"God is not removing you from your environment. He is not taking you away from the world, or from your condition in life or from your noble human ambitions or from your professional work....But, He wants you to be a saint, right THERE!" ~Saint Josemaria EscrivaThis weekend marked the celebration, or feast day, of one my favorite saints and inspirational people, Saint Josemaria Escriva. Have you heard of him? He is the founder of Opus Dei, a Catholic organization dedicated to helping people turn their daily work and activities into occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and improving society. He is known for emphasizing that we are all called to and can achieve closeness and holiness with God, no matter what our station in life or what our profession. Mother, pre-schooler, father, baker, janitor, judge, priest, missionary, dishwasher---God has a plan for each of our lives and wants to use us in extraordinary ways to bless the world and His Kingdom.
When he died in Rome in 1975, thousands of people, including one third of the world's bishops, requested that the Vatican begin the process of his beatification and canonization as a saint.
I really like this quote from one of his books, The Furrow. I am reminded that sometimes I go about my day trying to be perfect in many ways, but still feel unfulfilled. Why? I have missed the whole point by forgetting to do everything in love for God and love for others:
"You fulfill a demanding plan of life: you rise early, you pray, you frequent the sacraments, you work or study a lot, you are sober and mortified, but you are aware that something is missing. Consider this in your conversation with God: since holiness, or the struggle to achieve it, is the fullness of charity, you must look again at your love of God and your love of others for his sake. Then you may discover, hidden in your soul, great defects that you have not even been fighting against. You may not be a good son, a good brother, a good companion, a good friend, a good colleague. And, if you love your "holiness'' in a disordered manner, you are envious. You sacrifice yourself in many small personal details, and so you are attached to yourself, to your own person. Deep down you do not live for God or for others, but only for yourself." (Furrow, 739)You can learn more about this amazing man at Josemariaescriva.info. Then, when you have time, learn more about Opus Dei and its amazing mission.