How to react to criticism

Personally I have never experienced anything but kindness and good spiritual provision from Opus Dei, since I first went on a retreat at Wickenden Manor as a teenage boy some 40 years ago. As a priest I find that the Days of Recollection are a great help and I wish that my parish activities would allow me to attend more regularly.

Still, there are others who criticise various things about Opus Dei, or about particular members. Such discussion is bound to be a part of the life of the Church when a religious society is so effective in its apostolate and powerful in its work for the Church. None of us should expect to be immune from criticism; what matters is how we respond to it.

There is a good example of the approach of Opus Dei on Laurence England's blog. A couple of weeks ago, he wrote a post suggesting that an unemployed person would not be welcomed. The other day, Fr Paul Hayward replied openly, politely and with genuine charity and warmth. It is a fine priestly example of how to react to criticism.

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