Getting to Know God | A Homily by St. Josemaria Escriva

Low Sunday* brings to my memory a pious tradition of my own country. On this day, in which the liturgy invites us to hunger for spiritual food — rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite, to desire the spiritual milk, that is free from guile — it was customary to take Holy Communion to the sick (they did not have to be seriously ill) so that they could fulfil their Easter duties.

In some large cities, each parish would organize its own eucharistic procession. From my days as a university student in Saragossa, I remember frequently seeing thousands of people crossing the Coso in three separate contingents made up entirely of men, thousands of men!, carrying huge burning candles. Strong and robust men they were, accompanying Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, with a faith that was greater than those candles that weighed so much.

Last night when I found myself awake several times I repeated, as an aspiration, the words, quasi modo geniti infantes, as new-born babes. It occurred to me that the Church’s invitation today is very well suited to all of us who feel the reality of our divine filiation. It is certainly right that we be very strong, very solid, men of mettle who can influence our environment; and yet, before God, how good it is to see ourselves as little children!

Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite: like children just born into the world, cry out for the clean and pure milk of the spirit. How marvellous this verse from St Peter is and how appropriate that the liturgy should then add: exsultate Deo adiutori nostro: iubilate Deo Iacob: leap with joy in honour of God; acclaim the God of Jacob, who is also Our Lord and Father. But today I would like us, you and I, to meditate not so much on the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, which draws from our hearts the greatest possible praise for Jesus, but on the certainty of our divine filiation and on some of the consequences deriving from it for all who want to live their Christian faith nobly and earnestly.

For reasons that I need not go into now (but which Jesus, who is presiding over us here from the Tabernacle, knows full well) my life has led me to realize in a special way that I am a son of God and I have experienced the joy of getting inside the heart of my Father, to rectify, to purify myself, to serve him, to understand others and find excuses for them, on the strength of his love and my own lowliness.

This is why I want to insist now that you and I need to be made anew, we need to wake up from the slumber of feebleness by which we are so easily lulled and to become aware once again, in a deeper and more immediate way, of our condition as children of God.

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“Getting to Know God” is an excerpt from the homily given by St. Josemaria Escriva on April 5, 1964.  The homily is published by Scepter Publishers in the book “Friends of God”. *Low Sunday is the Sunday after Easter.

St. Josemaria Escriva St. Josemaria Escriva

St. Josemaria Escriva, priest and founder of Opus Dei, was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and declared the “saint of the ordinary” for his example and teachings on the value of work and daily life as the path to holiness in the middle of the world.

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