I am writing about him, even though I have never met him in person, because I feel I have to thank him with all my heart for having founded Opus Dei and for having committed himself as much as humanly possible together with his collaborator and first successor, Blessed Àlvaro del Portillo and with others to found, develop, and organize the Work of God and obtain official recognition from the Catholic Church.
This particular way of spirituality and Christian life and apostolate - the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, more simply Opus Dei, also called "the Work" by its faithful - was officially recognized by the Church and established as a personal prelature.
It can therefore fully operate in the sphere of ecclesiastical law thanks to the work of untiring unparalleled expert in law and theology carried out by the founder.
I begin this story by telling about myself, how and when for my luck I happened to meet Opus Dei.
In the '70s and' 80s, struggling among problems of a life totally dedicated to assiduous and fairly heavy work in the Taranto iron and steel works center, I justified myself with the need to adequately support my wife and my three children.
In reality I did it to demonstrate to myself that I was capable of reaching certain professional goals; I was however - and I only realized it years later - gone at a point of brutalization and spiritual blindness with almost no return.
In the photo: partial view of the iron and steel plant in Taranto (cast iron area). I worked here from 1969 until 1992 in the following functions and work areas:
At that time I had lost sight of every aspect of spirituality and certain duties that a man has towards his family, which should not be limited to bringing home the means of subsistence - albeit abundant - and leaving everything else to the care of the spouse as I did.
I then realized that I had developed a real neurosis.
I don't know how it would have turned out if I hadn't been invited to a spiritual "retreat" in 1986 by a colleague, director of the Steel Works computer center.
Later I realized that that person had contacted me because I had a reputation for reliability, competence and dedication to work.
In short, my life has undergone a spiritual reversal since then. I resumed living a little more as a Christian but it took me some time to understand how and what, because - I confess - I had a not very elastic character at the time (I hope that Opus Dei has changed me at least a little).
Finally, in 1989, about three years after the first meeting, I asked for and obtained admission to Opus dei as a supernumerary member.
What it means to be an Opus Dei supernumerary member.
For those who do not know, I would like to specify that a supernumerary member is a person who lives in the world, better if he is married and has children.
Those persons carry out a job, often a profession, and receive a call from God (the 'vocation') which commits them to live their lives in a Christian way and to sanctify themselves in carrying out their specific activities and their daily duties in general.
Indeed, the spirit of Opus Dei consists in seeking personal sanctification through the faithful fulfillment of family, professional and other duties; moreover - this is very important - the faithfuls are asked to understand better and try to follow the teachings of Christ to improve themselves and - in a special way - to do apostolate.
This is not new - after all, each faithful of the Church should be able to do it - but in reality today it is not something very widespread among the lay faithful in general.
All Christian faithfuls, knowing the way forward, should instead feel the urgency and the need to make others understand - those closest and others within their reach - the beauty of a spiritual life sanctified by being fully in the world and following at the same time the teachings of Christ: today, however, many have lost sight of these duties - absorbed as they are by the commitments of daily life - and still believe that this is a task reserved only for consecrated persons.
Anyone wishing to deepen in detail the very truth about Opus Dei, which disproves legends and misunderstandings that still circulate, and to clarify what is the meaning of the earthly adventure of Saint Josemaía Escrivá de Balaguer, and the realities that it produced - both past ones than the current ones - find all the answers to possible questions, and all the news on this important active part of the Catholic Church, should go at the official website of Opus Dei (click).
And if someone would like to know how the undersigned author thinks about following Christ, that is, about how to be or become followers of Jesus Christ while being in the world and in your own personal situation, could open the page that refers to the comments on the Gospel (click).
This work tells without frills, but with extreme completeness of notes and references, the whole history of Opus Dei from its creation to the end of the Spanish Civil War of the last century, and it transmits the sentiment and atmosphere of spiritual tension and the difficulties of all kinds that St. Josemaría had to face and overcome with the help of God and the Holy Virgin Mary.
