PathToHoliness

Sanctification in Daily Work
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Personal Reflection

Patience. Trust. Faith. Suffering. Hope. Disappointment. These are just some of the things I’ve felt in the last month of battling a complicated pneumonia infection. After over 2 weeks of an initial treatment that didn’t work I wound up in the hospital for 10 days. During that time I had pretty major surgery to remove the infection from around my left lung. The doctors finally figured out the exact bacteria causing it and now I’m on an extended antibiotic treatment and feeling much better. I’m home and having to carefully work back to a sort of normal routine.

So, I guess I’m writing to say how much this experience has meant to me spiritually. I think I’ve run the gamut of emotions you can have and really don’t know how I would have handled this without my faith. I always have a rosary with me but I’ve prayed it more often and fervently and I believe Mary has been by my side helping me to cope with all the uncertainty and fear of what was happening. Of course God has been with me every step of the way too and my guardian angel. We’re never alone!

One of the things that this whole experience has forced me to look at is the end of my earthly life. I know it’s not something to really worry about since it’s going to happen sometime and if we’re in a state of grace then it will lead to eternal life with our Lord. But I’ve always tried not to think about it and so I guess this experience has been beneficial in making me examine myself more closely to see how I can improve my life and what I need to work on even more, especially after recovering from this setback.

When I had my personal conversion experience years ago I knew my life would never be the same and that there were things in my life I would change permanently. I have been amazed to realize how much more I still need to work on and I am resolved to make more changes now.

So I thank God for this great spiritual opportunity. It’s not easy but it will be well worth it.

Work and Rest

The latest edition of electronic news from Opus Dei has an article titled, “Work and Rest.” I found it very appropriate for this morning’s reflection since I’ve been on 2 weeks of forced rest due to a case of pneumonia. I’ve never had this before and hope you never do. But as bad as it has been it has allowed me a lot of time to contemplate on what is important in life. My wife and I have a very successful small business which has been a real blessing for going on 6 years now. The most difficult thing we’ve had to contend with is growth and managing our time. I’ve had concerns about us working too hard and traveling too much but haven’t done anything about it, although we have developed a list of free lance writers and photographers to call on. I’ve had to cancel 3 different events I was supposed to work at in this time I’ve been sick and that has cost us a significant amount of revenue while I’m sure we’re going to be getting multiple bills from doctors, etc. So we are concerned about what that will mean. At the same time though I’m taking this as a sign that I should slow down my pace and as we have since starting the business, put it in God’s hands what will happen.

The Opus Dei article focuses mostly on keeping Sunday a day of rest but makes it clear that rest is an integral part of our existence and important to our path to holiness.

God knows his creatures well. While inviting us to collaborate with him, he knows that our nature is fragile and vulnerable. The divine calling to work includes the need to rest. As we see in the creation account, “the alternation between work and rest, built into human nature, is willed by God himself.”[9]

So I guess in my reflection I would have to add that besides resting from work I also need to become more patient. I think part of why we don’t allow ourselves to rest properly is an impatient attitude that says “I have to get everything done now.” A lot of times that’s just not possible anyway. So, as this illness clears up it’s my resolution to take more time to rest from work. I don’t mean sit in the recliner in front of the tv either. I mean take time away from work to spend with family or on a project that will benefit others.

I have to add my thanks to my family, especially my wife and daughter Chelsea, who have helped me out so much during this last 2 weeks. I am a very blessed husband and father!

Fear Over The Climate

I don’t know about you but I’m really get tired of hearing about global warming. I don’t care if it’s man made or not man made, I’m just tired of it. The rhetoric is so alarmist that even if there was credible evidence (I haven’t seen any) that we’ve somehow actually changed the climate of the globe I would ignore it. It’s kind of like chicken little. It’s been pushed too hard and too often for me or apparently most Americans to take anymore. On news reporting of global warming, a recent Gallup poll says that “. . . a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated. This represents the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade of Gallup polling on the subject.”

I believe a lot is being done to mitigate our collective impact on the environment. Take the growth in biofuels production and research as just one example. Of course, even with the incredible amount of work being done in this area a whole new group of outspoken critics have materialized, some even saying that burning gas made from oil is better than burning a fuel made from a renewable resource like corn or ultimately other cellulosic material. Look at the recent hoax about food vs. fuel which has been scientifically proven false.

I really believe that all the alarmist news on this subject and people’s fear as a result can be linked back to a lack of faith in God. This is just one example I see of what’s happening here and in other parts of the world where the Christian faith is being persecuted so much. Remove God and the peace of soul that comes from a solid belief in Him from society and you have a people who searching for something they can’t define and open to all manner of suggestion even the kind built on a pack of lies.

When it comes to this particular matter of global warming you might want to look at some information that just isn’t reported by the alarmist media. In fact, there is plenty of credible evidence of the exact opposite of global warming. My prediction is that you’re going to be hearing more and more of these global warming doomsdayists backing up and saying that the research they’ve been relying on is flawed. However, they’ll still persist in their claims and just move the timetable for doomsday ahead a little further.

I believe we should all act responsibly when it comes to the environment. Government and fear mongering won’t get it done. A solid belief in God will help people act more responsibly than anything else will.

The Stimulus Temptation

I don’t know if you’ve already received them but I’m getting spam emails from law firms claiming they can help me get my share of the stimulus money. Our local paper proudly proclaimed today that “Mo. could get $4.4B from stimulus.” Now that this thing has passed we’re already seeing the money grab begin. Yesterday’s local paper had a story on how our transportation department was hoping to get almost a billion dollars and that they were already working on a spending plan.

So, we have sectors of our economy suffering because of poor decisions on the part of both consumers and companies that has placed them so far in debt they’re having to take drastic measures such as bankruptcy and now our government thinks the answer is to put the whole nation in debt as a way to fix things? Does that make sense to you? Not to me.

Our elected officials have passed a plan that apparently no one, including themselves, really understands. What little I’ve seen leaves so much leeway in how this fictitious money is to be spent that I’m afraid we’re in for years of stories of misappropriated funds and investigations. There’s just too much temptation being thrown at us.

I hope and pray for our country and our society both now and as we move forward. I can’t help but believe that instead of solving a problem we’ve just thrown gasoline on the fire.

Where’s The Crisis

This morning’s radio news contained the word, crisis, several times. In referring to the economy the announcer said that there’s only one solution. He then played a one word sound bite from the President’s speech last night which was, “Government.” Yeah. Right. So I had to look up the definition of crisis and here’s how Merriam Webster Online defines it:

1 a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life (a midlife crisis) 2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot) 3 a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending ; especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome (a financial crisis) b: a situation that has reached a critical phase (the environmental crisis)

I’ve been thinking lately that this has got to be the most overused word in the media and by politicians today. Think of: economic crisis, moral crisis, dietary crisis, world crisis, water crisis, food crisis, gas crisis, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Do you feel pity for these people or do you feel like you’re in crisis mode too?

I don’t. I’m wondering if there is a crisis or if perhaps there are a whole lot of people who don’t have faith or are just trying to make us afraid so we make snap decisions without thinking through them. I don’t suggest that there are problems in our economy but there are always fluctuations in business just like the weather. Instead of quaking in fear, a little prayer and quiet meditation about what to do next can really help in a situation like we’re in.

The Communion Antiphon at this morning’s Mass was especially appropriate I thought. Matthew 19: 28-29 RSV.

“Truly, I say to you . . . And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”

So what is there to worry about? Why rush to make decisions that will have momentous consequences now and for generations to come?