The National Catholic Reporter Review of John Allen’s New Book on Opus Dei:
Herewith one small example: the treatment of Josemaria Escrivá’s seminal work, The Way, which has sold 4.5 million copies worldwide. The Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, a favorite of today’s conservative Catholics, called the book a “little manual for Scouts at the upper level,” and its spirituality “insufficient to support a worldwide organization.” By contrast, Mr. Allen quotes Thomas Merton, who wrote of The Way: “It will certainly do a great deal of good by its simplicity, which is a true medium for the Gospel message.” Mr. Allen also cites excerpts from Fr. Escrivá’s later works that are genuinely edifying and not banal.
Perhaps The Way should be looked at as a book for beginners? Then Balthazar’s idea can be reconciled with Merton’s and the reviewers opinions of some of Escriva’s later works. The Gospel message of course is not that complicated, though it is deep, it’s amplified greatly in the Epistles.
(and no, I’m really not trying to present the Opera Omnia of Escriva as the same as the Bible)
It’s always interesting about those liberal favorites though…Romero was also a big fan of The Work.