Amidst the dangers of being killed and personal sacrifices while intelligently, assiduously, and with great charity, he gave spiritual and material assistance to his neighbor, he clearly felt within himself that God himself was asking him to do Opus Dei, as over and over again. he repeats himself in his writings.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I HAVE MADE AN ITALIAN TRANSLATION OF THIS WORK STRICTLY RESERVED TO A DEAR FRIEND WHO GIVEN ME A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL BOOK.
IF SOMEONE WISHES IT, THEY CAN ASK THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION FROM THE RIALP EDITOR.
IF THE TRANSLATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE - AND THE PUBLISHER OFFICIALLY GIVES ME PERMISSION TO DO SO - I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEND THE COMPLETE REVISED AND CORRECT TRANSLATION TO THE PUBLISHER HIMSELF AND TO ANYONE WHO REQUESTED IT. NB. I WRITE THIS ARTICLE ON MY INITIATIVE AND UNDER MY EXCLUSIVE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Lino Bertuzzi - June, 19, 2019.
Note. For the uninitiated, in Spanish-speaking countries the surname of the father is added to that of the mother. For example, in the case of Josemaría's father, the surname Corzán, i.e. that of his mother, is added to the father's surname 'Escrivá'. Josemaría's mother adds to her father's surname, Albás, that of her mother, Blanc.
Brief family history
Logroño: Spanish municipality of 151 344 inhabitants, capital of the autonomous community of La Rioja, the second smallest of the 17 regions in northern Spain. The famous route, called the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, leads to the discovery of Logroño by entering the city from the bridge over the Ebro River.
From the book:
Thus opened what some see as a "new way" for the Catholic Church, aimed at promoting, among people of all social classes, the search for holiness and the exercise of the apostolate through the "sanctification" of work.
C'è da notare che San Josemaría - after the death of his father José - had to assume the burden of providing for the needs and maintenance of the family members who remained to him. Another significant thing that indicates the firmness and the decision in realizing the noble purpose that had been inspired by God, is the fact that he, with the consent of his family, committed to establishing the Academy-Residence and then into Opus Dei,almost everything the family owned, inherited from a relative. Following his example, all the numerary members and priests who had adhered to the Work, convinced of God's call, also committed almost everything they possessed to this apostolic enterprise.
In order to save his life, Fr Josemaría Escrivá was forced to conceal his clerical condition hiding in diplomatic offices and asylums, to evade the research activity carried out against him by members of the so-called Popular Front which carried out summary murders against religious and fought against the right-wing nationalists and the conservatives of General Francisco Franco.
The religious persecution of the left in Spain made 6,845 martyrs on the field and more than seven thousand churches destroyed!
The priestly ministry of St. Josemarìa took place first in Madrid and then in Burgos, but always had strong opposition, both during the various phases of the war and after.
The pretext of the opposition, in many circles - in politics, but even in that of the catholic Church - was its alleged closeness to the political circles of the nascent government of Francisco Franco.
In fact, the Caudillo had been a support for the Church and the restoration of its dominant role in Spanish society has been his flag.
Author's note: given the large number of martyrs killed by the Spanish republicans in hatred of the faith, I would be somewhat surprised if someone said that a priest of that time, in Spain but also elsewhere, could have been a partisan of atheist murderers, torturers of priests and desecrators of tombs of the Front Popular! sAYING insane would be an understatement! (1)
In any case, any political closeness or kinship one thinks of sticking to St. Josemaría to try to discredit both him and his Work is non-existent.
The only closeness and absolute dedication of St. Josemaría, despite every obstacle and setback, has always been that of God and the Holy Virgin Mary.
It should also be noted that among the members of the Opera there is an absolute and natural freedom of opinion. A natural freedom, which is total, as long as it does not conflict with Christian faith and practice.
None of those who knew him ever doubted his affection, tolerance and patience towards those he came into contact with, even for his opponents.
He rarely showed any roughness, especially with those who didn't accomplish their duty well, but in any case he always kept in mind the demands of charity and forgiveness.
Some people, I believe misinformed, say that a certain political closeness would be confirmed by the belonging to the Opera of members of the Francoist government of the time, for example the minister Luis Carrero Blanco murdered on December 20, 1973 in an ETA bomb attack - I remember it I too - on his way to the morning Mass.
A certain affection for that person, since he was a member of the Opus Dei, would not be a strange thing, but it is belied by other facts.
: for example, there have been certain films such as the 'Labyrinth of the Faun' a Horror movie- in my opinion demented and very ugly from 2006 - written and directed by a certain Guillermo del Toro. This director, probably because he is suffering from congenital morbidity and aversion to the political ideas of conservatives, like many of the Spanish directors (see Almodovar) showed 'en passant' the perversity of the nationalist military against a religious.
Typical of communists and of their 'politically correct' supporters is - almost always, and inevitable - the overturning of the truth. Their usual weapons, unless they use physical violence, are lies and discredit.
WARNING! As a Christian as I believe I am, I would be sorry to provoke fits of anger or despondency - or even just simple discomfort - to those who still appreciated the methods of the communists of the last century, forced collectivism, international brigades, the sweet she-torturer Dolores Ibarruri, the arsonists of the convents, the looters of the Churches, the desecrators of priests corpses, and similar characters. I am obliged to do so because
A) I am free to express my OPINION
B) it is the truth - the historical facts are indisputable.
I therefore urge them to skip this HISTORY NOTE (click the link to skip and go to the next item)
HISTORICAL NOTE: I personally think that a Christian, to call himself and be such, cannot and must not share relativist thinking and not even support atheism, collectivism, or anarchy.
However, even many Christians - although convinced and practicing - may have been mocked and fell in the great deception of the 'anti-fascism' hypocrisy of the 1960s and following.
The politically correct was born then, always despising, ignoring and still criticizing or underestimating the Opus Dei spirituality and character, despite having all possible and imaginable information at disposal.
And one also does not care in the least to read up. A certain political propaganda has spread biased information and 'leftist' political beliefs -which have also penetrated many of the so-called moderates- generating in most people the desire to conform to such fashionable visions, perhaps in order not to look like sinister reactionaries.
The sincere Catholic Francisco Franco (Ferrol, dec 4 1892 – Madrid, nov 20 1975) was therefore despised, demonized and even fiercely hated, precisely because he was responsible for saving Spain from murderous atheistic and illiberal communism.
He, as a convinced monarchist, aimed to put Spain in a position to accept to restore the constitutional monarchy of the Bourbons and - as time matured - he would too gradually restore democracy in Spain.
Closing the parenthesis of Franco's dictatorship after the civil war would not have been conceivable, as it was dangerous for the internal peace of Spain because Stalinism was still very much alive. And it was also much later, just before the death of the Spanish dictator. At the time the so-called world revolutionary movement of '68 was raging in the world, unleashed by the Comintern of the USSR through the national communist parties (click here to open a witness page).
However, some are told that several members of Opus Dei were exiled or imprisoned, not because they were communist killers or dangerous revolutionaries, but only because of their opposition to the Franco regime.
Now Francisco Franco (IN THE PHOTO Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde) was a monarchist, the son of a bourgeois father of modest extraction, himself a fervent and practicing Catholic. So I think that when he was forced to block certain opponents, he did it out of duty, because it was necessary, and not in the name of religion or out of fierce hatred - which is instead typical of atheists - for the tremendous and very dangerous Communist enemy.In fact, he knew very well what the political situation in Spain was before the civil war, when in the last political elections of 1933 the various right-wing formations, on the whole had surpassed those of the left in terms of number of consents, but had taken power left, which was united instead.
In fact, while the left was united, the rights were quarrelsome and divided into many small parties, whose leaders were in disagreement with each other.
This had led to a government of the left where extremists prevailed, and propitiated the outbreak of the civil war.
General Franco wanted - in my opinion rightly - that a similar situation could absolutely never be repeated.
