ON May 18, Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri, was expected to be beatified in Madrid. She is a lay wo-man, a scientist, a teacher, a pathfinder who found her vocation to Opus Dei in 1944. Opus Dei is an institution of the Catholic Church whose mission is to spread the Christian mess-age that every person is called to holiness and that every honest work can be made holy. Guadalupe exemplified this which led Pope Francis to authorize the Congregation for the Cause of Saints to issue the decree approving a miracle attributed to her on June 9, 2018.
In preparation for the beatification of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri, I recently organised a seminar for our friends and co-operators. The theme was ‘Christian Witness in So-ciety: Is it Possible?’ The idea was to reflect on and discuss the life of this ordinary woman, and how she lived both the Christian and human virtues in an extraordinary way. Louisa and Julia hosted our get together with about 20 ladies in attendance.
During the interactive session that followed, discussions centred on how to relate Guadalupe’s exam-ple with ordinary life of women who juggled resp-onsibilities in the home and also in the workplace. For example, how one could remain cheerful after sp-ending an average of five hours commuting to and from home and the work-place every day in Lagos.
Bimbo related how excuses are easy to come about and end up becoming an obstacle to achieving one’s goals in life. She commented how women, just like Guadalupe, should bear witness to Christ in work, family and social life. However, for this to happen, a deep Christian formation is needed.
Chinelo talked about the dignity of work, and the need to sanctify every activity, every day and everywhere. This decision may not always be easy but it is rewarding both in the eyes of God and honest people.
Everyone agreed that the Christian formation they received at Wavecrest Study Centre has helped them. They recognise when they are not giving good example and when they are. Peggy narrated how while driving one day in gridlock traffic, she wanted to get upset with a biker, then realised she held her Rosary in her hand, and so restrained herself.
Friendship with God, ordinary day-to-day life, and the effort to evangelise are all harmoniously fused into a strong and simple lifestyle like Guadalupe’s. This lifestyle is an essential condition for us trying to sanctify ourselves in the midst of the ordinary situations of work, family and social relationships.
Everyone went away determined to begin anew with the help of Venerable Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri. On May 18, I would be in Nigeria but my heart will be in Madrid cheering her on because she gave me back my faith at a point when I was giving up on life.