Josemaría Escrivá Obras

It could perhaps be said that so far Opus Dei has benefited from the enthusiasm of its first members, although admittedly there are many thousands of them now. Is there any way of guaranteeing the continuity of the Work against the risk, which an institutions run, of a possible cooling down of the initial fervour and drive?

The Work is based not on enthusiasm but on Faith. The early years were long years, and they were very hard. All we could see before us were difficulties. Opus Dei went ahead by the grace of God and by the prayer and sacrifice of the first few, despite the lack of material resources. All we had was youth, good humour and a desire to do God's will.

From the beginning, Opus Dei's weapons have always been prayer, self-giving and silent renunciation of all forms of selfishness for the sake of serving souls. As I said before, people come to Opus Dei to receive a spirit which brings them to give themselves in everything, while they continue with their ordinary work out of love of God and through Him, out of love for men.

The guarantee against any cooling-down is that my sons and daughters should never lose this spirit. I fully realise that human undertakings get worn out with time, but this does not happen to divine undertakings unless men debase them. Corruption and decay come only when the divine impetus is lost. In our case one can see clearly the Providence of the Lord which — in so short a time, forty years — has seen to it that this specific divine vocation should be received and lived by ordinary people (they're just the same as their fellow men) in so many different countries.

The aim of Opus Dei is, I insist once again, the holiness of each one of its members, men and women who continue just where they were before they joined the Work. All who come to Opus Dei must come with the determination to become saints in spite of everything — that is, in spite of their own miseries, their personal short comings — otherwise they will go away immediately. I think that holiness attracts holiness, and I pray to God that in Opus Dei there will always be this profound connection, this life of Faith. As you can see our confidence is not based on merely human or legal guarantees. Undertakings inspired by God move at the pace of divine grace and in these my one and only recipe is this: to be saints, to want to become saints, with personal sanctity.

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