Day 3: The Opus Dei - Homily "Freedom, a gift from God" (3rd excerpt)
In 1933, Father Escrivá opens a cultural centre ; then in 1934, a hall of residence. Around a hundred students find there an advanced Christian training and a studious atmosphere to prepare their exams and competitive examinations. When the social tensions are strong in Madrid, politics are not mentioned in the house, where everyone's choices are respected. Some of the young persons take the decision to follow "the Father" by committing their life to God into the world, without any religious vow or consecration. They carry on with their studies, then with their professional careers, whilst enjoying each opportunity of apostolate they offer to them. Most of them will find each other after the scattering caused by the Spanish Civil War.
The growth of the Opus Dei
Indeed, the civil war breaks out in July 1936. Josemaría, who lives then in Madrid, in the Republican zone, is forced, due to religious persecutions, to switch constantly from a hiding place to another. A refugee at the legation of Honduras in March 1937, he leaves a few months later for a vast sacerdotal work in Madrid, at the risk of his own life. In December 1937 he joins the National zone. Settled in a guesthouse in Burgos, he reconnects with the people he knew before the war, and who fight on different fronts, while preparing to edit what will become his best known spiritual publication: The way.
Hostilities coming to a term in March 1939, he creates new halls of residence in Madrid. He supports spiritually hundreds of people, whlie stimulating the expansion of the Opus Dei in different Spanish towns and preaching retreats for their priests. On the 25th of June 1944, the Bishop of Madrid ordains the first three members of the Opus Dei accessing to priesthood. Some priests will then support their lay brothers in every place they will develop their apostolate. At the end of the year 1946, Father Escrivá goes to Rome where he obtains the pontifical approbations for the Opus Dei. He settles there for good in 1947 and is appointed Honorary relate of His Holiness. From the end of the Second World War, the First members of the Opus Dei spread their apostolate all over the world. As the life of its founder comes to an end, the Opus Dei is located on the five continents and John XXIII entrusts a parish and professional training centre, the Elis centre, in a disadvantaged suburb of Rome, to the association. Paul VI inaugurates this facility in 1965.
Texts from Saint Josemaría Escrivá
Freedom, a gift from God (third excerpt from the sermon :Freedom, a gift from God, published in Friends of God.
Our faith is not in any way a burden or a limitation. What a poor idea of Christianity one would have if one thought that way! When we decide for God we lose nothing, and we gain everything. He who, at the expense of his soul secures his own life, will lose it ; it is the man who loses his life for my sake that will secure it.
We have drawn the winning card, the first prize. If anything prevents us from seeing this clearly, let us look inside our own soul. We may find that our faith is weak, that we have little personal contact with God, that our life of prayer is impoverished. We must beg Our Lord, through His Mother who is our Mother too, to increase his love in us, to grant us a taste of the sweetness of His presence. Only when we love do we attain the fullest freedom: the freedom of not wanting ever to abandon, for all eternity, the object of our love.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Day 1: Childhood and calling. Homily "Freedom, a gift from God"
Post #1First released on June 26, 2018
Day 2: Priesthood and the sense of what is to be done -Homily (2nd excerpt)
Post #3First released on July 19, 2018
Day 9 : A model for today : Let's pray with Josemaría Escrivá
Post #2First released on June 26, 2018
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6