Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Would you describe how Opus Dei has developed and evolved, in character and objectives, since its founding, during a period that has witnessed enormous changes within the Church itself?

From its very beginning, Opus Dei's only aim has been what I have just described: to contribute to there being in the midst of the world men and women of every race and social condition who try to love and serve God and their fellow man in and through their everyday work. Since the foundation of the Work in 1928, my teaching has been that sanctity is not reserved for a privileged few. All the ways of the earth, every state in life, every profession, every honest task can be divine.

This message has numerous implications which the life of the Work has helped me to grasp with ever greater depth and clarity. The Work was born small and has grown up normally, little by little, like a living organism, like everything that develops in history.

But its objectives have not changed. Nor will they change, no matter how greatly society may be transformed. The message of Opus Dei is that, under all circumstances any honest work can be sanctified.

People of all walks of life belong to Opus Dei: doctors, lawyers, engineers and artists, as well as bricklayers, miners and farm labourers. All professions are represented, from film directors and jet pilots to high-fashion hairdressers. It is perfectly natural for the members to be up to date with modern developments and to understand the world. Together with their fellow citizens, who are their peers, they are part of the contemporary world and make it modern.

In the light of Opus Dei's spirit, it was clearly a great joy for us to see the Council solemnly declare that the Church does not reject the world it lives in, with its progress and development, but understands and loves it. Furthermore, the members of the Work are keenly aware of the fact that they are at one and the same time part of the Church and of society, and they assume individually their personal responsibility as Christians and as citizens. This is a characteristic feature of the spirituality of Opus Dei which its members have endeavoured to live since its foundation nearly forty years ago.

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