Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holiness for Everyone: The Practical Spirituality of St.Josemaría Escrivá

What is your purpose in life?  Just in case you’ve forgotten, it’s to become a saint.  Through the teachings of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei, we are reminded why, how, and for what greater mission we are called to holiness.  This Spanish saint lived at a time when many people compartmentalized religion and daily life.  Also, it was a period when many believed that it was solely the responsibility and possibility of those called to religious life to lead holy lives that were devoted to serving the Lord. 
St. Josemaría asserts that each and every layperson, not just those called to religious vocations, is called, given the grace, and the opportunity to be sanctified.  Any and every part of our days, no matter how mundane, can be offered to the Lord.  When chores such as changing diapers, doing the laundry, washing dishes, preparing meals, weeding the garden, cleaning the house, are done with the mindset that we are serving and loving God by doing these necessary tasks, and doing them well, these become acts of prayer and sacrifice that help bring about our sanctification.
I have read some of the works by St. Josemaría Escrivá, but there are quite a few, and I could only seem to dissolve and absorb so many golden nuggets of his wisdom at a time.  I enjoyed this book, because author Eric Sammons weaves in some of the most powerful and prominent observations and revelations the Spanish saint had, particularly in regards to God’s plan for our sanctification. 
There have certainly been a number of times in my life when I’ve fallen into the thinking that the little things of daily life don’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.  St. Josemaría helps remind us that in the seemingly small, unseen ways we live our lives each day, especially when trying to be a model of Christ to those around us, we can become holy and lead others closer to the Lord.
At the end of each chapter, there are suggestions for further reading, meditation questions, prayer petitions, and contemplation questions.  The suggested supplementary reading is available for free through the following website Escriva Works. 
Whether you’re a student,  a high-powered executive living a fast-paced life, single, married, called to a religious vocation, or you’re working and raising a family, Holiness for Everyone is a magnificent reminder that we are each here to glorify the Lord, be sanctified through our unique position and circle of influence, and become like Christ for others. 
To find out more about Holiness for Everyone or to order your own copy, click here.
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