Prelate of Opus Dei in Nigeria: Take the Joy of Christ to Others

The Father encourages young people not to be content with being good people, but to seek a closer "identification" with Jesus Christ and to become apostles

The auditorium of Lagoon School, Lekki, Lagos was the venue of a get-together on Sunday, 22 July, with undergraduates, school girls and friends who were visibly excited to meet with and speak to the Prelate of Opus Dei. They welcomed him heartily, asked questions and even made requests for new centres to begin in other states in Nigeria.

The Prelate spoke to them firstly on the centrality of the person of Christ: He told the audience to realise that they are not just following a beautiful doctrine or a theory but a Person, who is very close to them in the Holy Eucharist. “A Christian’s life is one of love—loving Our Lord and identifying our lives with His. And how does one come to love Christ? By getting to know him, meditating on the Scriptures, entering the scenes of the Gospel, and taking the plan of life seriously, allows one to love and keep a relationship with Christ alive.”

When asked what he expected of students who attend the means of formation in centres Opus Dei, the Prelate said, “Apostolate is a necessity. It’s necessary because the desire to help others meet Christ stems from love of God and the joy of being children of God. Joy is attractive, and that is why we fulfil the apostolic command of Christ with a lot of cheerfulness, affection and good example while also respecting the freedom of others.”

The Prelate took the opportunity to talk about the importance of mortification. “Life might seem mortifying enough on its own, but actively seeking to unite oneself to Christ’s Cross through little mortifications is of great value in the life of a Christian”, he said.

He advised them to have a lot of fortitude because a constant relationship with Christ is demanding. On the question of vocational discernment, he urged the audience not to be afraid, but to take courage if one sensed that God was asking her for more, realising that God does a great favour to the person who corresponds to His call.

So much was said, yet the time seemed to fly so quickly. The third successor of St Josemaria ended by asking that they all pray a lot for the Pope, "The Holy Father counts a lot on the prayers of everyone." The young people gave their joyful assent with the lyrics “You can count on me like 1,2,3 and I’ll be there...”, the chorus of a popular song by Bruno Mars.

After the get-together, the Prelate held a meeting at the Lagoon Institute of Hospitality Studies, with members of the Nigerian Association for Family Development (NAFAD) and the Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI), two non-profit organisations promoting better parenting and work-life balance, respectively.

More photos from the day on Flickr below: