May You Seek Christ…. Find Christ… Love Christ.
In 1933, Saint Josemaria Escriva inscribed a now famous dedication in a book that many people have come to know and love, and to adapt as their own prayer: “May you seek Christ. May you find Christ. May you love Christ.”
More than 80 years ago, Madrid was for St. Josemaria the place of a special meeting with God. In 1928 he saw that God was calling him to found Opus Dei, and in recalling that episode he would make reference to Christ’s call to Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus: “Madrid was my Damascus,” he would say, “because here the scales fell from the eyes of my soul and I received my mission.”
The young 26-year-old priest began to work untiringly among workers and students. He sought the strength he needed to carry out his mission among the sick and poor in the Spanish capital: spending hours traveling through the poor districts of the city every day, going from one place to another. While he tried to assist and encourage each person, he asked them to offer their hardships and sufferings for the souls of the young people he was dealing with. The prayer of children, the poor, and the sick is especially pleasing to God…
During those years, St. Josemaria gave a book on the Passion of Christ to a young architecture student; and on the first page, he wrote these words of dedication:
“+ Madrid, May 29, 1933
May you seek Christ
May you find Christ
May you love Christ.”
(…) “Seeking Christ” defines the first step. Love always begins with a search, which leads to personal contact, intimacy: “It’s like courting,” St. Josemaria used to tell those young people. “A couple need to get to know each other well, for if they don’t, they will not really love each other. And our life is a life of Love” (The Forge, no. 545). One needs to open one’s heart: it’s not something mechanical that can be programmed. Pray that this happens with many young people, with the grace of the Holy Spirit and the help of true human friendship.
“Finding Christ” means being attached to him, ever more closely, as the branch to the vine (Jn 15:1-8). “Being built up in Jesus Christ,” explains Benedict XVI in his message for the 26th World Youth Day, “means responding positively to God’s call, trusting in him and putting his word into practice … Listen to him as a true friend with whom you can share your path in life.”
“Loving Christ,” finally, means finding the strength needed to love others, and to want to love always more. It means being “built up” in Christ, letting the Holy Spirit shape in us the image of the Word Incarnate, who offers himself for all men and women. The Pope’s words challenge us to seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in order to receive Christ’s love… And this love means letting ourselves be loved by Jesus in the Eucharist, so as to bring him afterward to many other people.
I ask Our Lady of Almudena, Mother of God and our Mother, for myself and for everyone, that she obtain for us the joy of a new conversion, a new beginning on the path of faith, so that, knowing ourselves to be weak but at the same time strong in faith (Col 2:7), we may believe in the love of our Father God and feel ourselves to be truly daughters and sons of God in Christ.
Excerpt from the the article “Faithfulness and Happiness,” published in L’Osservatore Romano, Rome (August 18, 2011). Reprinted with permission.