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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The time I was interviewed by a strange woman from Opus Dei

According to Opus Dei's website, membership in their organization "involves a commitment to receive spiritual formation from Opus Dei". My answer to that questionable process is that I'll do my own spiritual formation! thank you very much, and if I have questions, I'll ask a trusted priest.

Their website continues with the requirement to "participate in Opus Dei's mission." Again, my answer is that I have my own mission to carry out! I don't have time to do things for Opus Dei in any capacity. They can go take advantage of someone else to do things for them because I'm definitely not Opus Dei material.

Opus Dei says that "joining Opus Dei requires a supernatural vocation. It's a personal call from God to place one's whole life at His service." Who has time to do that for Opus Dei? (We're all called to put our whole lives at His service, not Opus Dei's.)

I had a personal supernatural vocation to be a mother to my children. It was the one time in my life that I knew what I was for. It was my supernatural calling to change their diapers, feed and bathe them, guard them from danger, take them to school, teach them about God. Who was going to do all that while I went around and worked for Opus Dei all the time?

Opus Dei states:  
An Opus Dei member continues being an ordinary citizen and an ordinary Catholic...They remain ordinary faithful of their dioceses and are free to engage in the same social and political activities as other Catholics.

After joining Opus Dei, people have the same jobs and live in the same social settings as before. The Prelature's faithful do not live apart from the world. Instead, they view their work and social relationships as ways to grow closer to God and to help others do likewise.

I can do all that by myself! without being a member of Opus Dei, so what's the point? There must be something. Money perhaps? 

When I first moved back to Orlando 22 years ago a friend asked if I wanted to join Opus Dei. I didn't even know what it was so I asked a few questions. My friend said it was an organization of orthodox Catholics and that if I was interested she would arrange a meeting for someone to talk to me about it.

I thought that was rather odd but said OK since my friend seemed to want me to join, yet I didn't understand why she just didn't tell me about it herself.

She set up a meeting for an Opus Dei woman to "interview" me and my younger daughter who was 9 years-old at the time since "children could join too". We met in a Catholic book store. We sat on a couch and I cannot remember anything the woman said. I only remember that from the first moment she started speaking I thought her to be so very odd.

She talked to us about 15 minutes then stood up. I can still see her standing there looming above us. I was too stunned to immediately stand up to say goodbye and try to be gracious to thank her for her effort in inviting us to join her organization. After a few seconds my daughter and I finally managed to come out of our stupor, stood up and bid her goodbye. The woman said she would call in a few days after I had thought it over. 

After she left, my daughter and I sat back down on the couch. I looked at her and she looked at me. Then my daughter said, "Mommy, that lady was so strange." I said yes, she was veeery strange. We had an answering machine on our home phone and I told my daughter that under no circumstances were we going to answer the phone for the next week...the answering machine could take messages. 

Finally I ended up telling the woman we lived too far from Orlando, but what I think truly ended her calls was that at the time, after just having moved back to Florida, I didn't yet have a job. With no income, Opus Dei's interest in me apparently screeched to a halt since the woman never called again after that "discovery".

Meanwhile, all these years later I'm at an SSPX parish where I find all the people I've met there to be perfectly normal human beings. If I lived closer to Sanford and not still working I'd happily volunteer to cook for the priests, clean the church and other chores needing to be done. I receive spiritual direction, not only intuitively from the Latin Mass, but also from sound Catholic homilies each week as well as buying books from their bookstore (Angelus Press) or checking books out from their lending library. 

No one has asked me for money although if I had millions I'd give it to them. No one has asked if I had a job or where I worked. And especially, no one had to "interview me" to see if I was qualified to join.

That's because the SSPX is interested, not in our money, but in the state of our souls.

7 comments:

PGMGN said...

Good job raising your daughter to sense "weird" early on. That is critical and fostering her protective instincts is the way to go.

Any organization that purports to be the exclusive road to do God's work is suspect to me. Much like CM's advertising that they are the only place to learn the truth. The presumption of being super human, better than the average bear and immune to human bias, is another form of abuse wherein those with an agenda take advantage of abused, scandalized, and often desperate sheep.

Keep those instincts sharp. They serve you well!

John B., retired English teacher said...

Susan,

I have had no contact with Opus Dei {Deo gratias} but have been on two week-long retreats at St Thomas More Priory and am deeply indebted to the SSPX ( I live in N. Alabama and go to a diocesan Latin Mass; I am many hours away from the nearest SSPX chapel) I was especially impressed with Fr Duverger, a good priest and a superb human being, and were I not a Christian I would take a cat-o-nine-tails to everyone who is trying to smear him.

John Belmont

Magdallena said...

Had a very similar situation 20 years ago with the Legionnaries of Christ. I thought immediately they were a cult. Turns out they were.

TheFlyingTigers said...

You are officially no longer in favor with the woman at CM whose last name rhymes with 'piles.'

Susan Matthiesen said...

The woman at CM whose name rhymes with "piles" has a road in Sorrento, FL named after her...or at least the road has the same name. Every Sunday I cross over it going to and from St Thomas More SSPX chapel. The first time I saw it I thought, "OMG! She's everywhere!"

I was disgusted, but thought it was better to say a Hail Mary for her when seeing the sign. Now I try to ignore the sign by looking the other way. That way I don't have to be reminded of her...but then, instead of not saying a Hail Mary at all since I won't look at the sign, I sort of do say a prayer... through gritted teeth....my lips not moving, barely a whisper.

Mary Ann is a better person than I am. She offers her Rosary for CM and has Masses said for them.

Lasserre deVillier said...

It's highly possible Jose Escriva was of a Marrano background, many think so. Which certainly would explain their focus on YOUR money. Our canonization process is seriously broken. It started with JPII canonizing everybody in sight, and abolishing the devil's advocate.

Dymphna said...

I'm concerned about the housekeeper class of OD members. Are there any in the US or are they just in Europe? Do they ever graduate or are they servants forever?