Opus Dei vocation

Hello.
My name is Zaiga, I’m a 19 year old girl from Latvia.
I am unsure of my vocation and would really appreciate some help.

This year on the Holy Week an Opus Dei numerarie and I went to Rome, we attended UNIV forum in Rome and met so many people from Opus Dei, and I got to know other numeraries & other members from all around the world.

On the third day being in Rome, someone jokingly said to me, that I should become a numerarie. They weren’t being serious, but the thought struck me and I could not stop thinking about it. I hated this thought, yet couldn’t get away from it.

I talked about this with the numerarie I had come with - she said, this is a sign that this might be my vocation. She also said, because I don’t have anything really keeping me away from choosing this path (don’t have a boyfriend or any attachments that would be an obstacle) this could be my calling.

The following days in Rome I spent holding back tears and being angry, pretty much.

Now, ever since I was 16 I’ve been praying God to give me a good husband and children. I hate the thought of being a numerarie (they don’t marry), but at the same time I see there’s something special about this, like, I cannot say, No, I won’t do this, with a peaceful heart.

So, could this really be my vocation or was it all because I was surrounded by numeraries I got this thought …

The numeraries told me, living in celibate for God’s sake is the best way of living, that marriage is just a reflection of love, that there will be no prince charming on a white horse, etc.

Tell me what you’re thinking as you read this, please! It’s impossible to hate one’s vocation, no?
Maybe I should learn to accept the fact that I had a plan for my life but God has another one in mind, probably a much happier one.
But I can’t bear the thought of not having children. I wanted like 10 and even have prayed for them and for my future husband almost every day.
And now, it turns out I’ve been praying for something God didn’t even want for me?

What do you think?

Discernment is a very important process. God doesn’t want you to be unhappy. Usually you will feel called by God when considering the religious life, its like a small seed within you that grows and flourishes with discernment. This is something that you should talk about with your priest although looking at your thread I personally feel that you are not being called but time will tell. Only you can make this decision.Please pray upon this and I will pray for you too. God Bless.:wink:

You’re still too close to the emotional experience you had during Holy Week to be able to make a prayerful and considered decision as to what it meant. Continue to pray that God will reveal your vocation to you, and find a spiritual director ASAP.

I have had a great deal of contact with members of Opus Dei and their children, some who were numeraries, **and I do not recommend it.
**
I do not want to go into great detail here, but what I saw was very negative.

If one if discerning between marriage and a vocation, I would pray about it. I would consider becoming a nun, not a member of Opus Dei. Marriage is a vocation and we need strong families in this world raising good, moral children.

My opinion about Opus Dei is to stay away. I have told this to my own children as well. And since you are the same age as my oldest, I feel the need to talk to you as if you were one of my own children.

If you want any more information, please send me a private message regarding this matter.

This may be a sign, but it may also just be an impulse. We do not decide our state in life based on a short term experience. Normally we live in an order/movement for many years before we make a final decision. I have a friend who stayed in a community for 6 years and left right before his ordination. He is married now but he is also still good friends with his former brothers…

Try to relax and not to worry, God will show you everything in His time.

PS.
I have also been recommended not to be too involved with Opus Dei, even by former members. I am not saying they are bad, only what I have been told. See for your self, but only make sure you find everything there healthy. /DS

You can always choose to become a supernumerary, versus a numeracy. Or, if you do not wish to commit fully as a member of the Opus Dei premature, you can become a cooperators. Contact Opus Dei via their website for further information and counseling.

Why not be supernumerarie instead?

I’ll repeat myself. The celibacy is a gift superior than the gift of matrimony: [BIBLEDRB]1 Corinthians 7:38 [/BIBLEDRB]
because the renunciation, for the love of God, is greater.

Those who receive the call to celibacy must know that it’s a wonderful vocation, but not everyone understands it but those who have been given it (because the vocation is a gift from God). Those who receive this gift must be willing to face the incomprehension.
Those who God calls to celibacy, He gives them the enough graces so they can be faithful to the call. Celibacy is also a gift. The desire of corresponding to the gift of celibacy is part of the grace God gives. Celibacy must be accompanied by full trust in God. Living celibacy requires a very strong love, a huge capacity of donation, and therefore, claims a mature personality. (Celibacy is not compatible with immaturity).

