1 Work as a path to holiness Day We have come to call attention once again to the example of Jesus, who spent thirty years in Nazareth, working as a carpenter. In his hands, a professional occupation, similar to that carried out by millions of people all over the world, was turned into a divine task. It became a part of our Redemption, a way to salvation. Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with Christ. It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind. Conversations with Monsignor Josemaría Escrivá, 55 Homily, Passionately Loving the World, in Conversations with Monsignor Josemaría Escrivá, 3 Novena to St. Josemaría Escrivá for Work May our Lord God guide me in the effort to seek work and bless me, enabling me to obtain honest, dignified and steady employment; and then help me to see my job as a path to holiness and a service to others, where God my Father awaits me at every moment, asking me, in each situation, to imitate Jesus when he worked as a carpenter in Nazareth. May our Lord God help me see my job as a path to holiness and a service to others, where God my Father awaits me at every moment, asking me, in each situation, to imitate Jesus when he worked as a carpenter in Nazareth.
2 Work done for love of God Day The dignity of work is founded on Love. Man s great privilege is to be able to love, transcending from what is fleeting and ephemeral. Do everything for Love. That way there are no little things: everything is big. Perseverance in little things, for Love, is heroism. Let me stress this point: it is in the simplicity of your ordinary work, in the monotonous details of each day, that you have to find the secret, which is hidden from so many, of something great and new: Love. 3 Christ is Passing By, 48 The Way, 83 3 Furrow, 489 Prayer to Saint Josemaría O God, through the mediation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, you granted countless graces to your priest Saint Josemaría, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way to holiness through daily work and the ordinary duties of a Christian. Grant that I also may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into opportunities to love you and serve the Church, the Pope and all souls, with joy and simplicity, lighting up the paths of the earth with faith and love. Through the intercession of Saint Josemaría, please grant me the favor I request... (here make your petition). Amen. May our Lord God grant me the grace to get a job quickly, which will provide security for my family. At the same time, may he help me to understand that what gives value to any honest work is the love with which I do it: love for God, in the first place, to whom I can offer up my work; and love for my neighbour, whom I wish to serve and be useful to. May our Lord God help me to understand that what gives value to any honest work is the love with which I do it: love for God, in the first place, to whom I can offer up my work; and love for my neighbour, whom I wish to serve and be useful to. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Prayer to St. Josemaría: see this page
3 Day 3 Day 4 Working with order and constancy How short indeed is the time of our passing through this world! For the true Christian these words ring deep down in his heart as a reproach to his lack of generosity, and as a constant invitation to be loyal. Brief indeed is our time for loving, for giving, for making atonement. It would be very wrong, therefore, for us to waste it, or to cast this treasure irresponsibly overboard. We mustn t squander this period of the world s history that God has entrusted to each one of us. When you bring order into your life your time will multiply and, as a result, you will be able to give greater glory to God, by working more in his service. Persevere in the exact fulfillment of the obligations of the moment. That work humble, monotonous, small is prayer expressed in action that prepares you to receive the grace of the other work great and wide and deep of which you dream. 3 Friends of God, 39 The Way, 80 3 The Way, 85 May I get a stable and suitable job, with the help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. And when, through God s goodness, I am working, may I learn to use my time as the treasure it is, and make the effort to improve in the virtue of order, so as to work more punctually, intensely and constantly, without disorder or delays. May I achieve this by following a well-structured plan, which allows for me to spend the appropriate amount of time on each of my duties: spiritual life, family life, professional life and social relations, in a balanced way. Well-finished work It is no good offering to God something that is less perfect than our poor human limitations permit. The work that we offer must be without blemish and it must be done as carefully as possible, even in its smallest details, for God will not accept shoddy workmanship. Thou shalt not offer anything that is faulty, Holy Scripture warns us (Lev :0), because it would not be worthy of him. For that reason, the work of each one of us, the activities that take up our time and energy, must be an offering worthy of our Creator. It must be operatio Dei, a work of God that is done for God: in short, a task that is complete and faultless. The important thing is that we should love the Mass and make it the centre of our day. If we attend Mass well, surely we are likely to think about our Lord during the rest of the day, wanting to be always in his presence, ready to work as he worked and love as he loved. Friends of God, 558 Christ is Passing By, 54 With our Lady s help, may I not take long to resolve the problem of my unemployment. And when I start my new job, may God help me to work well, with the greatest possible perfection. May I never work carelessly, but be convinced that work done badly cannot be sanctified, because it lacks love, and love alone enables any human action to be pleasing to God. With the help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, may I learn to use my time as the treasure it is, and make the effort to improve in the virtue of order, so as to work more punctually, intensely and constantly, without disorder or delays. May I achieve this by following a well-structured plan, which allows for me to spend the appropriate amount of time on each of my duties: spiritual life, family life, professional life and social relations, in a balanced way. May God help me to work well, with the greatest possible perfection. May I never work carelessly, but be convinced that work done badly cannot be sanctified, because it lacks love, and love alone enables any human action to be pleasing to God.
