Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Nice Email from Opus Dei

I received a nice email from a priest of Opus Dei which I post below for the edification of readers.

'I am a priest of Opus Dei, and I have come across your blog entry on Opus Dei with its humorous imagined conversation involving someone being rejected by Opus Dei on account of their being unemployed. 
While it is clearly of the essence that anyone who feels called to Opus Dei – a calling which requires a more or less lengthy period of discernment – should have the desire of seeking sanctification in the ordinary circumstances of life, unfortunately such “ordinary circumstances” are increasingly likely these days to involve some time or degree of unemployment. 
However, that is not a bar to sanctity: the effort to find a job can itself become a way to God, and there are many things that one can do during the period of unemployment to show one’s love for God “with deeds”, even if no payment is received for them. No one ever claimed that it was a requirement for holiness that one had to have paid remuneration. 
Unemployment can be considered as in some way analogous to illness: something which one tries to overcome, but if it is the will of God that it should remain, then it can be accepted and offered as a “pleasing sacrifice”. In fact, the beginnings of Opus Dei are closely associated with the sufferings of the incurably sick in the hospitals of Madrid at the end of the 1920s and early 1930s. 
In his book "The Way of the Cross" St Josemaría includes the following consideration: “God is my Father, even though he may send me suffering. He loves me tenderly, even while wounding me. Jesus suffers, to fulfil the Will of the Father... And I, who also wish to fulfil the most holy Will of God, following in the footsteps of the Master, can I complain if I too meet suffering as my travelling companion?” 
And as the current Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría, has written, encouraging us to pray for a solution to the grave problem of unemployment: “Men and women of faith should use this situation to improve personally in the practice of virtue, taking extra care of the spirit of detachment, practising rectitude of intention, giving up unnecessary possessions, and so many other things. Besides, we know that we are always in the hands of our Father God, and that if divine providence permits these difficulties, it is so that we can draw good from evil: God writes straight with crooked lines” (Letter of the Prelate, 2 October 2009).
As you may be aware, there is a booklet available on the Opus Dei website entitled "Novena for Work", together with accounts of various favours received. 
I wish you every blessing in your own work and activities, and hope they help to bring many people closer to the love of God. 
Yours in Christ 
Fr Paul Hayward'


Left-footer said...

Can't really argue with that!

bernadette said...

He still won't say whether an unemployed person might be considered a candidate for Opus Dei.

He's heaping sanctimony on those "blessed" with no work, but hasn't actually addressed your point in yer little sketch.


Martin Masters said...

Beware of Opus Dei. You're just the type of sad, dis-affected, self-loathing type of person they are looking to ensnare!

On the side of the angels said...

I'd knock his patronising bleeding head off...

Just another mad Catholic said...

Whilst I am going to be Charitable and assume that Fr Hayward's intentions are good he DOES come across as VERY sanctimonious.

J. N. said...

Eight years ago I went to confession to a priest at Westminster Cathedral. I found him a particularly good confessor. He said if he could ever help me, to look him up.

Three years ago I was about to drop out of medical school, during my final year. In desperation I found contact details for that priest and asked to meet him. His advice was excellent. I have had no contact with him since that meeting except to let him know that a while later... I qualified as a medical doctor from King's College London. That was 2 and a half years ago.

I was never asked about joining Opus Dei, and have never had nor have any involvement with Opus Dei.

That priest was Fr Paul Hayward.

I can attest to Fr Hayward being genuine, and I do not think he is intending to patronise Laurence.

Dr J. N.

The Bones said...

I didn't really glean sanctimoniousness from the email, but then, maybe I'm too sanctimonious to see it.

AmandaMoll said...

I have had very close contact with Opus Dei for well over 10yrs. I have many Supernumerary friends and smattering of Numerary friends, some of whom I consider close. Like a previous commenter, I am a medical doctor. I am an orthodox Catholic with 6 children. I might be considered "desirable material" for Opus Dei. Never, not once, has anyone tried to "recruit" me. As far as I can see you have to almost BEG to join. Actually, you have to have a vocation from God to join & then enter a lengthy period of discernment.
I have benefitted enormously from my contact with Opus Dei. Their call to personal sanctification through daily work is a beautiful Charism, weather it is paid work or not. They strive for holiness and are faultlessly orthodox. And, yes, I do know poor families who are Supernumeraries.

OTSOTA- you still sound angry to me Paul. Are you sure you're not?

Anonymous said...

Martin Masters,

In your heart-of-hearts do you actually think Opus Dei is bad? Or is it just that its charism is not to your taste?

If it is bad, then the Church is wrong. If the Church is wrong on this organisation and its charism, where else is it wrong?

For example, whilst I like the TLM well enough, I find most (English) people who attend it sanctimonious, epicurean and intolerant. But that doesn't mean I'm right (or that they are wrong). I'm a Roman Catholic; what the Church says is good and true is good and true.

There are other places to go on Sunday morning for people who struggle with this principle...

TomG said...

I attended the Days of Recollection for some time and profited from the spiritual direction they offered. The books the priest suggested to me were always superb. While the supernumeraries I encountered were (at least some of them) a little too rah-rah-rah regardng St. Josemaria for my tastes, the numeraries and priests were tremendous. They radiated holiness. As far as some of these comments are concerned, they are not talking about Opus Dei of my experience.

J.A. said...

Like two of the above posters, I am also a medical doctor, just received my diplomate from the board of radiology in my country. I am also an associate member of Opus Dei. I would like to add that for the past two months I have been unemployed owing to reviewing for exams, taking and finally passing them. I am currently trying to secure a position as a radiologist in a local hospital. Before that, I was also unemployed for a period of 6 months each before doing post-graduate internship and again while waiting to get into a radiology residency program. I assure you that nobody suggested that I leave Opus Dei while I have been unemployed.
Juvy Anne R. Agravante, MD, DPBR

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