Spirituality of Work

Spirituality of Work

(A chapter from the book, Confident and Competent – A Challenge for the Lay Church, William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce, 1987. Reprinted with permission from ACTA Publications, Chicago, Illinois)

So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.” – Genesis 1:27-28

Laypeople must realize that their daily work is the primary means by which they help bring about the kingdom of God. Any spirituality which detracts or distracts from work is therefore counterproductive.

In the final sentences of his encyclical On Human Work, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Let the Christian who listens to the living word of God, uniting work with prayer, know the place work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the kingdom of God, to which we are called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the gospel.”1 Continue reading “Spirituality of Work”

Labor Day: A Spirituality of Work

“Work,” the Persian poet Gibran writes, “is love made visible.”

A spirituality of work is based on a heightened sense of sacramentality, of the idea that everything that is, is holy and that our hands consecrate it to the service of God. When we grow radishes in a small container in a city apartment, we participate in creation. When we sweep the street in front of a house, we bring new order to the universe. When we repair what has been broken or paint what is old or give away what we have earned that is above and beyond our own sustenance, we stoop down and scoop up the earth and breathe into it new life again. When we compost garbage and recycle cans, when we clean a room and put coasters under glasses, when we care for everything we touch and touch it reverently, we become the creators of a new universe. Then we sanctify our work and our work sanctifies us. Continue reading “Labor Day: A Spirituality of Work”

Spirituality of Work – William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce (1987)

Spirituality of Work

(A chapter from the book, Confident and Competent – A Challenge for the Lay Church, William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce, 1987. Reprinted with permission from ACTA Publications, Chicago, Illinois)

So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.” – Genesis 1:27-28

Laypeople must realize that their daily work is the primary means by which they help bring about the kingdom of God. Any spirituality which detracts or distracts from work is therefore counterproductive.

In the final sentences of his encyclical On Human Work, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Let the Christian who listens to the living word of God, uniting work with prayer, know the place work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the kingdom of God, to which we are called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the gospel.”1 Continue reading “Spirituality of Work – William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce (1987)”

Theology of Work

Catholic.net

Theology of Work

The late Holy Father John Paul II teaches that work must test and engage the whole person, not just the physical aspect.

by Robert J. Batule |

Much has changed in the world of work over the last thirty years. We have only to consider the sweeping changes in technology, the composition of the work force, especially the presence of women today and the higher standard of living now, especially in Western democratic nations.

Changes in the world of work have forced us to look more carefully at their implications in our lives. Not all of these changes, we must admit, have had a salutary effect.

Ever since Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), the Catholic Church has been officially on record as showing a concern for the person and work. Leo XIII´s encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) was published precisely for the purpose of addressing the many issues surrounding the person and work. Successive popes have sought to build on the pioneering work of Leo XIII by publishing their own encyclicals, all important contributions to the developing body of the Church´s understanding of work. Continue reading “Theology of Work”

Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace (Part 2)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace (Part 2)

A Compilation of Reports from Diocesan Focus Groups
(Spring, 2003 – Spring, 2004)

Background

In late 2002 and early 2003, at the invitation of the Bishops’ Committee on Women in Society and in the Church, 17 arch/dioceses conducted focus groups on the topic of women’s spirituality in the workplace. The Committee provided a template with questions on spirituality and work. Each arch/diocese submitted a report to the Women’s Committee. The Committee compiled a summary report which is available at www.usccb.org/laity/women.shtml.

Because of the success of these initial focus groups, the Committee invited additional arch/dioceses to participate in the project. Between the spring of 2003 and spring of 2004, an additional 19 arch/dioceses sponsored focus groups (St. Paul and Minneapolis also participated in the first round). These arch/dioceses, and the number of focus group participants, are: Austin (11), Brooklyn (61), Galveston-Houston (21), Grand Rapids (19), Honolulu (number not given), Joliet (20), Lexington (number not given), Metuchen (16), Milwaukee (39), New Orleans (7), New Ulm (7), Omaha (100+), Philadelphia (14), Rockford (61), Rockville Centre (40), St. Cloud (252 women responded to a questionnaire, an unspecified number participated in focus groups), St. Paul-Minneapolis (24), San Angelo (32), San Bernardino (8), and Superior (7). More than 500 women participated in these focus groups. Continue reading “Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace (Part 2)”

Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace

Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace

A Compilation of Diocesan Focus Group Reports

Background

In 2002 the Bishops’ Committee on Women in Society and in the Church embarked on a project to explore the relationship between women’s spirituality and their employment outside the home. As a first step, the Committee invited dioceses to convene focus groups on the topic. The Committee provided a suggested template and asked women to discuss such questions as: What do you find satisfying and frustrating about work? How do you balance home and work responsibilities, and how do you fit in volunteer activities? How do you make time for spiritual activities? Does your spirituality affect your work, and vice versa?

