The young Spanish priest was stunned. He’d just seen it. Ever since that icy winter night ten years ago, when the sight of bare footprints in the snow awoke in him a certain restlessness, an intuition that God had a special plan for him, he’d been praying, “Lord, let me see.” Those inklings, as he called them, continued for years. They spoke to him of something great, something mysterious, something to do with God’s love… And then, on October 2 in the morning, the divine inklings exploded into stunning clarity, and Josemaría saw it: the message and the mission that would be his very life. 

A secret, an open secret. These world crises are crises of saints. God wants a handful of his own women and men in every human activity. Then… the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ!
St. Josemaría, The Way, no. 301

Fr. Josemaría was 26 years old, hard up for cash, and his network of influential contacts was non-existent. But he had his wits about him, a good sense of humor, and the grace of God to start a spiritual revolution. The light he had seen was this: that God is a loving Father who calls each person to live as his beloved child and to transform the world from within, through professional work, friendship, and ordinary life. The Work of God. In Latin, Opus Dei. Or simply, “the Work,” to Fr. Josemaría and his friends.

It was a radical idea, radical in the way the Gospel always is, “as old and as new as the Gospel” (Conversations, no. 24). Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, was a carpenter. Peter and John were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Lydia was a merchant. Martha was the first-century equivalent of a hospitality guru. Josemaría saw that like the first Christians, who followed Christ in the midst of the pagan Roman Empire, our everyday work is the space where we can co-create with God, and bring his logic of love and service to the world and those around us. And by offering our day to God through the Mass, we can co-redeem with Christ on the Cross, turn our work and play into prayer, and light up each moment here on earth with the spark of eternity.