Opus Dei


#1

Good Day! Has anyone read Dr. Scott Hahn’s book about Opus Dei? May I know your feedback please? Thanks and Godbless!


#2

I did. As my wife and I started getting more serious about our faith we found ourselves listening to CDs that we got in the back of Church. Many from Dr Hahn. We found it both insightful and humorous. That led me to start looking to more of his work. I found the audio version of Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace (not knowing it was about Opus Dei). I remember driving down the road while he was talking about the Opus Dei charism of sanctifying ordinary life. I remember screaming at the CD player, “Wow, that’s it! That’s what I want”. So, I went to the Opus Dei website and asked for info. They put me in contact with the local group. I now attend a monthly evening of recollection and get spiritual direction through Opus Dei (although I am not a member of Opus Dei). I find them to be a very Orthodox Group.

IN a nutshell, it has in a not too small way, changed my life.


#3

[quote="jbarbaretta, post:2, topic:280760"]
I did. As my wife and I started getting more serious about our faith we found ourselves listening to CDs that we got in the back of Church. Many from Dr Hahn. We found it both insightful and humorous. That led me to start looking to more of his work. I found the audio version of Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace (not knowing it was about Opus Dei). I remember driving down the road while he was talking about the Opus Dei charism of sanctifying ordinary life. I remember screaming at the CD player, "Wow, that's it! That's what I want". So, I went to the Opus Dei website and asked for info. They put me in contact with the local group. I now attend a monthly evening of recollection and get spiritual direction through Opus Dei (although I am not a member of Opus Dei). I find them to be a very Orthodox Group.

IN a nutshell, it has in a not too small way, changed my life.

[/quote]

Is it too late to say welcome to the church or is this a past story?


#4

I indeed recommend it!


#5

What would you think of someone who says Opus Dei is a cult? This person says he belonged to Opus Dei, that he fell in love with 1 woman and “they” told him he had to break it off, then he fell in love with another woman and was told to break it off with her too. He says he had a nervous breakdown at that point and had to be hospitalized.

I believe the nervous breakdown part but not the cult part. I wonder where these kinds of stories come from? Why would anyone in Opus Dei tell another member to break it off with a particular woman? I was thinking, maybe someone saw that he was involved with a bad person and advised him that the relationship was not good for him, but I simply cannot imagine this group, dedicated to life in prayer through our normal work, demanding that someone leave a relationship.

:shrug:


#6

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:5, topic:280760"]
What would you think of someone who says Opus Dei is a cult? This person says he belonged to Opus Dei, that he fell in love with 1 woman and "they" told him he had to break it off, then he fell in love with another woman and was told to break it off with her too. He says he had a nervous breakdown at that point and had to be hospitalized.

I believe the nervous breakdown part but not the cult part. I wonder where these kinds of stories come from? Why would anyone in Opus Dei tell another member to break it off with a particular woman? I was thinking, maybe someone saw that he was involved with a bad person and advised him that the relationship was not good for him, but I simply cannot imagine this group, dedicated to life in prayer through our normal work, demanding that someone leave a relationship.

:shrug:

[/quote]

I have had five years of experience around several Opus Dei families.

The main problem, as I see it, is that it is a very personal committment that only a person can make for themselves, and in Opus Dei decisions are often made for you. I knew of several families where the parents made the choice to join, then raised their very large families in a very strict Opus Dei environment.

I often asked, "What if your child has a Franciscan spirituality? Are they allowed to pursue it?" The children were not to participate in anything else but Opus Dei activities because I was told that the children would find this "too confusing."

It is extremely rigid, and while I can certainly understand how an adult might choose this as they travel on their journey of faith, I totally disagree with the idea that an adult/parent can choose this path for all of their children.

Also, these families have children who committed to the Opus Dei celibate life in college and I frankly believe this is too young. (Celibacy is to be applauded, but the strict lifestyle is too much in college, IMO).

