4.  A Seer with Much Sight?  Divine Revelation?

The Work's official hagiographer, Salvador Bernal, who has dived into, and distorted, Escrivá's life without shame, has written his biography in a passionate, subjective and somewhat extreme way, evoking the words that three months before the sudden death of the Work's Founder, during a trivial scene, but which is more the product of the subconscious than of the innocent man he wants to present to us.

Escrivá said: "We passed by the building (Luchana 33 mezzanine, DYA Academy) a short while ago, and my heart was pounding... How much suffering! How much contradiction! How much quackery! How many lies!" (57)

And we underline three concepts that came from the very lips of Escrivá: contradiction, quackery and lies.

If such were the beginnings, the origins, the roots... the Work and Escrivá are fused into one because "The Work up to now has been nothing other than the person of its founder. The divine inspiration of his conception, its supernatural origin, its later development, everything, because this is what Escrivá thought was appropriate, the Work needed to be incarnated in his own personality, in his human personality. The Work, until now, has been him and him alone". (58)

Those dark years, that nebulous past, had to be covered with a divine aura and a contract with the Most High, in order to impress the believers. Escrivá had to follow the tradition of the biblical prophets or the founders of religions, he had to prefabricate an encounter with God himself, from whom he would receive the order. A vision. An apparition. That was the myth and the trigger.

To the question asked, "Where does its huge halo come from, where does its magnetism come from?" Alberto Moncada, who knew Escrivá very well, says that "For men of faith, Father Escrivá is the one to whom, like Moses, God spoke. An internal story whispered makes mention of apparitions, of divine messages that are never fully explained. If parapsychology could be given the data, perhaps we could have some idea of what really happened in those stellar moments of his life. But neither science is yet mature nor do I think it will be given that data." (59)

"The emotional charge with which gullible people deal with the supernatural makes demigods of the alleged emissaries of the divine to the point of making their clothes into talismans and their words into oracles." (59)

"The only honest way for ordinary people to contrast these personalities is to judge their works, their fruits, their behavior with the modest tools of the most universal ethics." (59)

There have been many interpretations, opinions, controversies about the divine origin, the celestial message, the magic breath that served as a trigger for the establishment of the Work through the person of its author. For some the alpha point was October 2, 1928 "while making a spiritual exercise he saw what God expected of him. He saw that our Lord was asking him to put his whole life and all his energy at the service of what would become Opus Dei". (60)

For a historian such as Artigles, "October 2, 1928, is the date of the very beginning, the appointed day, which all the publications of Opus Dei give as the starting point of the Work. According to some of these publications, Escrivá was prompted to found Opus Dei by divine inspiration. On the contrary, hostile commentators believe that the true origins of the Work, at least as we know it today, were much later, probably in 1939, in the months following the end of the Civil War. It should be noted that this latter opinion also prevails among former members of Opus Dei who have separated from the Work". (61)

Other authors point to the scene in "October 2, 1928, when he celebrated Mass - exactly after the consecration of the Host and the Wine - Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer heard words from heaven about what the Work had to be". (62) The supernatural origin of the revelation is once again stressed.

The version of the event recounted by Jesuit Walsh places Escrivá near Madrid, in a retreat house owned by the Pauline Fathers, praying, when he "...saw the Opus Dei. At the same time he heard the bells ringing in the nearby Church of Our Lady of the Angels, which celebrated the patronal feast, since October 2 is the day on which Catholics commemorate the feast of the Guardian Angels. What really happened is not entirely clear. Some members of Opus Dei want to believe that Escrivá had a heavenly vision, but even he himself does not claim that much." (63)

Many and very diverse have been the apparitions admitted by the Church. In all of them, and for their official recognition, the Church has demanded proofs, evidences, facts and concrete data, irrefutable testimonies. The certainty between the supernatural and superstition lies in the serious treatment of such delicate and controversial subjects. Escrivá took it upon himself to spread and divulge the image of the divine vision in order to relate it to the moment of the foundation of his "invention". The unique reality is that the Catholic Church has not officially or unofficially recognized the apparition, nor the enlightenment because "there is no proof". (64)

And there's no proof because it didn't happen, plain and simple. It is another lie concocted under the cover of faith and the spectacular effects produced by everything that is related to the paranormal.

