HomeTestimoniesCardinal Marian Jaworski, Emeritus Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine

Cardinal Marian Jaworski, Emeritus Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine

Cardinal Marian Jaworski, Emeritus Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, currently lives in Krakow, Poland.

May 1, 2010

Tags: Holy Spirit, books, Interior life
What is the relevance of St Josemaria’s charisma for the Church?

Jaworski: I’m currently reading a Polish translation of a book of memoirs about St Josemaria written by his successor, Bishop Javier Echevarria. I must say it’s a book that has made a deep impression on me. I think you’d need to read this book in order to understand Opus Dei properly. His memories are written in an original way, it’s not a standard biography.

It starts off by talking about the Opus Dei founder’s inner life and how he searched for ways forward. There are some astonishing things, which makes the book’s testimony extremely valuable. At my age I don’t often find myself so absorbed in a book that I read it from start to finish, but I can truthfully say I’ve been hooked by this one. It speaks above all of the founder’s inner life.

It seems to me that the charisma handed down by St Josemaria consists of constantly seeking God’s will. Not in the sense that we address the Holy Spirit, but in letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. So the first thing is a continual search for God’s will, absolute commitment.

Next, the Founder of Opus Dei wanted to tell everyone that all Christians need to fulfill their obligations, whether they are bankers, Civil Servants, doctors, whatever. In my opinion Opus Dei was brought about by the Holy Spirit to help prevent the world turning away from God. I think the Opus Dei founder understood that the salvation and renewal of our world can only happen if we behave like true Christians in our daily duties. The Founder wants to tell each of us: “You’re a Christian, and you need to live like one, in your family, at work, in every part of your life.” That’s how I see it, and I think it’s key to help us not to lead a double life – going to church on Sundays and living completely separate from it the rest of the week.

I haven’t yet finished the book. But I think the task of renewing the world has to be done like that: by us being Christians in the place where Jesus Christ has put us. I am also struck by the way that the Founder, as well as putting the spirit of Opus Dei into practice himself, also required everyone who wanted to join Opus Dei to live according to that same spirit – there’s no “cheap rate” membership.

(Original interview published in Revista Palabra, Spain, April 2010)