They say that Catholics sense other Catholics instinctively.
I have always wondered why this is so – and through evaluating my circle and closer acquaintances, I have found that a good number consist of individuals belonging to the Catholic faith. Perhaps it is the empathic nature of how we conduct ourselves that identifies us. Or perhaps it is the way we value others; the way we are guided to Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself.
Even when I consider my interactions with others, it is always my Catholic acquaintances that I make an increased effort to be closer to, which felt against my nature, as I consider myself more reclusive and wary of who I choose to be closer with. And then I thought that maybe it is a sensitivity towards reciprocity-driven relationships that made me less likely to accept the friendship of others. Or perhaps it is a stricter sense of virtue, ingrain from young through faith and catechism that gave me that awareness to know who to trust and who to shy away from.
I met Denny in 2018, through business circumstances. And what struck me as unique was how Denny commented that I behaved and worked in a “family oriented” manner. This puzzled me at first and became clearer as I got to interact more with Denny and his family, that this “family oriented” manner of conducting myself and business may have been a sub-conscious mode of operation. A code of conduct meticulously ingrained from young, through Catholic faith, its teachings, values and doctrines; the same values that goes unnoticed but served me well like a trusty compass as I navigated through life. Perhaps this is the same code of conduct that helps Catholics find each other and gravitate to.
It is through Denny that I was introduced to Opus Dei, which before that I had little knowledge of. And the simple yet powerful concept of sanctification of work, had let me to be awaken to a newfound awareness, much like a light bulb in dormant, suddenly powered and re-filling a sense of purpose to my existence. Things fell into place. My perspective towards life widened, my awareness heightened, and my empathy magnified. I considered my words more carefully now, my thoughts less chaotic, and my patience grew.
Through recollections with Opus Dei and through sharing amongst co-operators, I continue to grow not only as a Catholic, but as a father, a husband, a co-worker, a supervisor and as a friend. I learnt to forgive the transgressions that come upon me and be more patient and empathetic towards those that have less than I do. I supposed this is a path towards selflessness and enlightenment; perhaps a path much like the one our Lord and Saviour took. And through this path, that perhaps other Catholics may embark, and that I may journey with them, as we are guided towards each other through common kinship through the grace of God. And to my dear friends Denny and Juliana, may we journey together on the road and share many good memories together.