The accounts that will be published here in the upcoming months have been compiled by Javier Medina and Michele Dolz, priests and authors who are well-acquainted with the works of Saint Josemaria. The Way has reached the hearts of people all over the world and is now available in 43 different languages.
Owing to the personal nature of the stories offered, in some cases the names of the people involved will not be given.
The first story comes from South Korea:
“I had to abandon my plans to study in the United States, and set aside my dreams. Because of the financial crisis in 2008, I was no longer able to raise the tens of thousands of dollars required.
What made it especially difficult was that I had resigned from my previous job, and it was no longer easy for me to reclaim it or find a new position. The only thing that kept our family finances afloat was my wife’s job.
The situation was very humiliating for me and life started becoming meaningless. The days became empty. My wife’s efforts to console me didn’t help much and I started drinking heavily, and fell gravely ill. I knew that I had to start over in life but couldn’t see any light.
During that dark period in my life, Saint Josemaria’s book Gil (the Korean title of The Way) came into my hands. I can’t recall exactly how this happened, but I decided to read it slowly, and was greatly affected by it.
Right from the first words ('Don’t let your life be barren...'), I felt that the saint understood me perfectly. As I read each page, Saint Josemaria’s words tugged at my heart. Sometimes I was captivated by what I read; others times I sensed he was shouting at me. I realized he was carrying out a dialogue with me.
I devoured the book, and then read it a second and third time. My only regret was that I hadn’t known about it earlier.
Before reading Gil I thought that sanctity was a privilege reserved for priests and religious. But Saint Josemaria taught me that I had to strive for sanctity in the middle of the world. This book opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on my family, society and my entire life of faith. I changed my attitude towards others. I overcome my exhaustion and wounds, and remade my life. And I promised God that I would always stay close to Christ no matter how many crosses and sufferings I had to confront.
My married life also changed. At times I used to think that professional success was more important than my family life. Saint Josemaria taught me that the important thing is to make my life of faith, professional life and family life come together in harmony. I repented of how I had treated my wife. I tried to help out in the work at home, and speak more often with her to strengthen our love.
Now I try to always do God’s will. I know that problems and temptations will continue to arise, and that professional burdens and stress will cause me to suffer. But I also know that I am a child before God. And I’ve made the resolution to pray the holy Rosary and read a passage from Scripture each day.
We’ve also begun an amusing family custom. Each night before retiring I ask my wife to choose a number between 1 and 999, and we then read the corresponding point in The Way. She isn’t a Catholic so I find it hard to give her spiritual advice, but she is very happy to listen to the points from Saint Josemaria’s book."