Monday, November 30, 2009

Faith and One's Work

The difficult economic situation is a global one. People are moved to engage faith; others seem convinced faith never fit in the workplace. For people familiar with Ignatian spirituality or who desire to engage it, work and faith are never separate. British Jesuit Keith McMillan recently offered "a method of helping those in the business world to bring the values of their faith to their professional life."

While written from the perspective of the United Kingdom, Father McMillan briefly mentions the U.S. contribution that helped start Faith in the Workplace [FIWP] in London. Father McMillan also offers a concise description of the monthly, 1.5 hr-long meetings plus a testimonial from one person in business for whom FIWP is part of that person's life.

In sum, Father McMillan encouragingly answers the question, "How can one be both a good Christian and a successful business leader?"

1 comment:

Pat McHenry Sullivan said...

How can you be a good Christian and lead in business? Interviews with hundreds of people in all types of work from all faiths lead me to believe that the root answer is simple: invest time and attention into hearing God's will, then act prayerfully upon the wisdom of prayer. That which you profess in a "faith" setting, have the faith to practice in a secular setting.

Many people of many faiths follow the basic call to serve God by serving fellow humans and the planet with simplicity and kindness.

As a speaker about spirit and work to people of all faiths, I find it particularly painful that many Catholics simply do know the rich wisdom for work, particularly in the teachings of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, who simply practiced the presence of God in everything from sweeping the floor to omelet-making.

Faith is meant to be lived and to include faith in all of God's creation, including fellow humans. One role model I'd love to share is an Episcopalian attorney who went on retreat, then worked with the Ignatian Exercises daily for months, always with the prayer that her legal practice be centered in the wisdom she found there.

Thanks for your good work, Pat McHenry Sullivan, co-founder, Spirit and Work Resource Center,