A cross-section of arch/dioceses—large, medium, and small, rural and urban, from all parts of the country—accepted the Committee’s invitation to hold focus groups. The groups were conducted over a two-month period, from late November, 2002 until late January, 2003. Each diocese submitted a written report to the Committee. This report is a summary of the diocesan reports.

Reports were received from the following 17 arch/dioceses (number of focus group participants in parentheses): Albany (9), Allentown (54), Biloxi (27), Buffalo (10), Chicago (22), Detroit (7), Gary (26), Jackson, MS (6), Las Vegas (17), Marquette, MI (29), Newark (8), Orange (8), Richmond (5), Saginaw (28), St. Paul and Minneapolis (9), San Bernardino (11), and Youngstown (16). A total of 292 women took part in these focus groups. Continue reading “Women’s Spirituality in the Workplace”

A SPIRITUALITY OF WORK

A SPIRITUALITY OF WORK

Contents:

• Foreword

• Work in the sacred scriptures

• The Church’s teaching on work

• Human dignity and the value of work

• Prayers and meditations

• Resources

Publisher’s Information © 2001 Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, LONDON SW1V 1BX

Published in January 2001 by the Catholic Media Trust on behalf of the Committee for the World of Work of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales The scripture quotations are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

‘Lord God, who entrusted the earth’ from Divine Office © 1974 Hierarchies of Australia, England & Wales, Ireland; A P Watt. ‘Blessed are you, Lord our God’ from Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings © 1981 Concacan Inc.  Take my hands by Sebastian Temple © 1967 OCP Publications.    Produced by the Catholic Media Office, London.  Printed by MCS Thorndale Ltd, London.  ISBN: 0 905241 18 5

Foreword

The World of Work Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales offers this booklet as a contribution to the awakening of the Catholic Church to the blessing given the human race by God by the gift of work. The members of the Committee, who are themselves laity and workers, are well aware of the discontinuity in the perception of many workers between the experience of work (or unemployment) and the fulfilling of God’s purpose for them. It is my hope that this modest volume will be of help to many. The mix of text and quotations from Scripture, the teaching of the Church and from  experience, I hope will encourage reflection, lead to prayer and finally to conviction about the blessing of work.

I am deeply grateful to each member of the Committee for their contributions to this work. Inevitably, not all the riches of their experiences and observations could be included. This will serve to remind those who use this booklet in a spirit of discovery and reflection that work is part of the mystery of God’s loving will for the human race. May this small publication help all who use it to explore yet further that mystery.

Bishop John Jukes OFM Conv

Chairman, Committee for the World of Work Continue reading “A SPIRITUALITY OF WORK”

Workplace, Holy Place

 By Woodeene Koenig-Bricker

When I envision spiritual practices done on a daily basis, I tend to think of monasteries with their regular prayer times, emphasis on silence and hours of contemplative reflection. These are not activities compatible with business environments. Telling your boss you need to sit in silent meditation every afternoon probably isn’t going to be met with much approval, especially not on deadline. Nor is refusing to talk because you are keeping a period of silence or dashing out of meetings to pray at specific times.

Because we view spiritual disciplines as something other people who don’t have “real” jobs do, incorporating specifically spiritual activities into our workday doesn’t come naturally. But it can, and perhaps it should.

For a spiritual practice to be applicable to a work environment on a regular basis, I believe it has to have at least three characteristics: 1) it has to be simple, 2) it has to be quick and 3) it has to be private. If it’s too complex or requires too much preparation, it isn’t going to last. If it takes too much time, it isn’t fair to the company and if it is public it goes against the Lord’s admonition to keep our good deeds to ourselves.

In order to fulfill these three requirements, we need to think outside the box of our usual spiritual practices and expand our ideas of disciplines to include some activities that might not seem spiritual at first glance.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas to try. Continue reading “Workplace, Holy Place”