July 24, 2024

Long ago, in my senior high school in a remote province of the north, a friend wrote a memorable note in my autograph book. It was a sort of compilation of resumes of fellow graduating students that would serve as memento before we parted ways for college. One of the items asked for was: What is your ambition in life? Some indicated: to be a teacher, an engineer, a businessman, or doctor, among others. But this girl wrote: To be a saint. That was something new. What does it entail to become a saint? Studying in a convent, she and her classmates must have been taught by the sisters on how to become saints. It was somehow difficult to comprehend it, in our young teenage minds.
Fast forward, I finished college at the state university, worked in an office, got married, and had children; then a friend happily introduced me to Opus Dei. Thanks be to God. I found real meaning in life, which is to work well in my profession as a certified public accountant, and in my daily ordinary duties, as a wife, mother, friend, and colleague. We try to find a divine meaning in everything that we do, whether mental or manual, placing Christ at the summit of all human activities. Honest work, including studies, done to the best of our ability and offered to God, can be sanctified, as St. Josemaria encouraged us. We sanctify our work, we sanctify ourselves through our work, and we sanctify others through our work, by practicing the Christian virtues of diligence, cheerfulness, generosity, kindness, spirit of service, magnanimity, loyalty, helpfulness, and many more.
Indeed, my high school friend said it best when she said she wants to become a saint. It is everyone’s goal to reach heaven and be inevitably joyful along the journey. We help family members and friends to reach this goal too, through persevering prayer and by bringing them to the Sacraments, especially Confession and Holy Communion.
On June 26, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, Latin for Work of God. Saint Josemaria is the saint of ordinary life, as Pope St. John Paul II called him during his canonization on Oct. 6, 2002.
Born on Jan. 9, 1902 in Barbastro, Spain and ordained as priest on March 28, 1925 in Saragossa, Saint Josemaria Escriva founded Opus Dei on Oct. 2, 1928. He said everyone can become a saint and the means are within one’s easy reach. All one needs is the desire to want it, to become a saint.
Happy feast day of Saint Josemaria Escriva!