Opus Dei; for Work of God.

Opus Dei is a Catholic institution founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá whose feast we celebrate today. Its mission is to spread the message that work and the circumstances of everyday life are occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.

Opus Dei was founded in Madrid, Spain, on October 2, 1928, by St. Josemaria Escriva. In 1982, Pope John Paul II established it as a personal prelature of international scope through the Apostolic Constitution Ut Sit. Its full name is The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. Personal prelatures are canonical structures, foreseen by the Second Vatican Council, which are established to carry out special apostolic tasks: in the case of Opus Dei, to spread through every sector of society a deep awareness of the universal call to sanctity and apostolate, and more specifically of the sanctifying value of ordinary work.

“Yours is truly a great ideal,” said Pope John Paul II in 1979, “which from its beginnings anticipated the theology of the laity which later characterized the Church of the Council and the post-conciliar era. Such is the message and the spirituality of Opus Dei: to live united to God in the midst of the world in any situation, each one struggling to be better with the help of grace and to make Jesus known with the testimony of his or her own life.” At present there are over 84,000 members of the Prelature, priests and laity from every continent. The majority of its membership are lay people.

Opus Dei organizes training in Catholic spirituality applied to daily life. Aside from personal charity and social work, Opus Dei members are involved in running universities, university residences, schools, publishing houses, and technical and agricultural training centers. Opus Dei complements the work of local churches by offering classes, talks, retreats and pastoral care that help people develop their personal spiritual life and apostolate.

However, Opus Dei has been described as the most controversial force within the Catholic Church.According to several journalists who researched Opus Dei separately, many criticisms against Opus Dei are based on fabrications by opponents, and Opus Dei is considered a sign of contradiction. Several popes and other Catholic leaders have endorsed what they see as its innovative teaching on the sanctifying value of work, and its fidelity to Catholic beliefs.In 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized Escrivá, and called him “the saint of ordinary life.” Criticism of Opus Dei has centered on allegations of secretiveness, controversial recruiting methods, strict rules governing members, the practice by celibate members of mortification of the flesh, elitism and misogyny, and the support of or participation in authoritarian or right-wing governments, especially the Francoist Government of Spain until 1978. Within the Catholic Church, Opus Dei is also criticized for allegedly seeking independence and more influence.

I recommend this message for your reading. Just click HERE

If you are in Kampala, Uganda, come to Christ the King Church this evening and you will get to know more about Opus Dei.



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