HomeTestimoniesFrom Sociological Christianity to an encounter with God

From Sociological Christianity to an encounter with God

Pedro Luis García, Spain

June 24, 2013

Tags: Eucharist, Faith, Consistency, Year of Faith
A few years ago I started my degree course at the University of Navarre, Spain. I lived in Belagua University Hall of Residence. Both the University itself and Belagua are corporate works of Opus Dei. Up until that point I had practised a “sociological Christianity”. I went to Sunday Mass, but I had not the slightest understanding of the riches of the faith or the teachings of the Church. Little by little, during my time in Belagua, I discovered a new way of being a Christian. There I met people whose behaviour showed that they were fighting to follow Jesus Christ every day, and who passed their joy on to others. The way they lived up to what they believed in was an example to me. I started to realize, little by little, what I was missing: there was a God who was close to me, with whom I could share some parts of my life, and he had loved me and was still loving me, every day.

I remember with nostalgia those months in Belagua, during the all-night vigils before the Blessed Sacrament. It was the only time I spent in silence before the Eucharist. However, those first Fridays of the month (which was when we had the vigils before the Blessed Sacrament) were a strengthening experience when I could feel, could sense, the encouragement coming to me from God, who was close to me every day to give me fortitude, peace and joy.

Improving every day
From those first days onwards, my Christian life has grown steadily. One of the teachings of St Josemaria is having a spirit of trying to improve constantly, of fighting to improve in something every day, of not resting content with what we have achieved so far, but concerning ourselves more and more with God and other people. “More should be asked of you, because you can give more and you should give more. Think about it” (Furrow, 13), said the Founder of Opus Dei in one of the points in Furrow, which, together with The Way, was a book that made a deep impression on me and helped me in my first periods of prayer during those vigils before the Blessed Sacrament.

St Josemaria’s teachings and example also impelled me to practise more deeply the indispensable heart of our faith, the New Commandment that Jesus Christ gave us: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). This is no abstract commandment but is expressed in little details every day, in ordinary things, in serving God and other people in our normal occupations. St Josemaria expressed this concisely, attractively and strikingly: “I assure you, my sons and daughters, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God” (Conversations with Msgr. Escriva de Balaguer, 116).

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