Josemaría Escrivá Obras

I would like you to discover the full depth of this simplicity of Our Lord, who lived a life of penance without any special fuss, for it is the type of life he is asking of you: 'When you fast, do not show it by gloomy looks, as the hypocrites do. They make their faces unsightly, so that men can see they are fasting; believe me they have their reward already. But do you, at the times of fasting, anoint your head and wash your face, so that your fast may not be known to men, but to your Father who dwells in secret; and then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.'

That is how you ought to practise the spirit of penance: looking towards God and behaving like a son, like a little child who shows his father how much he loves him by giving up the few treasures he has: a spool of thread, a tin soldier with no head, a bottle top... Their value is slight, yet he finds it hard to make up his mind. But in the end love wins, and he happily hands them over.

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