Sanctification in Daily Work
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Opus Dei Benefits the Disabled Too

Opus Dei is often seen as a way of sanctifying one’s work – which it is. But it’s not just about professional work. It’s about raising up every aspect of daily life to the level of prayer and union with God. As children of God, we must act like His children, even in the most ordinary aspects of our daily life:

Heaven and earth seem to merge, my daughters and sons, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your heart, when you strive for holiness in your everyday lives.

Josemaria Escriva, from Passionately Loving the World, Oct. 8, 1967

On his blog, Human Life Matters, Mark Pickup has a beautiful post about how those of us with disabilities, though we may not “work”, can still contribute to society and benefit from Opus Dei:

I have been unable to work in years because of multiple sclerosis. Still, I believe that even my circumstances of everyday life — relegated to a wheelchair — can be fertile ground for growing closer to God…

We, the incurably ill and disabled, are not life unworthy of life. We have contributions to bring to the table of the Human Community, even if it is only by our presence.

We can challenge society to include those who may difficult to include, or those who bring discomfort to sophisticated or polite company. We call those around us to a higher standard of love and friendship. We can knock at the door of mainstream society and demand admission and reasonable accommodation so that we can find our rightful places in the world. If the disabled and incurably ill despair of life, we need people to lift us up as indispensable members of society and worthy of life. We do not need the abandonment of a utilitarian society eagerly agreeing to assist with our suicides, or euthanasia of those who can’t communicate to defend themselves.

Contrary to what bioethics may promote, our rightful places in the world are not graves or crematoriums.

A man like me is increasingly viewed as a liability to society. I need an organization like Opus Dei to encourage and mentor me to use my circumstances of everyday life for “growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. My father has been a cooperator of Opus Dei for a number of years and my mother and I enjoy the women’s retreats every year. I adore the message and spirituality of Opus Dei – holiness in ordinary life. It has been a great blessing and help for me in living out the daily struggles of my own disability, not to mention every other part of my everyday life:

It doesn’t matter what age you are; it doesn’t matter what your position is or what your circumstances are or who you are: you have to convince yourself, commit yourself, and desire holiness. You well know that holiness does not consist in extraordinary graces received in prayer, or unbearable mortification and penance; nor is it the inheritance only of those who live in lonely oasis, far from the world. Holiness consists in faithful and loving fulfillment of one’s desires, in joyful and humble acceptance of God’s will, in union with him in your everyday work, in knowing how to fuse religion and life into a fruitful and harmonious unity, and in all sorts of other ordinary little things you know so well.
~ Fr. Salvatore Canals from Jesus as Friend

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