P. 1
Hard Work Is Not Enough! We Need Faith, Hope & Charity

Hard Work Is Not Enough! We Need Faith, Hope & Charity

|Views: 14|Likes:
Published by Dr. Liza Manalo
When will people learn that hard work is not enough? Do not just work hard. Work hard and make the right choices. And above all, choose to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love your neighbors as yourself. Have faith, foster hope. Give love. That's how to be holy at work, how to make work holy and how we can make other people holy through our work.
When will people learn that hard work is not enough? Do not just work hard. Work hard and make the right choices. And above all, choose to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love your neighbors as yourself. Have faith, foster hope. Give love. That's how to be holy at work, how to make work holy and how we can make other people holy through our work.

More info:

Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Dr. Liza Manalo on Dec 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/12/2014

pdf

text

original

SANCTIFYING OUR WORK: WORKING WITH FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY by Liza C.

Manalo

Those who have faced the DIFFICULT life become tough but also become fulfilled. But those who have experienced the IMPOSSIBLE life inspire others to think that the impossible is possible, that it can be done. There is nothing mystical or magical in the number 3. Neither is there any mystical or magical shortcut to success in life. We always pay for the choices we make, and the choices we make will determine the quality of the life we live. Going back to the rule of three, there are three things in life that are most valuable: 1. Faith 2. Hope 3. Love And we will comment on sanctifying our work (the topic of this talk) from the perspective of these 3 theological virtues. o One way of understanding the very basic aspect of our spirit, to sanctify ordinary work, would be to look into how we can work with greater faith, hope and charity or how to work as a child of God who knows she is loved immensely by God. One of the questions we could be asking ourselves is: How does a human being differ from a beaver?2 I was trying to get at the essence of what work is. Because what I wish to do is to help us see our work from God's perspective. If we can discover how God conceives of work and why he wills it, then that huge portion of our lives that may seem so separate from religion and faith can be just as God-focused as our more pious acts. To be a Christian means to bring all our life, including our work, into sync with God's will. First, God wills work because when we work in reliance on his power and according to his pattern of excellence, his glory is made known and our joy is increased. But here is where the beaver comes in. A beaver subdues his surroundings and shapes a dam for a good purpose -- a house. He no doubt enjoys his work; and even the diligence and skill of the beaver reflects the glory of God's wisdom.

The rule of three1
Three things you need to know about life:

1. Life is best for those who want to live it. 2. Life is difficult for those who want to analyze it. 3. Life is worst for those who want to criticize it.
Three essential stages of LIFE: 1. THE TEEN STAGE: You have all the time & energy but no money. 2. THE WORKING STAGE: You may have the money & energy but no time. 3. THE OLDIES STAGE: You have all the time & money but not enough energy. Three things in life that never come back when gone: 1. Time 2. Words 3. Opportunity Three things in life that should never be lost: 1. Peace 2. Hope 3. Honesty Three things that make a person: 1. Hard work 2. Sincerity 3. Commitment Three things that can destroy a person: 1. Lust 2. Pride 3. Anger Three things in life that is constant: 1. Change 2. Death 3. God And here is Francis Kong’s personal favorite: Life comes in three broad categories: Easy, Difficult and Impossible. Those who want to take only the EASY life will have a boring life.
1

o

o

o

Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star), Dec 12, 2010 Inspirational Speaker & Corporate Trainer, Manila http://www.businessmatters.org/

1

© 1983, 1998 John Piper http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper83/090483m.htm

2

1

All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all. And is glorified in them all. So what is the difference between a human being at work and a beaver at work? Or for that matter, a bee, or a hummingbird? They work hard, they subdue their surroundings and shape them into beautiful structures that serve good purposes. The difference is that humans are morally self-conscious and make choices about their work on the basis of motives which may or may not honor God. Therefore, the essence of our work as humans must be that it is done in conscious reliance on God's power, as a conscious quest of God's pattern of excellence and in deliberate pursuit of God's glory. When you & I work like this we can have a sweet sense of peace at the end of the day. o The second reason God wills work is that by working we provide for our legitimate needs. But our Lord says, "Don't be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, or about your body, what you shall put on … Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom …" (Mt. 6:25,32f). He says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). He says, "Know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Cor. 15:58). In other words, God does not want his children to be burdened with the frustration and futility and depressing weariness of work. But the provision of our needs does depend on our gainful employment. The third reason God wills work is that by working we provide for the needs of those who can't provide for their own. Work is a way of love. And the fourths reason God wills work is as a vehicle for making God known through the quality of our work, through the way we work, and as an occasion to meet and relate with persons we can bring closer to God. In our work we are usually in the world. We rub shoulders with all kinds of people, including unbelievers. If we do our work in reliance on God's power, according to his pattern of excellence and thus for his glory, we will build bridges for evangelization, of Christianizing society so that people can discover God and take their Christian life more seriously. There is a very close connection between the way we do our work and the attitude that other people, including unbelievers, will have toward the theology that makes us tick.

