Praying with Alvaro del Portillo

For Alvaro del Portillo’s centennial year and his upcoming beatification on September 27, texts of his related to the liturgical seasons and important feasts will be offered here. The first is entitled “Lent and apostolate.”

“Increase your prayer and penance. Realize that although God does not lose battles, although the devil cannot triumph, in his infinite mercy God is relying on our loyal response for his definitive victory in this world . . . Strive with me not to defraud him.

Therefore, pray more and better; work more and better; launch out in a more decisive apostolate without pause, determined (within the limits of our own weakness) to transform our entire day into reparation, which is the way of loving for those who know they are sinners. Be ambitious each day; ask the Holy Spirit for his grace, through the intercession of our Lady, of Saint Joseph, of our Founder, in order to make up for so much indifference and desertion among Christians. Once again the scenes so often found in the Old Testament will be repeated: God will hear us and will hasten the hour of salvation for this epoch of ours, if he finds (even though few in comparison) men of faith, women of faith, who have recourse to his infinite mercy filled with hope, with love.

Only a few! I seem to hear the cry that is fulfilled to the letter in the spiritual life:give me a place to stand and I will move the world. It is a cry that God addresses to each one of us, to save this world of ours that seems so determined to flee from Him.

Our Lord is asking this of you and me now. It is we Christians, it is you . . . who are the ‘place to stand’ that God chooses to need so that the ‘lever’ of his grace may move and sanctify the word around us” (Letter, March 1, 1976, no. 14).