This Tremendous Lover

I don’t know why it took me this long to tell you about the other man in my life.

But coming out in the open is liberating as freedom can be. Elmer knows about him. All this time. As a matter of fact, I knew him long before I met my husband. I met him when I was just 19 through the persistence of my best friend, Tanya.

After that chance meeting, life was never the same again.

He made the most positive, radical change in my life. He taught me that an ordinary person like me can belong to the ranks of saints, that I can be closer to Christ, that I can be holy. He led me to a deep personal conversion which will become the theme of my life.

He spoke to me like no other. His words pierced the very marrows of my being. The first thing he told me, an idealistic engineering undergrad then, was

“Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love”.*

He impressed the virtue of generosity on me very early on.

“How little my life is to offer to God”.*

That was enough to get me all enthusiastic. I was young, idealistic and seriously seeking Christ to fill am undeniable void in my existence.

While I was struggling to go against the current of conspicuous consumption and hedonism he taught me effectively to live the spirit of poverty and detachment.

“Those who needs least has most. Do not create needs for yourself.” *

During the lowest point of my life, he taught me divine abandonment and that I am a daughter of God.

“My Lord and my God: into your hands, I abandon the past, present and the future, what is small and what is great, what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot, things temporal and things eternal.

There is no need to worry.”+

He told me that I am not any less of a woman if I decide to give up my banking career to be a stay home mother.

“A woman can achieve perfection even at home where she is fulfilling her primary purpose and central role. That the attention she gives to her family will always be a woman’s greatest dignity. A woman fulfills an indispensible part of her mission in the care she takes of her husband and children.”@

When I am about to give up in my struggles, he encouraged me to persevere.

“Sanctification is a work of a lifetime. Reform everyday a little.” If I fail, “I have to begin and begin again.”*

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He revealed to me the secret of saints – Love.

“Charity succeeds always. Without charity nothing can be done. Love then is the secret of your life. Do love! Suffer gladly. Toughen up your soul. Invigorate your will.”

I love him profoundly like a daughter loves his most beloved father.

Most importantly, he prepared and led me to Elmer. I don’t think our lives would have crossed path if not for this great man. And I don’t think Elmer would have been remotely interested in me if not for the arcane influence of this person in me. Now, we owe our amazing lives and wonderful family to him.

He is a father, a friend, a lover, a priest, a saint.

His name is Saint Josemaria Escriva.

We are celebrating his feast day today.

sje

We have an obligation to increase the happiness of others. We cannot be selfish.


*Quotes taken from his book “The Way”
+Quotes taken from his book “The Way of the Cross”
@ Quotes taken from his book “Conversations”

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