In fact, even after the civil war - given the actions, propaganda and the usual disagreements among the right-wing formations - the dissidents and non-communist opponents to the Francoist government showed that they had forgotten the reasons that in 1936 had brought the horrendous Stalinist communism almost to success.
General Franco then did what he thought -and had very good reasons- was necessary for the good of his homeland and the common good of the Spaniards: after blocking the Popular Front and banning communism from Spain, he prevented fools from ruining his work.
Blocking in the bud retching of revolt and dangerous dissidents, to avoid with sagacity and firmness to fall back into the disastrous political and economic situation prior to the civil war, the Caudillo was wise and did not commit imprudences that would have been fatal to Spain.
For example, he also refused to ally with those who in 1936 had decisively supported his levantamiento; this demonstrates the seriousness, wisdom and intelligence of this man, which is also noticeable from the expression in the photo.
In conscience, can it be said
- if one is not politically blind - that Franco had a short sight or had erred in foreseeing the national and international situation, and therefore in treating the communists and revolutionaries in Spain harshly?
Certainly not, given what happened after 1939, after the disasters of the Second World War, with the attempts of communism to expand by any means in Western Europe and in the world.
The consequence of all the efforts of the leaders and supporters of the USSR communist regime was the economic failure, mainly due to the underdevelopment produced by collectivism and political errors:
having unleashed an arms race economically disastrous for the communist bloc and stifled the rebellions of Eastern Europe vassal nations, the invasion of Afghanistan etc etc.
The Berlin Wall fell, and the complete destruction of the USSR itself was inevitable.
EXILE AND INCARCERATIONS OF NON-COMMUNIST OPPOSITORS AND DISSIDERS OF THE FRANCHIST REGIME, WHO HAD NOT COMMITTED MURDER OR OTHER CRIMES, WERE IN ANY CASE AND QUICKLY TERMINATED.
Lino Bertuzzi, July 29, 2019
OPUS DEI WITH ITS SPIRITUAL AND PROFESSIONAL FORMATION CENTERS AND OTHER SIMILAR MEANS CARRIES OUT ITS APOSTOLATE AND FORMATION WORK IN MANY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, with the indispensable spiritual assistance of the Opus Dei priests.
OPUS DEI IS PROMOTED BY NUMERARIES (men and women) AND MAINTAINED WITH THEIR PROFESSIONAL WORK AND SUPPORTED IN MANY WAYS - INCLUDING PERSONAL ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION - BY SUPERNUMERARIES, AGGREGATES, AND COOPERATORS.
NO MORE EXCUSES FOR DETRACTORS AND BAD TONGUES.
ANYONE CAN FREELY AND EASILY DOCUMENT ON THIS GREAT REALITY CREATED BY SAN JOSEMARÍA ESCRIVÁ, WHICH GIVES GREAT MERIT AND PRESTIGE TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The chronology of the main events that led to today's Opera is reported below.
Since 1975, three prelates have already been elected as successors to St. Josemaría Escrivà
Madrid, March 11, 1914 - Rome, March 23, 1994), a Spanish engineer who for many years had been a close collaborator of St. Josemaría.
(Madrid, June 14, 1932 - Rome, December 12, 2016)
(Paris, 27 October 1944) - current prelate
|Mons Álvaro and San Karol Voitila||Mons Javier|
|Mons. Fernando (you tube)|
The In the pages of the official site of the Opera (click) there is a large amount of information and arguments and it is therefore not useful that some are repeated here.
The work carried out by St. Josemaría Escrivà, or rather by God who (as he himself said) used such a poor and weak instrument, was already widespread in the world and fully operational when the saint was still alive.
It constitutes a complex and very articulated reality, governed uniformly in the same spirit and in the same praxis in all the Centers everywhere existing. In addition to faithfully respecting the laws of the place where the members of the Work live, their behavior is governed by a complete series of catechisms and regulations based on canon law and internal law and well-established customs.
However, it is essential to understand well that every activity of Opus Dei, without exception, is scoped exclusively at the aims of the apostolate, at spreading the Christian faith and lifestyle wherever possible, throughout the world.
