These symbols of faith can have a profound effect on your work and the lives of your colleagues.
Keeping your faith alive at work is not always easy. At times, even work can distract us from recognizing the presence of God in our daily lives, away from our relationship with Him.
But do not need be like that.
Among the many spiritual means available to us are the sacramentals. They have been a part of church life since the dawn of Christianity, but they are viewed by many as a sort of “superstition”. It turns out that in fact a large number of Catholics over the centuries have used the sacramentals superstitiously for lack of understanding of their true meaning: instead of instruments of God’s grace, they are treated as “magical” objects, , which they are not.
Sacramentals serve to enrich our spiritual life, not to harm it. They were instituted by the Church to encourage in us an ever deeper relationship with Christ and to help us focus on the sanctification of every part of our lives, including the most simple and everyday. Sacramentals are extensions of the seven sacraments and help us to see and welcome the grace of God in our daily lives – including at work.
If we use them in a spirit of faith, sacramentals can distract us from spiritual dangers and inspire us to live a holy life dedicated to God in the practice of each day. The following three, if used properly, can give a new spiritual impetus to our work environment – and to those who work with us:
It is one of the simplest sacramentals to have in the office. A small crucifix placed on our table can be a powerful reminder of the great love that God has for us, as well as being a visible sign of faith for our colleagues.
A crucifix near the computer can be a means of grace to shake our conscience when we are tempted to waste time with futilities, to access sites that are harmful to our psychological and spiritual health, to send rude messages, to participate in somber negotiations … The look of the crucified Christ turned to our gaze calls us back to the truth.
Preferably, ask a priest to bless the crucifix for you!
The Miraculous Medal
One of the Church’s most popular sacramentals is the Miraculous Medal of St. Catherine Labouré. Catherine received her during a vision of the Blessed Mother when she saw a medal containing this simple prayer: ” O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you .” Our Lady said:
” Everyone who uses this medal, when blessed, will receive great graces, especially if worn around the neck. Whoever repeats this prayer with devotion will remain in a special way under the protection of the Mother of God. Abundant graces will be given to those who have confidence . ”
St. Maximilian Kolbe relied so much on the promise of Mary that he called this “silver bullet” medal and gave it to the whole world. St. Teresa of Calcutta maintained a similar practice, calling it “a charity medal.”
In the office, according to the rules adopted by the company, you could use the miraculous medal visibly around your neck, keep it with you in your pocket, place it on the table by the keyboard … The miraculous medal is a reminder of Mary’s motherly love and can be an opportunity for spontaneous evangelization of those who ask about its meaning.
A sacred image
Many offices allow family photos on the desks. Why not a card with a sacred image? Another possibility is a small triptych, a type of icon composed of three collapsible panels, representing scenes of the life of Jesus and the history of the Redemption, aspects of Our Lady or of some saint of his devotion … It is more a beautiful way to help to sanctify your workplace and keep God at the center of everything you say and do!
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