Growing on the Inside

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Guest post by Thomas Tan.

In the first year of the Spanish Civil War, Saint Josemaría continued to carry out a wide-ranging but clandestine pastoral work, to the extent that circumstances allowed, risking his life when necessary for the good of souls. After a real odyssey, he found himself, together with some companions, a refugee “quarantined” in the Honduran Consulate in Madrid to escape the arrests and execution of priests then rampant in Spain.

To stay busy during their confinement, he set up a schedule that included Holy Mass, norms of piety, study, language learning and family life.

Through various channels, he managed to write letters of encouragement to his sons, the first members of Opus Dei who were in similar, dire situations of “quarantine”, hiding from violence and persecution in various houses and hovels of Spain.

“The plants were hidden under the snow. And the farmer, the owner of the land, remarked with satisfaction: ‘Now they’re growing on the inside.’ I thought of you, of your forced inactivity… Tell me, are you also growing on the inside?”


Thomas Tan is a Knight of Malta and father of 3, living in Singapore.
Photo: Lesly Juarez, Unsplash / PD-US.

Guest Writer

Guest Writer

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