MANILA, June 12, 2016— A Catholic prelate invited the faithful to turn to St. Josemaria Escriva as an inspiring teacher and intercessor for today’s society which is in dire need of mercy and forgiveness.
“Forgiving offenses is the most divine thing we can do. This is not just a work of mercy, but also a condition and petition for God to pardon our sins,” Bishop Javier Echevarría, the Prelate of Opus Dei, reminded the faithful of the prelature in a recent circular letter for the Jubilee of Mercy.
However, the prelate pointed out, “one of the great problems in today’s society is the difficulty people have in forgiving.”
“Individuals and entire nations dwell over and over again on the offenses they have received; they wallow around in these memories as in a muddy puddle, and don’t want to strive to forgive and forget,” Echevarría elaborated.
A good example
“Quite different, and also very clear, is our Lord’s teaching. He sums up the history of divine mercy towards mankind with these words: blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” the prelate stressed.
“Saint Josemaría deeply assimilated these teachings of our Lord, and preached them by his example and word.”
“What a good example for us!” the bishop said as he invited the faithful to turn to St. Josemaria’s intercession to “ask God to teach us to be big-hearted and to forgive right away those who have offended us, without any resentment.”
Novena for forgiveness
For this, a novena has been composed in which while meditating on quotes from St. Josemaria the faithful ask God through the Saint’s intercession for the grace to learn how to forgive others.
The novena contains daily reflections from the writings of St. Josemaria, prayers for the particular intention of the day of the novena, and the prayer for the intercession of the saint.
There is a guide in each day of the novena that helps, through reflection and prayer, to petition for:
- Peace of heart
- Understanding people
- Overcoming pride
- Conquering anger
- Overcoming resentment
- Overcoming family quarrels
- Taking the first step to reconciliation
- Returning good for evil
- Asking Our Lady’s help
The Novena for Forgiveness is available at the Opus Dei website www.opusdei.ph. It can be downloaded in pdf, epub and mobi format.
Masses to commemorate St. Josemaria
As a manifestation of the wide-spread devotion to the saint it is now a tradition in many places to celebrate the Holy Mass in honor of St. Josemaría around June 26.
The Information Office of Opus Dei in the Philippines announced in its website that Masses to commemorate the liturgical feast of St. Josemaria will be celebrated in at least 75 churches in 32 cities or dioceses all over the Philippines. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCP News)