Virtue / Work

How to be Catholic in the Cubicle

t1larg.cubicleThe following is a guest post by Bob Waruszewski. It is the first in a series on sanctifying our work.

A few weeks ago, I was reading an excerpt about how a man chose to serve as a missionary on a college campus following graduation. He said that he decided to become a missionary because he wanted to something meaningful with his life and not just push papers in an office. As an office worker his story struck a chord with me and I began to wonder, Can you only be holy if you work for the Church? Are those who work in an office destined to live a life of mediocrity without meaning?

Upon further reflection, I realized that the various saints show us that holiness is possible in every state of life, even at the office cubicle. Maybe one day we will even have a patron saint for office workers. Yet until an office worker is canonized, I have offered a few suggestions in living out your faith at work.

Schedule Brief Times for Prayer at Work – I like to start my day with a prayer to St. Joseph, patron saint of workers. This helps me focus for the day and reminds me that my work should bring me closer to Christ. Other ways to pray could include saying the Angelus, grace before lunch, spiritual reading during lunch or a prayer of thanksgiving at the end of the day. While an office worker is not a monk, and should not attempt to pray the whole Liturgy of the Hours during work, we should aside a few moments each day to communicate with God as we go about our work.

Offer Up the Annoyances of Cube Life for the Souls in Purgatory – Cube life has little privacy. The habits of our co-workers such as loud talking on the phone, barging into your cubicle without permission, or crinkling open a bag of chips can be rather annoying. However, whatever irritations you encounter, treat them as opportunities to grow in patience and offer them up to Christ for the souls in purgatory who are suffering much greater than any irritations at the office.

Contribute Financially to the Needs of the Church – If God has blessed you with a well-paying job, then one of the easiest ways to serve Him is to support the different ministries of the Church. Maybe you can’t do a year of service in Jamaica or work full-time at the soup kitchen because of your office job, but you can support full-time missionaries and religious of the Church. By financially supporting charities and religious, our work can take on a new dimension. Not only are we providing for our needs and those of our family, but also for the needs of the Church at home and abroad. Even if our work does not always appear to be meaningful, we can take solace in the fact that a part of our labor is sponsoring people serve the needs of Christ around the world.

These three ideas only scratch the surface of ways to grow closer to Christ through our work. As we approach Lent, consider new ways to become holy, especially at the office. Remember that in our work, “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others” (Colossians 3:23)


18 thoughts on “How to be Catholic in the Cubicle

  1. Actually I have the divine office app on my iPad – you can listen to the liturgy of the hours while you work, if your workplace allows you to wear headphones. You can also download the divine office reading via podcast. I am known as that crazy convert catholic at work because I have, a crucifix, an icon of Mary, a Saint day calendar, and a few prayer cards hanging on my cube walls. Why not, I figure when I feel like my job is meaningless I look to those saints and prayers to help me make it through the day.

  2. At work I’m known as the catholic receptionist. I love this article! It reaffirms what I try to do each day. Plus I was able to send all my children thru catholic schools with what I brought home.

  3. When I enter into meetings that I know are going to be stressful and that there will be focus on what I say and do, I take a short moment before the meeting to ask God to guide my thoughts and words and then when I am asked questions or asked to make a comment, I take a short breath and at the same time say to myself, God guide me. It Really works!!!

  4. Thanks for writing this, it is always good to be reminded that we can take really anything and turn it into good. In this respect, I’ve really appreciated St. Josémaria Escriva’s model for Opus Dei, ‘as a way of sanctification of daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian’s ordinary duties’ as well as St. Therese Lisieux and her ‘Little Way’.

  5. In my cubicle, instead of hanging a standard office calendar on the wall, I hang the parish calendar we get in church every year. So I have beautiful Catholic art to look at each day, and so do others who walk into my cube. Nothing to say, it’s just there!!

  6. Pingback: Catholic in the Cubicle, Part 2: Interacting with Co-Workers | The Catholic Gentleman

  7. Pingback: Catholic in the Cubicle, Part 2: Interacting with Co-Workers

  8. Pingback: Pastoral Sharings: " Fifth Sunday of Lent" | St. John

  9. I work for the Church AND in a cubicle (I work for a Diocese), and it’s still hard to feel like I’m serving God as fully as a missionary in Africa would be. But the Lord has helped me realize that my desire to be a missionary is selfish – it’s more because I want to feel holy rather than my true desire to be where He is calling me. So I greatly appreciate this article!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s