In a note to a 1950 edition of The Way, Saint Josemaría promised readers a new book —Furrow—soon to be published. The material was written and organized into chapter headings; only the numbering of the points of meditation and a stylistic revision remained. However, it would not be until 1986 that the work was published posthumously, due to his intense work founding and governing Opus Dei, his pastoral work and his other tasks in the service of the Church.
Just like The Way, it is the fruit of Saint Josemaría’s spiritual life and experience with souls. It consists of 1000 brief points to work the ground, to plow furrows, in preparation for the soul’s reception of the seeds of the Word. This was an idea dear to Saint Josemaría: “My reader and friend, let me help your soul contemplate the human virtues, for grace works upon nature.” The infused virtues find support in natural virtues; human qualities are indispensable to work for the good on the supernatural plane.
As Álvaro del Portillo writes in the foreword, “Monsignor Escriva’s teaching brings together the human and the divine aspects of Christian perfection. That must be so when the Catholic doctrine on the Incarnate Word is known in depth and when it is loved, and lived, passionately. The practical and vital consequences of that joyful reality are clearly drawn in Furrow.”
To date, 500,000 copies have been sold in 19 languages.