Keeping your faith alive at work is not always an easy task. In fact, sometimes work can distract us from recognizing the presence of God and pull us away from our relationship with God.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
One set of tools that the Church has instituted to help us sanctify our workplace is sacramentals. These are usually religious objects blessed by a priest to call down a particular grace from God. They have been instituted by the Church to draw us into a deeper relationship with Christ and are focused on sanctifying every part of our lives. Sacramentals are extensions of the seven sacraments and bring the grace of God into everything that we do.
While sacramentals won’t necessarily cure all of your problems at work, they can help you be better disposed to receive God’s divine assistance wherever you are.
Here are three such sacramentals that, if used properly, can provide a spiritual boost in the workplace and help us be a shining light for all to see.
One of the simplest sacramentals to have in the office is a crucifix. Depending on your situation at work, a small desk-top crucifix can be a powerful reminder of what the Christian life is all about. A crucifix reminds us of the great love that God has for us, and is a visible sign to our coworkers of our Christian faith. It is helpful to have a crucifix in close to your computer so that you can frequently meditate on Jesus’ great sacrifice of love as well as have an image to remind you what you need to focus on during times of temptation. When tempted to lie, cheat or make a shady deal, the crucifix stands there staring at us and calling us back to the truth.
Here is one of the prayers of blessing a crucifix in the Roman Ritual that sums up all the reasons we need them in our offices.
Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, be pleased to bless + this cross, that it may be a saving help to mankind. Let it be the support of faith, an encouragement to good works, the redemption of souls; and let it be consolation, protection, and a shield against the cruel darts of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.
One of the most popular sacramentals of the Catholic Church is the Miraculous Medal of St. Catherine Labouré. Catherine received the medal in a vision of the Blessed Mother where she saw a medal that said a simple prayer, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.” The Blessed Mother said that, “All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.” St. Maximillian Kolbe trusted so much in the power of this medal that he called them “silver bullets” and passed them out to whomever he met. St. Teresa of Calcutta had a similar practice, calling it a “medal of charity.”
At the office a small miraculous medal can be worn, put in the pocket, or set on the desk next to a keyboard. The Miraculous Medal is a simple way to remind yourself of Mary’s love for you and can be a point of evangelization, giving them away to curious coworkers.
In many offices it is allowed to post pictures of one’s family members. Why not post a holy card with a picture of a saint? We are all part of the Body of Christ and our heavenly brothers and sisters are constant reminders to us of our duties as Christians. Another idea is to purchase a small triptych, a folding icon that contains three panels of saints, the Blessed Mother, or Jesus Christ. Often a triptych is collapsible and easy to store. It is a beautiful way to sanctify any space where you were working and keep God at the center of all that you say and do.
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