And it is funny because people tell me that I am very religious and strict in the upbringing of my own children, however I could not make this choice for them.

I would definitely be very cautious - from what I have seen it goes waaaay too far.


#7

Hmmmm…So it does have a somewhat strict, could be interpreted as cultish, aspect. I would be interested to know if these types of things extend to people who join as adults. I think this person said that he encountered Opus Dei while at college, so he was young but not a child.


#8

I can’t speak for Opus Dei and I certainly don’t have any idea of what your friend experienced, but I’ve not been “told” I’ve had to do anything. The group I’m around certainly doesn’t seem “cultish”. I have a spiritual director that I go to every 3-4 weeks for confession and about a 1/2 hour “chat” as I describe it to my wife. We talk about what’s happening in my life, but mostly, he advises me on books to read and how to improve my prayer life. Since I’m not a member of Opus Dei maybe its different. Maybe they get more forward about their advice if you are a member of Opus Dei, but I doubt they demand things. I don’t see how they could.:shrug:


#9

No, I don’t either. It sounds more like someone who has been reading the Da Vinci code and projecting himself into the book.


#10

[quote="lax16, post:6, topic:280760"]
I have had five years of experience around several Opus Dei families.

The main problem, as I see it, is that it is a very personal committment that only a person can make for themselves, and in Opus Dei decisions are often made for you. I knew of several families where the parents made the choice to join, then raised their very large families in a very strict Opus Dei environment.

I often asked, "What if your child has a Franciscan spirituality? Are they allowed to pursue it?" The children were not to participate in anything else but Opus Dei activities because I was told that the children would find this "too confusing."

It is extremely rigid, and while I can certainly understand how an adult might choose this as they travel on their journey of faith, I totally disagree with the idea that an adult/parent can choose this path for all of their children.

Also, these families have children who committed to the Opus Dei celibate life in college and I frankly believe this is too young. (Celibacy is to be applauded, but the strict lifestyle is too much in college, IMO).

And it is funny because people tell me that I am very religious and strict in the upbringing of my own children, however I could not make this choice for them.

I would definitely be very cautious - from what I have seen it goes waaaay too far.

[/quote]

I've heard of people with this type of issue, but this has not been my experience to date. Again, I'm not a member of Opus Dei, so maybe they are more strict if you become a member. I do spend a fair amount of time around Opus Dei families as I have several friends that are members. From where I am - as someone who receives spiritual direction and attends various activities, I have not seen this rigidity. My children are certainly involved in various activities outside of Opus Dei. Although my son talks about being a priest, I don't think being a priest in Opus Dei has even crossed his mind (although he is still pretty young (10) and I fully expect that once hormones kick in that may get re-evaluated) He is more interested in being a missionary - or so he says. (his mom is NOT happy with that idea :rolleyes: - she wants him closer to home)


#11

Thanks, but it wasn’t so much that I was out of the church as I was just kinda going through the motions and didn’t really understand what the church taught or why. I wasn’t growing spiritually and didn’t even understand that I could.


#12

You sound like me and my reversion. :thumbsup:


#13

Hi thanks for sharing your insights about Opus Dei. I’m planning to join them and so currently, I am attending their recollection and doctrine class but some priests are also telling me to be more discerning and to take it slowly since Opus Dei is somehow strict and rigid but so far, from what I’ve experienced from its members, they are not that rigid though well maybe because I’m new I don’t know.

I don’t think that Opus Dei will go as far as dictating someone what to do because from what I’ve observed in its members here in Manila (Philippines), they can give advice but you also need to pray for discernment and for the Holy Spirit to guide you in making decisions.


#14

Congratulations! I’m sure you will be blessed by your your decision.

I think some people confuse teaching orthodoxy with “being rigid”. I certainly haven’t seen it. I was talking with my spiritual director in regards to someone I was trying to help. He suggested that I suggest spiritual direction to that person - because it is a god place to get some spiritual advice “without being told what to do.” I thought that was fascinating relative to this discussion. So, without bringing up this discussion, I think I received confirmation from an Opus Dei priest that they do not see their apostolate as one where they dictate to their members.

