“Many people begin, but few finish. And we, who are trying to behave as God’s children, have to be among those few. Remember that only work that is well done and lovingly completed deserves the praise of the Lord which is to be found in Holy Scripture: ‘better is the end of a task than its beginning’… It is no good offering to God something that is less perfect than our poor human limitations permit.” (St. Josemaría Escriva, Working for God)
St. Josemaría Escriva was no stranger to including God in his work or finding God in ordinary, everyday life. The prelature that he founded, Opus Dei, is based on these ideas. The crux of Opus Dei’s mission in helping us embrace personal holiness is carried out through the sanctification of work.
“If we are to sanctify our work, we need to do it well, and take care of the little details in our work. Finish it well, prepare it well. If we got a meeting, we try to prepare, be on time, etc.”
The commitment to doing all things well for the glory of God is not some attempt at scrupulosity or impossible perfection. In his homily Working for God, St. Josemaría explained that it was merely an imitation of the examples set by Jesus. After the private phase of His life, Jesus began His public ministry, teaching and healing those who followed. And they would always exclaim, having witnessed His work, bene omnia fecit, He has done everything exceedingly well.
And we can probably imagine where Jesus learned this great work ethic from. His mother was the Virgin Mary, Our Blessed Mother, and His foster father was St. Joseph, the Protector, the Terror of Demons, the Worker. For thirty years, Jesus led a private life, honoring His father and mother, obeying their wishes, learning to serve and learning to work well. He probably apprenticed as a carpenter under Joseph, observing the value of “measuring twice, cutting once.” Do all things exceedingly well.
And Mary, blessed without the stain of original sin, did all things well. She turned the ordinary tasks of tending to the home, cooking the meals, and nurturing Jesus into a means for her salvation and an example for her family and the world. This humble existence became a shining example of personal holiness. Mary, the ultimate example of the sanctification of work, was just a girl when she was asked to live a life of service.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” (The Magnificat)
In the Holy Family, we get three exemplary role models of people who were exceptional at fulfilling their vocations by doing their work with love. We should always seek to imitate Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their attitude towards work. Before you begin any task, go to Our Lord or His father or mother, and ask for their intercession so that you too may do all things exceedingly well.
SPECIAL PREMIUM $1,200+ LEVEL— Our Holy Family desk shrine is the perfect meditative and devotional gift of choice. With its beautiful imagery and elegant white marble or gilded gold leaf finish, this Holy Family desk shrine will adorn your home for years to come. You can place this shrine on your desk as a reminder to sanctify your work and do all things with love for the glory of God.
The shrine itself is produced with stonecast alabaster which originates from the mineral gypsum, a highly regarded building and decorating medium that has been used since the time of ancient Egypt and boasts an attractive smooth finish. The back of the shrine features a secured easel for standing and a simple metal hook for hanging. Approximate size 5 ½” x 8 “