“With Christian Consistency,” Mundo Cristiano, Spain (May 2013)
I am grateful for the invitation to present a few reflections as Mundo Cristiano celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. At a time when many publications appear only to quickly disappear, a publication that lasts for a half century gives a respectable vintage to a magazine.
From the beginning of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá made clear that his children could work in any honest task, through which they were to seek sanctity and carry out apostolate. And he used to give some specific examples: the world of industry and craftsmanship, manual work, teaching at its various levels, fashion, work in the home, research, finance, etc. Included here, he would also often cite publishing and the press, with their strong evangelizing repercussions. St. Josemaria had been a teacher in the first school of journalism begun in Spain after the civil war; and years later, in 1958, he encouraged the beginning of the Institute of Journalism, which later became the School of Communications at the University of Navarra. It was the first time in Spain that those studies were made possible in a university setting. He also encouraged similar projects in other cities on different continents.
All the faithful of the Prelature of Opus Dei try to carry out their respective professional tasks with Christian consistency (“unity of life,” our founder called it), and with an apostolic aim: whether a teacher, nurse, taxi driver, or street vendor. And also those who work in journalism, no matter how far their specialty—sports, fashions, politics or daily news—may seem from theological concerns.
There comes to mind what St. Josemaria once told a journalist who asked him about university journalism: “Journalism is a great thing, and so is university journalism. You can contribute a good deal to promote among your fellow students love for noble ideals, and a desire to overcome personal egoisms. You can foster an awareness of social problems, you can encourage fraternity” (Conversations, no. 86). In this context, I also recall how happy he was to see, fifty years ago, the first issues of Mundo Cristiano. Its first director, Fr. Jesús Urteaga, is surely also happy to see, from Heaven, the current progress of the magazine.
In the past, publications with religious content would usually offer various articles of a spiritual nature: the life of a saint; a section of letters or consultations, answered by a learned priest; an edifying story for children and formative pastimes. Times have changed, and it is more than likely that a publication with a profile like this would now find it difficult to attract many readers. In a magazine “for the family,” readers now expect to see articles about automobiles, computers, cooking, sports, fashion, television…. And these expectations need to be met. But this in no way conflicts with the need to always maintain Christian consistency and offer content that will inspire people to get to know their faith better and grasp its meaning more fully. This includes information about the Holy Father and matters of interest for the life of the Church: from the Second Vatican Council, when Mundo Cristiano was born, to the present Year of Faith.
I am confident that the magazine, within the natural evolution every living reality undergoes, has tried to do so during these past fifty years.
Romana, No. 56, January-June 2013, p. 88-89.