Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Following this example we see in Our Lord, who is our model, I preach that detachment is self-dominion. It is not a noisy and showy beggarliness, nor is it a mask for laziness and neglect. You should dress in accordance with the demands of your social standing, your family background, your work... as your companions do, but to please God: eager to present a genuine and attractive image of true Christian living. Do everything with naturalness, without being extravagant. I can assure you that in this matter it is better to err on the side of excess than to fall short. How do you think Our Lord dressed? Haven't you pictured to yourself the dignity with which he wore his seamless cloak which had probably been woven for him by Our Lady? Don't you remember how, in Simon's house, he was grieved because he had not been offered water to wash his hands before taking his place at the table? No doubt he drew attention to this example of bad manners to underline his teaching that love is shown in little details. But he also wants to make it clear that he stands by the social customs of his time, and therefore you and I must make an effort to be detached from the goods and comforts of the world, but without doing anything that looks odd or peculiar.

As far as I am concerned, one of the signs that we're aware of being lords of the earth and God's faithful administrators is the care we take of the things we use: keeping them in good condition, making them last and getting the best out of them so that they serve their purpose for as long a time as possible and don't go to waste. In the Centres of Opus Dei you will find the decoration simple, attractive and, above all, clean, because poverty in a home is not to be confused with bad taste or with dirt. Nevertheless, it seems quite natural to me that, in keeping with your means and your social and family commitments, you should possess some objects of value which you take care of with a spirit of mortification and detachment.

Previous View chapter Next