Ordinary Life and Holiness in the Teaching of St. Josemaría Escrivá Volume 1
By Ernst Burkhart and Javier López
On May 17, 1992, Pope John Paul II beatified Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. Ten years later, on October 6, 2002, he was proclaimed a saint. “He was chosen by God,” affirmed the Roman pontiff, “to announce the universal call to holiness and to indicate that daily life, common activities, are a path of sanctification. It could be said that he was the Saint of the Ordinary.”
On September 14, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a statue of St. Josemaría placed on the walls of St. Peter’s Basilica, with the inscription from Sacred Scripture that summarizes his mission of serving the Church: “Et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnes traham ad meipsum”—“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself ” ( John 12:32). St. Josemaría understood that with these words, “Our Lord was telling us: if you put me at the heart of all earthly activities by fulfilling the duty of each moment, and bear witness to me in what seems big and in what seems small, then: omnia traham ad meipsum! My kingdom among you will become a reality!” (Notes from a meditation preached on October 10, 1963)
The present work, in three volumes, is the first attempt to gather together systematically the whole of St. Josemaría’s message about the sanctification of professional work and all daily life.
After presenting the historical-theological framework for St. Josemaría’s teaching and the audience to whom it was directed, lay Christians and secular priests, this first volume delineates the purpose of the Christian life. It has three central themes: giving glory to God by seeking to be contemplatives in daily life; seeking the reign of Christ by putting him at the summit of all human activities, and cooperating with the Holy Spirit in building up the Church by personal sanctification and apostolate.
Ernst Burkhart and Javier López Díaz, priests of the Prelature of Opus Dei, are professors of Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. They both met St. Josemaría in the 1960s and then lived with him in Rome for some years in the early 1970s.