WORKING WITH FAITH The essay I am going to read to you now was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA, USA. He wrote it for his third grade homework to 'explain God': EXPLANATION OF GOD: 'One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.' 'God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.' 'God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.' 'Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista, CA. At least there aren't any who come to our church.' 'Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.' 'His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.' 'You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.'

o

o

2

o 'You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.' 'If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.' 'But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And...that's why I believe in God.' Do we also believe in God the way this little boy does? Do we believe that we can show our faith in God in and though our work? o Let us then work conscious of one’s role as a chosen instrument to make God present in and through our ordinary work, labor and usual activities. o It requires order; a correct sense of hierarchy that makes us identify God as the most important Person in our life, for whom we live and do all things. This sense of order leads us to give Him the best time, and to arrange our work schedule in such a way that we will put God, not our professional work and our other obligations, as the center of our life. Working with faith breeds serenity in us, that leads us not to lose sight of the excesses at work we should not fall into and to keep us focused on the right priorities: our norms, family life, personal apostolate and apostolic assignment. o

o

Pope Benedict XVI in his second encyclical Spe Salvi (#32) tells us: “A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer. When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me. When I have been plunged into complete solitude ...; if I pray I am never totally alone. The late Vietnamese Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book: Prayers of Hope. During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope—to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude. In the “10 Rules of Life” that Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan3 wrote, he said: “No, I will not spend time waiting to be let go (to be freed from captivity). I will live the present moment and fill it with love. "A straight line consists of millions of little points". Likewise, a lifetime consists of millions of seconds and minutes joined together. If every single point along the line is rightly set, the line will be straight. If every minute of a life is good, that life will be holy. The Road of Hope is paved with small acts of hope along life’s way. A life of hope is born of every minute of hope in that lifetime." Again, working with hope leads us to concretize our good resolutions with determination and carry them out over time with conviction, just like Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan did.

o

o

WORKING WITH CHARITY o Without charity, if we do not work for love of God, with the desire of answering his call in love, then there is no true fruitfulness from our work. Working with charity is to work with the spirit of Christ. We see our work as a way of extending Christ’s redeeming action in history. To work with charity is to work with care, knowing God my Father sees what I am doing and is pleased with my effort to second his will. To work with charity is to work spreading the spirit of Christ and making Christian values known

WORKING WITH HOPE o Working with hope leads us to concretize our good resolutions with determination and carry them out over time with conviction. Hope is the actualization of faith or faith expressed in actions that stem from charity. Hence, the effort to ask God’s grace, openness to his will and his demands, and acting on what we have seen earlier when we speak of working with faith is actually to hope.

o

o

o

3

http://www.nguyenvanthuan.com/tenrules.html

3

through the way we work and our presence at work: working serenely, cheerfully, knowing how to recognize our faults and saying sorry, being grateful, being a sower of peace and joy. o Apostolate in and though our work place, with our exemplary life of work and the apostolate of friendship and confidence in our work place.

Going back the story of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, in his “10 Rules of Life,” his 9th rule is: I will speak one language and wear one uniform---Charity: “I was in prison for 13 years, 9 of which in solitary confinement. Two guards watched me but never spoke to me; just yes and no. But I knew that after all, they were my brothers and I had to be kind to them. I had no gift to offer as a prisoner I had nothing at all, nothing to please them. What to do? One night, a thought came. "You are still very rich. You have the love of Christ in your heart. Love them as Jesus loves you". The next day I set to work, first, by showing gladness and by smiling. I began to tell stories about my journeys in countries where people live in freedom and enjoy their culture and great technical progress. That stimulated their curiosity and they asked many, many questions. Slowly, very slowly, we became friends. They wanted to learn foreign languages. My guards became my disciples! The atmosphere of the prison changed considerably. The quality of our relationship changed for the better. At that time, in another part of the area, a group of twenty people were learning Latin to be able to read Church documents. Their teachers was a former catechist. One of my guards was in the Latin class and one day he asked me if I could teach him songs in Latin. "There are so many ", I replied, "And they are all so beautiful". "You sing and I’ll choose " he retorted. And so I sang Salve Regina, Salve Mater, Lauda Sion, Veni Creator, Ave Maris Stella - You’ll never guess the song he chose. The Veni Creator! I can’t begin to tell you how moving it is to be in a Communist prison and hear your guard, coming down the stairs at 7 AM every morning on his way to the gymnastics yard for physical exercises, singing the Veni Creator. I will speak one language: Charity.

