In addition to being the co-founder of the Integrated Catholic Life eMagazine, I am involved in a number of ministries and groups whose mission is to promote a “unity of life,” centered in Christ, which will help Catholic men and women integrate faith, family and work. I invite you to reflect on the writing of Pope John Paul II, who said in his apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici: “The unity of life of the lay faithful is of the greatest importance: indeed they must be sanctified in everyday professional and social life. Therefore, to respond to their vocation, the lay faithful must see their daily activities as an occasion to join themselves to God, fulfill his will, serve other people and lead them to communion with God in Christ.”
I believe that promoting this integration will help us all become better Christians and reverse the negative effects — mental, emotional, moral, and physical — of keeping our faith separate from the rest of our lives. As my friend Charlie Douglas wrote in his article titled Moral Hazards in the Marketplace: “Perhaps part of the problem today is that there is a growing cultural demarcation between the sacred and the secular. Increasingly, love and faith are reserved for Church on Sundays, while the workplace demands a focused self-interest and a competitive edge to survive.”
The challenge is to adopt new practices and strategies, not as a bunch of new “to-dos,” but as part of a broader, unifying approach to balance and integration. It isn’t easy, but worth the journey.
How do you practice integration? Please share your thoughts below.