A Living and Lived Charism

“In order to safeguard the charism, my predecessor Saint John Paul II, in the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit of 28 November 1982, erected the Prelature of Opus Dei, entrusting it with the pastoral task of contributing in a special way to the evangelizing mission of the Church. Indeed, in accordance with the gift of the Spirit received by Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the Prelature of Opus Dei, with the guidance of its Prelate, carries out the task of spreading the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments.”

These are the opening words of the Apostolic Letter in the form of the motu proprio Ad charisma tuendum, which is published in this issue of Romana. Along with the specific provisions (the motu proprio modifies articles 4 and 5 of the Apostolic Constitution Ut sit of 1982), Pope Francis invites the faithful of the Prelature to safeguard this charism and to spread the “the gift of the Spirit received by Saint Josemaría.”

“Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches (no. 799). Charisms, the same paragraph indicates, are “ordered to the building up of the Church, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world.”

Every true charism, a gift of the Spirit exercised under his impulse, is a grace for apostolic effectiveness and for the holiness of the whole Church. Therefore the Magisterium teaches that charisms are to be welcomed with gratitude, lived with charity and developed in reference and in obedience to the pastors of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 800-801).

For the message of Opus Dei to continue to be a living and lived reality, the effort to implement Ad charisma tuendum will have to focus on the gift that God gave to St. Josemaría, with the desire to live it fully.

The Holy Father exhorts us to care for the charism of Opus Dei, “in order to strengthen the evangelizing action carried out by its members,” and thus “spread the call to holiness in the world, through the sanctification of work and family and social commitments” (Introduction to Ad charisma tuendum).

As Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz wrote, “I would like this invitation of the Holy Father to resonate strongly in each and every one of us. It is an opportunity to go more deeply into the spirit that our Lord instilled in our Founder and to share it with many people in our family, work and social environments.”

We open this issue of Romana by turning to the intercession of the Holy Spirit, placing in his hands our desires to be faithful to God, to the Church, and to the gift received by St. Josemaría.

Romana, n. 75, July-December 2022, p. 155-156.

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