Josemaría Escrivá Obras
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Christ is passing by > The Christian vocation > Number 8
8

It is under the "umbrella" of God's mercy that christian existence should develop. Ever mindful of that, the Christian should strive to behave as a child of God. And what are the principal means to ensure that our vocation takes root? Today let me point out two of them, which are like living supports of christian conduct: interior life and doctrinal formation, the deep knowledge of our faith.

First of all, interior life. How few really understand this! If they hear about the interior life, they imagine some obscure temple. For more than a quarter of a century I have been saying that such isn't the case. I talk about the interior life of ordinary Christians who habitually find themselves in the hubbub of the city, in the light of day, in the street, at work, with their families or simply relaxing; they are centred on Jesus all day long. And what is this except a life of continuous prayer? Isn't it true that you have seen the need to become a soul of prayer, to reach an intimacy with God that leads to divinization? Such is the christian faith as always understood by souls of prayer — "A man becomes God," writes Clement of Alexandria, "because he loves whatever God loves."

At first it will be more difficult. You must make an effort to seek out the Lord, to thank him for his fatherly and practical concern for us. Although it is not a question of sentiment, little by little the love of God makes itself felt like a rustle in the soul. It is Christ who pursues us lovingly: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." How is your life of prayer going? At times don't you feel during the day the impulse to speak more at length with him? Don't you then whisper to him that you will tell him all about it later, in a heart-to-heart conversation?

In the periods expressly reserved for this rendezvous with our Lord, the heart is broadened, the will is strengthened, the mind, helped by grace, fills the world of human reality with supernatural content. The results come in the form of clear, practical resolutions to improve your conduct, to deal more charitably with all men, to spare no efforts — like good athletes — in this christian struggle of love and peace.

Prayer then becomes continuous, like the beating of our heart, like our pulse. Without this presence of God, there is no contemplative life. And without contemplative life, our working for Christ is worth very little, for vain is the builder's toil if the house is not of the Lord's building.

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