Josemaría Escrivá Obras

In that case, how does Opus Dei fit into the pastoral activity of the whole Church and into ecumenism?

I feel that I should first makes something clear. Opus Dei is not, nor can it in any way be considered a reality tied to the evolutionary process of the ' state of perfection' in the Church. It is not a modern or 'up-to-date' form of that state. In fact neither the theological concept of the status perfectionis, which St Thomas, Suarez and other authors have decisively formulated in doctrine, nor the various juridical forms which have been given or may be given to this theological concept, have anything to do with the spirituality or the apostolic goal which God has wanted for our Association. I simply point out, because a complete doctrinal exposition would take a long time, that Opus Dei is not interested in vows, or promises, or any form of consecration for its members, apart from the consecration which all have already received through Baptism. Our Association in no way wants its members to change their state in life, or to stop being ordinary faithful exactly the same as anyone else, in order to acquire a status perfectionis. On the contrary, what it wants and seeks to achieve is that each should do apostolate and should sanctify himself within his own state, in the place and condition which he has in the Church and in society. We take no one out of his place, nor do we separate anyone from his work nor from his aims and noble commitments in the world.

Hence, the social reality, the spirituality and the action of Opus Dei fit into a quite different vein in the life of the Church. They are in the theological and vital process which is bringing the laity to assume its responsibilities in the Church fully, and to participate in its own way in the mission of Christ and his Church. This has always been, during the nearly forty years of the Work's existence, the constant, calm but forceful concern through which God has desired to channel, in my soul and in the souls of my sons, the desire of serving him.

What contribution has Opus Dei made to this process? This is perhaps not the most suitable historical moment to attempt a general evaluation of this type. These questions were treated extensively, and with what joy to my soul, in the Second Vatican Council, and quite a few of the concepts and situations which refer to the life and mission of the laity have been sufficiently confirmed and illuminated by the Magisterium. Nevertheless there remains a considerable number of questions which, for the vast majority, are still real 'frontier problems' of theology. Most of these debated problems seem to us to be already divinely resolved, in the spirit which God has given to Opus Dei and which we endeavour to live faithfully, despite our personal imperfections. But we do not pretend to present these solutions as the only possible ones.

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