When my sons were little, everything related to trains and cars. No matter what you talked about, my boys always took the conversation back to an engine of some kind. One time I asked my five-year-old what he wanted for lunch and he told me he needed a quart of oil. True story.
But that’s one way we learn–by relating any new information our brains receive to something we already understand. Now that they’re older, my boys can make connections to a much wider range of subjects, including baseball, basketball, football, and weightlifting. Oh, and also trains and cars.
The problem is that half the time, I have no idea what they’re talking about. My understanding of their world–things like the nickel defense, or why having two starting quarterbacks is such a bad thing (what if one of them has the flu?) is hazy at best. So I find myself relating my sons’ worlds to mine. But what surprises me is how often I automatically connect what happens throughout the day to the words of Scripture or holy people. I never thought of myself as “churchy,” even though I attended Catholic school all the way through college. In fact, as a young writer, I would have laughed out loud if anyone had told me that I’d be writing Catholic books later in life.
But this is truly my world, now, and I’m not sure it has to do with my Catholic schooling (although I thank my dear mother for it with all my heart), as much it does with what God has planned for me. And really, for you, too. And all of us. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, said, “Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with Christ. It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind.”
Josemaría reminds us that it isn’t just saints who relate everything back to God and to love. It’s something each of us can do, every single day. Brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, sending e-mails, listening to our kids tell us their latest fantasy football stats—everything is extraordinary, when we remember that it’s powered by God’s love for each of us.
Josemaría showed us those connections all the time. I think that’s part of the reason he’s universally loved by so many. In a few weeks, on October 6, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of his canonization. I’d like to invite you to visit the official website of Josemaría Escriva and learn more about this beloved, modern, humble saint, who always had a twinkle in his eye. In particular, you can find two novenas that are important for many of us right now: the novena for employment, and the novena for families.
Take a look, and feel free to share your thoughts here.