"How can I know if I'm living the teachings of Opus Dei faithfully?" St. Josemaria was asked in a get-together. And without missing a beat, he replied "If your wife is happy."
August 16, 2012
Jemy Gatdula // BusinessWorld Philippines
That instance perfectly captured what oftentimes is difficult to convey in words when talking to someone yet to "get" Opus Dei: that by simply doing the normal daily acts of oneís life, if done out of love for God and for literally everybody, one can achieve holiness. Without the need for martyrdom, miracles, or other dramatic events, just the plumber, doctor, engineer, politician, or housewife going about their ordinary jobs in the best way they can. As St. Escriva wrote: "That work -- humble, monotonous, small -- is prayer expressed in action."
This leads us to happily (and contemplatively) live in the present. Or as St. Escriva would urge, real love is not about "sweet words but deeds." Thus, sanctity is achieved by "doing the little duties of each moment": for the student it is being focused while in class, for the driver it is being watchful and careful on the road, for the janitor it is ensuring every spot has been cleaned, the teacher making the lesson plan, the father setting aside his work and giving himself completely to his family during dinner. This "universal call to holiness" that Opus Dei espouses is not limited to Catholics; even non-Christians can be a part of Opus Dei.
This is a radical claim, astonishingly even as recent as today. But itís a teaching that is "as old as the Gospels and yet forever new." One does not need to be a priest or a nun to be holy. That anyone, without ostentation or loud displays of piety, by living his daily life as well as he or she is able, can achieve that holiness.
Unfortunately, thereís a need to correct the undeserved bad rap that the media gave Opus Dei, which is celebrating several "anniversaries" this year. The weird thing is that most people who think of Opus Dei (literally, "Godís work") as sinister havenít even probably met a faithful of Opus Dei or didnít know that the ever-smiling, always-helpful guy in the office or neighborhood is actually a member. Frankly, the most cheerful people Iíve met, known, or befriended are Opus Dei. And thereís a profound yet simple reason for their cheerfulness, which has little to do with PR or image-making.
The main "weapon" of Opus Dei, again as old as the Gospels and yet forever new, is "divine filiation." Itís a technical theological term that essentially says: "we are Godís children." This is obviously not exclusive to Opus Dei as this has always been a core teaching of the Catholic Church. But Opus Dei has placed special emphasis in this: that God is our caring Father, ever-present, constantly watching out for our well-being. Oftentimes we will not understand what He wants, for what child can so fully comprehend? But He is there for us. And that is why the faithful of Opus Dei are always cheerful (and calm) because, with God as your father, whatís the need for worry? Success? Failure? Not our problem. Just do our absolute best, then have the confidence to know itíll turn out the way our Father God wants it, which will always be for the good.
Scott and Kimberly Hahn
Unfortunately, it made Kimberly more irritated and to even start drifting away.
Desperate, he turned to two friends for help, one a layman, the other a priest, both of whom happened to be members of Opus Dei. And the advice they gave to Scott surprised him: "turn off the theology and turn on the romance."
But Scott Hahn followed their advice. Instead of trying to build the best argument, he just worked hard at becoming a "better husband, better father, better son."
With that, and with Kimberlyís loving approval, he became a Catholic. Soon after, so did Kimberly.
Thatís it. Very ordinary. So Opus Dei.
December 06, 2013