Before being formally admitted to Opus Dei, prospective members are instructed that:
- they must commit themselves to strive for personal holiness according to the spirit and practice of Opus Dei;
- they will be under the jurisdiction of the directors of the Work and should obey them in all that pertains to the aims of the prelature, its government, spirit, and apostolate;
- they should assiduously try to live the plan of life in its fullness, especially daily mental prayer, the Holy Rosary, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion;
- the spirit of Opus Dei encourages them to lead a life of intense work;
- they should try to fulfill all the obligations that come with the type of membership (i.e., numerary, associate, supernumerary);
- they should try to carry out an active apostolate under the supervision of the directors of Opus Dei which is primarily aimed at spreading the universal call to holiness;
- they must provide for their own economic support; and
- they should generously contribute financially to the apostolic works of Opus Dei according to their personal circumstances.
In return, members have the right to receive appropriate means of formation and the ministerial care of priests of the Prelature.
The Prelature provides its members formation in the spirit of the Work primarily through personal spiritual direction (weekly for numeraries and associates, biweekly for supernumeraries), weekly “circles,” evenings of recollection, retreats, classes in Christian doctrine, philosophy, and theology, and the ministry of the priests of the Prelature. Members commit themselves to receive this formation in a spirit of docility, as those with any vocation in the Church should do. Supernumerary members, because they are not as available to the Prelature, receive it according to their personal circumstances. Numeraries and associates, who are more available to the Work, receive it in a much more intense way.
All members commit to carry out the apostolates of Opus Dei generously, according to their availability. Thus, it may not be possible for members to be as active in their home parish as other parishoners, although there is no prohibition against such involvement. See Question 11 for more information.