Opus Dei

Recently, I’ve been discerning my vocation in life because many people say I should be a priest. I’m not sure I should be a priest; if I entered the seminary now it would be out of a sense of obligation, not desire.

I’ve been reading about Opus Dei and I feel a desire to become an associate or a supernumerary. I really like the idea that I can sanctify myself in my work, and that I can be a contemplative in the world. The spirituality appeals to me, and I like the fact that Opus Dei is 100% orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium.

I want to live according to the teachings of the Church; I want to live my Faith fully. I think Opus Dei can help me do that. But I’m also a traditionalist Catholic; I attend the Extraordinary Form and I’m involved in organisations, which promote the traditional liturgy and spiritually of the Roman Rite.

Would my traditionalist tendencies be incompatible with Opus Dei?

Also, would I be able to become an Associate and then a supernumerary if I get married? I’d love to get married but if I can’t find a spouse I will accept celibacy; however, it wouldn’t be my first choice. For this reason, I wouldn’t become a Numerary.

Any advice from Opus Dei members would be greatly appreciated.

Not at all, quite the contrary!!!

Well, I’m a cooperator of Opus Dei, so where to start?

Have you been going to evenings of recollections? Have you been going to circles? Do you have a plan of life? How is your personal apostolate? These are questions that come way before any question about a vocation to the Work, at least as I understand how this all goes.

You don’t have to have a vocation to Opus Dei to receive spiritual formation from members and priests of the Work, nor do you have to have a vocation to sanctify your work. That isn’t, of course, to discourage you from discovering what God is calling you to do with your life. And it certainly isn’t to discourage you from involving yourself in the activities of Opus Dei. To the contrary, I fully encourage you to contact Opus Dei to find where the closest activities are, and then I’d suggest going to an evening of recollection and begin meeting with folks from Opus Dei.

And I should also tell you that becoming a member of the work, whether a married or celibate member, is not something that happens overnight. It is a long slow process that requires great discernment, as you might imagine.

To answer your question about what sort of member you might become, if you think you’re called to marriage, then you would become a supernumerary. An associate is a celibate member, so if you don’t believe you’re called to apostolic celibacy, then you wouldn’t become an associate.

[quote=Colorad007]Have you been going to evenings of recollections? Have you been going to circles? Do you have a plan of life? How is your personal apostolate? These are questions that come way before any question about a vocation to the Work, at least as I understand how this all goes.
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I haven’t had any official contact yet simply because the nearest centre is 200 miles from my home. However, I plan on contacting Opus Dei shortly.

How often do Opus Dei members meet at the centre? I would be able to go once a month, but weekly would be difficult because of the distance.

I live a plan of life. I pray the Holy Rosary and the Office of the BVM every day. I have a program of spiritual reading and I try to get to daily Mass.

[quote=Colorad007]To the contrary, I fully encourage you to contact Opus Dei to find where the closest activities are, and then I’d suggest going to an evening of recollection and begin meeting with folks from Opus Dei.
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I’d really like to visit them. I know the Church teaches the Universal Call to Holiness, but I thought I’d have to be a priest to be holy. Opus Dei makes me realise that holiness is for everyone; I no longer feel I’m upsetting God by not being a priest. Opus Dei shows me that I can truly serve God as a layman.

[quote=Colorad007]To answer your question about what sort of member you might become, if you think you’re called to marriage, then you would become a supernumerary. An associate is a celibate member, so if you don’t believe you’re called to apostolic celibacy, then you wouldn’t become an associate.
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Thanks for clearing that up for me. I thought I could be an associate first and then become a supernumerary if I get married. I’d rather be a supernumerary at the present time since I’d really like to get married in the future.

Dear Dempsey1919,

Your posting gives me a chuckle. I am a Cooperator for Opus Dei and many years ago I thought in the same way. I said to myself that I would be an Associate, then move to this level or that. There is a lot of “I” in your statements and not one mention of God’s will.

How about saying that I will be or do whatever God wills for me to do? Vocation is a very serious business. In Opus Dei it takes years of discernment to know what God really wants for you. Six years later I am still a Cooperator and very happy to be so as this is the will of God for me at this moment. Wanting to reach certain levels is more a result of human pride than it is a result of our Lord’s will for us.

How about taking the first step as a Cooperator. Attend monthly days of recollection, talk with an Opus Dei Priest or Numerary about a plan of life. Go to mass daily, pray the rosary daily, spend a half hour in mental prayer. Read the Gospel 5-10 minutes a day, do spiritual reading 15 minutes a day, attend annual Retreats. Go to confession weekly or biweekly, say the Angelus daily, start your day with “Serviam” (I will do your will Lord, not mine).

A lot easier to talk about a vocation than it is to live out your vocation. I will keep you and the members of this forum in my prayers. I humbly ask for your prayers for me to stay faithful to the call in my life.

Your Brother In Christ,
OpusFan (Manny)

Your posting gives me a chuckle. I am a Cooperator for Opus Dei and many years ago I thought in the same way. I said to myself that I would be an Associate, then move to this level or that. There is a lot of “I” in your statements and not one mention of God’s will.

I definitely agree with this. There is a lot of “I” in my statements. Recently, I’ve been reading “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” and Father Martin says that we should pay close attention to our emotions, our desires and our wants; he says these feelings are the key to discerning the will of God.

I used to feel pushed towards the priesthood by other people, but I never really felt a strong desire for it (although there were moments). I felt called to the priesthood out of obligation, not desire or love. I used to think the will of God was always opposed to my will; I used to think the will of God would make me feel unhappy. Now I’m starting to see things differently. The will of God should naturally fit with my inclinations.