I hope you discern well. Is God calling you to be holy in holy matrimony (supernumerarie), or is He calling you to be holy and celibate (numerarie)?

You need to find the answer through PRAYER only, do not heed these negative comments on Opus Dei. The Lord will let you know whether it is your way or not. I have been affiliated with The Work for quite some time now, although I am not a member yet. All I have seen so far is positive and I would not hesitate to send my child to a school run by Opus Dei had it been available nearby. God bless you!

Whatever organization you are interested in, do make sure to research them very, very carefully.

In my opinion, Opus Dei is a very good lay Catholic group, but one thing that I am not quite happy with is the way they try to recruit other Catholics. Often, at least as what I have experienced, they would push people to join their group or ask people frequently to go to their event and/or formation. I am not saying this is absolutely wrong. My concern is that Opus Dei somewhat fails to identify its own unique charism; and the unfavorable result it that people, especially Opus Dei members, may think that all Catholics should join Opus Dei in order to be truly devoted Catholics, and there is no reason why someone shouldn’t join Opus Dei except that he/she doesn’t really want to be a devoted Catholic.

Again, I am not attacking Opus Dei at all. I admire everything Opus Dei is doing. My only desire is that Opus Dei should clarify why it’s only for some people instead of for all Catholics, otherwise there will be great confusion in one’s vocational discernment.

Same with discernment regarding priesthood and religious life. It’s not for everyone at all. As a person discerning vocation, one need to understand the uniqueness of a special order or group, and why himself/herself is “set apart” for that uniqueness.

Yes, I completely agree. It seemed to me that their main ‘target’ is college students, anyone who might have a good carreer and be an influence on the society through their professional work…but that’s not the best criteria for discerning a vocation, non? I mean, it’s not enough.

Months have passed since I posted this and I would like to update you, who ever might be interested.

It was a rough time for me, a very stressful 5 months or so. The numeraries made it clear that they think I have this vocation and they were very happy and excited, they told me I was already a ‘numerarie in heart’ , after a few conversations I had with the house director and others. I thought it is fine because I’d been a frequent guest at their house and they had gotten to know me well. I did not want to join them. One of the numeraries asked me on the day of my Confirmation, why didn’t I love God enough…because if I loved Him, I would join Opus Dei. By the way, I was baptized 3 years ago and the Church advises not to make such life long commitments until you’ve been Catholic for at least 5 years or so…which was not something the numeraries would consider.

I went on a pilgrimage for a week in August with my parish that I had abandoned because most of my activities were in Opus Dei ; I had long conversations with my priest and a Carmelite sister, and they noticed that many things I told them didn’t sound right, they said this Opus Dei centre runs like a sect. Before the pilgrimage, I believed that God is really calling me to do this, that I just need to get over myself…so, talking with the priest and others, I felt like coming out of a long, dark tunnel.

So, this is what happened with me. I don’t have any bitterness or anger towards them. I should mention that the formation that I got there was great, and the meditations with the priest were wonderful… basically, I should have been more careful and not take every single thing these people say as absolute truth.

My advice for the parents, guardians, friends of anyone who is involved with Opus Dei activities: please check what goes on there

How could they know that you had that vocation? That’s a ridiculous thing for them to say. It’s not respecting your conscience or discernment at all!

Wow, that’s an absolutely horrible thing to say to anyone, let alone to believe. Especially from a “religious”.