We provide an exceptional testimony, that of a friend of Escrivá's when he was young, who tells us how "it is curious that despite the great friendship he always offered me, he does not talk to me in the initial year of 1928 about his great founding project. Instead, around 1929, he tells me about creating an association or congregation that was eminently youthful and university-based, baptizing it in principle with the name of Caballeros Blancos (White Knights). But never at that time, in spite of our great friendship, did he tell me that on October 2 of the previous year, while making a spiritual retreat in the Church of the Paúls on Calle Gracia de Paredes in Madrid, he felt called 'to be on earth,' as his biographer Salvador Bernal explains today, 'the instrument chosen by God to carry out a divine undertaking of Opus Dei'". (65)

"The reality is that Escrivá always refused to speak in an absolutely clear way about that alleged event of October 2, 1928. But the Prelate of Opus Dei at the time of this writing, Alvaro del Portillo, said that the young José María, while praying at his Paul's retreat, 'saw Opus Dei,' he said, 'and heard the bells' ringing in the not-too-distant parish of Our Lady of the Angels, near Cuatro Caminos, which were ringing in celebration of their patroness." (65)

"When he spoke to me for the first time in the abstract about the 'Work' in 1931, and when someone asked him - according to Salvador Bernal - 'how this Work of God is going', he answered that he did not want what he was trying to do as an apostolate to be called anything. And yet it was this question that he decided to take as his name: 'Work of God', "Opus Dei', 'Operatio Dei', 'Work of God'". (65)

If the issue of divine revelation, which has never been recognized in the Catholic Church, has been called into question, it has shown that Opus Dei is trying to make a fable. A fable with something as serious as the mystical vision of God. Claiming to receive the command and the imperative directly from our Lord Jesus Christ, without it having taken place and without the Church having had the least indication or conviction to recognize it.

The denomination coined by the members of Opus Dei as 'the Work,' "sounded somewhat provisional. It has been suggested that its founder once thought of calling it the Society for Intellectual Cooperation (Sociedad de Cooperación Intelectual) or SOCOIN" (66) although nothing concrete came of this idea.

In Opus Dei, lies are made official. That false date of October 2 as the fundamental date just as the false the intervention of God himself and his presentation in the astral to Escrivá. "There is a prehistory of Opus Dei about which nothing, or very little, is known until the end of the Spanish Civil War, but even if they - the members of Opus Dei - know nothing about its beginnings, the exegetes and the official workers of Opus Dei are about to create a whole mythology, to build up and spread a golden legend around this birth and its first mysterious uttering". (67) Things are just as they are, and one cannot go around deceiving the unwary.

For Moncada, the message that Escrivá confesses to having received from on high - and which he tells the initiates in a veiled manner - is a message of the influence of Christian doctrine in the civil world. It was not something sporadic, casual, unexpected. "The ardent priest of Barbastro knew very well what he was doing when, by divine inspiration, he said, he made a decision". (68)

Once again, Salvador Bernal, his most fanatical and feverish biographer, betrays his unconscious when he writes, attributing the reflection to a confidence from Escrivá himself: "What can a creature do that must fulfill a mission, if he has no means, no age, no science, no virtues, no nothing? Go to his mother and father, go to those who can do something, ask his friends for help...? That's what I did in the spiritual life, but with discipline and carrying the compass". (69) And I would dare to say the square and the apron.

If the origin of the Work is manipulated with the aura of divine revelation, and its hired spiritual killers institutionalized an event that never took place and was of late invention, such behavior must be given the grave significance it deserves and that is why one member confesses: "From the sixties onwards, I saw no other Gospel than The Way, and no other prophet than Josemaría Escrivá" (70) despite the fact that in "The Way there is no context! It is a doctrine, if one dares say so, a thought broken into 999 crazy pieces. A kaleidoscope ". (71)

It was not only God that allegedly appeared. He also claims to have seen the physiognomy of the devil, of the genuine demon, when suddenly, an indescribable creature - a dwarf, a gnome -  leaps across, obstructs his path, gets tangled up between his legs, pushes him, almost throws him down, injures him and finally throws this cry in his face: " Donkey... Donkey!". And the young priest replies: "Donkey, yes. But God's donkey!"

"The priest's name is Josemaría Escrivá. He told this story to his friends some time ago. According to him, the creature that pushed and insulted him was the devil. Was this irruption in his path a sign of God's favor or the devil's anger?" (72) The visionary had a lot of sight.


57. Bernal, p 175.
58. Moreno, "Opus Dei, anexo a una historia" ("Opus Dei, Addendum to a History"), 1976, p 16.
59. Moncada, "El Opus Dei: Una interpretación" ("Opus Dei: An Interpretation"),  p. 126.
60. Le Tourneau, pp 12-13.
61. Artigues, op cit.
62. Ynfante, "La prodigiosa aventura del Opus Dei" ("The Prodigious Adventure of Opus Dei"), p. 12.
63. Walsh, p 30.
64. Magaña, p. 16.
65. Cavanillas, op cit.
66. Walsh, p 11.
67. Le Vaillant, p 14.
68. Fernando García Romanillos, "La cara oculta del Opus" ("The Hidden Face of Opus"), History magazine, No. 6 (September 1975).
69. Bernal, p. 45.
70. Moncada, "Historia oral del Opus Dei" ("Oral History of Opus Dei"), p. 126.
71. Le Vaillant, p. 18.
72. Ibid, p. 9.

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