The Prelate’s visit in Toronto – August 14

A brief summary of the days spent in Toronto by Monsignor Ocáriz during his pastoral visit to Canada and the United States.

On his second full day in Toronto, the Prelate of Opus Dei had a meeting at Wilson Heights with a group of men who are members of the Prelature.

After this get together, the Prelate went downtown to meet the Archbishop of Toronto, his eminence Cardinal Archbishop Thomas Collins. The Father joined Msgr. Dolan and the Archbishop for a tour of Toronto’s recently restored St. Michael’s Cathedral, including views of the crypt in addition to the main sanctuary of the Church.

After having the chance to meet with many families and friends, the Father had a get-together at the Fairview Library Theatre with hundreds of women of Opus Dei, Cooperators, and friends. As people arrived, they were greeted by the smiling faces of Daniette, Geraldine and Beatrice handing out translation equipment. Eliza and Kathleen assembled an impromptu choir for the evening, with Theresa playing the piano. The Father started the get-together by complimenting their fine singing voices. The Father said that the women who were there gave him hope and that our hope has to be based on faith, not our own strength. With the force of the love of God, we will be able to bring many other people closer to God and stretch out across this enormous country of ours.

Rhonda, who works at Hawthorn School for Girls, asked how to bring people closer to God. The Father encouraged her to be a real friend to her friends. If that is the case, they will often become interested in God because they are interested in her.

Right before the get-together, everyone sang to Diane because it was her birthday. The Father also wished her “Happy Birthday” and responded to her question about how to prepare for her wedding which was coming up in two weeks. He encouraged her to prepare herself and her joyful home with a lot of prayer. Many people think that love is primarily a question of being with someone who makes you feel happy. While this is important, he pointed out that true love is above all to seek what is good for the other person. This generous love is the necessary ingredient in a successful marriage, and it will sustain a couple through the ordinary ups and downs of life.

A young computer programmer named Tereza told the Father that we were all very excited this summer because of two major victories. First in June, the Toronto Raptors became the first Canadian team ever to win the NBA Championship. Then last week, 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu from Mississauga became the first Canadian in 50 years to win the Rogers Cup in tennis. The Father replied that St. Josemaria had said we can learn from such athletes to have a sporting spirit in the spiritual life. This means that we need to set goals for ourselves and above all, we can’t let ourselves be held back by failure. This is the attitude we all need to have.

The Father spoke about the true meaning of freedom. To be free, he said, is to do something because you want to, not because you have to. Freedom is not primarily a choice. Sometimes, we make choices because we feel forced by circumstances or by other people, but these are not free choices. He advised that the only way that we can always act freely is to act out of love. Love enables us to want even what we do not like. Freedom is therefore primarily a question of love, and only love can enable us to be happy in every situation of life.

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