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Holiness is Diligence in Daily Duties

Posted on : 11-05-2015 | By : TAG | In : Reviews



Easter Greetings!

It was very fortunate for IBC TV Channel 13 (Skycable Channel 15) for the very timely, relevant and enlightening Holy Week Specials this year featuring Saint Josemaria Escriva, the saint of ordinary life, showing the favors granted through his intercession, his teachings, lively get-togethers, and his faithful successor, Blessed Alvaro del Portillo. The films showed concrete ways on how we can sanctify our daily, ordinary work, that if done well and offered to God can make us holy. A shoddy job cannot be offered up. A student perseveres in his studies, a teacher generously forms his students, a housewife heroically attends to the needs of her family, a professional conscientiously works well, a farmer carefully tends to his farm … all honest work can be offered up to God as a prayer for our sanctification.

St. Josemaria said that “God is calling you to serve Him in and from the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating room, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.” (Passionately Loving the World, October 8, 1967).

A housewife finds Christ in her husband and children and the myriad of daily house works. In one monthly recollection for ladies, a priest quipped that the husband would go bankrupt if he were to pay for the professional services of his wife – teaching, repairing, marketing, cooking, cleaning, washing, planning, budgeting, managing, nursing, driving, trouble shooting, counseling …! And yet, a kiss and a simple thank you from the spouse and children, is enough to make her smile and selflessly continue with her loving service for the family! Such simple joys, with each family member cheerfully serving one another and helping in the daily household chores.

St. Josemaria Escriva said that married couples “musn’t forget that the secret of married happiness lies in everyday things, not in daydreams. It lies in finding the hidden joy of coming home in the evening; in affectionate relations with their children; in everyday work in which the whole family co-operates; in good humour in the face of difficulties that should be met with a sporting spirit; in making the best use of all the advances that civilization offers to help us bring up children; it lies in making the house pleasant and life more simple” (Conversations, 91).

Moreover, St. Josemaria had emphasized the special role of women when he said that: “Women are called to bring to the family, to society and to the Church, characteristics which are their own and which they alone can give: their gentle warmth and untiring generosity, their love for detail, their quick-wittedness and intuition, their simple and deep piety, their constancy… A woman’s femininity is genuine only if she is aware of the beauty of this contribution for which there is no substitute and if she incorporates it into her own life” (Conversations, 87).”

The get-togethers with St. Escriva were done in a family atmosphere where members of the audience spontaneously asked questions regarding marriage, family and varied concerns affecting daily life such as bringing up children in a Christian manner and overcoming the wave of materialism and consumerism. St. Escriva went on to enlighten his audience about going to Confession and Communion frequently; attending Holy Mass often; living good examples by parents for the children; living chastity for married and single people; keeping vigilance on the influence of media; dressing with decency and modesty; teaching doctrine and Catechism and so on. It was very heartening to listen to a Jew ask St. Josemaria about wanting to be baptized in the Catholic faith but his parents have objected. And St. Escriva gladly declared that the loves of his life were also Jews – Jesus, Mary and Joseph – as he went on to encourage him to continue loving his parents very much and praying for them. And he also requested him to pray for St. Josemaria Escriva himself.

May this contemporary saint intercede for us to help us, especially the laity, cheerfully face the challenges of daily living, and convert our ordinary duties done well into prayer.

-Mrs. Ching D. Aunario

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