Leaven in the dough
"The layman must be lay. Baptized, he has the strength that comes from his baptism," insists Pope Francis time and again (March 22, 2014).
The women of Opus Dei, married or single, experience it: in our time when so many people have not had the chance to hear about the Gospel in a serious and credible way, the strength of their baptism urges them to witness their love for Love in Person in the hope of bringing others to the joy of an encounter with Jesus Christ.
Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has recalled that "the characteristic of the state of the laity is to lead their lives in the midst of the world and secular affairs; they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world as a leaven, thanks to the strength of their Christian spirit (...) All Christians therefore have the very beautiful task of working unceasingly to make known and accept the divine message of salvation by all men on all the earth".
Apostles of the third millennium
In fact, all the baptized of today are the first Christians of the third millennium and are called, following the example of the very first Christians, to be apostles, transmitters of the Gospel. (Think for a moment about the strength of the corona virus... with God we have all the strength to spread the Good News!). In a word: ferment in the dough of the world. Quite simply where they live and work, in their family, their trade or profession, their social commitments, since it is there that they find God, serve others and work for the collective good.
Such a discovery can change a life! How many friends and colleagues have discovered this perspective when they meet the women of the Work: "There is something holy, divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each of you to discover it (...). Our daily life can be a path to holiness," said St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei.
Saint John Paul II understood this well: "Your institution calls everyone to sanctify their lives while doing their work in society: to live the Gospel in the heart of the world (...). It is really a beautiful ideal. »
"Spread the joy of the Gospel!"
There is nothing impossible about becoming a saint, the current Prelate of Opus Dei said during his visit to Canada in August 2019. He said that we must become aware of the vocation to holiness to which we are all called, knowing that God loves each of us with infinite love and wants us to come to identify with Him. This holiness is not a utopia, according to him, it is something we can achieve, with God's help (Vancouver, August 9, 2019).
And Msgr. Fernando Ocariz did not fail to encourage his daughters to spread from coast to coast the love of God, the joy of the Gospel and this "treasure of the Work" that the Lord has placed in their hands. All apostolic effectiveness stems from the grace of God, he believes, but it also depends on the interior life of each one and her decision to collaborate with the Lord in order to bring to every place the spirit, the strength and the joy that comes from being with and knowing God (Montreal, August 17, 2019).
The yardstick of friendship
For 60 years now, in Canada, the women of Opus Dei have been striving daily to share their Christian joy and hope with all the people God places on their path. Friends of their friends, they are not there to give lessons or to convince, but to listen with interest, affection, empathy, compassion. And when it comes to confidences, they do not hesitate to spontaneously share what they think and what they carry in their hearts.
If it all began in Quebec on April 12, 1959, the construction of "Copper Ridge" is now being completed on the other side of the country, at Britannia Beach in British Columbia. Located in the enchanting setting of the Coastal Range, this conference centre will offer courses, retreats, workshops and seminars year-round. Its objective: to provide participants with spiritual and cultural enrichment that will prepare them to engage even more effectively in improving society in the context of their family, professional and social lives and in spreading peace.
Saint Josemaría predicted this when, in a warm tone, he confided to Laly Martin, the young numerary who was the first to arrive on Canadian soil: "If you are faithful, the Lord will do great things in Canada!"