In every reality, even in the activities of study and professional formation, the ethical preparation of individuals is pericularly promoted and cared for, which is allowed by the capillary spiritual assistance provided by priests to those who wish to benefit from it. Activities of catechesis and Christian spiritual formation are also foreseen, activities not separated from the technical ones, although of free participation.
OPUS DEI IS A REALITY CARRIED FORWARD BY ITS LAY MEMBERS FREELY ASSOCIATED IN DIFFERENT STRUCTURES, IN RESPECT OF THE LAWS OF THE HOST COUNTRY AND THE NEEDS IDENTIFIED BY THE OPUS DEI, WHO ENJOYS THE SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE OF THE OPUS DEI PRIESTS.
THE FOUNDER'S LEGACY IS CONSTITUTED BY WORKS BORN ACCORDING TO A MODEL CONCEIVED AND PROMOTED AND REALIZED BY OPUS DEI ITSELF. THAT OF RESIDENTIAL CENTERS AND ACADEMIES ERECTED AND MANAGED ACCORDING TO THIS MODEL, AS WELL AS EXTERNAL APOSTOLIC INITIATIVES.
IT CAN BE SAID THAT ALMOST ALL MATERIAL INITIATIVES ARE MANAGED BY LAY MEMBERS, AND THAT THE OPUS IS A COMPLEX AND VERY ARTICULATED GIANT, PRESENT ALMOST EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD, AT LEAST WHERE THE PRESENCE OF CATHOLICS IS ALLOWED.
THE PRINCIPLE OF COLLEGIAL MANAGEMENT IS IN FORCE WITHIN THE OPUS DEI AND ALL MEMBERS CONTRIBUTE TO MATERIALLY, WITH CONSCIOUSLY AND SELF-DISCIPLINE COMPLYING WITH THE COMMITMENT TO SPREAD THE FAITH EVERYWHERE, TAKEN FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY.
ALL ARE GUIDED BY THE SAME FAITH, BY THE SAME CHRISTIAN IDEAL AND BY THE PROMOTION OF THE APOSTOLATE AND PROSELITHISM.
All members and cooperators give a free and voluntary contribution to the Opus Dei life. Each member does so in full freedom to decide in conscience how and how much he can contribute, as the result of his own commitment and personal renunciation.
Sacrifice and renunciations must be PERSONAL and commensurate with the state of each one: whoever has to support a family cannot jeopardize the well-being and happiness of his home by imposing sacrifices on others, who have the right to a better life possible.
All the financial resources collected from and through the proceeds of the fundraising and also by borrowing, are therefore committed by launching as soon as possible new apostolic activities, that is, with prevailing apostolic purposes but which also have marked useful contents for the material and social progress of the areas everywhere. new numerary centers are being opened.
Opus Dei lives with the substantial contributions it obtains from lay members who reside in the Centers, carry out professional activities and live in community (the masculine ones are strictly separated and distinct from the feminine ones).
The work of many numerary and she-numerary members takes place both in the outside world (doctors and nurses, also magistrates, lawyers, architects, engineers, journalists, etc.) and by organizing and managing very practical activities such as the management of the Center to which they belong and where they live, job training schools, courses for post-diploma and post-university professional training, and for the targeted preparation of future company employees.
Companies and private and public bodies that are interested in certain professional figures, the relative and the courses page and also providing free scholarships for deserving students.
These activities are very profitable for the whole civil society, as 90% of those who successfully complete their path of work or study find a plae within the first two following years.
The assistance and spiritual guidance, fundamental for forming the ethics of the person who works - are provided by priests, especially those who reside in the Opus Dei centers.
Many supernumerary members also have created and self-managed their own activities, such as family orientation schools, or parents who join and take action to set up and run schools for their children, and for which they request the spiritual help of Opus Dei priests.
There are also so-called St. Raphael centers for children who need help in their studies.
