Three Ways to Be Catholic at the Cubicle

A few weeks ago, I was reading an excerpt about how a man chose to serve as a missionary on a college campus following graduation. He said that he decided to become a missionary because he wanted to something meaningful with his life and not just push papers in an office.  As an office worker his story struck a chord with me and I began to wonder, Can you only be holy if you work for the Church? Are those who work in an office destined to live a life of mediocrity without meaning?

Upon further reflection, I realized that the various saints show us that holiness is possible in every state of life, even at the office cubicle. Maybe one day we will even have a patron saint for office workers. Yet until an office worker is canonized, I have offered a few suggestions in living out your faith at work.

Schedule Brief Times for Prayer at Work – I like to start my day with a prayer to St. Joseph, patron saint of workers. This helps me focus for the day and reminds me that my work should bring me closer to Christ. Other ways to pray could include saying the Angelus, grace before lunch, spiritual reading during lunch or a prayer of thanksgiving at the end of the day. While an office worker is not a monk, and should not attempt to pray the whole Liturgy of the Hours during work, we should aside a few moments each day to communicate with God as we go about our work.

Offer Up the Annoyances of Cube Life for the Souls in Purgatory – Cube life has little privacy. The habits of our co-workers such as loud talking on the phone, barging into your cubicle without permission, or crinkling open a bag of chips can be rather annoying. However, whatever irritations you encounter, treat them as opportunities to grow in patience and offer them up to Christ for the souls in purgatory who are suffering much greater than any irritations at the office.

Contribute Financially to the Needs of the Church – If God has blessed you with a well-paying job, then one of the easiest ways to serve Him is to support the different ministries of the Church. Maybe you can’t do a year of service in Jamaica or work full-time at the soup kitchen because of your office job, but you can support full-time missionaries and religious of the Church. By financially supporting charities and religious, our work can take on a new dimension. Not only are we providing for our needs and those of our family, but also for the needs of the Church at home and abroad. Even if our work does not always appear to be meaningful, we can take solace in the fact that a part of our labor is sponsoring people serve the needs of Christ around the world.

These three ideas only scratch the surface of ways to grow closer to Christ through our work. As we approach Lent, consider new ways to become holy, especially at the office. Remember that in our work, “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others” (Colossians 3:23)

Bob Waruszewski

Bob Waruszewski

Bob Waruszewski is a cradle Catholic from Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. Currently he works in the energy industry in the Pittsburgh and is enjoying life as a married man and father to his one year old daughter. He enjoys hiking, reading a good book and competing on the athletic field.

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22 thoughts on “Three Ways to Be Catholic at the Cubicle”

  1. Nicely done, I recommending praying the rosary on the way to work too. The commute can be a trial that shapes your view of the day.

    1. Bob Waruszewski

      The rosary can be a good way to redeem the time on the commute. I have also found that listening to spiritual talks on my commute is helpful.

      1. I do my morning Prayer early at home with a strong dose of Saint Jose Maria Escriva and Fernandez for the tincture of optimism needed for the day. Cheers

  2. Great points, from experience at work I would add a couple of others:
    4. Be a good example of a Christian to your fellow workers.
    5. Work the New Evangelization by interacting with fellow Catholics, and lapsed Catholics, building them up, reminding them in a sense that no matter where we are or what we are doing, we are all still with God as he blesses us with his Grace.

    1. Bob Waruszewski

      Yes those are some good points. I didn’t offer much on how to live your faith when interacting with co-workers … that may be a future post idea

  3. I have found that the bathroom works well when I need a private place to pray… And a cubicle has ample space for pinning things up like holy cards, and a Rosary hangs well from a push pin! These things can also be good conversation starters!

  4. Another is Ash Wednesday. Nothing like walking around with a giant smudge on your head to attract attention. I like the tradition of Ash Wednesday but sometimes feel as though I may be like a pharisee and showing off that i’m praying in the temple.

    1. Bob Waruszewski

      Ashes can help open the dialogue with co-workers about your faith but can also boost one’s pride. If you find yourself feeling like a pharisee then consider praying the litany of humility for the grace to be humble.

  5. Good suggestions. We catholics should give much importance for prayer. Prayer can be done any time because it is a wonderful relationship and our acceptance of our lowliness.

    1. Bob Waruszewski

      Exactly, prayer is most important. We can only act like Christ in the world in the active life if we have a strong interior life of prayer.

  6. As a college senior who is about to graduate and enter Corporate America with a consulting job, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard my peers echo what that missionary said, often to my face. I spent a lot of time my Sophomore and Junior years feeling like my future occupation would be an insufficient vocation. It was only in this past year that I’ve come to eagerly accept my role as a missionary in Corporate America. I can’t wait to be a witness in an untapped area! Thank you SO much for writing this article, Bob. Reading these points gives me hope that keeping my faith up doesn’t have to be as hard as I’m scared it will be. I hope to read more about your experiences and advice regarding this topic in the future! Know that I pray for you and all the other Corporate Catholics out there every day. Thank you for your service to the Church and your willingness to serve in unique and challenging ways. God Bless!

    1. Bob Waruszewski

      Lauren, I am glad this article inspired you. Sometimes it is hard to remember that we can be holy for Christ in any job and not just if you work for the Church. We certainly need faithful Catholics witnessing in corporate America! Stay close to the Lord in prayer and He will help you as you make your transition from college to the business world. I highly recommend that you read, the Catholic Briefcase by Randy Hain http://www.amazon.com/The-Catholic-Briefcase-Tools-Integrating/dp/0764820524 for further reflection on living at your Catholic faith in your future job. God Bless!

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