Come to think of it, dictating to you a person what to do – in any capacity – would really go against their charism. If their charism is really one of sanctifying ordinary life – then it wouldn’t make sense to try to control and dictate how members live. That would no longer be ordinary life.

Just enjoy the journey and maybe you can enlighten those priests who have asked you to be cautious in pursuing Opus Dei – by your witness through how you live.


#15

I remember driving down the road while he was talking about the Opus Dei charism of sanctifying ordinary life. I remember screaming at the CD player, http://www.infoocean.info/avatar4.jpg


#16

[quote="thiltgen99, post:15, topic:280760"]
I remember driving down the road while he was talking about the Opus Dei charism of sanctifying ordinary life. I remember screaming at the CD player, http://www.infoocean.info/avatar4.jpg

[/quote]

Hi! May I know the reason why you screamed?


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:5, topic:280760"]
What would you think of someone who says Opus Dei is a cult? This person says he belonged to Opus Dei, that he fell in love with 1 woman and "they" told him he had to break it off, then he fell in love with another woman and was told to break it off with her too. He says he had a nervous breakdown at that point and had to be hospitalized.

I believe the nervous breakdown part but not the cult part. I wonder where these kinds of stories come from? Why would anyone in Opus Dei tell another member to break it off with a particular woman? I was thinking, maybe someone saw that he was involved with a bad person and advised him that the relationship was not good for him, but I simply cannot imagine this group, dedicated to life in prayer through our normal work, demanding that someone leave a relationship.

:shrug:

[/quote]

The same thing happened to me, both the breakdown and being told not to date anyone. They were quite happy when I said I wanted to start exploring the consecrated virginity as a vocation. Also, in the book recommended to me, "Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church," a gay numerary had breakdowns until his psychologist recommended that he leave.

I do not think they are a cult. However, they tend to cater to those they see as priveleged. If they think of themselves as doing you a favor by speaking with you instead of a person that it is a privelege for them to speak to, I do not believe you are treated the same way. For example, almost all of the assistant numeraries are older Hispanic women.

I thought about communicating with them about how their practices are unhealthy when another priest noticed the problems and helped me to distance myself, but then I wondered - so many others have complained, what good would another complaint be? Why didn't they change? They also must be recommended for staying true on issues such as abortion and homosexuality.


#18

[quote="lax16, post:6, topic:280760"]

I often asked, "What if your child has a Franciscan spirituality? Are they allowed to pursue it?"

[/quote]

I know of a member whose daughter was helped by the spiritual director in Opus Dei to discern her vocation as a Daughter of Charity. Everyone lived happily ever after.


#19

Opus Dei does not dictate at all and the families of the individual members need not to have the same spirituality at all. I know a family in whom the mother became a member first, then the father, then a son and two daughters. The youngest daughter is my age, was encouraged to attend activities, but is not a member, and now she is srnding her ypung son to a pre-school whose chaplain is a priest of Opus Dei. There’s a person who has told me his deceased father was a member, but he did not like seeing priests who smoked, and he’s now a Franciscan tertiary.
In my personal experience, I do get advice, but I am free to take it as my own or say no. Recently, it was suggested to me that I might see a psychiatrist regarding two psychiatrically sick family members and how I could deal with the situation. I decided against doing so, and it was never brought up again by the director who talked to me about it.
Full disclosure: I’m an associate member of Opus Dei, I have been so for 11 years, since shortly before graduating from college.


#20

So you do get advice, but you feel free to take it or not. If you don’t bother to obey a lot of the advice, it is not bad. But then they should be clearer that the advice is such that you will frequently say no.

The enemy: “Will you obey, even in this ridiculous little detail?”

You with God’s grace: “I will obey, even in this heroic little detail!”

–St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, “Obedience,” 618


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