Just by way of example, when I lived in Taranto in the 1980s, a supernumerary had placed an entire apartment of his property at the complete and exclusive disposal of the Opera, where some high school professors, numerary members, did come periodically from the Center of Bari to give repetitions in various subjects for young high school students of poor families.
Every activity and every project of the Elis is recommended to a Patron. That of the supernumeraries is St. Gabriel (the Archangel Gabriel), that of the numeraries St. Michael, etc.
In the world - in Spain, Italy, Chile Peru etc - there are also autonomous universities and institutions.
In the universities that enjoy the spiritual assistance of Opus Dei, efforts are made to transmit, in addition to the culture and knowledge of the subjects of study, especially the spirituality of the Opus Dei concerning study, work and Christian life. New initiatives born later are the university polyclinics (such as the university polyclinic of Trigoria, in Rome)
Those who belong to Opus Dei have a specific 'vocation' and give their willingness to live a Christian life in the place and situation in which God puts them.
The writer has made his own way, like many others around the world, who have described their journey towards the Work:
Almost unwillingly, even a little hesitant and doubtful, I asked for admission to the Opera as a supernumerary. After a period of preparation and introduction, which had as its objective the learning of a daily plan of spiritual life (Holy Mass, Holy Communion, mental prayer etc etc) I was admitted. To my great surprise, I only had to go to the Bari Center and make a verbal commitment to God in front of two numerary members as witnesses.
It took me some time to understand what I was doing, due to my work in the Taranto Steel Works which, if possible, became even more complicated and difficult.
The relationship with the Opus Dei was not exactly easy, also because of the spouse, to whom I had to explain what I was doing, something that she - despite being a catechist and attending our parish - found it hard to understand - just like me.
And then the engagement with the Opera reduced the already scarce times of being together she and I.
In addition to the local monthly retreats or in the cathedral of San Nicola in Bari, every year I left for a retreat course that took place about 600 km from home and lasted three days.
The second time in the year I took part in a week of study, always away from home, together with other supernumerary and numerary members, who also came from far away.
Over the years my wife and I got used to making better use of the time, for example by reciting the Holy Rosary together, and later, after my retirement, the difficulties were all overcome, despite tragic events and mourning in family.
The main thing that I also learned by reading the works of the Founder, in addition to the daily practices of piety, was the commitment to preserve the Unity of life: you cannot have so many different faces and behaviors depending on the situation in which you find yourself. - says Josemaria Escrivà.
We cannot be a Christian in our own home and behave differently when we are in other environments.
And this already requires courage and attention, which induces the members of the Work to take care to behave in a Christian manner in every environment and in every relationship.
Certain statements sound strange to those who live without particular spiritual horizons in today's fatuous and hedonistic climate, saturated with falsehood and ignorance and misunderstood freedom, even exasperated and amplified by the mass media in its substantial emptiness and superficiality.
I would therefore like to say that the vocation to the Opus for a supernumerary has the same value and importance as the vocation to marriage.
And marriage is indissoluble. Once you are truly in love and unite with the person you love, you have to be convinced that person will share your life with us, and you have to take care of everything for this relationship to last - for better or for worse - for the whole life that God grants us. Marriage is irreversible, as is membership in the Opus Dei.10
The vocation to marriage arrived as in the case of the vocation to the Opus Dei, although long before the latter. The steps were indeed
In order for the bond not to yield, one must pray a lot. In particular, it is important to ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph so that God may allow us to persevere in the path that we have freely undertaken following His call.
We must ask the Virgin Mary to intercede with God so that He will always allow us to see the spouse with the same eyes with which we once saw her, and also that for the spouse could be the same.
Then even when you are old, weak and withered, will see both, with each other, reciprocally, as you were at the beginning of the relationship. Until death and hopefully beyond.
Essential in a Christian marriage is that the spouses pray together and both ask for the intercession of the Virgin Mary to obtain the grace to persevere whatever happens.
In every true vocation there is a commonality: we must commit ourselves and we must pray a lot so that we may be allowed to overcome all the obstacles, both material and spiritual obstacles that life will undoubtedly place on our earthly journey towards the final goal.
