Praying Amid the Traffic and the Floods

Tracy Fernandes, an executive analyst in finance, works and lives in the crowded city of Mumbai, India. Here she describes how her daily life has changed after getting to know Opus Dei.

I first encountered Opus Dei, in Mumbai, around 4 years ago through my mother. She had come to the centre for a day of recollection and liked it so much that she urged me to come as well. Then I started participating regularly in some talks and activities that helped me a lot in my everyday life. Eventually I joined Opus Dei.

Being an ordinary working professional, I led a life that was very monotone and hectic, like the one of many of my friends and colleagues. As everybody knows, Mumbai is a very crowded and fast-moving city where people keep going despite the rain or heat or whatever. Nothing stops Mumbai working people. Even during the monsoon season, when the water from the rain sometimes reaches to your knees or higher, people still continue working. It is amazing!

I spend many hours traveling in the city's heavy traffic, to reach my office and return back home, where I live with my parents and brother and sister. The traffic often used to get on my nerves and I would waste my time grumbling and loosing my cool. But after getting to know Opus Dei and understanding the the true meaning of Christian life, I changed my way of dealing with these small daily irritations. Now when I am stuck in traffic, for example, with cars and buses honking all the time, I usually pray for a while, read a book, etc. I try to offer up these things to God now in a better way.

That is because through Opus Dei I have learnt that you can be in constant dialogue with our Lord throughout the day, whether you are travelling, cooking, working, lying in bed, or wherever and whenever. This new discovery really helps me do much better now the same things I did previously. Be it at home, dealing with my siblings and parents, trying to create a more peaceful and nicer family atmosphere, or at work, giving the best I can, being ready to help anyone in need.

What I learn in Opus Dei truly helps me improve as a person, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a professional. I am very grateful to God for the grace of my vocation to Opus Dei. And I am very grateful to my mother, who put me in contact with this institution of the Catholic Church.