Thursday, January 13, 2005

Work as Prayer

He chooses us where we are, and leaves us -- the majority of Christians, lay people -- just where we were: in our family, in our own job, in the cultural or sports associations that we belong to ... so that in the very environment in which we are found we should love him and make him known through family ties, through relationships at work and among friends. From the moment that we decide to make Christ the centre of our lives, everything we do is affected by that decision. We must ask ourselves whether we are consistent with what it means to turn our work into a vehicle for growing in friendship with Jesus Christ, through developing our human and supernatural virtues in it.

God calls us, having put us in our own environment and our own profession. But he wants our work to be different from now on: You are writing to me in the kitchen, by the stove. It is early afternoon. It is cold. By your side, your younger sister -- the last one to discover the divine folly of living her Christian vocation to the full -- is peeling potatoes. To all appearances -- you think -- her work is the same as before. And yet, what a difference there is! It is true: before, she only peeled potatoes -- now she is sanctifying herself peeling potatoes. (St. Escriva, Christ is passing by) ...

We must fix all our attention on the Son of God made Man as he works [in Joseph's workshop], and ask ourselves very often, what would Jesus do in my place? How would he do my work? The Gospel tells us that He has done all things well, (Mark 7:37) with human perfection without the least carelessness. All of this means working with a spirit of service towards our neighbors, with order, serenity and intensity of concentration. He would have had orders ready on time. He would have lovingly put the finishing touches to his craftsmanship, thinking of the pleasure of the customers when they would receive his simple but perfect work. He would have been tired ... Jesus also carried out his work with full supernatural effectiveness, because at the same time, through the work, He was carrying out the redemption of mankind, united to his Father by love and for love, united to men also through love for them. What we do out of love becomes a serious commitment for us, and is charged with meaning.
In Conversation with God: Ordinary Time Weeks 1-12

No comments:

Post a Comment