Josemaría Escrivá Obras

But let's continue contemplating the marvel of the sacraments. In the anointing of the sick, as extreme unction is now called, we find a loving preparation for the journey which ends in the Father's house. And in the Eucharist, which we might call the sacrament of divine extravagance, God gives his grace and himself to us: Jesus Christ, who is always really present — not just during Mass — with his body, with his soul, with his blood and with his divinity.

I think very often about the responsibility that lies with priests to preserve the divine channel of the sacraments for all Christians. God's grace comes to the aid of every soul, for every person needs specific, personal help. You cannot treat souls en masse! It is not right to offend human dignity and the dignity of the sons of God by not going personally to the aid of each one. The priest must do just that, with the humility of a man who knows he is only an instrument, the vehicle of Christ's love. For every soul is a wonderful treasure; every man is unique and irreplaceable. Every single person is worth all the blood of Christ.

We were talking previously about the need to fight. But fighting calls for training, a proper diet, urgent medical attention in the case of illness, bruises and wounds. The sacraments are the main medicine the Church has to offer. They are not luxuries. If you voluntarily abandon them, it is impossible to advance on the road, to follow Jesus Christ. We need them as we need air to breathe, the circulation of the blood, and light to appreciate at every moment what our Lord wants of us.

A Christian's asceticism requires strength, which is found in the Creator. We are darkness and he is radiant light. We are infirmity and he is robust good health. We are poverty and he is infinite wealth. We are weakness and he sustains us, "for you are, O God, my strength." Nothing on earth is capable of stemming the impatient gushing forth of the redeeming blood of Christ. Yet human limitations can veil our eyes so that we do not notice the grandeur of God. Hence the responsibility of all the faithful, especially those who have the role of governing — serving — the People of God spiritually, of not blocking the sources of grace, of not being ashamed of Christ's cross.

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