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  • "Stories of St. Josemaria's Intercession" - Opus Dei
    Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close News Personal testimonies Stories of St Josemaria s Intercession My husband was baptized Catholic but had never received any of the other sacraments None of our four children nor I had ever been baptized Personal testimonies Jan 27 2016 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle By The MacDonald Family My family and I were all received into the Catholic Church during this past Easter Vigil so the celebration of St Josemaria is especially poignant for us this year My husband was baptized Catholic but had never received any of the other sacraments Though we attended various churches over the years none of our four children nor I had ever been baptized From a very early age our older daughter seemed very naturally drawn to Jesus and the Church and asked to be baptized As her requests became more fervent we realized that perhaps we were being called to the Catholic Church where my husband had begun the journey so many years ago Led by my husband the six of us began RCIA classes I was personally reluctant and more than a little skeptical at first and was surprised when I realized the classes and the Masses had become something that I and my family began to look forward to over the course of our very hectic week One of the RCIA leaders would speak about the everyday and seemingly commonplace influences our Lord had in her life and in the course of her discussions her passion for St Josemaria was apparent What I personally took to heart was that St Josemaria not only acknowledged and appreciated the seemingly mundane contributions we make in our everyday lives but that he celebrated them as great contributions and great witness for the Church As the mother of four young children my days often feel very full but at the same time I can feel like I ve accomplished nothing and contributed nothing However I find comfort in St Josemaria s teaching that holiness is not something for the privileged few We have said that all the ways of the earth all states of life all the professions all honest tasks can be divine we tell each one all women and all men that there where you are you can acquire Christian perfection So as a mother of four young children I know that I am contributing

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/stories-of-st-josemarias-intercession/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Lent: Pathway to Easter - Opus Dei
    your eyes observe my ways 9 Many of the episodes in the exodus of the Israelites foreshadowed future events Not all of those on that first pilgrimage through the wilderness entered the Promised Land 10 That is why the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quoting Psalm 94 mourns the people s rebellion and at the same time celebrates the coming of a new exodus Since therefore it remained to enter it and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience again he sets a certain day today saying through David so long afterward in the words already quoted Today when you hear his voice do not harden your hearts 11 This today was inaugurated by Christ With his Incarnation his life and glorification our Lord leads us to the definitive exodus in which the promises are totally fulfilled He makes a place for us in heaven he achieves a Sabbath s rest for the people of God for whosoever enters God s rest also ceases from his labours as God did from his 12 Christ s path through the wilderness The gospel for the first Sunday in Lent shows us Jesus who in solidarity with us allowed himself to be tempted at the end of his forty days spent in the wilderness His victory over Satan fills us with hope and makes us realise that with Him we too can win out in the battles of our interior life Our temptations then no longer upset us but instead are turned into opportunities to get to know ourselves better and cling more closely to God We discover that the ideal of a comfortable life is a mirage of true happiness and we realise with Saint Josemaria that we need most probably to change again to be more loyal and humble so that we become less selfish and let Christ grow in us for He must become more and more I must become less and less Jn 3 30 13 The experience of our personal fragility should not lead to fear but rather to a humble petition that activates our faith hope and love Take away from me Lord whatever takes me away from you we can say as St Josemaria often did 14 When we are with Jesus we find the strength to firmly reject temptation refusing to dialogue Note well how Jesus responds He does not dialogue with Satan as Eve had done in the earthly paradise Jesus chooses to take refuge in the Word of God and responds with the power of this Word Let us remember this at the moment of temptation of our temptations there is no arguing with Satan Our defence must always be the Word of God And this will save us 15 The story of the Transfiguration proclaimed on the second Sunday of Lent strengthens our conviction that victory is certain in spite of our limitations We too will share in Jesus glory if we unite ourselves to his Cross in our daily life Therefore we need to nourish our faith as we see in the Gospel scenes the liturgy presents to us every three years on the last Sundays in Lent First we see the Samaritan woman who overcomes sin to recognise Jesus as the Messiah who quenches with the living water of the Holy Spirit her thirst for love 16 Then the man blind from birth who recognises Christ as the light of the world who overcomes ignorance while those who thought they could see remain blind 17 And Lazarus whose resurrection reminds us that Jesus has come to bring us new life 18 By contemplating these scenes as one more person there with the help of the saints we will find extra resources for our personal prayer and attain the more intense presence of God that we are seeking during these days Our penitential pathway as sons and daughters The Collect for the third Sunday in Lent presents the penitential meaning of this season O God author of every mercy and of all goodness who in fasting prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin look graciously on this confession of our lowliness that we who are bowed down by our conscience may always be lifted up by your mercy With the humility that comes from knowing we are sinners we ask with the whole Church for the intervention of God s fatherly mercy his loving gaze on our lives and his healing forgiveness The liturgy urges us to take up personally the process of conversion by inviting us to make room in our lives for the traditional penitential practices These practices express a change in our relationship with God prayer with others alms and with ourselves fasting 19 It is the spirit of penance Saint Josemaria gave us so many practical examples of penance is fulfilling exactly the timetable you have fixed for yourself you are practising penitence when you lovingly keep to your schedule of prayer despite feeling worn out listless or cold Penance means being very charitable at all times towards those around you Penance consists of putting up good humouredly with the thousand and one little pinpricks of each day in eating gladly whatever is served without being fussy 20 At the same time we know that merely external actions count for nothing without God s grace We cannot be identified with Christ without his help quia tibi sine te placere non possumus for without your help we cannot please you 21 We try then with his help to carry out these works in secret where only our Father God sees them 22 We try to rectify our intention frequently so as to seek more diligently his glory and the salvation of all men and women The apostle John wrote he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen 23 These words invite us to examine our conscience

