St. Josemaria Escriva: The Spiritual Drill Sergeant

Josemaria_Escrivá_de_Balaguer

Don’t let his habit fool you. He’ll have you doing 50 pushups.

St. Josemaria Escriva’s The Way is not the kind of book you would read in one sitting. It’s more like the Catholic version of a devotional. Only it has a tendency to punch you in the gut and make you feel like doing push-ups. I lovingly call him a “spiritual drill sergeant” because The Way challenges everyone who reads it to take their spirituality to the next level. 

Examples:

Character

Conform? It is a word found only in the vocabulary of those (“You might as well conform,” they say) who have no will to fight–the lazy, the cunning, the cowardly–because they know they are defeated before they start.

Direction

If you don’t have a plan of life, you’ll never have order.

Prayer

Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem sterile. Prayer is always fruitful.

Holy Purity

To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thornbush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond . . . You . . . what have you done?

Heart

You give me the impression you are carrying your heart in your hands, as if you were offering goods for sale. Who wants it? If it doesn’t appeal to anyone, you’ll decide to give it to God. Do you think that’s how the saints acted?

Mortification

Don’t say “That person bothers me.” Think: “That person sanctifies me.”

Penance

I want you to be happy on earth. But you won’t be happy if you don’t get rid of that fear of suffering. For as long as we are “wayfarers”, it is precisely in suffering that our happiness lies.

Examination of Conscience

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.” Words from St. Luke that show you-examine yourself-why you have so often gone astray.

 

St. Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.

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