Josemaría Escrivá Obras

You must fight against the tendency to be too lenient with yourselves. Everyone has this difficulty. Be demanding with yourselves! Sometimes we worry too much about our health, or about getting enough rest. Certainly it is necessary to rest, because we have to tackle our work each day with renewed vigour. But, as I wrote many years ago, 'to rest is not to do nothing. It is to turn our attention to other activities that require less effort.'

At other times, relying on flimsy excuses, we become too easygoing and forget about the marvellous responsibility that rests upon our shoulders. We are content with doing just enough to get by. We let ourselves get carried away by false rationalisations and waste our time, whereas Satan and his allies never take a holiday. Listen carefully to St Paul and reflect on what he said to those Christians who were slaves. He urged them to obey their masters, 'not serving to the eye as pleasers of men, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart, giving your service with good will as to the Lord and not to men'. What good advice for you and me to follow!

Let us ask Our Lord Jesus for light, and beg him to help us discover, at every moment, the divine meaning which transforms our professional work into the hinge on which our calling to sanctity rests and turns. In the Gospel you will find that Jesus was known as faber, filius Mariae, the workman, the son of Mary. Well, we too, with a holy pride, have to prove with deeds that we are workers, men and women who really work!

Since we should behave at all times as God's envoys, we must be very much aware that we are not serving him loyally if we leave a job unfinished; if we don't put as much effort and self-sacrifice as others do into the fulfilment of professional commitments; if we can be called careless, unreliable, frivolous, disorganised, lazy or useless... Because people who neglect obligations that seem less important will hardly succeed in other obligations that pertain to the spiritual life and are undoubtedly harder to fulfil. 'He who is faithful in very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in very little is dishonest also in much.'

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