Tuesday, December 05, 2006

St. Josemaria Escriva on Advent

From a homily he gave during Advent of 1951, which can be found in Christ is Passing By, a book of St. Josemaria's homilies given throughout the Church's liturgical year:

"I don't wish to go on any longer on this first Sunday of Advent, when we begin to count the days separating us from the birth of the Savior. ... You see within yourselves, on the one hand, pride, sensuality, boredom, and selfishness; on the other [hand], love, commitment, mercy, humility, sacrifice, joy. You have to choose. You have been called to a life of faith, hope, and charity. You cannot seek lesser goals, condemning yourself to a life of mediocre isolation. Some time ago I saw an eagle shut up in an iron cage. It was dirty, and half its feathers were missing. In its claws was a piece of carrion. I then thought what would happen to me were I to renounce my vocation from God. I felt sorry for that lonely, fettered bird, born to soar the heavens and gaze at the sun. We too can scale the 'humble heights' of love for God, of service to all men. However, in order to do this, we must make sure that our souls have no nooks or crannies into which the light of Jesus Christ cannot shine. And then Christ will be in your mind, on your lips, in your heart, stamped on your deeds. All of your life will be full of God - in its sentiments, its works, its thoughts and its words.

'Look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand,' we have just read in the Gospel. This time of Advent is a time for hope. These great horizons of our Christian vocation, this unity of life built on the presence of God our Father, can and ought to be a daily reality.

Ask our Lady, along with me, to make it come true. Try to imagine how she spent these months, waiting for her Son to be born. And our Lady, Holy Mary, will make of you alter Christus, ipse Christus: another Christ, Christ himself!"

St. Josemaria Escriva moved to Rome as Opus Dei grew. You can visit his tomb in Opus Dei's prelatic Church (technically, Opus Dei is not a Religious Order, but a "personal prelature" of the Pope), Our Lady of Peace, under the main altar (pictured left). For information about the visiting hours, times confession is available, and a map, click here.

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