Saturday, June 03, 2006

Opus Dei and the Jesuits

Commenting on the last post, Estefania offers some interesting perspective on her experience with both Opus Dei and the Jesuits, worth posting here:

Making sense of Opus Dei

Once upon a time.. actually almost six years ago, I graduated from a all-girls school (Colegio Los Campitos - where religious formation was entrusted to the Opus Dei. So ideas like "santification of the daily work" and I cared about those teachings and met great people, some of whom I´m still in touch with.

Was I just trying to "fit" with the group I was in? Or was I seeking a closer relationship with God? Right after starting classes, sign I took part in a "circle", or prayer group at an Opus Dei youth house (where young female numeraries live), under the direction of a numerary. I quit it after some months, not because of a sudden rebellious bout, but the flow of new ideas brought by the beginning of college life and willingness of believing by my own choice, not by the teaching of others.

Almost two years ago, that I finally took up that path again, now through one of my university´s (a Jesuit one) youth groups. To write it shortly, through the Ignatian spirituality opportunities we received, I have been able to think and ask greater questions about God, life, society, religion and other subjects, more joyful and fonder of prayer on the way. So the second question posted in the first paragraph has become: Do I want to seek a deeper relationship with God?
Yes, and gladly so.

Now, in DVC times, I have felt the necessity of telling many around me that the Opus Dei I met is [not] anything like the book portrayed. In doing so, I am thinking again what part did my Los Campitos past play in the person I am now? Of course, I do have lots of questions to be asked: For example, why didn´t we talk more about the Church´s take on social justice, having in the same building we studied in an afternoon school attended by girls born in lower income families?. I believe a greater degree of fairness is desired while one must talk about the Opus Dei (or any other groups inside the Church), so prejudices can be, at least, debunked rightly.

At any rate, I realise I have been blessed for having been able to live and watch how diverse God´s works are and at the same time, how they seem to collide. How similar is to affirm "Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam" and "Seeking sanctity in everyday´s life" .. He is the final answer to it all.

Estefanía Salazar.-


Anonymous Estefanía said...

Thanks for placing my comment in the "fromt page" of the blog (quite a surprise, heheh).

Another small difference struck while meeting my local Jesuit acquaintances. I was surprised by how they named Ignatius just Ignatius (or Ignacio), without the "St.". Just like one would call a close friend.

Opus Dei members (and many, many non-members) refer to St. Josemaría Escrivá as "Our Father" or "St. Josemaría". To this day, I have never heard just "Josemaría".

After the initial surprise, I concluded that´s just different ways of referring to the founders. After all it´s not the titles (or lack of) that measures a life´s legacy.

(And I use the "St." only when needed, in both cases! Most of the times is "Ignacio" and "Monseñor Escrivá" for me)

¡Saludos a todos! (Greetings for you all)
Estefanía S.

P.S. Please bear a few editing glitches I did not catch before posting the original comment (It was kind of late.. heh). I´ll try to make better revisions in the future.

2:10 AM  

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