Saint Josemaria used to exhort us, with his word and example, to sentire cum Ecclesia—to live fully in harmony with the Church. This harmony leads us to rejoice with her joys and to suffer with her sufferings.
During those difficult years, when Saint Paul VI even said that “the smoke of Satan” had entered through cracks into the Church, our Father insisted to us that this was a “time to pray” and a “time to make reparation.” I would like this same exhortation to resound again now in our souls, faced with the current situation—different but no less difficult—in which along with doctrinal confusion and mistaken practices, one sadly sees divisions. Also for this reason, let us strive to be good children of the Church and assist the Pope with our prayer in his mission to be the visible principle of the unity of faith and communion in the Church.
My daughters and sons, seeing all the difficulties today, certainly grave, cannot lead us to become pessimistic or to lose hope. The chief reason for this is that the Church, while made up of men and women who are weak, is the People of God, the Body of Christ and universal Sacrament of salvation. Besides, as Don Javier would tell us (and which we all have experienced), “How many good people there are in the world!”
In our prayer for the Church, let us go often to Saint Michael the Archangel, as Pope Francis asked us to do some months ago; to Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, especially on the upcoming 19th; and always to Holy Mary, Mater Ecclesiae.
As we begin Lent, your Father blesses you with all his affection,
Rome, 7 March 2019