Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wisdom from Saint Josemaria Escriva

Jay is a member of Opus Dei. Specifically, he is a supernumerary, which means that he has committed to a certain level of activity both within the organization and, mostly, in his own ongoing spiritual development.

Although I myself have not become involved in Opus Dei, I have been exposed to much of it through Jay's participation. Over the years, I have watched him become a more devoted Christian, and a better father, husband and provider through the writings and teachings of Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. Jay's inner peace has been decidedly improved by this wonderful yet misunderstood organization, and I thank God for its influence in our lives.

For those unfamiliar with Opus Dei (outside of the Da Vinci Code's gross misrepresentations, that is), it is a personal prelature within the Roman Catholic Church. Except for the priests that assist in its running, it is an organization of lay people committed to finding God in ordinary, daily life. Anything we do, I have learned with the help of Opus Dei teachings, can be sanctifying for us if we do it well and for God. Grocery shopping, diapers, mowing the lawn, everything. This has been an enormous help to me, especially as I fold laundry. This work can become a prayer of sorts if I intend it as such. And how does this intention change my attitude!

Saint Josemaria wrote many books, and among them is a trio called The Way, Furrow, and The Forge. These are collections of "spiritual nuggets of wisdom" that are easily digestable, even for busy mothers, yet extremely inspiring. Jay reads some of these nuggets each morning and often emails me one or two that he thinks will help me.

This morning I read this one, which spoke very clearly to me:
Is this how it is? You are longing for the victory, the end of the struggle... but it doesn't come!

Thank God, as if you had already gained what you are seeking, and offer him your feelings of impatience: Vir fidelis loquetur victoriam, the faithful man will sing the joys of victory.

Sometimes it seems that there will be no end to whatever struggle we are currently facing. But there is so much grace to be found in the struggle, and I must not forget this. Certainly, there will be no end to the challenges of life, even if individual ones resolve over time. But if we remember to seek God, not just for the resolution, but also to embrace Him fully during the darkest hours, the struggle should be as sweet for us as the ultimate victory.

Thank you, Saint Josemaria, for inspiring me this morning.


Jen said...

And Thank-you you Suz for sharing with us you and your families journey. I have been your friend for 28? yrs. and to watch you grow as a friend, wife and mother is at times overwhelming. You also inspire me to be a better friend, wife and mother which are all truly gifts from God but sometimes are not seen as gifts in everyday life. You have helped me stop and be grateful for these things. Love Ya, Jen

Brenda Cordero said...

Thank You Suzanne for sharing the wisdom. I sooo needed this today. You inspire me in your writing and remind me that with our faith we remain strong.

Brenda Cordero

Mordecai said...

My name is Mordecai Boone and I, along with my wife, just bought your San Anselmo home. We are Catholic. I found your blog today doing a google search of the prior owners. I am very surprised at the content of your blog, because the values professed here are very different than the conduct we've encountered from the Sellers in purchasing your home.

You should know that both agents(yours and mine) have expressed incredulity and amazement at the sellers' "in your face" behavior during this entire process. I don't know if you feel you didn't get a good price (which you did considering the current market in Marin and the serious disrepair the home is in) or you just really don't care about the impression you leave people.

In any event, based on our experience, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised today when my agent told me that the sellers were not going to clean the house--which is filthy-- nor haul away all the junk that was left behind. (A boat trailer? What am I supposed to do with that?) I had just assumed that you would do so-- having sold 3 homes in 5 years it's common courtesy. Unfortunately for my family, I didn't think I needed to make "clean up your house and haul away your junk" part of the contract.

What does surprise me is how spiritual the sellers profess to be on this blog. I wouldn't have guessed that.

jen said...

Shame on you Mordecai for writing your comment on this blog site.This is a place where we go to make positive, uplifting comments and to be inspired by one another especially the writer of this blog. It is the people who have attitudes such as yours that we need sites like this. If the house was in such disarray and disrepair then why did you purchase it? BECAUSE YOU GOT A GOOD DEAL!!!!!!!!!!

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...


Although I don't believe this is the forum for this, I would like to answer your points.

I am completely stunned by your post. Absolutely flabbergasted.

We had to leave our house (which we loved dearly and hope you do too) very quickly, so we did not do a final clean up ourselves. At our request, our agents arranged for a clean up of both outside and inside, including container rental and the disposal of anything left behind. We paid for this service last fall and were assured it had been done.

Therefore, when we received your request, we simply told our agents that we had already paid for this and if it hadn't been done properly, this was something they had to take care of themselves since we had already paid them to do so. At no time did we ever expect you to move into a home with anything left in it. Of course that is common courtesy. I agree with you completely. We are simply taking issue with the fact that we had already paid our agents to do this, so they should be the ones taking care of it now.

I'm afraid your agent has been telling you something completely false about us. Until we refused this request (again, because of our agents, not you!), we had never refused anything asked of us! We simply tried to negotiate a higher price, as any seller would do. I am truly stunned and confused by what, before this incident, could have led you to believe that we were difficult.

Regardless of what you may think of us, we are good people. We are faithful people, and everything we do reflects that to the best of our ability.

I sincerely hope that you will love our house, where we have so many happy memories. I really want to know that it went to people who love it and think well of the prior owners. I am truly sad to hear you think it is a dump. We remodeled it carefully and lovingly. It is simply an old house, so it is going to have imperfections.

If there is something else you would like to say, please contact me directly through my agent, as your post was embarassing for me. In the meantime, I hope I have cleared things up a bit for you.


Jay Di Silvestri said...

