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by Fr. Francis Carvajal February 10, 2021 4 min read

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3/41.3 Finishing off our work well. The little details that make any job ‘professional’.

The Christian discovers new treasures in his work because all the pathways of the earth can be an occasion for meeting Christ [2966] as St Josemaría Escrivá would say in so many different ways. He spent his life preaching that holiness is not reserved for the privileged few.[2967] He recalled an experience which he used in order to teach those who came to his apostolate what work done in the presence of God should be like. I also remember my stay in Burgos around that time... Our walks would sometimes take us as far as the monastery of Las Huelgas. On other occasions we would find our way to the Cathedral.

I used to enjoy climbing up the cathedral towers to get a close view of the ornamentation at the top, a veritable lacework of stone that must have been the result of very patient and laborious craftsmanship. As I chatted with the young men who accompanied me I used to point out that none of the beauty of this work could be seen from below. To give them a material lesson in what I had been previously explaining to them, I would say: ‘This is God’s work, this is working for God! – to finish your personal work perfectly, with all the beauty and exquisite refinement of this tracery stonework.’ Seeing it, my companions would understand that all the work we had seen was part of a prayer, a loving dialogue with God. The men who spent their energies up there were quite aware that no one at street level could appreciate their efforts. Their work was for God alone. Now do you see how our professional work can bring us close to Our Lord? Do your job as those medieval stonemasons did theirs, and your work too will be ‘operatio Dei’, a human work with a divine substance and finish.[2968]

To finish off what we do often means taking care of minor details, of the little things. This demands an effort, demands sacrifice, and when we offer it up it is pleasing to God. Taking care of the details for love of God does not diminish the soul. It ennobles it, because it perfects the work we are doing, and when we offer it up for specific intentions we share in the needs of the whole Church. In this way our job takes on a supernatural dimension it previously lacked. In our work, as in other aspects of ordinary life such as in family and social commerce, in periods of rest and leisure... we always have this choice – carelessness and shoddiness which impoverish the soul, or the little work of art offered up to God as the expression of a soul with interior life.

In this time of prayer perhaps God wants us to identify points in our way of working that require a change of emphasis or rhythm. Do I live the virtue of order, so that I tackle jobs according to their relative importance and not according to my own whims or fancies? Am I unnecessarily slow in finishing off my work because of lack of interest or punctuality? Do I break off the work I am engaged in on any excuse, perhaps causing others to be held up?

Our Lady will help us to finish our prayer with a definite resolution that will help us to do our work with greater perfection and to think of Our Lord more frequently in the course of it. From there where you are working, let your heart escape to the Lord, right close to the Tabernacle, to tell him, without doing anything odd, ‘My Jesus, I love you’.[2969]


[1667] John 20:1

[1668] Mark 16:2

[1669] John 20:19

[1670] John 11:16

[1671] John 14:5

[1672] John 20:25

[1673] Acts 5:14


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In Conversation With God

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.

Francis Fernandez-Carvajal,

Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.



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