I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Unfortunately this practice is all too common nowadays. You are lucky that you had the grace and strength to make the right decision! Many don’t :frowning:

Hello everyone. This is me 3 years later. I’d like to share with you the most precious story of my life. Three years ago when I posted this thread, I was feeling quite lost yet never stopped believing in God’s love for me and His desire for my happiness. Even when I felt hopeless I kept returning to Jesus in the Eucharist begging to him to fulfill the desires of my heart - but also up keeping the predisposition of my heart that’s ready to serve and do all my God is asking from me even if I did not seem to want it.
An Irish man who happened to be a Dominican novice at the time replied to this post I made as many from his big Catholic family and circle of friends are members of Opus Dei.
He gave me the exact same advice the good priest that was my spiritual father did. It finally was enough to break through to me as i had been quite entangled in this, truly believing that if I don’t join Opus Dei I’m a bad Catholic who will not have a happy life and will very possibly not gain Heaven.
I was finally free.

The Irishman left novitiate after a year as he too was desiring marriage and had been praying for a good wife even while in the novitiate. He wanted to serve God and give Him his whole life.

We met the following summer. He, my Irishman, my Adam, is everything I desired and never thought would know. He is literally the answer to my prayers. He’s not someone dragging along rather we’re both in the race. I’ve a lot I could say, but let me just tell you Adam is like a catapult to Heaven for me. I moved to Ireland to be with him and am happy as a punch. We are getting married this October.

If anyone comes across this post… I’d like to tell you: God is good, hang in there, NEVER abandon Him. Go to the chapel and tell Him all that’s on your heart. Don’t be afraid to yell and while and be angry if you are. I did it so. Just don’t leave Him. Don’t give up on Him. He will give you the desires of your heart! I’m a living proof!

Thanks Catholic Answers for being the platform I found my future husband.

I love you too. And I think you’re the heavenly catapult in this relationship. :slight_smile:

Hello everyone. This is me 3 years later. I’d like to share with you the most precious story of my life. Three years ago when I posted this thread, I was feeling quite lost yet never stopped believing in God’s love for me and His desire for my happiness. Even when I felt hopeless I kept returning to Jesus in the Eucharist begging to him to fulfill the desires of my heart - but also up keeping the predisposition of my heart that’s ready to serve and do all my God is asking from me even if I did not seem to want it.
An Irish man who happened to be a Dominican novice at the time replied to this post I made as many from his big Catholic family and circle of friends are members of Opus Dei.
He gave me the exact same advice the good priest that was my spiritual father did. It finally was enough to break through to me as i had been quite entangled in this, truly believing that if I don’t join Opus Dei I’m a bad Catholic who will not have a happy life and will very possibly not gain Heaven.
I was finally free.

The Irishman left novitiate after a year as he too was desiring marriage and had been praying for a good wife even while in the novitiate. He wanted to serve God and give Him his whole life.

We met the following summer. He, my Irishman, my Adam, is everything I desired and never thought would know. He is literally the answer to my prayers. He’s not someone dragging along rather we’re both in the race. I’ve a lot I could say, but let me just tell you Adam is like a catapult to Heaven for me. I moved to Ireland to be with him and am happy as a punch. We are getting married this October.

If anyone comes across this post… I’d like to tell you: God is good, hang in there, NEVER abandon Him. Go to the chapel and tell Him all that’s on your heart. Don’t be afraid to yell and while and be angry if you are. I did it so. Just don’t leave Him. Don’t give up on Him. He will give you the desires of your heart! I’m a living proof!

Thanks Catholic Answers for being the platform I found my future husband.

If you have doubts, be careful
Remember, this would be an additional calling, i.e., your primary calling is as a Catholic.
All of the “third orders” allow for a period of discernment. Use that to your advantage. Realize that the process of discernment may take a few months.
Prayers offered

My goodness! What a perfectly lovely post!

May God’s blessing be upon you and Adam, especially as you prepare for the sacrament of matrimony this autumn. May you have a lovely life together and be abundantly blessed across many happy years.

don Ruggero

Thanks Don. It’s been an amazing ride. You really never know what God has in store. :slight_smile:
God bless.

Such a wonderful outcome to this thread!

God bless you both in your upcoming nuptials. I hope you have much joy in your marriage, and in catapulting each other to heaven. :thumbsup:

Wonderful post Father!

My God’s blessings be with both of you… And I strongly suggest calling Catholic Answers and showing them this thread… Your story is inspiring

God Bless!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.