What difficulties did Opus Dei meet with at the start?
Difficulties arose from different directions. There were Catholics who couldn’t understand Opus Dei’s message that holiness was for everyone, including ordinary lay-people. Some people judged Opus Dei according to their own criteria, unable to recognize its members’ freedom and personal responsibility. There were certain anti-Christian factions, most notably in the period leading up to the Spanish Civil War and during it. Plus severe money difficulties, since most of its early members were students who were not yet earning, while Father Josemaria himself had his mother, sister and brother to support. And finally, complications arising from the fact that there was no obvious place for the new foundation in the Church’s current canon law.
A bell that was pealing in the church of Our Lady of the Angels when St Josemaria "saw" Opus Dei
In Father Josemaria’s concept or vision of Opus Dei, right from the start, the men and women in Opus Dei were Catholic lay faithful who as such had received the Christian vocation at Baptism, and lived it out to the full in their ordinary family, work and social surroundings. They had the same freedom as anyone else. He saw them as being in the same position as the early Christians with respect to the world they lived in. This novel foundation was neither a religious order, nor some kind of political faction, and did not fit into any of the ready-made structures or categories that people in those days were accustomed to.
See further: Andres Vazquez de Prada, The Founder of Opus Dei, vol. 1, chapter 8.
List of Contents
- What was Father Josemaria Escriva’s reaction to the attempted military coup of July 18, 1936?
- Historical Notes Introduction
- Was the Escriva family well off or short of money?
- What sort of childhood did Josemaria Escriva have?
- Why did Josemaria’s father’s business fail?
- If Opus Dei had no members till the 1930s, why did Josemaria Escriva say it was founded in 1928?
- What difficulties did Opus Dei meet with at the start?
- What kind of people did Father Josemaria Escriva work with in Opus Dei’s early years?
- What was Father Josemaria Escriva’s attitude towards the Second Spanish Republic?
- Where did the first Opus Dei members stand politically?