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Opus Dei

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  • fjjwagner
    I don t suppose anyone on this list has ever attended a meeting of Opus Dei. I did the other night. I expected not to like it and I was not disappointed. Of
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 1, 2006
      I don't suppose anyone on this list has ever attended a meeting of
      Opus Dei. I did the other night. I expected not to like it and I was
      not disappointed. Of course one shouldn't generalize too much from
      one meeting of one group in one city, so I will offer the escape
      clause so wonderfully expressed by the British review group
      "Beyond the Fringe" some forty years ago and fortunately preserved
      in vinyl and on CD. The skit was entitled "I would rather have been
      a Judge than a Miner." The soliloquy goes on and on about life in
      the mines and the mindless routine and banal conversation, as compared
      to the life of a judge. Finally, the speaker says, "I'm not saying you get
      riff-raff down the mines. No, I'm not saying that at all! I'm only saying
      we got riff-raff down our mine!"*

      After having heard so much about the novel by Dan Brown entitled _The
      DaVinci Code_, I was rather expecting Masonic type handclasps and
      being kept outside while meetings of initiates took place. It was nothing of
      the kind. It was mostly young men in their twenties, wearing suits, and
      finding amongst themselves a camaraderie through their orthodox Catholicism.
      I would guess they were mostly converts and mostly men with technical
      educations as opposed to liberal educations. The chief was a professor of
      chemistry at Ohio State, a cherubic and generous fellow who sat in a folding
      chair in front of this group of 30 or so and professed like a classroom professor
      for half an hour, referring occasionally to his notes, but never pausing or inviting
      questions or dialogue. (I seem to remember from college chemistry that there
      is almost no dialogue between professor and students.) The young men sat on
      the edges of their chairs, so to speak, completely enrapt in what the chemist
      was saying. Had I had my own auto, I would likely have excused myself at
      this point, but since I was dependent on another, I sat and watched as analytically
      as I could manage.

      Then there was a priest from Pittsburgh (I believe Pittsburgh is the national
      center for Opus Dei in the USA. Why Pittsburgh?) who was in fact a Mexican
      priest with a name something like Guttierez. He gave two talks in the church.
      I couldn't understand him. The only word I understood, which was repeated again
      and again, was "work." I told my "sponsor," a learned and distinguished member
      of the Ohio bar, that I had not understood the speaker. I was reassured that he
      hadn't understood him the first time either but now he understood him completely.
      During the last secession I understood the priest to talk about the importance of
      getting to work on time and having a smile on your face.

      I am quite certain this particular group provides valuable moral and spiritual
      support for its members. I suspect most of them live their working lives in a
      morally difficult workplace and really need Christian male companionship to sustain their
      lives (As we all do; and I understand there is now a female equivalent in Opus Dei.)
      But I think they are afraid of doubts and do not allow them. Being a Voegelinian of sort I
      felt almost like a traitor among them, a person who but for lack of opportunity
      would have challenged their seamless dogmatism; and that would have been unfortunate
      because they are not there to question but to find strength. The word "linear"
      came to my mind immediately. It still seems a good adjective to describe what
      I saw and heard. It all reminds me much of EV's comments on the Dutch
      Catechism in the opening of his essay "The Gospel and Culture" (CW12).
      Above all I think of Evelyn Waugh and what he might have done with it all!

      Being a "cradle-catholic" and having spent my whole life in catholic schools,
      I found the whole thing over the top. It reminded me of Waugh on a visit
      to St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYCity. At the Consecration an usher tapped
      him on the shoulder and told him it was customary to kneel out of reverence. Waugh
      turned to him and said, "Go to Hell!" The usher replied, "I'm sorry sir, I hadn't
      realized you were catholic!"

      Like Nero Wolf, I almost never leave the house on business, so this trip was
      a real adventure for me.

      Fritz Wagner


      * [An irrelevant but funny excresence from "Beyond the Fringe": "You 'av' to 'av' the
      Latin for the Judging. I didn't 'av' the Latin, so I became a miner, instead. . . . One of
      the advantages of Judging is the absence of falling coal. You get the judges remarking
      on it, '''Ello! Not much coal falling 'ere today.' . . . .Down in the mine, when you are
      too old and tired and sick and stupid, you 'av' to go; whereas the exact opposite applies
      to the judges!"]
    • Martin Pagnan
      I have visions of Fritz after he gets through the initiation ceremonies for Opus Dei. There he stands, in a red cloak with sword in hand, sworn to the death to
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 2, 2006
        I have visions of Fritz after he gets through the initiation ceremonies
        for Opus Dei. There he stands, in a red cloak with sword in hand, sworn
        to the death to defend mankind from the Devil, to kill for God and ready
        to run through all archaeologists bent on exposing the whereabouts of
        either the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant. Then I pinch myself
        and realize that the Opus Dei is nothing more than a harmless group of
        devout Catholics who gather together to try to better understand their
        faith and to pray, Hollywood and novels notwithstanding. Pity.

        fjjwagner wrote:
        > After having heard so much about the novel by Dan Brown entitled _The
        > DaVinci Code_, I was rather expecting Masonic type handclasps and
        > being kept outside while meetings of initiates took place. It was
        > nothing of
        > the kind. It was mostly young men in their twenties, wearing suits, and
        >
      • Soler, Cecilia
        I m a woman and I weekly attend activities of the Opus Dei. Also my house maid attend them. It is not an organization for rich or well living men. It s
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 3, 2006
          I'm a woman and I weekly attend activities of the Opus Dei. Also my house maid attend them. It is not an organization for rich or well living men.
          It's difficult for me to explain myself in English, but I can say that the Opus Dei has deeply changed my life: I'm not a manager, niether an importan professional. I studied System Analysis at the University and worked for years in a software house. In the Opus Dei I was encouraged to use reason to better understand my faith. At the age of 28 a took a degree on Philosophy. Now I teach philosophy in a Uniersity.... I'm writing my doctoral tesis on Voegelin.

