Josemaría Escrivá Obras

But let's not think only of ourselves. Expand your heart until it takes in all mankind. Above all, think of those near you — relatives, friends, colleagues — and see how you can get them to appreciate a deeper friendship with our Lord. If they are upright and noble, capable of being habitually close to God, commend them specifically to our Lady. And ask also for all those souls you don't know, because we have embarked together on a single voyage.

Be loyal, generous. We form part of a single body, the mystical body of Christ, the holy Church, to which are called those who seek the whole truth. Consequently, we are strictly obliged to manifest to others the quality and depth of the love of Christ. A Christian cannot be selfish. If he were, he would betray his vocation. Far from Christ are those content with keeping their soul in peace — and a false peace at that — while ignoring the good of others.

If we have accepted the authentic meaning of human life, which is revealed to us in faith, we cannot remain peacefully on the sidelines. If in a practical and concrete way we aren't drawing others to God, we can't be at all satisfied with our behaviour.

There is a real obstacle to apostolate. It takes the form of false respect, the fear of touching on spiritual subjects, lest the conversation prove upsetting to certain people. It is a reluctance to take the risk of hurting feelings. How often is this reasoning the mask of selfishness. It's not a question of hurting, but of helping. Although we might be personally deficient, the grace of God converts us into useful instruments for aiding others. Regardless of our shortcomings, we are called to share with others the good news that "God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth."

And what right do I have to involve myself in the lives of others? Because they need it. Without asking our permission, Christ has entered our lives. He did the same with the first disciples: "Walking along the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the water, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them: Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Each one of us retains the freedom, the false freedom, to say no to God, like the rich young man mentioned by St Luke. But in obedience to Christ's words, "Go and teach," we have the right and duty to speak about God, of this great human theme, because the desire for God comes from the deepest recesses of the heart of man.

Holy Mary, "Queen of Apostles," queen of all those who desire to make the love of your Son known, you understand our miseries so well. Ask Jesus' forgiveness for our shabby lives — for what could have been fire and has been ashes, for the lights that have gone out, for the salt that has turned insipid. Mother of God, you are omnipotent in your petition. Obtain for us, along with forgiveness, the strength to live truly a life of faith and love, so we can share our faith in Christ with others.

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