What do the saints teach us about work?

The world demands ambition and teaches that greed is good. Ambition is a vice leading to greed and other sins. Pope Francis says “Careerism is leprosy!” The saints teach us to focus on God in the smallest of tasks for it is His glory that makes them good. Through this, even the lowest of work is honorable and dignifies us, the walking-talking temples of His Holy Spirit.

Words of wisdom from St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Josemaria Escriva, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Pope Francis, Servant of God John Arintero OP, St. John Paul II, and St. Walter of Pontoise (Patron of those suffering work-related stress)

St. Anne, our holy grammy

Like any of our saints, Anne was a real person who now enjoys being in the presence of God in Heaven (Beatific Vision) and whom God has given to us to mentor, guide and protect. But of all the saints, she (and Mary) were likely the only ones to have cleaned Jesus’ nappy, and there’s got to be something special in that.

Our friendship with God can transform the world

The saints give us wisdom, guidance, mentoring, teaching and friendship. Yet sometimes at first glance this path of holiness seems unrealistic and unreal! And yet, as much as we can relate to a saint’s trial, it might still seem easiest to stay in our old habits because we are comfortable with those. Grabbing chocolate and an R-rated movie numbs the pain. But where is the Hope in that?

Suffering saints

We think of the saints as having such fortitude as if there is no disturbance in their mind or heart. They are invincible (we think), carrying on God’s will without doubts or fears. Yet their hearts, as our own, suffered. They were in the thick of the typical human experience even if their situations were untypical. They didn’t live up to the expectations that others had of them, were ridiculed by their peers and family, and had to interact with charity towards people who felt superior, manipulated, or sought their demise (and death!). Perhaps similarly, though not as dramatically, we too suffer.

Saints in the family

Growing up in the stripped-down American church, we never learned about saints. So when the discussion came up recently, I could recall the thoughts that went through my own mind years ago when I was trying to understand why we pray to them. Back then, I didn’t see the point when all I needed to do was pray to God. But something interiorly would move me in me, and I knew that I was wrong on that…