Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Who are the men and women who have accompanied this poor sinner, following Christ? A small percentage of priests, who have previously exercised a secular profession or trade. A large number of secular priests from many dioceses throughout the world, who thus strengthen their obedience to their respective bishops, increase their love for their diocesan work, and make it more effective. They stand with their arms open in the form of a Cross so that all souls may always find shelter in their hearts, and like me they live in the hustle and bustle of the workaday world which they love. And finally a great multitude made up of men and women of different nations, and tongues, and races, who earn their living with their professional work. The majority of them are married, many are single. They share with their fellow citizens the important task of making temporal society more human and more just.

They work, let me repeat, with personal responsibility, shoulder to shoulder with their fellow men and experiencing with them successes and failures in the noble struggle of daily endeavour, as they strive to fulfil their duties and to exercise their social and civic rights. And all this with naturalness, like any other conscientious Christian, without considering themselves special. Blended into the mass of their companions, they try, at the same time, to detect the flashes of divine splendour which shine through the commonest everyday realities.

Similarly the activities which are promoted by Opus Dei, as an association, also have these eminently secular characteristics. They are not ecclesiastical activities. They do not, in any way, represent the hierarchy of the Church. They are the fruit of human, cultural and social initiatives, carried out by citizens who try to make them reflect the Gospel's light and to enkindle them with Christ's Love. An example which will help to make this clear is that Opus Dei does not, and never will, undertake the task of directing diocesan seminaries, in which the bishops 'constituted by the Holy Spirit' (Acts 20:28), prepare their future priests.

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