Monday 17 July 2006

Opus Dei Part II

I thought it was about time that I updated my original post about Opus Dei. It is funny the curves that life throw’s at you some time’s, even when your least expecting it. When I started my research into Opus Dei it was just an academic endeavor. Yes I had known a couple at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario who were involved ( is their website). I had a great deal of respect for them, and their life of witness but I had no idea how enriching my studies could be to my spiritual life and what an adventure it would become.

Back in February I went on a retreat at an Opus Dei retreat center Cedar Crest Retreats and I must say it was life changing. I did not know before going that it would be a ‘Silent Retreat’ but that was the best thing for me. Instead of spending all my spare time gabbing with the other men about our families, work, school, life, and such. I ended up taking the silence as time for study and reflection. There were 12 Meditations given by a priest, and each day we had mass, an examination of conscious, prayed the rosary and the stations of the cross. At Lunch and Dinner we did Lectio Divina (Spiritual Reading) we each took turns reading during the meal, a page or so and then the person next to us would tap us and we would pass them the book and show them where we were. We read Uncommon Faith by John F. Coverdale it is a biography of Josemaria Escriva and a history of the early years of Opus Dei. It is also the first English written book on these subjects as opposed to all the others that are European and in English are translation.

Since the retreat I have read the complete works of Josemaria Escriva and even read The Way, Furrow and The Forge 3 times each. All I can say is these writings and the monthly Recollections here in Kitchener have done more to further my spiritual growth and to challenge me than almost anything else in the last 10 years. The only thing that comes close was when I did a Cursillo a number of years ago through the Presbyterian Church.

"The seriousness with which Opus Dei takes the spiritual life is refreshing in this day and age. Their 3 fold sanctification: "Sanctify work. Sanctify oneself through work. Sanctify others through work. If we are to transform society there is a need for people who are holy."
Francis Fernandez
In Conversation With God Vol #2 p.63

This can also be ‘Sanctification of Family. Sanctification of oneself through family. Sanctification of others through family.’ Then you can substitute friends … A few weeks ago Andrea and I were invited to visit with the Helmer’s Here in town, they have 11 kids and 9 of them are still in the family home. When we left was wife shared how amazed she was, these kids were great, they came and sat with us, talked, shared and drew pictures for my wife. We had a great evening. Andrea could not believe how well behaved and social these children were in this day in our society. That family exemplified the point above.

While at the retreat and since I have been trying to read books that were recommended. The authors recommended included:Also since Andrea and I are expecting our first child I have been reading a lot of James B. Stenson who writes a lot on parenting and specifically on Fatherhood.

I have been reviewing them as I finished them here are some links to those reviews. I will also expand this list as I post more reviews from these authors, and book by and about Opus Dei.

(For more reviews of Opus Dei books or books by Opus Dei Authors and authors they encourage a person to read. 01... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... 9... 10... 11... 12... 13... 14... 15... 16... these reviews include the works of Josemaria Escriva, The Pope's, Peter Kreeft, Scott Hahn and many others.)

Locally in Kitchener Waterloo The Men’s Evenings of Recollection are at St. Anne Church 268 East Avenue Kitchener, ON N2H 1Z4 they are organized by John Helmers Monday after the 2nd Sunday of each Month Except October 7:30pm-9:45pm.

If you are not in KW email and then you can be put into contact with someone closer to you. That is how I met John and made my first retreat.

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