Maintaining a Work/Life Balance as a Catholic Professional


In today’s fast-paced and demanding professional world, achieving a healthy work/life balance is an ongoing challenge. For Catholic professionals, the quest for equilibrium takes on a unique dimension. It involves not only the delicate act of balancing work and personal life but also the profound commitment to putting family and faith first, while viewing one’s work as an expression of their faith. In this article, we will explore the distinctive challenges faced by Catholic professionals in maintaining a work/life balance, with a specific focus on the importance of prioritizing family and faith, and the profound idea of work as an expression of one’s faith.

The Challenge of Balancing Faith, Family, and Work

Catholic professionals often find themselves at a crossroads where they must make difficult choices. Because we as Catholics believe that our family, faith and work all have a central role to play in the sanctification of the world, it can hard to properly balance them. In the quest to maintain a work/life balance as a Catholic professional, the challenge is not just about time management but also about balancing family and faith alongside professional pursuits.

Balancing family commitments with work demands

Catholic professionals are guided by strong family values rooted in their faith. The importance of spending quality time with family, nurturing relationships, and providing a stable and loving home environment is paramount. However, the demands of a busy professional life, with its long hours and career-driven culture, can often encroach on this sacred family time.

The challenge is to find a balance where one can excel in their career while also being present and attentive to the needs of their family. This might require setting boundaries, such as not bringing work home, or negotiating with employers for flexible schedules that allow for family priorities.

Prioritizing faith in the midst of work pressures

For Catholic professionals, faith is not just a Sunday ritual but an integral part of their daily life. It involves prayer, reflection, and living out the moral and ethical teachings of their faith. Yet, the relentless pressures of the modern workplace can make it difficult to maintain a strong connection to one’s faith during the day.

It is easy to convince ourselves that there is no time to stop and give a moment to the Lord. But the truth is, we can easily carve out five or ten minutes to quietly focus on God. And this is crucial to maintaining a work/life balance as a Catholic professional.

Praying mid-day prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours or St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen can be a huge help to not lose your sense of the presence of God in the midst of the chaotic workday!

The internal conflict between secular values and religious convictions

The world often encourages professionals to prioritize individual success, material gain, and competition. In contrast, the Catholic faith promotes values such as compassion, humility, and selfless love. It can be hard to live as a Catholic professional in the secular workplace The internal conflict between these secular values and religious convictions can create a sense of dissonance.

Integrating Work Into a Catholic Life: 3 Ways to Balance Faith, Family, and Work

How can we, as Catholic professionals, integrate work into our lives in a holy and healthy way? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Prioritize Well

Firstly, how are you prioritizing work? Is it a way for you to contribute to society, a way for you to support yourself and/or your family, a way for you to exercise your God-given talents and charisms? If so, you’re on the path toward integration.

Here, considering your values comes back into play. Do you value the virtue that the act of working helps cultivate, or do you value feeling busy and efficient? Do you value the quality of time you spend with your family, or the amount of time you spend on the job? Has putting in extra hours over the weekend come before receiving the sacraments? The Church is clear on what we should value; it’s up to us to make sure our approach to work is in alignment.

Too often, we use work as an escape from challenges or problems we’re facing. We use it as a way to boost our ego or flatter our pride. Or, we use it as a way to dominate over others. In these cases, penitence, Confession, and a resolution to do better may be the right next step on our journey.

Often even when we come from work, we can find ourselves thinking about the many demands of work instead of our family. Before coming home from the workday, try taking a moment in prayer to ask the Lord to help you move away from the distractions of work and focus on your family.

2. Seek Virtue

You don’t have to work in ministry to cultivate virtue and spread the Gospel in the workplace. Do your co-workers see in your example someone who loves the Lord by loving others? Are you kind to people who frustrate you, who add to your workload? Or do you operate with a short fuse, so that your team members and colleagues are afraid to approach you with a problem?

We all stumble. We all treat others unkindly sometimes. The important thing is whether we make amends and try to be better the next day.

St. Edith Stein, the philosopher and Carmelite mystic also known as Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, has some advice you could adapt to help build virtue through work:

“And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life.” St. Teresa Benedicts of the Cross

At the end of every workday, take a few moments for reflection and prayer (maybe even adapt St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Examen if you want a formal approach). Where in your day did your values align with your work? Where didn’t they? What are you “embarrassed and ashamed” about? Where could you have been better?

Ask for forgiveness, and then “leave it with Him.” The rest of the day is for rest; “start the next day as a new life.”

3. Pray Unceasingly

As Christians, we are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Not all of us are called to a cloistered life. However, it does mean that prayer should be a part of our day, throughout our day. It also means that we come to see work as a meaningful way that we help live out our Christian vocation and sanctify the world. The challenge is to find a way to integrate your faith into your professional life, thus transforming the workplace into an arena where the faith can be expressed. This isn’t easy, but Pope St. John Paul II provides some help on seeing the sanctifying power of work in his encyclical “Laborem Exercens” (“Through Work”)

It may be through a daily rosary walk, the Liturgy of the Hours, or even a simple “Jesus, I trust in you” at 3 p.m. However you do it, try incorporating small moments of prayer throughout your workday. It will call to mind the Lord you should be dedicating your work to in the first place. It will keep you grounded in what matters. And, by integrating prayer into work, you’ll be integrating work into life … truly a more Catholic take on work/life balance.


By prioritizing well, seeking virtue, and praying unceasingly every Catholic professional can learn to maintain a work/life balance. Catholicism is a both/and religion. And so, it makes room for family, faith, and work. The work you do, the family you are responsible for, and the faith you live as a Catholic professional aren’t just competing forces that fight for your time. But rather they are meant to be complimentary opportunities that invite you to grow in sanctity. It is not always easy, but the journey to maintaining a work/life balance as a Catholic professional is a pivotal part of what it means to be Catholic.



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