The Way (book)

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The Way (Spanish: Camino) is a book on spirituality written by Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. The book was first published in 1934 under the title Consideraciones espirituales. It later received its definitive title in 1939. More than four and a half million copies have been sold, in 43 different languages. The same title has also been given to certain companies that manufacture Bibles.

According to Escrivá his motivation was: "The 999 points which make up The Way were written with yearnings to see 'Christ, the Light of the World.' Anyone who reads it with the same yearnings will not have opened this book in vain."

The Way was written based on notes Escrivá took during the day and during times of prayer, notes which are based on his reflections on the gospel and its application to specific situations arising from his personal pastoral experience. Many of the points are counsels he actually gave to persons in spiritual direction. Some are letters he wrote and received. Thus it has a conversational style. As a reviewer in the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano (March 24, 1950) put it: "Msgr. Escrivá 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." The writer on the Spanish Catholic world, Frances Lannon, has described it as " a bizarre amalgam of traditional piety, penitential discipline, and crude popular moralizing; it aims at a fusion of devotion with efficiency, inward humility with the exercise of leadership and power. Its readers are exhorted to childlike simplicity, to silence and discretion, and to orderliness; they are encouraged to pray to guardian angels and to the souls in purgatory, and to bless themselves every day with holy water. But they are also urged to acquire professional competence, to stand out from the crowd, to lead and to dominate." [1]

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  1. ^ Frances Lannon, Privilege, Persecution and Prophecy, p.226

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