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August 9, 2009

Do You Simply Have a Desk Job?

    Just the other day I came across an article in the America Magazine written by Ann Garrido.  The sub-title caught my attention because it read The Spirituality of Administration.  I knew this was meant specifically for me.  I couldn’t help but think of the many priests that I know who are often caught up in the work of administration when they would prefer not to be.  As I read I came to realize that the article applied to all people who have administrative jobs and are often frustrated with them because they feel they are not sufficiently contributing to the good of society. 

    Garrido brings out four main points that could help us to regain perspective when we find ourselves becoming overwrought with paper work and other administrative duties.  She asks us to consider the following:  What can administration call us to if we allow it?  She considers the following 4 possibilities.

    Administration can call us to a Greatness of VisionAdministrators must develop a vision of the whole; an understanding of how all the parts fit together and work together.  Administrators are called to strive for the “big picture” and to help others to strive for this as well.  To the degree that they are able to hold onto and carry this big picture, they image something of God who holds onto and carries the biggest picture of all.  They share in something of God’s grand vision.  They can experience something of how God sees and loves.

    Administration invites us to Love Blindly.  Sitting behind a desk and interacting with a computer screen does not give us much personal satisfaction.  It has its positive side but it also has it drawbacks.  Garrido asks us to consider the following:  Administration encourages the practice of giving of oneself freely and abundantly without always knowing what good is being done. 

    Administrators need A Tremendous Amount of Courage.  Sitting at a desk behind a computer screen doesn’t mean we are not faced with difficult decisions.  It happens all too often that we do not know the answers to problems.  We are not always sure which way to turn for the best answer.  Nearly everyone in this type of work is made to feel incompetent, at some time or other, because we do not have all the right answers.  This is when Garrido’s reflection can assist us.  She tells us that we must have the courage to admit our limitations and strive to move on, focused and fully believing that the Holy Spirit will help us overcome.

    Lastly, Administration calls us to Embrace ‘Death’.  This may sound a bit harsh but it is true.  In brief, administrators are constantly asked to “die” to their own will, their pride (ego), their desire to control.  They are also asked to “die” to their own desire to ‘produce’ because of the constant interruptions.  In short, administration has the potential to make more out of us.  It makes us more whole, more humble, more courageous. . .moving through death to new hope. 
    (Italics are direct quotes from America Magazine article by Ann Garrido.)
                                               Lorette P. Nault