Josemaría Escrivá Obras

What illuminates our conscience is faith in Christ, who has died and risen and is present in every moment of life. Faith moves us to play our full part in the changing situations and in the problems of human history. In this history, which began with the creation of the world and will reach its fulfilment at the end of time, the Christian is no expatriate. He is a citizen of the city of men, and his soul longs for God. While still on earth he has glimpses of God's love and comes to recognize it as the goal to which all men on earth are called.

If my own personal experience is of any help, I can say that I have always seen my work as a priest and shepherd of souls as being aimed at helping each person to face up to all the demands of his life and to discover what God wants from him in particular — without in any way limiting that holy independence and blessed personal responsibility which are the features of a christian conscience. This way of acting and this spirit are based on respect for the transcendence of revealed truth and on love for the freedom of the human person. I might add that they are also based on a realization that history is undetermined and open to a variety of human options — all of which God respects.

Following Christ does not mean taking refuge in the temple, shrugging one's shoulders at social development, ignoring the achievements and aberrations alike of men or nations. On the contrary, christian faith makes us see the world as God's creation and appreciate all its nobility and beauty, recognizing the dignity of each person made in the image of God. It makes us admire the splendid gift of freedom which gives us power over our own actions and enables us — with heaven's grace — to build our eternal destiny. You would belittle the faith if you reduced it to a human ideology, if you raised a political-religious standard to condemn — on who knows what divine authority — those who think differently from you in matters which by their very nature can be solved in a wide variety of ways.

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