Tag Archives: work

Can working for the Church be a good thing?

Ideas bounce around my head about working for the Church if one is not a member of the clergy or a religious order. Some of my friends would say, “Why bother?” There’s some truth in this attitude. There’s a lot of problems with working in the Church these days and not all of it regarding pay. Let’s just say, working for the Church can be a great place to use your talent for Someone greater and for eternal consequences. Experience tells me that church-working need not be a sad, hostile, dysfunctional place to spend one’s life. BTW, what I say is not only for the laity because the clergy have the same issues.

I wonder if working for the Church could be:
  • a great place to work at; a fun place to work, a welcoming, loving & fulfilling culture
  • a place where a good use of technology possible for the Gospel (tech is hot these days)
  • a place to network with Catholics (Christians and “seekers”) to propose a new lens of life
  • time available to see how your work affects lots of people
  • a place that will teach you something new
  • pay and perks that strive to be competitive
  • a place where the employees are happy
  • have opportunities for spiritual development.
There’s a lot that’s wrong with the way the Church works in the world today. Many dioceses, indeed, the Holy See and the Vatican, have effectively disaffected people because a lack of humanity, courage, love, compassion and faith. What comes to mind, is that working for the Church ought to be a place where the glory of God is man and woman fully alive working for something Greater: salvation.
If business is working on these matters, why not the Church? The proclamation of the Gospel and a sacramental life ought to take on best practices of the business world. I pray for the grace of knowing my own need for conversion, fraternity, vocation and mission. We all need a place to exercise a God-given diakonia and martyria (service and witness).
Saint John, beloved friend of the Lord, pray for us.

Work, culture and education according to Benedict

Last week Benedict XVI spoke to people who belong to various movements in the Church that make contributions to work, culture and education. Why is my posting this important? Because I believe what the Pope has to say is crucial in following his lead in the life I lead, and I believe it is helpful for others who desire to live similarly. I am confronted –in a good way– with questions about the value of work, culture and education and the place of the Church in these sectors. As Father Giussani told us, the Church is not here to fix our problems but to offer us a lens by which we can judge the reality in front of us so that we can fix a problem. Pay close attention to what Benedict has to say:

Work is not only an instrument of individual profit, but it is a moment in which to express ones’ own skills with a spirit of service in a professional activity, be it factory work, agricultural, scientific or otherwise,” 

“Culture, voluntary service and work constitute the indivisible trinomial of the Catholic laity’s daily life, which makes belonging to Christ and the Church more real, in the private as much as in the public spheres of society.” 

The lay faithful put themselves in the game when they touch one or more of these contexts and, in the cultural service, by showing solidarity with those in need and on the job, they strive to promote human dignity.”

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Saint Joseph the Work: the model of holiness through working

St Jospeh working.jpeg

Work is often treated as a four letter word; something to be avoided. Understanding what the value of work is today is rather complex due to the ideology we’ve been subjected to since at least the 19th century as a result of industrialism, Communism and Socialism. 

One of the many beautiful things John Paul II wrote about is the human person and how the person is meant to thrive, not just exist. His ideas about what and who the person is understood in what he taught about subjectivity, meaning that there is “the ground on which the dynamic relation, or rather inter-relation, between the person and the action is actualized. The failure to recognize man´s subjectivity would deprive us of the level on which can be grasped all the aspects of this interrelation.”

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Faith and works in the process of our justification

In today’s general audience, the Pope said:

St Paul Giotto2.JPGIn our continuing catechesis on Saint Paul, we now consider his teaching on faith and works in the process of our justification. Paul insists that we are justified by faith in Christ, and not by any merit of our own. Yet he also emphasizes the relationship between faith and those works which are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action within us. The first gift of the Spirit is love, the love of the Father and the Son poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). Our sharing in the love of Christ leads us to live no longer for ourselves, but for him (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-15); it makes us a new creation (cf. 2 Cor 5:17) and members of his Body, the Church. Faith thus works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). Consequently, there is no contradiction between what Saint Paul teaches and what Saint James teaches regarding the relationship between justifying faith and the fruit which it bears in good works. Rather, there is a different emphasis. Redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, we are called to glorify him in our bodies (cf. 1 Cor 6:20), offering ourselves as a spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God. Justified by the gift of faith in Christ, we are called, as individuals and as a community, to treasure that gift and to let it bear rich fruit in the Spirit.


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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