Wednesday, January 09, 2013

January 9, Birthday of St. Josemaria Escriva

Note: The revealed meaning of "Father" is one who loves his enemy. Benedict XVI: "We must therefore let Jesus teach us what father really means. In Jesus' discourses, the Father appears as the source of all good, as the measure of the rectitude (perfection) of man. 'But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good' (Mt. 5, 44-45). The love that endures 'to the end' (Jn.13  1) which the Lord fulfilled on the Cross in praying for his enemies shows us the essence of the Father. He is this love. Because Jesus brings it to completion, he is entirely 'Son,' and he invites us to become 'sons' according to this criterion" [Benedict XVI "Jesus of Nazareth" Doubleday (2007) 136].

The decisive characteristic of St. Josemaria Escriva is his love for 

his sons and daughters. On his tomb, he wanted said: GENUIT 

FILIOS ET FILIAS. D. Alvaro opted to put simply: EL PADRE.

   D. Pedro Rodriguez wrote: “What is decisive is neither his ‘jurisdiction’ nor their obedience. Rather, what truly defines Opus Dei’s prelate is his ‘fatherhood,’ his role as a pastor who is a father to all the prelature’s faithful. That is why in Opus Dei he is usually called ‘Father.’ The prelate’s role in the life of Opus Dei deeply configures the prelature. Therefore it is important to consider it when determining the ecclesial profile of the social arrangement lived therein” [“The Place of Opus Dei in the Church” in Opus Dei in the Church  Scepter (1995) 56].

            What does this love do? It fashions Opus Dei into a family of human and supernatural connections – which is power. It is the power of giving self and becoming another Christ. The real “power,” then,  of Opus Dei is to be “consummate in unum,” letters inscribed over the face of a tabernacle in the oratory of Pentecost in the central house of Opus Dei in Rome. The dynamic that is behind those words is the heart of St. Josemaria who asked persistently that the Lord give him His heart. He relentlessly prayed the aspiration: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, be my Love.” He got it. And with that heart, he was given the penetrating vision to see the Blood of Christ coursing through the veins of his sons and daughters.
   The depth behind these words is the reality that one can make the gift of himself or herself only if he or she has been loved for self, and not used. This is human love, divine Love, and it is called “Grace.” After being drilled by an Italian dentist, and in pain, Escriva called one of his sons on the phone in the house and said: “I love you because you are children of God, because you are trying to be saints, decided to be my children, because you are very faithful and majos – all of my children are. I love you with the same affection that your mothers do. I care about everything about you: your bodies and your souls, your virtues and your defects. My children, it gives me a lot of joy to speak to you this way! When I see you over there, I won’t be able to do that, and I admit, at times I have to force myself not to get sentimental, not to leave you with the memory of tears, not to keep repeating to you that I love you so much, so much… For I love you with  the same heart  with which I love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the Blessed Virgin,; with the same heart  with which I loved my mother and my father. I love you lie all the mothers of the world put together – each of you equally, from the first to the last” (Vazquez de Prada p. 271).

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