Monday, June 9, 2008

Vocations for the laity

The homily preached at my Church this weekend referred to another homily by Joseph Cardinal Arinze, actually a commencement address, on vocations for the laity (an unfortunately rare homily topic, in my recollection!). The homily suggests we should live the Gospel in our family, our profession, and by generally sharing our faith. I think that we as computer science professors, practitioners, researchers, etc. can look to Cardinal Arinze's words as a starting point to understand how our own lives can be a witness of God's love.

1 comment:

Father Boniface said...

Thanks for the link, Mike! Cardinal Arinze spoke about a Christian's professional life in the following words:

"From every professional are required and expected efficiency, competence, reliability, and a sense of solidarity with others. Your work is your way of holding the right hand and the left of solidarity with your sisters and brothers in the pilgrimage that is life on earth. The Christian sees in work contribution to making this world a better place in which to live.

God could have created everything in its perfect form. He preferred to give us intelligence to work on what He had made. So, we can make tables. We can make houses. We can make the new chapel which will occupy here in the next few years, depending on the number of digits signed on the checks from the benefactors. And God also gives us capacity to make omelette and mixed salad and, also, to write Macbeth. But we must work."

In the following paragraphs, he seems primarily interested in establishing the importance of working at all, not just waiting for heaven. He also makes clear here that a Christian should work well and strive for excellence, specifically, striving for "efficiency, competence, reliability, and a sense of solidarity with others". These are important pillars for us to build on.

I think the challenge to solidarity is a good one for me--I need to be challenged to reach out more to my fellow professionals, not to form cliques, and especially not to separate computer scientists into upper and lower classes, but always strive for humility, seeing others as greater than myself (in the words of St. Benedict).