Hey Guys, anyone here ever heard of: Opus Dei?
I must confess I didn't till last week. It was in the media press about one of our Politicians being in the so called movement, so, I did a Google on it and this is what I came up with.
Spirit of Opus Dei.
Since it was founded in 1928, Opus Dei has spread the message that all the baptized are called to holiness, through the fulfilment of their work and their daily duties.
“An essential characteristic of the spirit of Opus Dei is that it does not take anyone out of his place. Rather it leads each person to fulfil the tasks and duties of his own state, of his mission in the Church and in society, with the greatest possible perfection.”
Opus Dei, with its essentially secular spirit, serves the Church and society by fostering individual holiness and apostolic commitment among the Christian faithful, helping them to discover and take on the demands of their baptismal vocation in the specific place they occupy in the world.
The Christian is a child of God by virtue of baptism. This basic truth of Christianity occupies a fundamental place within the spirit of Opus Dei. As the founder said: “Divine filiations is the foundation of the spirit of Opus Dei.” Thus the formation provided by the prelature gives Christians a deep awareness that they are children of God, and helps them act accordingly. It fosters confidence in divine providence, simplicity in their dialogue with God, a deeper awareness of the dignity of each human being and of the need for fraternity among all people, a truly Christian love for the world and for all human realities created by God, and a sense of calm and optimism.
The ordinary Christian can seek holiness in and through the ordinary circumstances of life. In the words of the founder of Opus Dei: “Ordinary life can be holy and full of God … Our Lord is calling us to sanctify the ordinary tasks of every day, for the perfection of the Christian is to be found precisely there.” Therefore all virtues are important for a Christian: faith, hope and charity, and the human virtues – generosity, industriousness, justice, loyalty, cheerfulness, sincerity, and so on. In practising these virtues, a Christian imitates Jesus Christ.
Another consequence of the sanctifying value of ordinary life is that the little things that fill the life of an ordinary Christian take on great importance. “Great holiness consists in carrying out the little duties of each moment”, wrote the founder of Opus Dei. Examples of such little things include small acts of service, good manners, respect for others, tidiness, punctuality, etc. These little things are not irrelevant to Christian life if they are carried out for the love of God.
For the majority of Christians, marriage and the family are among the things upon which sanctity should be built, and should thus be given a Christian dimension. “For a Christian, marriage is not just a social institution, much less a mere remedy for human weakness. It is a supernatural calling.”
The sanctification of ordinary work is like a hinge on which the whole spiritual life of the ordinary Christian turns. Sanctifying work means carrying it out with the greatest possible human perfection (professional competence) and Christian perfection (for love of God and as a service to humanity).
According to the spirit of Opus Dei, work – the activity one carries out in the world – can be sanctified and turned into a path of sanctification. “Since Christ took it into his hands, work has become for us a redeemed and redemptive reality; not only is it the background of man’s life, it is a means and a path of holiness – it is something to be sanctified and something which sanctifies.” Any honest job, from the most important to the humblest in human terms, can be an occasion for giving glory to God and for serving others.
“It is we … ordinary Christians immersed in the blood-stream of society, whom Our Lord wants to be saints and apostles, in the very midst of our ordinary work; that is, sanctifying our job in life, sanctifying ourselves in it, and through it helping others to sanctify themselves as well.”
The members of Opus Dei are ordinary citizens who enjoy the same rights and are subject to the same obligations as any other citizen. In their political, financial or cultural activities, they act with freedom and personal responsibility, not attempting to involve the Church or Opus Dei in their decisions, nor presenting their decisions as the only Catholic solutions. This implies respecting the freedom and the opinions of others.
The spirit of Opus Dei encourages prayer and sacrifice in order to sustain the effort to sanctify one’s ordinary occupations. Thus the faithful of the prelature strive to incorporate into their lives certain practices of Christian piety, such as prayer, daily Mass, sacramental confession, and reading and meditating on the Gospel. Devotion to Our Lady occupies an important place in their hearts. Also, to imitate Jesus Christ, they make sacrifices, particularly those that help them fulfil their duties faithfully and make life more pleasant for others, as well as fasting, almsgiving, renouncing small pleasures, etc.
The members of Opus Dei try to bear witness to their Christian faith. In the words of the founder: “As we work at our job, side by side with our colleagues, friends and relatives and share their interests, we can help them come closer to Christ.” This must be done, first of all, by personal example, and then by words. Eagerness to make Christ known is inseparable from the desire to contribute to resolving the material needs and social problems of one’s surroundings.
Friendship with God, ordinary day-to-day life, and the effort to evangelize are all harmoniously fused into a “strong and simple unity of life.” “Unity of life” was an expression frequently used by the founder of Opus Dei, and sums up his deep understanding of Christian life.
He defined it as “an essential condition for those who are trying to sanctify themselves in the midst of the ordinary situations of their work and of their family and social relationships.” St. José Maria explained that Christians working in the world should not live “a kind of double life. On the one hand, an interior life, a life of union with God; and on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life.” “There is just one life, made of flesh and spirit. And it is this life which has to become, in both soul and body, holy and filled with God.”
You may like to visit the website for further information. http://www.opusdei.org.uk/index.php?w=20
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