33. How do you respond to charges that members of the Work make friends only so they can get them to join Opus Dei?

St. Josemaría said the apostolate of members of Opus Dei should be an apostolate of “friendship and confidence.” What this means is that they should be true friends to those around them, and their friends should be able to confide in them. As a brother supports his brother, members of Opus Dei should support their friends in their journey of faith.

However, like everyone else, members of Opus Dei are not perfect. I’ve personally witnessed situations where a member of the Work seemed—and I emphasize seemed because one can never truly know another person’s motivations—to befriend a person only so he could bring him to Opus Dei. When someone thinks this has happened, he might get the impression that this is the Opus Dei way of recruiting new members. It is not!

The directors of the Work occasionally remind the members not to fall into this trap, emphasizing that if they are to be effective apostles, bringing the truth and light of the Gospel to those around them, it must come from a heart that genuinely loves their family and friends. Members are reminded that it is wrong to “instrumentalize” their friendships in the way that sometimes happens.

Please pray for Opus Dei and for all the organizations in the Church so that they may be more faithful to the Gospel and to their particular charisms.

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