We all know some holy people. Maybe it’s your parish priest, a local community of religious sisters, or the reverent couple you see at daily Mass. But for some reason, we think their holiness could never be achieved for ourselves. Sometimes we can’t imagine how we could bring holiness into both our work and home life.
Our busy lives seems to leave out God. There is our busy morning routines getting the kids up and out the door. Jobs push us to blur the lines of what is right and what is not quite wrong. Busyness leaves us disillusioned with our marriage, feeling like this is not the life we were dreaming of. Finally, there is so much evil.
How can we be holy in this secular world?
Busyness is what Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski sets out to dispel. Check out a few of our favorite thoughts from his book Sanctify Your Daily Life: How to Transform Work into a Source of Strength, Holiness and Joy.
There is work, and then there is Catholic view of work
Many feel like thoughts of hard work, love of our jobs and success above all else are the ultimate goal of human life. Those outside the Catholic Church are looked down upon as lazy workers, less efficient, and therefore less successful than those who are not Catholic.
But Catholic work is different. It started with God’s work first.
God created our jobs, tasks, and technology. They are gifts given to us by the Creator Himself. We are sent into the world to bring others to Christ. We are to use our vocations, passions, interactions with others to do just that.
The fruits of our work
Just as we have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, there are also fruits of our labor. Possessions to satisfy our own needs and those of our families, security, justice, love alms giving, and frugality are just a few of those fruits.
“…The duty of work itself to multiply goods for our neighbors’ needs, so that we have more to share with them,” writes Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski.
Prayer in work
Scripture tells us to “pray constantly” but many of us leave our prayer life behind when we enter the office. We are busied by the phone, computers, customers or production lines. We quickly forget the importance of daily prayer, even when we’re at the office or on the job site.
“Prayer continues to be the greatest need of our soul, the most wonderful agent of sanctification, and the best way of adoring God,” explains Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski. “It must therefore continue to occupy its proper place; we cannot lose any part of it, in spite of the increasing deluge of work.”
We toil in daily work which was brought about by Original Sin. Work seems to be more difficult when we are consumed by sin. Our own resistance to work reflects our resistance to God.
Think of the hardest rock and a sculptor. Blow by painful blow, he works the material into a beautiful work of art. This is what God does for us as the sculptor. We are resistant to be broken and chipped away. Thankfully, Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski explains that “work, by its difficulty, redeems, liberates, ennobles, and sanctifies.”
Just as the gardener works the land removing the hard dirt and rocks, the end result of beautiful plants and flowers gives us hope and redeems us.
Time for work and rest
God gave us a timeline to work and rest by. The work day should include a concrete value of the work. Our jobs should “contribute to the normal development of man’s abilities and personal powers,” Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski writes.
We are not supposed to be so exhausted by the end of the day that we have no energy for our families or social lives. Thee needs to be a balance between successful work and time to get the other things of lives done outside of our jobs.
If work is too short, we won’t have enough time to finish a project before the time is up to move onto the next project. But if work is too long, we lose our strength and perseverance which can become harmful and hateful. Too much work doesn’t allow us to complete other obligations such as worship and family life.
We NEED rest in order to increase our concentration, bring us renewal and refreshment, and in turn allows us to work more efficiently than if we didn’t rest.
Want to learn more about how to sanctify your life, bring peace and satisfaction to our days on the job, and develop inner peace? Sanctify Your Daily Life: How to Transform Work into a Source of Strength, Holiness and Joy by Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski will show you how to transform your work into a source of strength, holiness and even joy!