Blessing of the statue of St. Josemaría in the Church of Our Lady of Montalegre, Barcelona (May 16, 2008)
At the blessing of a statue of
St. Josemaría at the Church of
Our Lady of Montalegre
Dear brothers and sisters, my dear daughters and sons:
We are present here.... I was going to say in a small gathering but the reality contradicts my words. We have gone beyond the framework of discretion found in Opus Dei, and this is really a large crowd. We have to give thanks to God because he continues blessing the activities of the Work as a sea that cannot be contained. But at the same time we have to ensure that we don’t fail to realize the need for personal and collective humility.
We are here to give thanks to God for our Father, for this saint who preceded us and who brought us to the path of the Work. Let us indeed give thanks, but I feel sure that our Father would tell all of us, Numeraries, Associates, Numerary Assistants, Supernumeraries and Cooperators: “Yes, I understand that you are giving thanks, but do so with deeds, with a Christian life, with a life that seeks each day to be much closer to our Lord in the struggle of ordinary life—a struggle that helps us to always have the contemplative life that is the message of Opus Dei: sanctifying all our daily circumstances.” Our Father often commented on the Gospel scene with which we are celebrating this brief ceremony today, which has also been included in the Mass in honor of St. Josemaría.
Our Father offered so many considerations about this scene that we could stay here a long time. I just want to mention his wonderful consideration that our Lord has entered into our lives without asking for our permission. And like Peter, we need to have the generosity to give him our poor boat. Let us consider this point carefully. Even if we were to have many good qualities, compared to the infinitely perfect God, it would be very little. We have to let Christ enter our lives, and then set out into the deep, bringing him everywhere we go. Here, in this neighborhood, where thanks be to God an important work of social development is being carried out, we have to help our sisters and brothers to come to know the great adventure of those who realize they are God’s daughters and sons of God and who behave as such.
Since we are not personally any better than the others, we have to realize that the apostolic work here will have greater results to the extent that each of us lets this Christ of ours rule our lives completely. And how will we accomplish this, all of us? Through a total and generous docility in spiritual direction. We have often heard our Father say: “How effective are docility and obedience. Those men who were experts in the ways of the sea, and who nevertheless accepted that indication, which apparently contradicted the rules of fishing: casting the net in full daylight.” But since they obeyed, since they were docile, as we too should be, women and men who are obedient in spiritual direction; as our Father said: “The effectiveness of obedience: they not only caught fish, and fish in abundance, but their obedience and charity led them to call the others.” So on how we behave, on how docile we are to God’s voice, to what we are being asked to do to go higher, to go towards Him; on this depends whether many other people, right here, listen to him and understand him.
Let us ask our Lord that we allow him to govern us with generosity, and that we do so even though he asks a lot of us. And also that we know how to do what we are asked, because thus we can be sure that we will not be mistaken.
Let us end by going to the one who is the teacher of obedience, the teacher of humility. How our Father savored those words that his daughters repeat and that they have on their lips as a refrain: ancilla Domini.
Mary, who teaches us everything we need for our Christian life, will teach us to be good disciples in our apostolate, in the service of others, and specifically in putting ourselves constantly at the disposition of others.
Here in Catalonia there has to be a lot of apostolic work. It depends on the availability of each one of you. We cannot let our Lord pass by without listening to him and telling him: “Whatever you want, Lord.”
Romana, No. 46, January-June 2008, p. 74-75.