Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St Josemaria Escrivá (19)

by Kenny Cheng

In 1937, St. Josemaría Escrivá and his companions waited in the forest to be smuggled out of Communist territory. They made good use of their time in hiding – they would wake up at 7am, pray at 7:15am, celebrate Mass at 7:30am, pray the Rosary, and meditate. He assigned jobs to his companions: collecting wood, cleaning, keeping records, leading prayers, and giving talks on their occupations. One day, the time came to leave and St. Josemaría retrieved the Eucharist from a silver cigarette case for them to adore. On Sunday, they were climbing a mountain and decided to celebrate the Mass on the mountainside. The flat stone that served as the altar was so low that St. Josemaría had to kneel to celebrate Mass and needed his companions to shield the Eucharist from being blown away. They reached mountaintop before sunset thanks to St. Josemaría’s encouragement. But the next day, they had to climb another mountain, and his breathing became hurried. His companions had to carry him, but he said, “I have come not to be served, but to serve.” They began praying the Rosary, but with their hands occupied with climbing, they lost count. Some decades had 20-30 Hail Mary’s. Then, they reached the mountaintop.

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