Sanctification in Daily Work
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Message From Opus Dei Prelate

Bishop Echeverria - Opus Dei PhotoThe Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Echevarria, wrote a lengthy message to all involved in the work at the beginning of the year. You can find the text of it on the Opus Dei website. I’m focused a lot on my family lately. Probably because of these 17, 19 and 23 year old daughters of mine. That’s why I like the mention on family in his message.

In his last public statement on this subject, near the end of his life, the Holy Father John Paul II recalled that “by contemplating the mystery of God who becomes man and is welcomed into a human family, we can fully understand the value and beauty of the family.” And the Pope continued: “not only is the family at the heart of Christian life; it is also the foundation of social and civic life, and thus constitutes a central chapter in Christian social teaching” (John Paul II, Address to participants in the Assembly of the Forum of Family Associations, December 18, 2004).

I think one of the reasons the Catholic Church and Opus Dei are so persecuted today is because so many reject their faith and in that rejection (and the feelings it generates within them) they have no choice but to lash out against anyone who continues to practice theirs. I keep seeing statements online about the work of Opus Dei that portray it in a negative light. This has been practiced since St. Josemaria started the work so it’s certainly nothing new. The work only encourages us to live out our faith in our ordinary everyday lives as the Prelate says in this passage from his message.

St. Josemaría stressed that “our faith does not ignore anything on this earth that is beautiful, noble and authentically human. It simply teaches us that the rule of our life should not be the selfish pursuit of pleasure, because only sacrifice and self-denial lead to true love. God truly loves us; and now he invites us to love him and others with the truthfulness and authenticity with which he loves” (St. Josemaría, Christ Is Passing By, no. 24). Only with this conviction, brought day after day to one’s personal conduct, to one’s own home, to one’s workplace, etc., can we effectively refute, with the help of grace, erroneous ideas and help those who hold them to return to God.

I sometimes wonder if I’m doing enough or even anything at all in leading others back to God. It’s seems hard enough to live my own life properly in today’s world much less work on helping others. I think the work teaches us that just our “good” example is a way we can accomplish this though.

Here’s to another week coming up when we can try to live that good example.

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