2 Common situations that can give our work life a workout
The 2002 Lenten season is completed. We have once again prepared ourselves to renew our baptismal promises, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, to follow the example of Christ in doing God’s will in our daily life. We have died and risen with Christ and, in our celebration of Eucharist, we praise God and affirm our communion in the one Body of Christ. That’s what we believe and our spirituality should be a clear demonstration and witness to that belief in the way we live our faith. But that’s not always the case.
There has been much said and written about the notion of spirituality of work in recent years. Unfortunately, the attention is too often on important but less central issues – the right to display religious items in our work space, etc. Spirituality is less about what we say we believe and more about how we live what we believe. St. Francis of Assisi is often quoted as having said, “Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words.” In other words, the way we live our life is a much more powerful witness to our faith than what we tell people about how we live our lives (or how they should live theirs!).
When we are trying to discern God’s will in our everyday work life, we have two situations that frequently occur:
The dilemma of choosing between a good and an evil action
In these cases, the choice made will be influenced by:
1 Our understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
2 Our commitment and desire to living a Christian life.
3 The depth and frequency of our prayer.
4 Our understanding of Church teachings, Scripture and Tradition.
5 Our conscience. It is never God’s will to do evil – no matter how we economically, socially or politically rationalize it.
The dilemma of choosing between two goods
When either choice is morally acceptable, we have the opportunity to more deeply follow Christ. The ability to make these choices is strengthened by:
1 A regular practice of prayer.
2 A willingness to be detached from our fears and selfishness.
3 A desire to want what God wants.
4 A willingness to act on that which God shows us.
5 The guidance and counsel of a competent spiritual director.
God calls us to be co-creators of His kingdom. Our daily work becomes a source and opportunity for spirituality when we fully participate in that opportunity. We can choose good or evil, but we can also choose what will witness the greater glory of God. Our work then becomes a holy space and time where the true presence of Christ can be visible.
Our social institutions are often seen as callous, indifferent, dishonest, incompetent, ineffective and unenlightened. Enron, Olympic judging, and endless others examples can lead us to conclude that all organizations are to not be trusted. But, this attitude overlooks what our faith is about. In each organization there are individuals and small groups who work every day to make things better. They choose to light a candle of hope and truth, and to witness to their faith in small, vulnerable and humble ways.
We are called to be a spark of good in every part of the world. We are called to be fully human and free. Is being a Christian something you only believe in or is it the reality of how you live your life? Do you seek to do the minimum or has Lent prepared you to live a life for the greater glory of God in your daily action and choices?