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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Guest Post: A Different Perspective on Opus Dei

Fr. Josemaria Escriva, Founder of Opus Dei
by Olivia McFadden

I would just like to give the readers of this blog a different perspective on Opus Dei than the one that was run previously criticizing the organization. I have been involved with Opus Dei for over forty years, part of it in the U.S. and part in Ireland. I have had the opportunity to meet many members . I have attended retreats, mornings and evenings of recollection, cooperators circles and other forms of spiritual enrichment. But I think I should start with the fundamentals.
Opus Dei was founded by St. Josemaria Escriva in 1928. This Spanish priest had a vision in which he saw Opus Dei to be a way of sanctification for ordinary men and women through offering their daily work to God. Opus Dei began small with just a couple of St. Josemaria's friends but now it is all over the world with thousands of members. Followers of Opus Dei strive to follow a plan of life, which is really just several spiritual works spread throughout the day in order to maintain the presence of God. These activities include such activities as Morning Offering, rosary, Angelus, Examination of Conscience.

Opus Dei relies on members and followers to invite their friends to become involved. It is the apostolate of friendship. Friends encourage others to go to a day or evening of Recollection or Confession. This is the way the organization has spread.

Opus Dei also has educational projects, such as boys schools and girls' schools which stress character development and use mentors to guide the students. They also run catering schools and other vocational training apostolates.

All of the talks I have heard at Recollections or Retreats have been sound, orthodox doctrinal teaching. They have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph. They encourage frequent attendance at Mass and Confession. Cheerfulness and joy are characteristics of members of Opus Dei.

The founder was canonized several years ago and so his writings were studied and found to be true. Based on the founder's writings, the basic book is 'The Way" a series of pithy sentences to be used by the reader to help the spiritual life grow. It is written for those who aspire to holiness and live in the world. I will conclude with a quote from "The Way": Everyday life is the true setting for your lives as Christians. Your daily encounter with Christ takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work, and your affections are...God is calling you to serve him in and from the ordinary, secular, and civil activities of human life."


Zvoni Medak said...

Agree. They don't like to be in the spotlight but are certainly orthodox and ascetic in their lifestyle.

Chriss Rainey said...

I am posting these web addresses because I believe they have important information that is helpful to understand the deeper ramifications of organizations such as Opus Dei, Regnum Christi, Scientology, the Moonies and other groups with a structure and methodology of a cult. I specifically say STRUCTURE and METHODLOLOGY because I have great respect for all the people who are drawn to Opus Dei and I believe the doctrine Opus Dei teaches is sound. I believe it is the intention of people interested in this organization to strengthen their faith through community. Having said that, I believe a part of the litmus test for any group is how difficult is it to get out of, if one should choose to do so. Sadly, the stories of the members at the numerary and auxiliary level in Opus Dei who have left are painful. Many leave the Church all together. Some have committed suicide. Some end up needing years of counseling. Read: Inside Opus Dei by Maria del Carmen Tapia. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.

Mary's Child Mariann said...

I agree with the guest post by Olivia. I am not an expert on Opus Dei; however, I am good friends with a number of couples who are a part of Opus Dei. I have been invited to evenings of reconciliation as well as a retreat or two--truly sound teachings and excellent Priests. Even before I became aware of Opus Dei, my husband and I had found the "In Conversation With God" series of daily meditations that coincide with the liturgical daily readings for the 3 year cycle. The meditations were based on the teachings of St. Jose Maria Escriva and they are profound and powerful for persons to focus on growing in holiness in their day to day life.

Again, I am not an expert, but I thought it important to share my experience with you.

May God bless you and your wonderful family!

Steve Dalton said...

The testimony of Oliva McFadden is no proof that OD isn't a cultic organization. As a former cult member myself, I could have made a simular statement while I was a cult member. As Chriss Rainy points out, it's the structure and methodology that makes an organization a cult more than just it's doctrines. And the fact that OD is now "Catholic" is no assurance that it is really Catholic. All the heresies that have wreaked havoc with the Church in the past started out as Catholic. When Francis passes from the scene, if we get a Pope that is orthodox, he should conduct a through investigation of OD to check out these accusations. Otherwise, we run the risk of having another Maciel on our hands.

Anonymous said...

St. Josemaria Escriba was canonized. I bought most of his books years ago and enjoyed them, but I never joined the organization. There seems to be some good and some bad in just about every Catholic organization. It usually depends on who is running it in any particular area, and one needs to be aware.

Douglas Valenzuela said...

Opus Dei discourages and paralyzes Catholic resistance to the New World Order.
Opus Dei indoctrinates its followers that they have no obligation from their
Baptism and Confirmation to be soldiers for Christ. Opus Dei has no mission to restore the Catholic City as canonized by Pope Saint Pius X in his Letter to the Sillon.
Opus Dei accepts the social/political construct of the Modern World; if the government is Masonic, no need to aspire toward the restoration of a Catholic Civilization, of Christendom. This pattern is evident in France, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States of America, just for starters. For a good critique of Opus Dei, make sure you read this article:

I do not belong to SSPX but I am personally familiar with the facts presented in this article.

Douglas Valenzuela
Irving, Texas