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Testimonies

Living life to the fullest

Diane Rozells, occupational therapist, Singapore

January 8, 2002

“Live life to the fullest!” This has always been my motto. You can say I am a person who enjoys the adventure and excitement in life. Before I learnt of St Josemaria and his message of holiness in ordinary life, I was convinced that in order to get the most out of life I had to do as many spectacular things as I could. And thus, as a youth, I did all sorts of crazy things, so that I could have what I then thought was an interesting life.

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Understanding what God is like

Kristina Simon, Sweden

January 8, 2002

I was born in Stockholm and have lived here all my life. I was lucky enough to grow up in a deeply Christian family. My father is Catholic, my mother Protestant, and I have three siblings. All of us were baptized in the Catholic Church as babies, and brought up in the Christian faith, in an atmosphere of great freedom.

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Christians have a responsibility to participate in public life

Christopher Wolfe, professor of political science, …..

January 8, 2002

Married and father of ten children, Christopher Wolfe is totally convinced of Christians’ responsibility to participate in public affairs. He has proclaimed it in his 25-year career as a professor of political science in different American colleges, and he went to Rome in January 2002 ready to repeat it. Since 1992, Wolfe has been full Professor at Marquette University, where he served as chair of the department for three years. Founder and president of the American Public Philosophy Institute (1989), Dr. Wolfe has also published several books and participated in many conferences and panels.

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Alex Grew 6' Last Night

Andrew Mullins, teacher at Redfield College, Sydney, Australia

January 8, 2002

First let me begin with a story that ties together many of the principles that we have learned in Redfield about character building from Saint Josemaria. Some years ago, we received a call from a local shop owner, telling us he had caught one of our 10 year old students stealing some lollies. The boy’s tutor, the teacher who was his mentor, spoke to the boy about stealing, made sure the boy faced up to the shopkeeper to apologize, and also told the boy he needed to speak to his father about something important like this. The next day the father rang the school. He was absolutely grateful and ecstatic. He said that his son had spoken to him. He said, “Alex grew 6' last night”. They had never had such a good talk. Eight years later in his last months at school, the boy chose to write about that talk with his father as one of the greatest moments of his childhood. What that young man didn’t know was that the tutor had rung his father to say, “Don’t get angry. Your son has something important to tell you tonight. Use it to talk with him.”

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The Personalism and Universalism of Josemaría Escrivá

Evgenii Pazukhin

January 8, 2002

“The Spirit, sent by the Father through the Son, called Josemaría Escrivá to the profound sense of divine sonship that distinguished not only his teaching, but his character and deeds as well. The perception of God as a loving and compassionate father precludes the possibility of making God into an instrument of human passions and ambitions. It reorients the teaching of the Church away from threats and towards the bright and joyful promise of the Father of Heaven. From this derives both the boundless optimism of Escrivá and the spirituality of Opus Dei. This explains the sincere charm of the man, his happiness (despite profound suffering), his constant good humor (‘true sanctity should be joyful’), and the unusual naturalness of his actions. From this derived his rejection of all hypocrisy and prudishness. It also explains how readers of his works are invariably touched by his happiness and freedom (…) The Founder of Opus Dei had the audacity to look at people with deep, divinely inspired love and compassion, and see them through the eyes of the Heavenly Father. He became the father of all who set out with Christ on the new trail to holiness he blazed on earth. It is fitting that the Founder’s spiritual children, by divine inspiration, inscribed his gravestone with a single word: Father.”

From the world of finance

Juan Carlos Fierro, student of Political Sciences at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

January 8, 2002

Saint Josemaria’s teachings on the Holy Mass had a great influence on the way I work. Since I started trying to put into practice what the writings of the Founder of Opus Dei say about the centrality and radical nature of the Holy Mass, my work has undergone a series of changes. For example, he says in The Forge: “Keep struggling, so that the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar really becomes the center and the root of your interior life, and so your whole day will turn into an act of worship – an extension of the Mass you have attended and a preparation for the next. This will then overflow into aspirations, visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the offering up of your professional work and your family life” (The Forge, 69).

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I discovered the “Adventure of the Family”

Peter Prünte, Germany

January 8, 2002

I met the Work in 1981 through Julia, who was then my fiancée. Up until then I had a purely naturalistic concept of what a family was. It had never crossed my mind that I could form one – I couldn’t square the idea of having a family with my own life, either in theory or in practice.

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Cardinal Paul Shan S. J., Bishop of Kaohsiung, Taiwan

This little book

January 6, 2002

Since discovering this little book (The Way), I have used it frequently for my prayer. It not only guides one to the heights of Christian spirituality but it also teaches us Christians how we should love our Mother the Church.

Children. The Sick.

Rosa Valles, nurse

January 4, 2002

“Children. The Sick. As you write these words, don’t you feel tempted to use capitals? The reason is that in children and in the sick, a soul in love sees Him.” St Josemaria wrote these words seventy-five years ago, on March 11, 1932, and they appeared as no. 419 of The Way. They were the fruit of his spiritual experiences working with children, the poor and the sick as Chaplain of the Foundation for the Sick in Madrid. As Pedro Rodriguez explained in his historical-critical edition of The Way, “The background of this point is clearly the Gospel itself: the special love Jesus showed for children and the sick.”

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Designing every garment to enhance the dignity of the woman who wears it

Sofía Carluccio, Industrial Design, Uruguay

January 1, 2002

I took my degree in industrial design in the area of textiles and fashion, in the Center for Industrial Design (Uruguay). Perhaps my career path was mapped out for me since my childhood, through my mother’s influence – she always loved re-making clothes, among other reasons, to save money on clothing for me and my ten brothers and sisters. I may have inherited my artistic streak from her.

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Conversion story

Lucia Vanrell, Uruguay

January 1, 2002

My name is Lucia Vanrell, I’m 20, and I study biochemistry in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of the Republic of Uruguay. I come from a strongly Catholic family, but after my first Communion, as I entered into adolescence, little by little I began to drift away from God.

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God doesn’t let himself be outdone in generosity

Alvaro Vidal, IT manager for a wholesale store, Uruguay

January 1, 2002

I work in a wholesale store, managing IT and liquid assets, and combine my job with being a father of ten – seven girls and three boys. I’ve been married for twenty-five years. My oldest daughter is married and I’m now a grandfather, and my youngest son is five. I’m one of eleven brothers – a complete football team –, and we have one sister.

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