Sanctification in Daily Work
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St. Joseph the Worker

St. JosephToday is the feast of St. Joseph the worker who is an excellent model for Opus Dei. He was regarded in the Bible as a good and just man and was referred to by his profession (“is this not the carpenter’s son?” Mt. 13:55). The emphasis on Joseph’s work in the Bible and throughout tradition speaks to the importance of our own work in the world.

Be sure to read today’s reading from the Divine Office which comes from Gaudium et Spes n. 33-34 on Man’s Activity Throughout the World.

    From St. Josemaria

-Work is man’s original vocation. It is a blessing from God, and those who consider it a punishment are sadl mistaken. The Lord, who is the best of fathers, placed the first man in Paradise ut operaretur, so that he would work (Furrow 482).

-I ask God that you may take as your model Jesus as an adolescent and as a young man, both when he disputed with the doctors in the temple and when he worked in Joseph’s workshop (Furrow 484).

-Before God, no occupation is in itself great or small. Everything gains the value of the Love with which it is done (Furrow 487).

-Heroism at work is to be found in finishing each task (Furrow 488).

-Let us work. Let us work a lot and work well, without forgetting that prayer is our best weapon. That is why I will never tire of repeating that we have to be contemplative souls in the midst of the world, who try to convert their work into prayer (Furrow 497).

-Sanctifying one’s work is no fantastic dream, but the mission of every Christian – yours and mine. You cannot sanctify work which humanly speaking is slapdash, for we must not offer God badly-done jobs (Furrow 517, 493).

-From St. Paul’s teaching we know that we have to renew the world in the spirit of Jesus Christ, that we have to place Our Lord at the summit and at the heart of all things. Do you think you are carrying this out in your work, in your professional task (Forge 678)?

-Professional work – and the work of a housewife is one of the greatest of professions – is a witness to the worth of the human creature. It provides a chance to develop one’s own personality; it creates a bond of union with others; it constitutes a fund of resources; it is a way of helping in the improvement of the society we live in, and of promoting the progress of the whole human race…For a Christian, these grand views become even deeper and wider. For work, which Christ took up as something both redeemed and redeeming, becomes a means, a way of holiness, a specific task which sanctifies and can be sanctified (Forge 702).

-You should maintain throughout the day a constant conversation with Our Lord, a conversation fed even by the things that happen in your professional work. Go in spirit to the tabernacle…and offer to God the work that is in your hands (Forge 745).

Book suggestion: The Sanctification of Work

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