I have collected 10 of my favorite quotes on faith and work which have inspired me over the last few years. I find great comfort in these words from Scripture, the Saints, Popes and other wonderful Catholic writers. Do you have others? Please share your favorites below.
“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” – Gospel of Matthew 5:13-14 and 16
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the light of the world’. The light of the disciple is the light of the Master himself. In the absence of this light of Christ, society becomes engulfed in the most impenetrable darkness. Christians are to illuminate the environment in which they live and work. A follower of Christ necessarily gives light. The very witness of a Christian life, and good works done in a supernatural spirit, are effective in drawing men to the faith and to God. Let us ask ourselves today about our effect on those who live side by side with us, those who have dealings with us for professional or social reasons. Do they see this light which illuminates the way that leads to God? Do these same people feel themselves moved, by their contact with us, to lead better lives?” – Frances Fernandez from In Conversation with God.
“The fundamental objective of the formation of the lay faithful is an ever-clearer discovery of one’s vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one’s mission. …The lay faithful, in fact, are called by God so that they, led by the spirit of the Gospel, might contribute to the sanctification of the world, as from within like leaven, by fulfilling their own particular duties. Thus, especially in this way of life, resplendent in faith, hope and charity they manifest Christ to others.” – Pope John Paul II in Christifideles Laici
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.” – Saint Paul in 2 Timothy 4:1-5
“One of the gravest errors of our time is the dichotomy between the faith which many profess and the practice of their daily lives… The Christian who shirks his temporal duties shirks his duties towards his neighbor, neglects God himself, and endangers his eternal salvation. Let Christians follow the example of Christ who worked as a craftsman; let them be proud of the opportunity to carry out their earthly activity in such a way as to integrate human, domestic, professional, scientific and technical enterprises with religious values, under whose supreme direction all things are ordered to the glory of God.” – Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes
“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.”- Pope John Paul II in Christifideles Laici
“The knowledge that by means of work man shares in the work of creation constitutes the most profound motive for undertaking it in various sectors. ‘The faithful… must learn the deepest meaning and the value of all creation, and its orientation to the praise of God. Even by their secular activity they must assist one another to live holier lives. In this way the world will be permeated by the spirit of Christ and more effectively achieve its purpose in justice, charity and peace . . . Therefore, by their competence in secular fields and by their personal activity, elevated from within by the grace of Christ, let them work vigorously so that by human labor, technical skill and civil culture, created goods may be perfected according to the design of the Creator and the light of his word.” –Pope John Paul II in Laborem Exercens
“We have to show everyone that Christ is still alive by living heroically the events of our daily lives. The apostolic vocation which we all received at Baptism means giving witness in word and deed to the life and teaching of Christ.” – Frances Fernandez from In Conversation with God
“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.” – Charlie Douglas in his article Moral Hazards in the Marketplace
“We are in the middle of a profound sea change affecting all aspects of life: social, cultural, economic, and political. Changes are being played out all over the world. Prompted by the alienation and uncertainty of our age, people—now more than ever—want to find a reliable moral compass. They want to integrate their whole selves; integrate who they are with what they do. Some are coming to recognize a deep-seated drive within each one of us to use our talents, intelligence and imagination for the greater good.” – James Nolan, author of Doing the Right Thing at Work