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/lent-pathway-to-easter/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Audio of Prelate: Feeding the Hungry and Giving Drink to the Thirsty - Opus Dei
    the daily gift of food should not only spur us to thank God but also provoke in us a concern for the sisters and brothers of ours who lack daily sustenance Think of the millions of people worldwide who have nothing or practically nothing to eat By contrast in other places food is wasted to eliminate excess reserves or out of negligence or to keep prices high Food that is thrown away the Holy Father said is food stolen from the table of the poor Therefore on several occasions the Pope has asked that we improve the global distribution of produce and thus help combat by these and other initiatives what he calls the throwaway culture Let us turn our eyes to Christ and admire how he multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry multitude A bit earlier the Apostles had suggested to Jesus that He send the people away Let them go to the nearby villages and hamlets to look for shelter and food because we are in a desert place they tell our Lord Surprisingly the Apostles after hearing the Word of God wanted each family to seek sustenance on their own account But our Lord shows with deeds that feeding the hungry is everyone s responsibility You give them something to eat Jesus tells them And then He works the great miracle that fills everyone with awe The Twelve learned their lesson well since later on in the early years of the Church they encouraged the distribution of food among the poorest of the faithful This attitude has been present in the Church right to this day and a great number of charitable initiatives have been brought forward by Christians In underdeveloped countries and also in the peripheries of developed ones we find food banks soup kitchens culinary schools for the uneducated and many other service initiatives Let us not settle for simply admiring these initiatives at the very least we can pray for them and lend a hand if we find ourselves in conditions to do so Filled with joy and generosity let us be bearers of God s mercy to everyone and especially to the needy We will find many different possibilities to do so if we practice charity for example dedicating time regularly to solidarity organizations or even devoting oneself to such a task professionally donating money to these initiatives working to amend laws that prevent fair food trade avoiding wasting food at home and so on Christ s words should resonate in our souls I was hungry and you gave me food I was thirsty and you gave me drink Let us ask ourselves what can I do How can I encourage others Jesus the Giver of Life not only distributed the loaves and fishes on a hill in Galilee but when the sublime moment of the Last Supper came we see Him distributing the bread that had become his Body and the wine that had become his Blood If we

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/audio-of-prelate-feeding-the-hungry-and-giving-drink-to-the-thirsty/ (2016-02-15)
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  • New Printable Prayer Cards - Opus Dei
    the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search About Opus Dei Message Activities Opus Dei in the U S Organization History People in Opus Dei Priestly Society of the Holy Cross Cooperators Canonization causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close News Recent News New Printable Prayer Cards New prayer cards are available in pdf format for 10 faithful of Opus Dei whose canonization process has been opened with the prayer for private devotion and information about each one s life Recent News Jan 26 2016 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle New prayer cards with the prayer for private devotion are available in pdf format for 9 faithful of the Prelature whose cause of canonization has been opened These prayer cards can be printed in 2 sided booklet format Information about each person s life is found on the back Prayer card for Isidoro Zorzano Prayer card for Montse Grases Prayer card for Paquita Tomas Alvira Prayer card for Toni Zweifel Prayer card for Guadalupe Ortiz de Landázuri Prayer card for Ernesto Cofiño Prayer card for Fr José María Hernández Prayer card for Encarnita Ortega Prayer card for Fr Joseph Muzquiz 14 faithful of the Prelature of Opus Dei including

