For more than 10 years, a friend kept inviting me to attend the Solemn Mass in honor of St. Josemaria Escriva on June 26, his feast day. It was through these Masses that I got to know Opus Dei. In Macau, Opus Dei has a centre for men and a centre for women, where I experienced an atmosphere like that of a big family. Everyone there is very warm and attentive to the people who come. I was also glad to know that every Saturday afternoon, a priest comes for Benediction, confessions, and monthly recollections, and that retreats are organized in other venues, which friends can attend on a yearly basis.
I always feel welcome when I go to the centre for activities. So I also invited my other friends to attend these activities. In 2005, I became a cooperator, and in 2016 I joined Opus Dei as a supernumerary. I give thanks to God for this.
A gift for our family
After becoming a supernumerary, I learned more about living a plan of life and how to include in my daily schedule some prayers, Mass, the Rosary, etc. Through St. Josemaria’s guidance, my family also received many blessings from God. I have two daughters, and both studied in Melbourne, Australia. After graduation, the older daughter stayed on in that city to work and that is where she got married. She has two daughters who are now in high school.
After graduating, my younger daughter came back to Macau, where she got married. Although now the mother of 3 children, 7, 5 and 3 years old. she had several miscarriages before her first child. So it was a very precious gift from God to our family when it became clear that she could have children. I remember that in January 2013, I went to visit my older daughter in Melbourne. During one of those days, we visited a centre of Opus Dei in Melbourne. While there I prayed, did the Way of the Cross, and asked St. Josemaria to intercede with God and help my younger daughter be able to have a baby. Soon after that, I came back to Macau and my younger daughter told me she was in the family way. By October that year, the baby was born. Thanks be to God for His infinite love, for the blessing of our Lady, and for St. Josemaria's intercession!
Formation in Opus Dei
Opus Dei’s spirituality is to seek sanctity in ordinary life. St. Josemaria taught us that in the ordinary things of daily life—even the smallest, seemingly insignificant things—if one puts one's whole heart into doing it well and offering it to God, it becomes a path for us to holiness.
Since I became a cooperator and now as a supernumerary, I pray each day the prayer to St. Josemaria. I continue to attend circles, have spiritual direction with the priest of the Work, attend monthly recollections, doctrine classes, and a retreat once a year. I am thankful for all these helps since my faith is like a little sprout, which with light, air, water and nutrition slowly keeps growing and becoming stronger. As a supernumerary, I am clear that God has chosen me to be holy through my married life.
My husband and I have been married for 43 years. Throughout these years we have gone through many joys and sorrows, difficulties and challenges. In the Novena to St. Josemaria for a Happy and Faithful Marriage, there is a prayer which says, “those who are called to the married state will, with the grace of God, find within their state everything they need to be holy, to identify themselves each day more with Jesus Christ, and to lead those with whom they live to God." In my marriage and family life, I can understand clearly the meaning of these words. I am really moved by the fact that God uses my love to help me build a joyful and peaceful family.
Apostolate begins with the family
By being a Christian, God has given us a mission to do apostolate. Apostolate is to bring other people to God, to receive God’s blessings. In 2008, I had liver cancer and had to undergo surgery. By itself this is not a good thing, but because of this sickness, God called me to work with Him. God cured me, and this manifestation of His Love moved my mother, sister and brother so much that they asked to be baptized as Catholics. I had never thought that one day they would join me in my faith and share in my joy.
I retired from work when my eldest grandson was only one month old, in order to help my daughter take care of him. When he was two years old, I gave him two books of Bible stories. He enjoyed listening to the stories about the twelve apostles and would sometimes ask questions, and I would patiently explain things to him. I taught him that whenever he is unhappy or afraid, it is good for him to make the Sign of the Cross and tell Jesus what he feels. Each night, he prays before he goes to sleep.
Being able to bring my family closer to God has been an immense blessing and grace. I know that, through St. Josemaria’s intercession, I have truly received abundant graces from God.
Divine filiation is the foundation of my relationship with God
I always remind myself that my relationship with God is founded on the truth that He is my heavenly Father, and I am His beloved daughter. I have to hold on tightly to this truth and offer myself and everything I do to God, and He will surely take care of me and my family on my path to sanctity.
(This article was originally published in Chinese.)