I'm so surprised to read this comment. Mordecai, I don't think you have been getting the straight scoop from our agents. I always said that we'd take care of the boat trailer . . . The other items I did want our agent to pick up.

We really haven't tried to be "in your face". The other day, when you asked to be let in early to paint, we agreed in a heartbeat. (see email below). I'd like to have a call with you and talk over this issue. I can't post my phone number here, but my email address is bedrockjay@yahoo.com, please email me there and we can continue this discussion. I look forward to hearing from you and clearing up what I think is a big misunderstanding.

[Start Email]
sure. It is ok with me. send the forms, but informally tell them they can get in anytime.

Melissa Bradley melissa@melissabradleyrealestate.com wrote:
---- Original Message ----
From: "Jennifer Falla Firkins"
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2006 17:07:42 -0700
Subject: 9 Brookmont

Hello Melissa and Jason:

My buyer's, Mordecai and Stephanie, were wondering if they could possibly
have access before the close of escrow to do some yard work and some
painting. The reason being they would like to do the painting before their
furniture arrives from Kansas City. They would be willing to sign a holds
harmless and they do have an umbrella insurance policy for which they would
be covered for any liability.

Please let me know as soon as you get a chance.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best regards,

Jennifer Falla Firkins

Frank Howard Allen Realtors

direct (415) 257-2051

cell (415) 602-5768


Mordecai said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. DiSilvestri,

I am truly sorry I left that posting on your blog. It was disrespectful to you and your blogger group, which most likely includes your family and friends. I sincerely apologize to you and to them. A forum of faith such as this is no place for a message like that as Blogger Jen said. It's no excuse, but I've been up for 2 days preparing a case for trial, and I made snap judgment to post that comment after getting a call from my agent today. One that I am very sorry I made. I don't know how to withdraw a posting, but I'll check into it, and if I can will do so.

I've talked to my agent, and I understand, and should have known given my profession, that there are two sides to every story. I didn't have the courtesy to contact you directly, which I should have done. I apologize for the unfair comments I made about your conduct in selling your house.

Mrs. DiSilvestri, going through your blog, I was impressed by your postings and your family's faith. Please forgive me if my posting implied anything otherwise.

We love your house which is why we bought it. It's a beautiful home, one that has seen a lot of love and care, and one that we will be proud to own after you. Our son, Elijah is 7 months old, and we look forward to the day when he attends Brookside a stone's throw away.

Mr. Di Silvestri, my agent has your phone number, which I will get, and I will call you tomorrow to apologize in person.

Mordecai D. Boone

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

Thank you, Mordecai, for your nice apology and of course we accept it. I can understand why you would have been mad with the information you had.

I am so happy to know you love the house and that another child will live there. Our kids loved being next door to the school, and your next door neighbors, Steve and Blanche, love children.

I have all the appliance manuals which I will mail to you. Also, we received a notice from PG&E today saying there was a planned shut off to replace an electric power pole in the neightborhood on Monday 6/26, so plan for that (if planning for such a thing is possible!).

Best of luck to your family in your move. I know how difficult it can be to move with a baby--Tony was just two weeks old when we moved.


Mrs. Leaky Face said...

Glad to read that things appear to have been cleared up. The Di Silvestri family are very close friends of ours and we have been trying to do our best to help with the house in their absense. I can attest to the fact that they loved that house and the neighborhood it is in. We miss them terribly. They are an amazing family and one that blesses those that have the good fortune to know them. Love you guys much!!!! T&T

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

Thanks, T&T. We miss you too and so appreciate everything you did to help with the house when we left. Knowing your family blesses us too, more than you know!

Anonymous said...

I have just come across this blog, and was so pleased by the time I got to the end of the story...

Jennifer Falla - Firkins said...

I wanted to clarify something regarding this post from 2006 - I realize that seems odd as so much time has passed; however even after so many years this blog still shows a presence on the internet and it speaks of my professionalism and honesty, so I wanted to set the record straight.

I represented Mordecai and his lovely family in this purchase and he is still living there with his family as happy as can be, infact they have a new addition and is a happy family of four. The home did eventually get cleaned and was in move in condition and believe it or not, most of the transaction was fine and without any problems. I also would like to commend him for owning up to his mistake, that truly is the mark of a great man.

What I wanted to comment on is Suzanne's comment to Mordecai's blog which mentioned that "I'm afraid your agent has been telling you something completely false about us" and Jay's comment " I don't think you have been getting the straight scoop from our agents."

I wanted to make sure that anyone reading this blog knows that I was merely repeating information received from the listing agent, and as the selling agent would not have any contact with the seller and in turn have any reason to believe the information I was getting wasn't the truth.

Unfortunately it seems as though I was receiving information that was not entirely correct, but again only had negotiations with the listing agents and had to rely on the information represented by them as fact.

I had no idea my client, Mordecai was going to post his frustration on this site and would have strongly recommended against it, had I'd known. As he mentions I had a long conversation with him about why he shouldn't have posted his comment on this site, that we only knew what the listing agent was willing to share with us and that might not be the whole story. He breifly touches on that talk I had with him, but I wanted to stress this fact and make mention of it again.

In the end I wanted my clients to be happy so I took care of having the home cleaned myself. I completely understand the Silvestri's side of the story, and why they would not want to pay for something twice. Who would? They thought it had been done, and had no reason to believe otherwise.

I know this is silly, responding after so many years, but I recently started to boost my web marketing and I just wanted to clear the air, as I take pride in being a very straight forward and honest person and from what was said in the blogs someone might get the wrong impression.

I hope the Silvestri's are just as happy in their new home as I know the Boone's are.

Thank you for reading,
Take Care,