Table of Contents
The spirit God entrusted to us through the lifestyle of the Saints and within the Gospel has an undefeated transformative power. Ordinary work sanctification is a living seed capable of producing holiness fruits in every soul who accepts to embrace God’s will and wonders.
"Sanctity, for the majority of people, resides in sanctifying their work, sanctifying themselves in it, and sanctifying others through it." Take a breath and ask yourself: What does it really mean to you?
The divine Sower has sown this seed in our lives so that it may grow and bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. Calmly considering each of these aspects in our prayer can frequently form the essence of our dialogue with God: Am I sanctifying my work? Is my work sanctifying me and How?
By Him…With Him…For Him
The first aspect, sanctifying one's work, or making our work holy by doing it for the love of God, with the greatest possible human perfection, and offering it to God in union with Christ, is the most fundamental intention.
The second aspect, sanctifying oneself in one's work, is, in some ways, the result of the first. A person who attempts to sanctify his or her work inevitably becomes holy. That is, they allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify them, identifying them ever more closely with Christ. However, just as it is not enough to water the roots of a plant, one must also use a variety of means: prayer, sacraments, and virtues.
Something similar occurs with the third aspect, sanctifying others through one's work. It is undeniably a result of the other two, because Christians produce fruit by sanctifying their work and becoming identified with Christ; they sanctify others through their work, in keeping with our Lord's words: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
However, this does not mean that a Christian should not be concerned about producing fruit, as if fruit grew spontaneously from the root and stalk.
Depth and Perspective
If we consider our work from a purely human perspective, we might conclude that it is due to a variety of different circumstances—abilities and interests, obligations and chance occurrences—that we have come to do this particular job rather than another. However, Christians must see things with greater depth and perspective, with a supernatural sense that allows them to discern a personal call from God to holiness and apostolate in what they do.
Sometimes, for example, human enthusiasm for our work wanes, and we are forced to work against the grain, with no joy other than the joy of doing it for the love of God. At other times, it may be a serious economic difficulty, which God may allow so that we can continue to employ every human means, but also with more childlike trust in him, as Jesus taught us, not allowing ourselves to be overcome by sadness or worry about the future. It may entail confronting failure in one's work, which can completely dishearten those who work with a purely human perspective but which places those who want to co-redeem with Christ on the Cross.
Transforming work into a means of apostolate is an essential part of sanctifying our work and a sign that it is truly being sanctified. Holiness and apostolate cannot be separated, just as love for God and love for others cannot be separated.
"You must act like a burning coal, spreading fire wherever it may be; or at the very least, strive to raise the spiritual temperature of those around you, leading them to live a truly Christian life."
In any case, such prestige is a means to an end: to "draw souls closer to God with the right word at the right time. We have received in Baptism, along with our divine filiation, a share in Christ's priesthood, and thus in the threefold office of sanctifying, teaching, and guiding others. As a result, we have every right to enter into the lives of others, reaching as many people as possible in the broad spectrum of workplace relationships through our apostolate of friendship and confidence.
Growing in Virtue
Ultimately, a fundamental requirement is to strive to live in accordance with professional ethics norms. But we must also strive to make these norms more widely known, assisting others in becoming aware of and adhering to them. We cannot use the fact that immoral practices are widespread and difficult to eradicate as an excuse. These practices, like the accumulation of personal sins, will disappear only through a serious personal effort to practice Christian virtues. In prayer and the sacraments, we will find the strength to demonstrate with deeds that we love the truth above all else, even if it comes at a cost.
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