Josemaría Escrivá Obras

You might tell me, 'Why should I make an effort?' It is not I who answer you, but St Paul: 'Christ's love is urging us.' A whole lifetime would be little, if it was spent expanding the frontiers of your charity. From the very beginnings of Opus Dei I have repeated tirelessly that cry of Our Lord: 'By this shall men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.' I did this to encourage generous souls to put it into practice in their own lives. This is precisely how we shall be recognised as Christians, if we make charity the starting point of everything we do.

He, who is purity personified, does not assert that his disciples will be known by the purity of their lives. He, who so lived sobriety that he didn't even have a stone upon which to lay his head, and spent so many days in prayer and fasting, did not declare to his Apostles: 'you will be known as my chosen ones because you are not gluttons or drunkards'.

The purity of Christ's life was — and will be in every generation — a slap in the face to the society of his day, a society which then as now was often so corrupt. His temperance also stung those whose lives were one long banquet, interrupted only by self-induced vomiting so that they could then get back to eating, thus fulfilling to the letter the words of Saul: their stomachs have become their god.

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