An Associate of Opus Dei in the Middle of the World

Image: Fischer Twins

Opus Dei is a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church whose aim is sanctity in the middle of the world. All members have one vocation but have different availability for the apostolic works. The associate members of Opus Dei live apostolic celibacy, but unlike numeraries, they usually live with their own families or elsewhere and not in Centers of Opus Dei.

Celibacy in the middle of the world is another way of expressing love for God. It is a reality that may be hard to grasp, but it is another way of service to God and others. Such a path requires discernment of a calling from God. The calling is responded to and pursued. It then requires constancy in approaching our Lord in prayer, frequent reception of the Sacraments, and a willingness to intelligently obey and second the suggestions of the directors in one’s spiritual life and apostolate, in order to persevere.

Celibacy is a great gift both to the person and the Church. Not everyone is called to be like Jesus Christ, in the way of life He chose to live when he walked the earth: as a celibate. Apostolic Celibacy is also a gift to the Church, who now have men and women able to give their undivided attention to the apostolic tasks of the Church, unlike parents who have to attend to their marriage and children as well.

By nature, I’m shy and I also have a tendency to have a pessimistic outlook. My vocation has helped me come out of my shell, seek out others and develop friendships. I have also started to look at the brighter side of things, I try to live order more, and I try to smile more. At times I fail, but I am always encouraged to try again. What I love most about my vocation is that receiving the Sacrament of Confession is facilitated, and by practical spiritual guidance, I am helped towards my road to heaven within Opus Dei.

What does my typical day look like? I go to work and enjoy times of recreation with family and friends, just like any other person. As my relationship with God takes first place, I also try to center my day around my encounters with God, the Norms of Piety, and plan my schedule around it. I have time with God in mental prayer in the morning and afternoon. I attend Holy Mass in the morning and try to say aspirations to our Lord, our Lady, the Angels and Saints as I travel to work. As I work, I keep a small crucifix at my workstation as a contact reminder to offer up my work to the Lord for different intentions. At 12 noon, I stop to pray the Angelus or Regina Coeli. I pray the Holy Rosary as I travel home from work. I make a quick stop at a nearby church to do a quick visit to the Blessed Sacrament. I spend fifteen minutes reading the New Testament and a Spiritual Reading book. Aside from this, I go to Confession once a week as well as attend a weekly class of formation called a Circle. Monthly, I spend an afternoon of recollection and once a year, I go on retreat for several days as well as attend a two week yearly formative seminar. I also give a circle to a group of cooperators twice a month and spend some time mentoring friends and giving them practical advice on their spiritual life.

For young people nowadays, this might seem a lot to take in. However, if you consider things in the light of a calling from God, it is worth all the effort. You are receiving a calling not given to the vast majority of people. That is the way He has chosen for you to reach heaven. Isn’t that exciting? Sure, there are difficulties along the way, yet there are many joys along the way as well. Once you start along this path, you will always be accompanied and help grow in love of God by many other women, young and old who have received the exact same call. You will help each other reach heaven.

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