In the world but not of the world

In the world but not of the world

Attention devout Catholic or Protestant working folks out there:

If you work in a secular (meaning: non-church or religious) environment, how do you remain true to your religious convictions while complying with the political correctness expected in the workplace? This is a sincere question, and I would appreciate your insight.

In my new role, I am not supposed to discuss God, religion, or anything of that nature, yet I must listen to people talk about birth control, fornication, tubal ligation, tales of drug and alcohol abuse violence, and stints in the clink because it’s part of their “journey,” and is supposed to help me get a better understanding of where they’ve been and how they can acquire gainful employment to better their lives and those of their children.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong – I am not about to start throwing stones at anyone. I know that, given just slightly different circumstances and choices at various points in my life, I could be right there with them. I have some logs in my past, and I am not about to condemn anyone for some splinters. 

Maybe this is an absolutely tremendous opportunity for me to exercise Christ-like patience, compassion, kindness, restraint, and unconditional love with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m just wondering – how to evangelize without overtly evangelizing? I’m thinking about St. Francis of Assisi and his exhortation to preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, to use words.

What say you?


4 thoughts on “In the world but not of the world

  1. Ugh! I just left a position because I couldn’t take the disrespect and outright bigotry against Catholicism. Of course, I wont get into it but long story short I failed the test and failed to be saintly so that they might know by my love. It’s hard. You must go in prepared. It’s the lion’s den and your faith must be strong. Here’s what I should have done, I think.
    Be saintly and “wear your faith on your sleeve,” I would say. So that people might ask you about the feet pin or the miraculous medal you wear or the saint’s prayer card you have on your desk. Stop to say your prayer (with full sign of the cross) before eating anything. Be consistent. Pray always for all endeavors great and small. Pray before opening the door to this place and walking in. (I’m trying to do this now in my new place of work that is already respectful and not hostile as the previous place was. And as I write this I am taking the opportunity to give myself advice. ) Being nice, polite, and bearing it is not enough. It never was and we let ourselves believe that it was and hence we (failing Christians) are to blame for the mess we find ourselves in now.
    Do not be afraid to speak the name of Jesus. And tell people you would rather they not use the name of Jesus as a curse in your presence please…etc. Hmm, I’m thinking I should bring holy water…

    1. I had the chance to talk about the job with my husband for the first time earlier today. He has been doing such a great job as “Mr. Mom” this week that I didn’t want to burden him with my petty complaints about this position, which, honestly, is a tremendous blessing for our family in many ways; I just need to remember that it’s a blessing! Anyway, I was sharing with him how I haven’t yet done the sign of the cross before meals even though I have prayed, so thank you for the additional reminder!

      There hasn’t been any outright hostility yet other than what is probably “normal” for the secular workplace in that it’s part of a culture that thinks sin and relativism is okay, while virtue and holiness are weird. People are numb to sin and perhaps don’t realize how they wound the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

      As soon as I have a desk to call my own, you better believe my “I heart the Pope” mug and an icon postcard will be visible. I found a new chain in my jewelry box Thursday and began wearing my crucifix necklace again. Thanks again to you, and Saint Luke, below, for the reminders to be strong and enthusiastic about my faith, even in the workplace:

      Luke 12:8-9 “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.”

      And one other thing, Carol – you did not fail. You are trying again, which is a saintly attribute – to recognize the error and to begin again in a more godly direction. Sinners give up, and saints keep trying – and my Mom will be especially amused that I remember her giving me this advice many times while growing up.

      God bless you!

      1. Aww! Thanks so much. You are sweet. The positive feedback really helps.

        On a side note, I pray to St. Joseph while at work when I’m in a bind, confused, or especially when equipment won’t cooperate. He is amazing! He’s my co-worker buddy and the best fix-it/IT guy I know. 🙂

        God bless you and your family!

        (p.s. so sorry for my horrible spelling and typos)

        1. Hey, no problem – let’s build each other up!!

          GREAT advice on St. Joseph. I especially love that he can be my personal IT guy. Now, that’s a helpful saint for today! 🙂

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