Josemaría Escrivá Obras
14

Way back, in the early forties, I used to go quite often to Valencia. I had no human means at the time and, with those who were gathered around this penniless priest, as you are now, I would pray wherever we could, some afternoons on a deserted beach. Just like the first friends of the Master, remember? St Luke writes how, when St Paul and he were leaving Tyre on their way to Jerusalem, 'they all of them, with their wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city; and there on the beach we knelt down and prayed'.

Well, late one afternoon, during one of those marvellous Valencian sunsets, we saw a boat approaching the shore. Some men jumped out, swarthy looking and strong as granite, dripping wet, stripped to the waist, so weather-burned that they might have been made of bronze. They began to haul in the net that trailed behind the boat. It was laden with fishes, all shining like silver. Their feet sank into the sand as they pulled away with amazing strength. Then all of a sudden a little boy appeared, all sunburnt too. He came up to the rope, seized it with his tiny hands and began to tug away with evident clumsiness. The tough, unsophisticated fishermen must have felt their hearts soften, for they allowed the child to join in, without chasing him away, even though he was more of a hindrance than a help.

I thought of you and of myself. Of you, whom I did not know as yet, and of myself; of our daily tugging away at the rope, and of many things. If we come before God Our Lord like that child, convinced of our weakness yet ever prepared to second his plans, we shall more easily reach our goal. We shall haul the net onto the shore, bursting with an abundant catch, for the power of God reaches where our strength cannot.

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