Opus Dei is different. It seems like something I could do for the rest of my life. I like the fact that I can have a wife and a family. I like the fact that I can serve God in the workplace. I like the fact that I can make the street my cloister and be a contemplative in the world. Opus Dei seems to be perfect for me.

A lot easier to talk about a vocation than it is to live out your vocation. I will keep you and the members of this forum in my prayers. I humbly ask for your prayers for me to stay faithful to the call in my life.

That is really good advice. Before contacting Opus Dei and making a huge commitment, I think I should follow the norms of life. I think becoming a cooperator might be a good way to discern my vocation.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

I am not a member of Opus Dei but I have been attending evenings of recollection and annual retreats for about three years. My involvement in Opus Dei has really helped my spiritual life, and I would even say that I finally feel I have found a “home” in the church.

No one has ever approached me about becoming a “member” or anything. It is entirely a personal sense of vocation that would drive me to begin enquiring about further, deeper levels of involvement. OD is a very bible-based, scripture-centred activity, at least in the area where I participate. You would need to be a real scripture lover to be comfortable in OD. In my time with the group I have not seen much reference to the Magisterium and all that… in fact the message tends to be anti-clerical in a certain sense: we can all be holy, and we all have a vocation. Not only priests. Your vocation might be working as a welder and sometimes talking to friends, gently, about the message of Christ’s life.

I don’t think that OD requires certain beliefs, I rather believe that only a certain type of person is drawn to OD in the first place. In all my time going to recollections and retreats no one has ever mentioned opposition to abortion or same-sex marriage…they don’t have to. It is assumed that anyone going to OD events already firmly is on side. OD appears to be more about personal spiritual growth through a plan of life and recognition that God is with us everywhere all the time. This constant presence of God…this for me is the core idea of Opus Dei. It is really a fantastic organization. They are the nicest and most relaxed (and funny) group of guys I have ever met. Very solid.

Take it slow. Go to a recollection or two. Just remember, this group is in no hurry, and it may take you years to feel ready to adopt some formal vocation therein.

Andre

[quote=Brother Andre]Take it slow. Go to a recollection or two. Just remember, this group is in no hurry, and it may take you years to feel ready to adopt some formal vocation therein.
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I’ve sent a few emails and made few phone calls and this seems to be the case. They all seem really relaxed. Almost too relaxed (this isn’t a bad thing). They don’t deserve their reputation for being aggressive recruiters.

They’re almost nonchalant. There’s absolutely no hard selling or aggressive recruitment. They’re really chilled out about it. I’ve been invited to come along to the recollections. I’ll have to drive 1.5 hours each way but I’m willing to do that because Opus Dei seems like a fantastic organisation.

Great - I drive an hour each way to my OD recollections. I use the time to listen to the Divine Office Vespers prayer app (SurgeWorks is the developer) in my car, or the spoken bible app. That way the once-a -month OD evening of recollection becomes a kind of mini-retreat that is bookended by prayer and reflection. I really look forward to those once-monthly sessions.

Good luck - I’ll say a prayer that your vocation and search is a fruitful one.

[quote=Brother Andre]Good luck - I’ll say a prayer that your vocation and search is a fruitful one.

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Thanks, Brother. I’ll also keep you in my prayers.

[quote=Brother Andre]I use the time to listen to the Divine Office Vespers prayer app (SurgeWorks is the developer) in my car, or the spoken bible app. That way the once-a -month OD evening of recollection becomes a kind of mini-retreat that is bookended by prayer and reflection.
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That’s a great idea! I have an audible membership so I’ve got loads of audiobooks. I’ll definitely listen to my Scott Hahn books during the drive.

This is my journey, and I am bondering still.

I have been involved to a certain degree with OD since I became Catholic. I have lived the plan of life before, and found great fullfilment in doing so. I always thought I would become a Numerary one day. Then, just then, I met with my husband. We moved a country, but where we lived was no center, and sparse opportunities for Confession. I grew lax on my plan of life and as good as stopped doing it, which happened very gradually. I have been sporadically to yearly retreats in the center where it all began. It has now been 8 years since I first met with them; I got married, got 3 kids (and 1 in heaven). When I was finishing my Masters I started going to the center again, meeting with numerary regularly for formation, confession, weekly retreats and circles. Then the numerary I had been in contact with was moved to another center in the otherside of the country. I stopped going, for I did not know how to get contact with the others, since we are in a non-English speaking country. A huge mistake!!! Fast forward to before this Easter in the yearly retreat. I felt my soul was dead, literally. There I saw a most beautiful icon of Our Lady of Mercy, and I told God that I would be ready to do His will, and I would be open minded during the retreat about what would happen. In the final day after my Confession a sudden clarity came and I felt that I understood what Call means. That God wanted me to become a Supernumerary. That same day evening before I left the country I met with a good friend an orthodox Catholic, though not a big fan on Opus Dei.She gave me a gift of icon: Our Lady of Mercy.

I thought it was all clear then an there. But snce the Retreat I have managed to go to center only once. I have also come to self-diagnose myself with potential Asperger’s, even though it does not much hinder my everyday life, I probably never make it as a Supernumerary because of it. I am quite sure with my experience of sniffing around in other lay organizations, that no-organization of lay people wants such a person to be a member. I could after sometime again probably ask to become a Cooperator, yet I know specificly what the call was, and that was not it. So, here I am, finally Called, and not able to do too much about it. :bighanky:

I think, YES Opus Dei would help you … :slight_smile:

In Christo Rege,
Frater Attempto

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