The following is a guest post by Bob Waruszewski.
In my first post, I talked about three ways to be Catholic at the cubicle. As a follow up, let’s look at some ways to be a Catholic Gentleman when interacting with our co-workers.
1) Use Words to Build Up, Not to Tear Down – Most offices have a gathering place for complainers. Maybe it’s at the lunch table, that cubicle on the other side of the floor, or the water cooler. As you pass by these spaces, it is easy to get sucked into the negative conversation. Maybe it’s a cold rainy Monday and no one feels like working, or maybe you inbox is flooded with emails that all need to be answered by this afternoon.
Whatever the reason, many times we use the office as a place to grumble about the problems in our lives. Yet as Catholics, we know that Christ has a higher standard for us. We are called to use words in a constructive way. Think about the conversations that you have at work. Are you creating a positive environment or dragging people down into negativity with complaints?
Key Scripture Passage to Remember: Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.”
2) Pray Before Lunch – A simple way to share your faith with co-workers is to pray before lunch, yet this basic practice can be intimidating to do. Often you may be the only person to pray before a meal. It may feel awkward to pray alone while everyone is starting lunch, but do it anyway. Prayer keeps us grounded in what really matters even in the busyness of our day-to-day activities. A simple sign of the cross and silent prayer before you eat lets your co-workers know that God is important to you. Remember that the sign of the cross is powerful and that God can pour graces into our lunchtime discussion through that simple prayer of thanks.
Key Takeaway: The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer. Some are daily, such as morning and evening prayer, grace before and after meals, the Liturgy of the Hours. (CCC 2698)
3) Ask the Holy Spirit for Teachable Moments to Share Your Faith – The thought of evangelizing at the office can be rather scary. Fears of offending others, losing one’s job, or standing out as the crazy Catholic can keep us from sharing our Faith. Yet there are simple ways we can share our Faith without coming across as pushy. The key is to be open to the Holy Spirit. Pray for the grace to speak the right words at the right moment to your co-workers. If you try to create moments for Faith-sharing, you can come across as fake and cheesy. Trust that the Lord will give you opportunities to share your faith if you follow his lead.
For example, if someone asks you what you did this past weekend, mention that you went to Mass. If the co-worker follows up with a further question about Mass, tell them more about your Faith. If not, don’t awkwardly try to bring the conversation back to the Catholic Faith. Let it go for the moment. You have planted a seed in their hearts. They now know that Catholicism is important to you. If they have more questions, they will come back and ask you later.
Key Scripture: Matthew 10:19-20 “do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
These are just a few more ways of ways to live out one’s faith at work. For further study of this subject, I highly recommend, The Catholic Briefcase by Randy Hain.
What are your experiences sharing your faith at work?
Bob Waruszewski is a cradle Catholic from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and economics. Currently he works in the regulatory department for a natural gas distribution company in the Steel City and is enjoying life as a married man. In his free time, which will be cut dramatically when his wife gives birth in May, he enjoys playing sports, hiking and reading a good book. His favorite saint is St. Joseph.The Catholic Gentleman.