New Catholic Business Books for the Rest of Us

Around 18 months ago, my husband asked me what Catholic business books there were.

I found seven to recommend but I felt like there was something missing.

The two books I’m sharing with you today fill that gap I felt before, but they do more than that: they apply to those of us who maybe don’t fit into the category of “business book buyers.”

In the wonderful tradition of our Catholic faith, these authors don’t limit themselves to company executives, but make their writing applicable even to me, a mom who spends a lot of her day at home and juggles about 1000 things, including paying work done from my home office, laundry, paying the bills, and feeding my family.

The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work

Randy Hain doesn’t mess around in this book. It reads like the great business books I’ve read, and it offers suggestions that, though I’m arguably not as much in the business world as I am in the home world, applied to me.

For example, Randy suggests using an examen throughout the day. Inspired by this suggestion, I set alarms on my phone and retyped what he provides in the appendix of his book. This practice has helped me enormously in the time I’ve been implementing it.

My favorite part of this book, though, is Randy’s attitude about the integration of faith and work. This is no surprise from the co-founder of the Integrated Catholic Life e-zine. Faith is not EVER separate from who we are, whether we are at work in an office, in our home, or out at the grocery store. This book is a handy guide, a helpful examination of priorities, and a barrel of possibilities. Randy’s deep faith is evident and his joy in the inevitable overlap of his business world and his faith are apparent.

Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck

This book is high on practical advice, even as it doesn’t compromise the high ideals. After each chapter, there are action steps that you can read and ignore or attempt. There are questions for reflection that are low on the eye-rolling touchy-feely stuff and high on the “examine yourself and make a tiny step RIGHT NOW” element.

I love the fact that Lowry acknowledges the work of everyone–and not just in the introduction. The fact is, we all work. Even if you’re blessed to have your work look a lot like play to the rest of the world (guilty), it’s still work.

Through insightful and humorous anecdotes from his years of work and home life, Lowry weaves a few lessons that always seem to hit me close to home. In fact, having a spirit of humility, gratitude, and patience seems about as possible to me most days as climbing the big oak tree in the back yard.

Faith at Work reminded me that faith doesn’t have to be shoved down anyone’s throat, that it doesn’t have to be un-fun, and that it doesn’t have to be old news. The beauty of our faith is part and parcel of everything we do, who we are, how we live. Lowry gives us all a resource for being more intentional with our efforts.

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