Workplace, Holy Place

 By Woodeene Koenig-Bricker

When I envision spiritual practices done on a daily basis, I tend to think of monasteries with their regular prayer times, emphasis on silence and hours of contemplative reflection. These are not activities compatible with business environments. Telling your boss you need to sit in silent meditation every afternoon probably isn’t going to be met with much approval, especially not on deadline. Nor is refusing to talk because you are keeping a period of silence or dashing out of meetings to pray at specific times.

Because we view spiritual disciplines as something other people who don’t have “real” jobs do, incorporating specifically spiritual activities into our workday doesn’t come naturally. But it can, and perhaps it should.

For a spiritual practice to be applicable to a work environment on a regular basis, I believe it has to have at least three characteristics: 1) it has to be simple, 2) it has to be quick and 3) it has to be private. If it’s too complex or requires too much preparation, it isn’t going to last. If it takes too much time, it isn’t fair to the company and if it is public it goes against the Lord’s admonition to keep our good deeds to ourselves.

In order to fulfill these three requirements, we need to think outside the box of our usual spiritual practices and expand our ideas of disciplines to include some activities that might not seem spiritual at first glance.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas to try. Read more

The Spirituality of Work

Every Day Catholic – April 2010
The Spirituality of Work By: Kathy Coffey

Monday is the most dreaded day of the week. After the weekend, a collective sigh wafts across the world: “Ugh—back to work.”

Understandable. The drill can be tedious, the routine exhausting and the boss stupid. But when 6.9 million jobs were eliminated during the recession of 2007-2009, those who were still employed gained new appreciation for their work. Work may appear to be a grubby girl cleaning the sooty fireplace, but beneath the ragged camouflage hides the beautiful Cinderella.

As the classical philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “The color of one’s thought dyes one’s world.” How can we learn to see work as a productive outlet, a means of support and God’s gift? Read more