Writings by Saint Josemaría
Holy Rosary, first published in 1934, contains a series of short commentaries on the 15 mysteries of the rosary (joyful, sorrowful and glorious). It tries to help the reader enter more deeply into these scenes from the life of our Lord and his Blessed Mother. There is also a brief commentary on the Litany of the Blessed Virgin at the end.
St. Josemaria wrote this book at one sitting in 1931, in his thanksgiving after Mass. It leads the reader along the path of a trusting dialogue with our Lady, who brings us to the Blessed Trinity.
"The beginning of the way, at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away with love for Jesus, is a trusting love for Mary," the author tells us in the preface.
Holy Rosary is currently published in 25 languages. It has sold over 700,000 copies.
The strength, the attraction of The Way is largely due to the fact that it is based on real, living experience, being the fruit of the author's work as a priest which began in 1925. The book appeared first in 1934 under the title Consideraciones espirituales and later (in 1939) received its definitive title, after being greatly expanded. Over the years, more than four and a half million copies have been sold, in 43 different languages.
This is one of the main attractions of the book-its direct, conversational style, its personal and deeply human character. As a reviewer in Osservatore Romano (March 24, 1950) put it: "Msgr. Escriva de Balaguer has written something more than a masterpiece; he has written straight from the heart, and straight to the heart go the short paragraphs which make up The Way."
La Abadesa de las Huelgas
Penetrante estudio teológico-jurídico, a partir de las fuentes y documentos originales, sobre el caso extraordinario de jurisdicción cuasi episcopal por parte de la abadesa del famoso monasterio burgalés. La primera edición se publicó en 1944.
Conversations with Monsignor Escrivá de Balaguer
This book contains 7 interviews (from 1966-68) with journalists from Le Figaro, The New York Times, Time, L'Osservatore della Domenica and 3 Spanish publications (Telva, Gaceta Universitaria and Palabra).
The founder of Opus Dei gives detailed answers to questions on the Church and the Council (which had just concluded), Opus Dei, human freedom and rights, the university, women in today's society, etc.
The book concludes with the homily "Passionately Loving the World," given on the campus of the University of Navarre on October 8, 1967, in the presence of 40,000 people from Spain and other countries. Its deep spiritual message will help the reader to grasp the spirit that inspires the founder of Opus Dei's answers to the various journalists.
Conversations with Monsignor Escriva de Balaguer was first published in 1968 in Spanish, English, Italian and Portuguese.
It has since come out in French, German, Catalan, Dutch, Polish and Chinese. 350,000 copies have been sold.
Christ Is Passing By
Christ Is Passing By collects 18 homilies given by St. Josemaria between 1951 and 1971, on the occasion of various liturgical feast days. The guiding thread is divine filiation, and the universal call to holiness entailed by this reality. Other important themes are the sanctification of ordinary work, contemplation in the midst of the world, and unity of life. The first edition was published in 1973. Over half a million copies have been sold in 14 languages.
Bishop Alvaro del Portillo writes in the foreword that the book represents a small fraction of the founder of Opus Dei's immense work of catechesis. "These homilies are not theological 'tracts' dealing with set topics; they are addressed to people of widely varied cultural and social backgrounds, spoken with a gift of tongues that makes them accessible to everyone. Underlying these considerations is an assiduous and loving knowledge of Sacred Scripture, the divine Word. St. Josemaria is speaking not to specialists, but to persons of flesh and blood, whose soul already harbors the life of God and who, having begun to experience God's love, want to draw closer to Him.
Friends of God
First published in 1977, this is the first posthumous work of St. Josemaria. Collecting in one volume 18 homilies given between 1941-68, the book seeks to lead the reader to a deeper friendship with the "God who is close to us."
The author's filial dialogue with God is guided by his reflections on a number of human and supernatural virtues. Over 400,000 copies have been sold. It has been published in 13 languages.
Bishop Alvaro del Portillo writes in the foreword: "In this second volume of homilies we have gathered together some texts that were published while Msgr. Escrivá de Balaguer was still with us here on earth, and others from the many which he left for later publication, because he worked unhurriedly and kept working to the end.
