“The Christian apostolate — and I'm talking about an ordinary Christian living as just one more man or woman among equals — is a great work of teaching. Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons — naturally, simply. With the example of your faith lived to the full, with a loving word which is full of the force of divine truth.”
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“Jesus has gone up to heaven, as we have seen. But a Christian can deal with him, in prayer and in the Eucharist, as the twelve Apostles dealt with him. The Christian can come to burn with an apostolic fervour that will lead him to serve, to redeem with Christ, to sow peace and joy wherever he goes. To serve, that is what apostolate is all about. If we count on our own strength alone, we will achieve nothing in the supernatural order. But if we are God's instruments, we will achieve everything. ‘I can do all things in him who gives me strength.’ God, in his infinite goodness, has chosen to use inadequate instruments; and so, the apostle has no other aim than to let the Lord work in him and through him, to put himself totally at God's disposition, allowing him to carry out his work of salvation through creatures, through that soul whom he has chosen.”
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“Christ has taught us in a definitive way how to make this love for God real. Apostolate is love for God that overflows and communicates itself to others. The interior life implies a growth in union with Christ, in the bread and in the word. And apostolate is the precise and necessary outward manifestation of interior life. When one tastes the love of God, one feels burdened with the weight of souls. There is no way to separate interior life from apostolate, just as there is no way to separate Christ, the God-man, from his role as redeemer. The Word chose to become flesh in order to save men, to make them one with him. This is why he came to the world; he came down from heaven ‘for us men and for our salvation,’ as we say in the creed.
“For a Christian apostolate is something instinctive. It is not something added onto his daily activities and his professional work from the outside. I have repeated it constantly, since the day that our Lord chose for the foundation of Opus Dei! We have to sanctify our ordinary work, we have to sanctify others through the exercise of the particular profession that is proper to each of us, in our own particular state in life.
“We have to act in such a way that others will be able to say, when they meet us: this man is a Christian, because he does not hate, because he is willing to understand, because he is not a fanatic, because he is willing to make sacrifices, because he shows that he is a man of peace, because he knows how to love.”
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“Our apostolate has to be based on understanding. I insist, as I have done before, on the fact that charity, more than in giving, consists in understanding. I cannot deny the fact that I have learned by my own experience what it means not to be understood. I have always tried to make myself understood, but there have been people who were bent on not understanding. This gives me one more reason, and a very practical one, for trying to be understanding toward everyone. But it is not this type of incidental reason that should prompt us to have a heart that is great, universal, catholic. The understanding we must show is a proof of christian charity on the part of a good child of God. Our Lord wants us to be present in all the honest pursuits of the earth, so that there we may sow, not weeds, but the good seed of brotherhood, of forgiveness, of charity and of peace. Never consider yourself anybody's enemy.”
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“Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, queen of apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, our Lady is able to get each of her children to face his own responsibilities. Mary always does the immense favour of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behaviour may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother — you and me — with the firstborn Son of the Father.”
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