite company. We call those around us to a higher standard of love and friendship. We can knock at the door of mainstream society and demand admission and reasonable accommodation so that we can find our rightful places in the world. If the disabled and incurably ill despair of life, we need people to lift us up as indispensable members of society and worthy of life. We do not need the abandonment of a utilitarian society eagerly agreeing to assist with our suicides, or euthanasia of those who can’t communicate to defend themselves.

Contrary to what bioethics may promote, our rightful places in the world are not graves or crematoriums.

A man like me is increasingly viewed as a liability to society. I need an organization like Opus Dei to encourage and mentor me to use my circumstances of everyday life for “growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My father has been a cooperator of Opus Dei for a number of years and my mother and I enjoy the women’s retreats every year. I adore the message and spirituality of Opus Dei – holiness in ordinary life. It has been a great blessing and help for me in living out the daily struggles of my own disability, not to mention every other part of my everyday life:

It doesn’t matter what age you are; it doesn’t matter what your position is or what your circumstances are or who you are: you have to convince yourself, commit yourself, and desire holiness. You well know that holiness does not consist in extraordinary graces received in prayer, or unbearable mortification and penance; nor is it the inheritance only of those who live in lonely oasis, far from the world. Holiness consists in faithful and loving fulfillment of one’s desires, in joyful and humble acceptance of God’s will, in union with him in your everyday work, in knowing how to fuse religion and life into a fruitful and harmonious unity, and in all sorts of other ordinary little things you know so well.
~ Fr. Salvatore Canals from Jesus as Friend

Find out more about Opus Dei

Feast Day Celebrations

Opus Dei Feast Day MassWe didn’t have a special feast day Mass here locally on June 26 but they sure did in Sacré Coeur of Bucharest on June 9, 2007. D. Alberto Steinvorth and a Catholic priest from Buzau, P. Pavel con-celebrated.

The St. Josemaria Institute is collecting pictures from various celebrations and says they’ll be posting them on their website soon.

Spidey Saves His Soul

Spider-ManLast weekend I went with my wife and daughter to see the latest Spider-Man movie. I am a long time comic book fan so of course I loved it. But I was particularly impressed with the underlying theme of the movie. This wasn’t just an action packed superhero movie, there was a very clear message. That message was forgiveness. One scene in particular illustrated this message perfectly. Spider-Man, finally consumed by hatred and revenge, realizes the terrible effect this has on his soul and flees to a nearby Catholic church. After spending some moments alone on the steeple (in prayer?) he descends into the bell tower and, with the help of the tolling bell, rips off the black garment he had been wearing which was an outward symbol of the vengeance within. It was such a powerful image and I thought, this is the healing power of confession!

Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool (Is 1:18).

The more we sin, the further away from God we become. The sacrament of reconciliation is a sacrament of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. He is always calling us back! Not only does it reconcile us with God, but also with our neighbor. When one offends God it consequently effects the rest of the Mystical Body of Christ, obviously in a negative way. Therefore, when we repent and offer penance for our sins we will, then, through the mercy and forgiveness of God, help others and repair the damage we have done.

Have recourse to confession; it’s not merely to pardon grave sins or venial sins or even faults. It’s also there to strengthen us, to fill the soul with grace and hasten us along, so that we might travel the road more quickly. It will also show us how to be more adept in struggling and to win, how to behave in such a way that we live virtuously and detest sin. St. Josemaria Escriva

Sources:
A Guidebook for Confession
Why We Need Confession
Frequent Confession

Go In Spirit to the Tabernacle

Blessed SacramentYesterday I posted this quote from St. Josemaria:

You should maintain throughout the day a constant conversation with Our Lord, a conversation fed even by the things that happen in your professional work. Go in spirit to the tabernacle…and offer to God the work that is in your hands.

The idea of going in spirit to the tabernacle as a way to keep holiness in your daily life reminded me of a website I found on another blog. Savior.org is an online visit to the Blessed Sacrament. The goal of Savior.org is not to replace spending time in the physical presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but to increase “awareness and devotion to our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We also seek to bring the live image of His living Presence to the homebound, the workplace, and to remote areas around the world.”

I think it is a fabulous idea and a good way to keep in the presence of Our Lord throughout the day. Another way I heard about in a talk on the Eucharist is to ask your guardian angel to go and kneel in the presence of Our Lord for you and tell Him you love Him.