"These eighteen homilies present a broad picture of the basic human and Christian virtues for all who wish to follow closely in the footsteps of our Lord…With Msgr. Escrivá de Balaguer words turn into a colloquy with God - prayer - but without ceasing to be a heartfelt conversation completely in tune with the concerns and hopes of his listeners. The homilies contain living doctrine and combine a theologian's depth with the evangelical clarity of a good shepherd of souls. They are, therefore, a lesson in doctrine and in Christian life in which God is not only spoken of but spoken to. Perhaps this is the secret of his great power of communication, because he is always speaking about the Love of God: looking at God without needing rest or feeling tired.
"Together with a great simplicity, there runs through all these writings the constant counterpoint of a passionate, expansive love. The path to sanctity that St. Josemaria invites us to take is paved with a deep respect for freedom. The Founder of Opus Dei relished those words of St Augustine where the great Bishop of Hippo stresses that God 'judged that his servants would be better if they served him freely.'"
The Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross, published after St. Josemaria's death, contains brief commentaries on the 14 stations, fruit of the founder of Opus Dei's personal prayer life.
"The Way of the Cross is not a sad devotion," Bishop Alvaro del Portillo writes in the foreword. "Msgr. Escriva taught many times that Christian joy has its roots in the shape of a cross. If the Passion of Christ is a path of pain, it is also a path of hope to certain victory."
This new posthumous work of St. Josemaria, like the previous ones, seeks to help people to pray and, with God's grace, to grow in a spirit of reparation-of love-sorrow-and of gratitude to our Lord, who has rescued us at the cost of his Blood.
The first edition of The Way of the Cross appeared in 1981. Over 400,000 copies have been sold, in 19 languages.
Like The Way, Furrow is the fruit of St. Josemaria's interior life and experience with souls. It presents an attractive Christian vision of the human virtues. "Furrow is directed to the whole Christian person-body and soul, nature and grace," wrote Bishop Alvaro del Portillo in the foreword to the book.
St. Josemaria had hoped to make a final revision of the book before he died, but didn't have time to do so. The first edition appeared in 1986. Since then, over half a million copies have been printed in many different languages.
As the author tells us in his brief preface: "How can I fail to take up your soul-pure gold-and place it in 'the forge,' and fashion it with fire and hammer, until that gold nugget is turned into a splendid jewel to be offered to my God, to your God?"
The Forge contains 1055 points for meditation, arranged in thirteen chapters. Many of these points, written down for the most part in the 1930's by the founder of Opus Dei, refer to events in the author's own life, although they are usually related in the third person.
The book follows the interior itinerary of a Christian as he seeks an ever closer identification with Christ. "The Forge accompanies the soul on the path of its sanctification, from the moment one's Christian vocation is first glimpsed right to the final light of eternity" (Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, Foreword).
In Love with the Church
In Love with the Church presents four homilies of Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. The first three had been previously published only in booklet form and separately. The fourth, Passionately loving the World, appeared in Conversations with Monsignor Escriva; it is included here since it provides a magnificent reflection on how ordinary lay men and women can serve the Church. As St. Josemaria tirelessly taught: "The only ambition, the only desire of Opus Dei and of each of its daughters and sons is to serve the Church as she wants to be served, within our specific divine vocation."
Since 1986, 12 editions have been published in 9 different languages. The first Chinese edition came out in October 2001.
Discursos sobre la Universidad
Volumen elaborado por la Universidad de Navarra con motivo de la beatificación de su fundador y primer Gran Canciller, donde se recogen sus diversos discursos académicos ante la corporación universitaria, la homilía pronunciada en el campus de la Universidad de Navarra en octubre de 1967 y algunas otras declaraciones públicas suyas sobre temas universitarios. Finalmente se incluyen los discursos del acto académico celebrado el 26 de junio de 1992 con motivo del aniversario del fallecimiento del entonces beato Josemaría. Prologa el volumen el entonces obispo y Prelado del Opus Dei, monseñor Álvaro del Portillo, Gran Canciller de la Universidad de Navarra, que expone magistralmente los grandes rasgos del pensamiento de san Josemaría sobre la Universidad.