While at prison in Vinh-Quang in the mountains of North Vietnam, I was sawing wood one afternoon. I asked my ever-present guard, who had become my friend, if I could ask him for a favor. "What is it? I’ll help you" "I want to saw off a small piece of wood in the form of a cross." "Don’t you know that’s strictly forbidden to have any sign of religion whatsoever?" "I promise to keep it hidden." "But it would be extremely dangerous for the both of us." "Close your eyes, I’ll do it right now and I’ll be very careful" He turned his back and left me alone. I sawed a small cross which I later hid in a piece of melted down soap. I have kept it always and had it mounted in a piece of metal and it has become my pectoral cross. In another prison in Hanoi, I became friends with my guard and was able to request a piece of metal wire. He was terrified. "I studied in the University of Police that when someone wants electric wire he want is to kill himself!" he cried. I explained that Christians, and most of all priests, do not commit suicide. "And so what are you going to do with electric wire?" he asked." "I need a chain to wear my cross." "But how can you make a chain from wire?" "If you bring me two little pincers, I’ll show you." "Much too dangerous!" "But we’re friends!" He hesitated and finally said, "It’s too hard to refuse. Tonight at 7 PM we’ll do it. But we have to finish before 11. I’ll have my companion take the evening off. If he knew, he’d denounce the both of us. That evening, with the tools he brought, we cut and shaped and worked together to make my chain and we finished it before 11 PM! This cross and chain are not only my souvenir of captivity, as precious as that may seem. They are a constant reminder that only Christian charity can bring about a change of heart. Not arms, not threats, not the media. It was very hard for my guards to understand when I spoke about loving our enemies, reconciliation and forgiveness. "Do you really love us?" "Yes, I really love you." "Even when we cause you pain? When you suffer because you’re in prison without trial?" "Look at all the years we’ve spent together. Of course, I love you!"

4

"And when you get out, will you tell your people to find us and beat us and hurt our families?" "I’ll continue to love you even if you wish to kill me" "But why?" "Because Jesus taught us to love always; if we don’t, we are no longer worthy to be called Christians." There is not enough time to tell you all the other moving stories which are proof of the liberating power of the love of Jesus. "You wear one uniform and speak one language Charity." Charity is the sign by which you will be recognized as one of our Lord’s disciples. (John 10:10). It is a badge which costs little but is most difficult to find. Charity is the most important language. Saint Paul regarded it as far more important than being able "to speak the languages of men and even of angels" (1 Cor 13:1) (RH 984). o To end this commentary on Sanctifying our Work, I leave with you with some advice from Francis Kong taken from his column in The Philippine Star which he entitled: “Hard Work is not Enough!4:”

Choose to stay in the company of people who would help you be a better person. Choose to dedicate your life to a higher (goal) than just filling up your ego and pride. Choose to live life with the (goal) of helping make this world a little better. Do not just work hard. Work hard and make the right choices. Regardless of your given circumstances, each man land lives in a world of his or her own making. American writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel says it beautifully: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” And above all, choose to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love your neighbors as yourself. IN SUMMARY o One way of understanding the very basic aspect of our spirit, to sanctify ordinary work, would be to look into how we can work with greater faith, hope and charity or how to work as a child of God who knows she is loved immensely by God. St. Josemaria Escriva5, the saint of the ordinary, summarized it so beautifully for us: “You must realize now, more clearly than ever, that God is calling you to serve him in and from the ordinary, secular and civil activities of human life. He waits for us everyday, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it. I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God. That is why I have told you so often, and hammered away at it, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your everyday lives...”

We have to live life purposefully and we have to make the right choices. It is amazing to see that even less educated people can be more successful than those whose walls in their living rooms are adorned with various educational degrees. It is likewise amazing to know that people who came from poverty can rise up to succeed while many wealthy people who have inherited their riches lose everything they have within a few years. “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” These are questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny. Choose to be a person of character. Choose hard work over get-rich-quick scheme. Choose nobility over shameful acts. Choose to love God over loving the world and everything this world system represents. Choose to be faithful in your work. Choose to grow not only in character but in skills every day of your life. Choose to love your country and obey the laws even when others are not. Choose to understand that God has created you for (a reason, for a mission). o

o

4

Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) Jan 02, 2010

5

http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/in_love_with_the_church-chapter-4.htm

5

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->