St. Joseph the Worker

St. JosephToday was the feast of St. Joseph the worker. St. Joseph could be considered a model for Opus Dei. He was regarded in the Bible as a good and just man and was referred to by his profession (“is this not the carpenter’s son?” Mt. 13:55). The emphasis on Joseph’s work in the Bible and throughout tradition speaks to the importance of our own work in the world.

From St. Paul’s teaching we know that we have to renew the world in the spirit of Jesus Christ, that we have to place Our Lord at the summit and at the heart of all things. Do you think you are carrying this out in your work, in your professional task?..

Professional work – and the work of a housewife is one of the greatest of professions – is a witness to the worth of the human creature. It provides a chance to develop one’s own personality; it creates a bond of union with others; it constitutes a fund of resources; it is a way of helping in the improvement of the society we live in, and of promoting the progress of the whole human race…For a Christian, these grand views become even deeper and wider. For work, which Christ took up as something both redeemed and redeeming, becomes a means, a way of holiness, a specific task which sanctifies and can be sanctified…

You should maintain throughout the day a constant conversation with Our Lord, a conversation fed even by the things that happen in your professional work. Go in spirit to the tabernacle…and offer to God the work that is in your hands.

~St. Josemaria, the Forge 678, 702 and 745

St. Josemaria Institute Launched

St. Josemaria InstituteA 28 minute film titled, “Passionately Loving the World: Ordinary Americans Living the Spirituality of St. Josemaria” was premiered to launch the St. Josemaria Institute. You can obtain copies of the documentary on the website.

The premier was held in the Lighthouse Audutorium of Manhattan in New York City.

The Institute has a variety of resources for those wishing to learn more about St. Josemaria Escriva and conducts seminars and other activities.

Time To Learn About The Founder

St. Josemaria EscrivaWith all the hype over the Da Vinci Code movie I don’t think I need to say anything other than that it’s a good time to learn more about the founder, St. Josemaria Escriva.

I have links in the right sidebar to websites where you can find a lot of truthful information.

Or you can visit these: St. Josemaria Institute, Scepter Publishers

St. Josemaria Comic Book

Through The MountainsI’ve long been a comic book fan. I know I have one about John Paul II. I’ve sold off most of them but still have a few boxes of them.

Now there’s a comic book about St. Josemaria Escriva. It’s 1928. On the outskirts of Madrid a group of children are engaged in an lively exchange with a young St. Josemaría as he teaches Catechism. From there a flashback takes the reader to the saint’s childhood. Thus opens “Through the Mountains,” the new biography of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the first one to appear in comic book format.

This biography was printed in Belgium, a country known for a long tradition of high quality comic books. The text was written by Paule Fostroy, with artwork by J. Gillissen and E. Gabriel. The drawings combine simplicity of lines with vivid colors to a quasi photographic effect. The various scenes in Spanish cities and in Rome are recreated with meticulous care.

You can find it at Scepter Publishers.

Statue of St. Josemaria Escriva

Statue of St. Josemaria EscrivaOn August 30 a statue of St. Josemaria Escriva was placed just outside St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The statue is located in an exterior niche of the Basilica alongside other sculptures of the same dimension: St. Teresa of the Andes, St. Marcelino Champagnat, St. Gregory of Armenia, etc. John Paul II intended that the niches in this area of the Basilica be occupied by saints and founders of our time.

In 2002 the same Italian artist, Romano Cosci, sculpted a figure of St. Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, foundress of the Handmaids of Jesus, which has also been placed in the Vatican.

Cosci works from his studio in Pietrasanta, a town in northern Italy. Shortly after the statue of St. Josemaria was placed in its niche, he declared: “This has been a great year; we have worked with intensity in order to complete a difficult project: the sculpture of a saint. Ordinarily it is difficult for an artist to be completely satisfied with his work. My intention is to please the faithful who view it, recognizing in it the figure of a priest who wanted to fulfill the will of God in everything.”

Follow Your Path To Holiness

St. Josemaria EscrivaWelcome to PathToHoliness, a weblog dedicated to Opus Dei and spreading the word that our path to holiness can and should take place in our everyday life and throught the santification of our work. We’ll follow the writings and path laid out by the founder, shown here, of Opus Dei, St. Josemaria Escriva.

This is my first post. Much more to come.