(Tridentine South Africa)
Article by Marc Aupiais
I have always had the deepest of longings and desires: I have wanted to join Opus Dei for years, though God's answer to my prayers is no. As with the priestly life, God, it seems; has always said I am destined to marriage- to quite an important woman.
The force with which he replies, always suggests her importance to his plan. None the less, I admire Opus Dei, and listen to these stories with longing. The article in the Daily Mail concludes:
"‘I didn’t like the promiscuity I saw at university,’ she says. ‘I didn’t want that for me. I didn’t want that life. I rejected it as part of my lifestyle. I didn’t want to be part of it.’
I cannot get over the small matter of the cilice — surely it’s a seismic leap from eschewing promiscuity to self-harming in this way?
Sarah was 20 when she started wearing it. ‘The first time you do anything that’s not particularly pleasant, you don’t like it. But over time it’s just something that’s there. The result of doing it is that you should be a much nicer person afterwards.’
Eileen adds: ‘We live in such a materialistic, hedonistic society that people can’t understand you’d actually make yourself a little uncomfortable to help you be more mindful of God.
‘They’ll understand if you go jogging and pounding the streets — which I think is disgusting — just because you want to be thinner, but they won’t understand this.’
It’s a fair point. After all, which is more peculiar or ‘unnatural’: women who endure the agony of, say, Botox injections or leg-waxing, in order to be beautiful, and those Opus Dei devotees who strap on a cilice as a sign of spiritual devotion?
Still, I can’t help feeling that most women would consider it a strange God who requires them to do the washing up wearing a chain of barbed wire.
"REBECCA HARDY writing for the Daily Mail (Based in the United Kingdom; Secular/General interests coverage; Independent of the state)02 / 09 | September / 2010: "She's respectable and intelligent ... so why does Sarah attach a painful barbed chain to her leg for two hours a day?"; View other stories published on the same site by Rebecca Hardy
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