4 Day 5 Day 6 All honest work is dignified, It is time for us Christians to shout from the rooftops that work is a gift from God and that it makes no sense to classify men differently, according to their occupation, as if some jobs were nobler than others. Work, all work, bears witness to the dignity of man, to his dominion over creation. Before God, no occupation is in itself great or small. Everything gains the value of the Love with which it is done. You really do need to make an effort and put your shoulder to the wheel...for all that, you should put your professional interests in their place: they are only means to an end; they can never be regarded in any way as if they were the basic thing. 3 Christ is Passing By, 47 Furrow, Furrow, 50 Work done in company with God, and with rectitude of intention. I beg you, don t ever lose the supernatural point of view. Correct your intention as the course of a ship is corrected on the high seas: by looking at the star, by looking at Mary. Then you will always be sure of reaching harbour. As a Christian, you should always carry your Crucifix with you. And place it on your work table. And kiss it before you go to rest and when you awake. Place on your desk, in your room, in your wallet...a picture of Our Lady, and look at it when you begin your work, while you are doing it, and when you finish it. She will obtain for you I assure you! the strength to turn your task into a loving dialogue with God. 3 The Forge, 745 The Way, 30 3 Furrow, 487 May God grant me the joy of getting a job, at which I can be useful and develop my abilities. And if, for the moment, the job were to be below my level of competence and my legitimate aspirations, may I not belittle it. Rather, while seeking something more appropriate, may I carry it out in a fully responsible way, giving it the same value as Jesus gave his work at Nazareth. If my present job is below my level of competence and my legitimate aspirations, may I not belittle it. Rather, while seeking something more appropriate, may I carry it out in a fully responsible way, giving it the same value as Jesus gave his work at Nazareth. May God grant me an honest and dignified job, and open the eyes of my soul to understand that he is always at my side. So as not to lose sight of this marvelous reality, may I make the effort to stay in God s presence during my work, using as a discreet reminder a small crucifix, or a small picture of Our Lady or of some saint to whom I have devotion, positioned where I can see it often, without attracting unnecessary attention. May God open the eyes of my soul to understand that he is always at my side. So as not to lose sight of this marvelous reality, may I make the effort to stay in God s presence during my work, using as a discreet reminder a small crucifix, or a small picture of Our Lady or of some saint to whom I have devotion, positioned where I can see it often, without attracting unnecessary attention.
5 Day 7 Day 8 Maturing in virtue through work Everything in which we poor human beings intervene even sanctity is a tissue of small trifles, which depending on the purity of our intention can form a tapestry of splendid heroism or of meanness, of virtues or of sins. A complete range of virtues is called into play when we set about our work with the purpose of sanctifying it: fortitude, to persevere in our work despite the difficulties that naturally arise and to ensure that we never let ourselves be overwhelmed by anxiety; temperance, in order to spend ourselves unsparingly and to overcome our love of comfort and our selfishness; justice, so as to fulfill our duties towards God, society, our family and our fellow workers; prudence, to know in each case what course to take, and then to set about it without hesitation...and all this, I emphasize, is for the sake of Love. All professional work demands previous training and a constant effort to improve one s formation and to adapt it to the new circumstances that may arise. 3 The Way, 86 Friends of God, 7 3 Conversations, 90 With our Lady s help, may I find the job I am looking for. And when I devote myself fully to this new work, may God help me to develop the Christian virtues and to mature spiritually through the work I do. May I seek to be patient and understanding, both towards my managers and towards my colleagues and subordinates. May I be simple and humble, avoiding vanity and exhibitionism. In a word, may I do everything with purity of heart. May God help me to develop the Christian virtues and to mature spiritually through the work I do. May I seek to be patient and understanding, both towards my managers and towards my colleagues and subordinates. May I be simple and humble, avoiding vanity and exhibitionism. In a word, may I do everything with purity of heart. Work as service, a help for others Consider too that, by doing your daily work well and responsibly, not only will you be supporting yourselves financially, you will also be contributing in a very direct way to the development of society, you will be relieving the burdens of others and maintaining countless welfare projects, both local and international, on behalf of less privileged individuals and countries. When you have finished your work, do your brother s, helping him, for love of Christ, so tactfully and so naturally that not even the person you re helping realizes that you are doing more than in justice you ought. This indeed is virtue befitting a son of God! Friends of God, 0 The Way, 440 May God our Lord grant me the job which I ask him for with so much faith. And may he infuse in my soul the desire to make of my work, not a self-centered activity geared to my own interests, but a service that is open and useful to many, done in the certainty that this ideal of service to others will give a new, higher and more joyful meaning to my life. May God infuse in my soul the desire to make of my work, not a self-centered activity geared to my own interests, but a service that is open and useful to many, done in the certainty that this ideal of service to others will give a new, higher and more joyful meaning to my life.
6 Day 9 Apostolate through work Professional work is also apostolate, an opportunity to give ourselves to others, to reveal Christ to them and lead them to God the Father. Just live your ordinary life; work where you are, trying to fulfill the duties of your state in life, finishing off the tasks in your professional work or job properly, improving, getting better each day. Be loyal; be understanding with others and demanding on yourself. Be mortified and cheerful. This will be your apostolate. Then, though you won t see why, because you re very aware of your own wretchedness, you will find that people come to you. Then you can talk to them, quite simply and naturally on your way home from work, for instance, or in a family gathering, on a bus, walking down the street, anywhere. You will chat about the sort of longings that everyone feels deep down in their soul, even though some people may not want to pay attention to them: they will come to understand them better, when they begin to look for God in earnest. Christ is Passing By, 49 Friends of God, 73 (Original text written by Fr. Francisco Faus São Paulo, Brazil.) Imprimatur + Dom Benedito Beni dos Santos Auxiliary Bishop of Sao Paulo 0 December 004 May God, through our Lady s mediation, make me find a good job in which I can grow professionally and give the best of myself. And may he make me see in the area of my work, a wide field for the apostolic mission that God entrusts to all the baptized, using the opportunities he offers me to help my colleagues, friends and clients discover the marvels of the Christian faith. May God help me see in the area of my work, a wide field for the apostolic mission that God entrusts to all the baptized, using the opportunities he offers me to help my colleagues, friends and clients discover the marvels of the Christian faith. Those who obtain favours through the intercession of St. Josemaría Escrivá are asked to notify the Prelature of Opus Dei, Office for the Causes of the Saints, Viale Bruno Buozzi 75, 0097 Rome, Italy. Learn more about St. Josemaría Escrivá at: and
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