Josemaría Escrivá Obras

I am not speaking of imaginary ideals. I confine myself to a very definite reality which is of paramount importance, and which is capable of transforming an environment that is utterly pagan and hostile to God's designs, as indeed happened at the beginning of the era of our salvation. Savour these words of an anonymous author of those times, who sums up the grandeur of our vocation as follows: Christians, he writes, 'are to the world what the soul is to the body. They live in the world but are not worldly, as the soul is in the body but is not corporeal. They live in every town and city, as the soul is in every part of the body. They work from within and pass unnoticed, as the soul does of its essence... They live as pilgrims among perishable things with their eyes set on the immortality of heaven, as the immortal soul now dwells in a perishable house. Their numbers increase daily amid persecutions, as the soul is made beautiful through mortifications... And Christians have no right to abandon their mission in the world, in the same way that the soul may not voluntarily separate itself from the body.'

We would therefore be on the wrong path if we were to disregard temporal affairs, for Our Lord awaits us there as well. You can be sure that it is through the circumstances of ordinary life, ordained or permitted by the infinite wisdom of divine Providence, that we come close to God. But we shall not attain our goal if we do not strive to finish our work well; if we do not sustain the effort we put in when we began our work with human and supernatural zeal; if we do not carry out our work as well as the best do and, if possible, even better than the best. And I think that if you and I really want to, we will work better than the best, because we will use all the honest human means as well as the supernatural ones which are required in order to offer Our Lord a perfect job of work, finished like filigree and pleasing in every way.

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