"The driving force for the apostolic work"

During the recent World Youth Day in Madrid, a young Russian girl asked the Prelate what it means to be a numerary assistant. And he responded: ”It means being the driving force for the apostolic work throughout the whole world.”

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- Father, hello, my name is Sveta, I’m Russian, I come from Tula, south of Moscow. I wanted to tell you that I was born in an Orthodox country, but I found God through the Catholic Church. My mother wanted to have me baptized on three occasions, but each time something happened so she couldn’t. As I grew older I wanted to decide for myself about being baptized or not. Two and a half years ago, when I moved to Moscow, I went to an organ concert in Moscow cathedral. On the way out I saw a notice about some catechism classes, and that autumn I decided to go, and I began the classes in December. At the same time I met the people from Yantar, the Opus Dei center in Moscow. I started going to activities in the Center, which have helped me so much in my spiritual life and in getting to know Jesus Christ more deeply. I was baptized on January 10, 2010. This year, as well as studying for the final year of my degree, I also worked in the Administration. It’s a job I simply love doing, and through it I really understood that the Work is a family. Father, although I love my degree subject, I’ve decided to dedicate myself to the work of the Administration, and nine days ago I asked for admission as a Numerary Assistant. Father, I’m really happy, but it was a hard decision to make, and I think there may be other girls who haven’t yet discovered how wonderful this kind of work is. Can you explain to us what "Administration" means in Opus Dei?

-My daughter, don’t forget that this applause is for you, but it is for God first of all, who has brought us to that beloved country, Russia, through St Josemaria’s prayers. How much he prayed for your country, how much he prayed for you! In union with his regard, I am sure we will reach from St Petersburgh to Vladivostok, doing a wonderful apostolate which will bring forth not only Numerary Assistants but Numeraries, Associates, and Supernumeraries, lots of them, because there are so many excellent people in Russia who bore witness to their faith when times were very hard. I can tell you that in the beginning, in 1946, when there were barely 8 or 10 women who were Numerary Assistants, our Father called three of them to Rome, who’d only been in the Work for five or six months. And seeing their sense of responsibility, and how they always said yes to God through their work in the home, he told them, simply and sincerely, “When I have twelve women like you I will spread the Work throughout the world.”

The importance of the Numerary Asssistants in the domestic Adminstrations is absolutely vital. It’s true that Opus Dei is a family, a family in which we really love each other, and we put our lives on the line to serve one another. Don’t imagine I’m praising Opus Dei. It’s God I’m praising. Opus Dei comes from God, it isn’t the creation of men and women. But he has given us this spirit of learning to love every day, of learning to serve every day, and he’s given us this work in the domestic Administration, which is as beautiful as the way God himself came to earth, through Mary, our Mother. He chose to come to earth through a home, the home of Mary, who was totally dedicated to God, and she became holy, not even in a village like yours, Tula, south of Moscow, but in a much smaller village. But she knew that by serving God who had become a small child, with faith, the Redemption would be carried out, because she was told so at the Annunciation.

The work of the Administration is vital for Opus Dei. If you do it faithfully, doing that work which we are all so grateful for, it will be what drives the expansion that we want for the Work all the time. Be very faithful, my daughter. You’re one of the first Russian people in Opus Dei, so be very faithful, and be conscious of being among the firstborn. Our Lord has chosen you so that with your life Opus Dei can be built up in Moscow and in every city in Russia and throughout the world. How wonderful it is to know that nothing is wasted, my daughters. Even the tiniest details of our lives, if we do them with God, are supernatural and transcendent, and they are a help and support for the whole world.

I have seen St Josemaria, in a little corner of Rome, doing the same work as the domestic Administration, cleaning the house, carrying things; and that work, done with love, was already the expansion that he dreamed of, and that is coming true now. So be very faithful, my daughter, be very faithful, and realize that the women who dedicate themselves to the work of the domestic Administration are a jewel, a precious jewel in God’s crown which is the Church, of which Opus Dei is part. Without the Administration we couldn’t serve the Church. There is a treasure of prayer, a treasure of life, and a treasure of work, which has no substitute. So pray, please pray for the Administrations around the world, to continue creating our atmosphere of a home.