Professor speaks on St. Josemaría Escrivá and performing God’s work

By Peyton Voorheis
Staff Writer

Theology professor John Bergsma challenged students, through the words of St. Josemaría Escrivá, to do the work of God in their daily lives during his talk on Aug. 30 in the International Lounge.

Bergsma, who holds a doctorate in theology, said Escrivá is his favorite saint.

“It was people studying in the spirituality of St. Josemaría that brought me into the church,” Bergsma said.

During the talk, Bergsma presented a slideshow of various images, including excerpts from a comic about the saint and pictures from his life. Bergsma said Escrivá is one of the first saints to have his life captured not only in photographs but also on film.

Bergsma encouraged attendees to seek out this media for themselves, saying that it captures the personality of the saint firsthand.

Bergsma talked not only talked about the life of Escrivá but also about the spirituality and philosophy that the saint used to found Opus Dei, a personal prelature, or pastoral group, for those wishing to do the work of God in their daily lives.

Two of the elements of St. Josemaría Escrivá’s spirituality were discussed: divine filiation, or the belief that we are children of God, and the importance of integrating one’s faith into all areas of life to glorify God.

Bergsma said that Escrivá’s spirituality is not exclusive to those in religious vocations or studying theology, but is for all those striving for sainthood in an ordinary life, an inspiration the saint received in a vision.

Bergsma discussed the sanctification of work and encouraged students to find God in everyday tasks.

He quoted Escrivá as saying, “‘For a modern apostle, an hour of study is an hour of prayer.’”

There are a variety of Opus Dei-sponsored events on or around campus, and students were invited to sign up to receive more information about these opportunities as the talk ended.

“It was amazing,” Rocio Garcia, a sophomore studying theology and catechetics, said of the talk. “It was really informative and at the same time inspirational and motivational.”

Henry Sanders, a sophomore classics major, said he was motivated to attend the talk after visiting an Opus Dei conference center over the summer.

“I found it very edifying, and I think the spirituality of St. Josemaría Escrivá is very beneficial to students,” said Sanders.