Prelate: “Give us Saint Josemaria's youthful spirit”

On the 15th anniversary of Saint Josemaria's canonization, celebrated in Rome on October 6, 2002, the Prelate of Opus Dei presided over a time of prayer in the prelatic church of Our Lady of Peace. What follows is a summary of his words.

From the Prelate
Opus Dei - Prelate: “Give us Saint Josemaria's youthful spirit” Saint John Paul II and Bishop Javier Echevarría, on October 6, 2002.

Now that fifteen years have gone by since the canonization of Saint Josemaria, we can recall a phrase that Don Javier repeated so many times as that day was approaching: “This is a call to conversion.” Today as well, with the passing of the years, each of us can hear anew God calling us to holiness. We might think: Lord, I’ve been struggling to be holy for years now and just look at me… But now, trusting in your word, I’m going to put out into the deep, towards holiness, which doesn’t mean not having defects but rather growing in love, in identification with you, Jesus. At your word, we can say with Saint Peter, I will let down the nets.

It was that youthful spirit that led him to constantly want to learn and to grow, and that leads us to want to begin and begin again.

You are calling us to holiness: Lord, tell me something that will help me be more aware of the fact that it’s You who will make me holy. I feel like a useless and deaf instrument, but I trust in your word. Tell us something that will help us understand that behind whatever happens in our lives, be it big or small, your Love is there, in spite of our defects and weakness.

Saint Josemaria always said that in 1928 he only had 26 years of age, God's grace and good humor. It was that youthful spirit that led him to constantly want to learn and to grow, and that leads us to want to begin and begin again. So let’s not allow any room in our soul for discouragement, but rather always strive to look forward. Give us, Lord, this youthful spirit. Saint Josemaria's heart was always youthful; this is what we ask for ourselves.

Good humor stems from joy; it leads us to see the positive (and even funny!) side of things.

God's grace! Sharing in the divine life of the Trinity, as sons and daughters in Christ. Our Lord constantly offers this life to us, in the Eucharist, in confession, and in prayer. How often Saint Josemaria encouraged us, with his word and example, to be “Eucharistic souls, souls of prayer”!

26 years of age, God's grace and good humor. Good humor stems from joy; it leads us to see the positive (and even funny!) side of things. We also need good humor when faced with our own limitations; it is a mark of the joy of God's children. Happy in the struggle, in mortification, in the cross, because joy has its roots in the form of a cross. Lord, give us the capacity to be happy on the cross. We will be happy, no matter what happens, in accord with our faith in God's love for us.

Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, notes from words spoken on October 6, 2017, in the prelatic church of Our Lady of Peace in Rome.