Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Professional work is also an apostolate, an opportunity to give ourselves to others, to reveal Christ to them and lead them to God the Father — all of which is the overflow of the charity which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts. When St Paul explained to the Ephesians how their conversion to Christianity should affect their lives, one of the things he said was: "Anyone who was a thief must stop stealing; he should try to find some useful manual work instead and be able to do some good by helping others that are in need." Men need earthly bread to sustain them in their lives on earth; they also need bread from heaven to enlighten their minds and inflame their hearts. With your work, taking advantage of the opportunities it offers, in your conversations and your dealings with others, you can and should carry out this apostolic precept.

If we work with this attitude, our life, despite its human limitations, will be a foretaste of the glory of heaven, of that communion with God and his saints where self-giving, faithfulness, friendship and joy reign supreme. Your ordinary professional work will provide the true, solid, noble material out of which you will build a truly christian life. You will use your work to make fruitful the grace which comes to us from Christ.

Faith, hope and charity will come into play in your professional work done for God. The incidents, the problems, the friendships which your work brings with it, will give you food for prayer. The effort to improve your own daily occupation will give you the chance to experience the cross which is essential for a Christian. When you feel your weakness, the failures which arise even in human undertakings, you will gain in objectivity, in humility and in understanding for others. Successes and joys will prompt you to thanksgiving and to realize that you do not live for yourself, but for the service of others and of God.

Previous View chapter Next