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/new-printable-prayer-cards/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Engagement: looking forward to marriage - Opus Dei
    the rest of our lives We wanted our preparation for marriage to be more than seating plans and flower arrangements We asked for more in depth spiritual preparation from the priest who would officiate our wedding so as to fully understand the wonder of the sacrament we were entering into and even when he told us things that we knew it was a powerful way of keeping us focused on the true and non shallow purpose of our wedding day We tried to seek advice in good books and good friends and we tried to use any challenges that came our way to coach us for overcoming the future challenges of married life And of course we took it to our prayer because ultimately we knew that if God was at the centre of our marriage He d look after us In retrospect though I can see that my preparation for marriage started long before I met my now husband It started at home and ideally this would be the case for others too Seeing the unity and commitment of my parents and experiencing a loving family that included many siblings was the best indicator of what marriage love and family actually are My husband experienced the same in his upbringing They say that children are most secure when they know that their parents love each other and this was something we certainly felt Even amongst the usual quarrels of daily life we firmly knew that divorce was not an option and that our parents would make up in no time at all Example teaches more than words could ever do My home was the place that I learnt the human values which I hope to teach to my own kids one day and where I grew in faith and character led by my parents Getting to know each other deeply I do think that it takes a lifetime to really get to know another person and that my husband and I will be learning new things about each other until the day we die But there is definitely a certain amount of learning that I think was critical during our dating and engaged months On our third date my husband asked to be official but I responded that I still had questions for him And there and then my first inquiry was about the Catholic faith and whether he had any hang ups with any of it Talk about getting straight to the point Both being very direct people we covered everything from where we saw the relationship going to being open to children all within a matter of weeks but I cannot reiterate enough how wonderful it was to know where we stood I see so many long term relationships where fundamental topics have not yet been covered and important questions have not been asked sometimes perhaps because one person is afraid of what the answers will be I don t believe this is the best way to go into marriage scared of the answers and just hoping for the best As one of my wise friends told me when about to get married she was confident that her husband was the man for her because she knew that if they had kids and something happened to her he d bring them just up as she would How beautiful is that But it s also something that you can t know unless you have the right discussions But what are the right discussions to have From my experience it s important to talk about many things We talked about children starting with being open to them Being on different pages regarding kids can be very stressful for a new marriage We also discussed how we hoped to bring our kids up though we also realised that a lot of these topics would come up again in more detail once we actually had a child We discussed expectations at home the kind of lifestyle we were looking forward to whether gender roles would be traditional or not in the house and how that might change when kids come along and about the hope of one parent being able to be at home with the kids one day We covered finances it was all our money from quite early on but our spending habits still had to change as we saved after getting engaged and they certainly have moulded to our marriage situation as well We talked about our families obviously we had gotten close to each other s families already but it was helpful to understand more about how each other s families worked every family is unique We also talked about what marriage meant to us since it s somewhat key to be on the same wave length about this don t you think We also talked about suffering Seems like an odd thing at such a happy time right But there is a quote in Saint Josemaria s Christ is Passing By that always stood out to me On the other hand there are also sorrows and difficulties We would have a poor idea of marriage and of human affection if we were to think that love and joy come to an end when faced with such difficulties It is precisely then that our true sentiments come to the surface Then the tenderness of a person s gift of himself takes root and shows itself in a true and profound affection that is stronger than death I find that to be so beautiful and so true It s the couples who have weathered the storms together who have the strongest loves There is so much unnoticed heroism in loving someone when it isn t easy to do so One thing that really helped my then fiancé and I to get to know each other better was planning the wedding together I see a lot of couples leave all the planning to either just the bride or the

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/engagement-looking-forward-to-marriage/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Letter from the Prelate (February 2016) - Opus Dei
    it coincides with a year destined to especially proclaiming divine mercy is a new spur to strive more diligently to behave as better daughters and sons of our heavenly Father who looks with mercy on each of us Perhaps this could be a good moment to stop to consider how each of us personally is following the Pope s recommendations for this Holy Year in union with the whole Church I would like to pause here to consider among the various Lenten practices one of the spiritual works of mercy praying for the living and the dead Prayer for those closest to us and in general for those we encounter during our day is so necessary In first place because that prayer expands our heart seeking to become more like Jesus and also because it prevents or at least makes more difficult falling into an excessive concern for personal things It was striking to see how Saint Josemaría strove to pray more for the people he came across and likewise his constant prayer for the dead caught one s attention also when he saw a cemetery or a funeral a disposition he kept up day after day He has passed on to us a marvelous example Whenever he spoke with someone he would begin the dialogue by going to their guardian angel If he was going from one place to another on foot or in a means of transport he would pray to our Lord for the people he came across on the way even though he didn t know them and perhaps would never see them again Each prayer for others meant for him progress on the constant conversion that he aspired to in order to identify himself more closely with Christ In his soul he felt deeply that we cannot think we are already fully oriented towards God successive conversions are needed that bring us closer to holiness 6 This disposition makes clear and reinforces the response to the call to seriously seek holiness that we have all received Pope Francis reminds us of our Lord s encounter with Matthew Passing by the tax collector s booth Jesus looked intently at Matthew It was a look full of mercy that forgave the sins of that man a sinner and a tax collector whom Jesus chose against the hesitation of the disciples to become one of the Twelve 7 The forgiveness of sins is always joined to an invitation to follow Christ God does not limit himself to erasing our faults when we sincerely ask his forgiveness or when we go to sacramental Confession he also infuses in us the grace of the Holy Spirit which consolidates the presence of the Holy Trinity in our soul Each vocation in the Church has its origin in the compassionate gaze of Jesus Conversion and vocation are two sides of the same coin and continually remain interconnected throughout the whole of the missionary disciple s life 8 We are approaching the 14th

