PODCAST | St. Josemaria Escriva and the Founding of Opus Dei
Today on the podcast…
In celebration of the anniversary of the founding of Opus Dei (October 2, 1928), we reflect on the early life of St. Josemaria Escriva and the historical circumstances that led him to receive the special light from God to found Opus Dei.
This light from God helped St. Josemaria to see:
- It is possible to create a civilization of love—to bring Jesus Christ in a new way into the very heart of the world amid a culture that is antithetical to the Gospel.
- God was giving St. Josemaria the grace to change the world should he choose to follow this light and its certain path.
- The burden of changing the world falls on the shoulders of lay men and women who are called to bring Christ into the modern world.
- The transformation of the world can only happen if the laity are saints, if they are true contemplatives—someone who is habitually in dialogue with the Lord. But if they are not true contemplatives then they will be transformed by the world.
As St. Josemaria Escriva wrote:
“How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ” (St. Josemaria Escriva; The Way, no. 2).
“You must inspire others with love of God and zeal for souls, so that they in turn will set on fire many more who are on a third plane and each of these latter spread the flame to their professional companions. What a lot of spiritual calories you need! And what a tremendous responsibility if you let yourself grow cold! And — I don’t even want to think of it — what a terrible crime if you were to give bad example!” (St. Josemaria Escriva; The Way, no. 944).
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Rev. Peter V. Armenio was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1980. He is the author of several books published by Midwest Theological Forum. He also served as President of the St. Josemaria Institute from 2006 to 2012. He has been working in campus ministry for the past 30 years and is currently a chaplain at The Willows Academy (Des Plaines, IL). He also preaches recollections and gives spiritual direction in Chicago.