St. Josemaría foresees that the work should use means of formation which he has established as indispensable.
Lord what do you want from me? The means of formation were designed by St. Josemaría to help people on the spiritual path that will lead them to their final goal, and in the meantime will show them how to behave and how to live as Christians, apostles of Jesus Christ.
By following the first means of formation, those common to all, one can understand if one wants to give up, or cooperate with the Opus Dei, or even have a vocation as supernumerary members or other, according to one's condition.
For St. Josemaría, formation is a necessity that never ceases and should never end, both because 'repetita iuvant' and because during the journey it is not so difficult to fall into habituation.
It's possible to lose sight of the substance of what should inspire our behavior in the daily practice of every Christian.
Insist on repeating, always refine thoughts and concepts even already known, do not tire of knowing new ones, do not neglect attention to behavior, recognize and amend immediately in case of slippage. This is the secret.
The approach to people so that they can understand their vocation takes place through 'friendship and confidence' between those who already know the Opus Dei and are therefore able to present it to their friend.
Then come the short spiritual retreats, a few hours, and the three-day residential retreats, those open and suitable for everyone.
Then there is reading, because to get to know the the Opus Dei is very useful to read.
St. Josemaría wrote a great deal, just as much has been written about him too.
The undersigned author, for example, began by appreciating and meditating on the meaning of the aphorisms that the founder produced and are now collected in three separate booklets, which, however, can also be found joined together.
They are titled 'Way' 'Forge' and 'Furrow'. I began at first, before the vocation or even after, meditating on some point of the Way, choosing from the analytical index the topic relating to my worry or difficulty or inconvenience of the day, to speak about it to God in my silent prayer.
These and others are the so-called 'spiritual readings' that are recommended to improve the understanding of certain things, but also to serve as a guide when one wants to get in touch with God through personal meditation.
By clicking this link you will find a lot of references to choose what to read. But if we do not know how to do it, we ask for advice, dont be ashamed.
From these means a person to whom the Work and its spirit adapts, and feels he can contribute, can ask to be admitted as a cooperator, and begin to participate in the circles dedicated to him.
A circle of cooperators is a brief meeting of a few people, a supernumerary and a few cooperators, which takes place with a precise set of contents (commentary on the Gospel and conversation held by the supernumerary, a moment of exchange of news regarding the activity of the group, etc. etc).
As the cooperators grow more and more in understanding of the Work, they can, if they wish, ask for admission as members of the Opus Dei.
If their request is accepted, they become an integral part of it, verbally assuming, on word, precise obligations and commitments which - as indeed all possible and imaginable arguments in this regard - are foreseen and described in the so-called "Catechism of the Opus".
I don't want to say more for various reasons including the length of the article which is already too long.
In short, whoever wants, can come and see with his own eyes.
Since legends and distorted information still go around about Opus Dei - when not biased or outright lies - I have tried here to give a summary but true representation of the Work founded by St. Josemaría Escrivà, I hope not too incomplete.
It starts with the commented chronological summary of the story of the earthly life of the founder of Opus Dei, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, today St. Josemaría, first beatified and then canonized by Pope John Paul II (St. Karol Voitila).
Here we explain where he came from and who Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer was and what the history of his priestly vocation was.
We try to explain the figure of this giant of culture and faith, who after starting his priestly ministry received from God - he himself explains how it happened - the vocation to found Opus Dei amidst difficulties of all kinds, in particular economic ones, but also others.
Going through persecutions and countless problems, he built in his mighty mind the image of the Work of God and with faith and perseverance he realized it down to the smallest detail.
The Work, of which some informative notes are given here, and which, if desired, can be completed and learned more in detail by consulting the official website of Opus Dei, is a creation so complex and extensive and also so splendid and effective, that there is no doubt that it is indeed a Work of God.
After all, St. Josemaría - as he himself said - was the humble and unworthy instrument of God.
This entire article is written on my own initiative, at my sole responsibility.
Lino Bertuzzi Roma June 20, 2019 - translated March 2021