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/document/letter-from-the-prelate-february-2016/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Five Remedies Against Sadness - Opus Dei
    there a trick for overcoming sorrow and recovering our smile Saint Thomas Aquinas suggests five remedies against sadness that have proven surprisingly effective Summa Theologiae I II q 38 1 The first remedy is granting ourselves something we like It s as though the famous theologian had already intuited seven centuries ago that chocolate is an antidepressant This might seem a bit materialistic but no one would deny that a tough day can end well with a good beer It s hard to refute this by citing the Gospel since our Lord took part joyfully in banquets and feasts and both before and after his Resurrection enjoyed the noble and good things in life One of the Psalms even says that wine gladdens the human heart although the Bible also clearly condemns getting drunk 2 The second remedy is weeping Saint Thomas says that a hurtful thing hurts yet more if we keep it shut up because the soul is more intent on it whereas if it be allowed to escape the soul s intention is dispersed as it were on outward things so that the inward sorrow is lessened I II q 38 a 2 Our melancholy gets worse if we have no way to give vent to our sorrow Weeping is the soul s way to release a sorrow that can become paralyzing Jesus too wept And Pope Francis said that certain truths in life can only be seen with eyes cleansed by tears I invite each of you to ask yourself Have I learned how to cry 3 The third remedy is sharing our sorrow with a friend I recall here the friend of Renzo in Manzoni s great novel The Betrothed Finding himself alone in his deserted home ravaged by the plague and mourning his family s horrible fate he tells Renzo What has happened is horrible something that I never thought I would live to see it s enough to take away a person s joy for the rest of his life But speaking about these things with a friend is a great help This is something we have to experience in order to understand it When we are sad we tend to see everything in tints of grey A very effective antidote is opening our heart to a friend Sometimes a brief message or phone call is enough for our outlook to once again be filled with light 4 The fourth remedy against sadness is contemplating the truth Contemplating the fulgor veritatis Saint Augustine speaks of the splendor of truth in nature or a work of art or music can be an effective balm against sadness A literary critic a few days after the death of a dear friend was scheduled to speak at a conference about the topic of adventure in the works of Tolkien He began by saying Speaking about beautiful things to people interested in them is for me a real consolation 5 The fifth remedy suggested by Saint Thomas is

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/5-remedies-against-sadness/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Novena for Forgiveness - Opus Dei
    causes Books and texts Videos about Opus Dei Safe Environment The Prelate Biography Pastoral letters Other documents News From the Pope Recent News From the Prelate Personal testimonies Social initiatives Saint Josemaría Biography Prayers and devotions Teachings of Saint Josemaría About Saint Josemaría Videos Christian life Getting to know our Lord Jesus Christ Summaries of Catholic Teaching Articles on Christian life Getting to know our Lady Other Resources Search Close News Recent News Novena for Forgiveness With quotes from Saint Josemaria and going to his intercession this novena prepared by Fr Francisco Faus asks for the grace to learn how to forgive others It can be downloaded in pdf epub and mobi format Recent News Jan 12 2016 print email facebook twitter ePub kindle Download Novena for Forgiveness in pdf epub and mobi format From Pope Francis Angelus September 15 2013 Jesus is all mercy Jesus is all love he is God made man He is a patient father always waiting for us He respects our freedom but he remains faithful forever And when we come back to him he welcomes us like children into his house for he never ceases not for one instant to wait for us with love And his heart rejoices over every child who returns He is celebrating because he is joy God has this joy when one of us sinners goes to him and asks his forgiveness If in our heart there is no mercy no joy of forgiveness we are not in communion with God even if we observe all of his precepts for it is love that saves not the practice of precepts alone It is love of God and neighbour that brings fulfilment to all the Commandments And this is the love of God his joy forgiveness He waits for us

    Original URL path: http://www.opusdei.org/en-us/article/novena-for-forgiveness/ (2016-02-15)
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