          You can find complete information of the Opus Dei in its official web site: www.opusdei.org.
          I don't have any problem to answer concrete questions but I don't feel prepaired to explain all I know about OD. in English.
          Cecilia Soler

          _____

          De: evforum@yahoogroups.com en nombre de fjjwagner
          Enviado el: sáb 01/04/2006 21:04
          Para: evforum
          Asunto: [evforum] Opus Dei


          I don't suppose anyone on this list has ever attended a meeting of
          Opus Dei. I did the other night. I expected not to like it and I was
          not disappointed. Of course one shouldn't generalize too much from
          one meeting of one group in one city, so I will offer the escape
          clause so wonderfully expressed by the British review group
          "Beyond the Fringe" some forty years ago and fortunately preserved
          in vinyl and on CD. The skit was entitled "I would rather have been
          a Judge than a Miner." The soliloquy goes on and on about life in
          the mines and the mindless routine and banal conversation, as compared
          to the life of a judge. Finally, the speaker says, "I'm not saying you get
          riff-raff down the mines. No, I'm not saying that at all! I'm only saying
          we got riff-raff down our mine!"*

          After having heard so much about the novel by Dan Brown entitled _The
          DaVinci Code_, I was rather expecting Masonic type handclasps and
          being kept outside while meetings of initiates took place. It was nothing of
          the kind. It was mostly young men in their twenties, wearing suits, and
          finding amongst themselves a camaraderie through their orthodox Catholicism.
          I would guess they were mostly converts and mostly men with technical
          educations as opposed to liberal educations. The chief was a professor of
          chemistry at Ohio State, a cherubic and generous fellow who sat in a folding
          chair in front of this group of 30 or so and professed like a classroom professor
          for half an hour, referring occasionally to his notes, but never pausing or inviting
          questions or dialogue. (I seem to remember from college chemistry that there
          is almost no dialogue between professor and students.) The young men sat on
          the edges of their chairs, so to speak, completely enrapt in what the chemist
          was saying. Had I had my own auto, I would likely have excused myself at
          this point, but since I was dependent on another, I sat and watched as analytically
          as I could manage.

          Then there was a priest from Pittsburgh (I believe Pittsburgh is the national
          center for Opus Dei in the USA. Why Pittsburgh?) who was in fact a Mexican
          priest with a name something like Guttierez. He gave two talks in the church.
          I couldn't understand him. The only word I understood, which was repeated again
          and again, was "work." I told my "sponsor," a learned and distinguished member
          of the Ohio bar, that I had not understood the speaker. I was reassured that he
          hadn't understood him the first time either but now he understood him completely.
          During the last secession I understood the priest to talk about the importance of
          getting to work on time and having a smile on your face.

          I am quite certain this particular group provides valuable moral and spiritual
          support for its members. I suspect most of them live their working lives in a
          morally difficult workplace and really need Christian male companionship to sustain their
          lives (As we all do; and I understand there is now a female equivalent in Opus Dei.)
          But I think they are afraid of doubts and do not allow them. Being a Voegelinian of sort I
          felt almost like a traitor among them, a person who but for lack of opportunity
          would have challenged their seamless dogmatism; and that would have been unfortunate
          because they are not there to question but to find strength. The word "linear"
          came to my mind immediately. It still seems a good adjective to describe what
          I saw and heard. It all reminds me much of EV's comments on the Dutch
          Catechism in the opening of his essay "The Gospel and Culture" (CW12).
          Above all I think of Evelyn Waugh and what he might have done with it all!

          Being a "cradle-catholic" and having spent my whole life in catholic schools,
          I found the whole thing over the top. It reminded me of Waugh on a visit
          to St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYCity. At the Consecration an usher tapped
          him on the shoulder and told him it was customary to kneel out of reverence. Waugh
          turned to him and said, "Go to Hell!" The usher replied, "I'm sorry sir, I hadn't
          realized you were catholic!"

          Like Nero Wolf, I almost never leave the house on business, so this trip was
          a real adventure for me.

          Fritz Wagner


          * [An irrelevant but funny excresence from "Beyond the Fringe": "You 'av' to 'av' the
          Latin for the Judging. I didn't 'av' the Latin, so I became a miner, instead. . . . One of
          the advantages of Judging is the absence of falling coal. You get the judges remarking
          on it, '''Ello! Not much coal falling 'ere today.' . . . .Down in the mine, when you are
          too old and tired and sick and stupid, you 'av' to go; whereas the exact opposite applies
          to the judges!"]


          In consideratione creaturarum non est vana
          et peritura curiositas exercenda; sed gradus
          ad immortalia et semper manentia faciendus.
          -St Augustine De vera religione



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