St. Josemaria Escrivá formed many young men in the founding days of Opus Dei. “We used to go for walks along the banks of the River Arlanzón. There we would talk, and while they opened their hearts, I tried to guide them with suitable advice to confirm their decisions or open up new horizons in their interior lives. And always, with God’s help, I would do all I could to encourage them and stir up in their hearts the desire to live genuinely Christian lives."
Formation is important for anyone who is serious about their Christian walk. Josemaria Escrivá noted the fact that these men opened their hearts to him, and were willing to share their thoughts, their concerns and their hopes for a life in Christ. Because of this he was able to touch them in much of the same way that Jesus was able to reach his disciples - perhaps walking near the Jordan River or along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Often it is in casual settings and circumstances such as these that we are able to form or be formed. We have the capability, and indeed the responsibility, for both. St. Josemaria also wrote: "Your apostolate consists in spreading goodness, light, enthusiasm, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice, constancy in work, deep study, complete self-surrender, being up-to-date, cheerful and (with) complete obedience to the Church, and perfect charity. Nobody can give what he does not have."
Phew! Sounds like a tall order - but we need to remember nothing is impossible with God. St. Josemaria never asked of anyone what he didn't do himself, so let us turn to him today for help with our own formation, so we can go on to influence others by living "genuinely Christian lives".
St. Josemaria Escrivá, pray for us!