Gregory F. A. Pierce is co-publisher of ACTA Publications, a former president of the National Center for Laity, and one of the founders of Business Executives for Economic Justice. For the past three years, he has been in dialogue with more than 300 other people through an e-mail discussion group on the spirituality of work. Describing himself as "piety impaired," Pierce calls for practical disciplines that can enrich and deepen our labors. The workplace, he believes, should not be a place where people try to convert each other or put their religiosity on display.
Here's the definition of what the author is after: "The spirituality of work is a disciplined attempt to align ourselves and our environment with God and to incarnate God's spirit in the world through all the effort (paid and unpaid) we exert to make the world a better place, a little closer to the way God would have things." Pierce encourages working men and women to choose a series of spiritual practices to be done regularly and without fanfare.
After starting off with the ritual of surrounding yourself with sacred objects, the author talks about the discipline of learning to live with imperfection. This is a difficult one that takes plenty of practice given our disdain for human frailty, mistakes, and limitations. Here we can learn from Indian jewelry makers who always left a flaw in their creations so all the glory would go to the Great Spirit. An exercise to train yourself in this task: "Each time you go to an art or sporting event, look for one imperfection and give thanks for it."
Some of the other disciplines of a spirituality of work are assuring quality, giving thanks and congratulations, and dealing with others as you would have them deal with you. This thought-piece quotation used in the book, captures the essence of what he's saying: "If one has to establish communion with God through some means, why not through the spinning wheel?" (Mahatma Gandhi)