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How through my Faith, I am surviving in the ‘Real World’

By: Gabrielle Bernhard CWF '18

Just a few weeks ago I took a leap of faith when I started my first full time job as an Audit Associate at the accounting firm BDO. This is probably the first time that I have been in an environment where I have not been surrounded by Catholics. This is scary and sometimes it takes toll on me. I am surrounded by people who do not practice the faith, which means that our lives look different. In my few short weeks here, however, my coworkers have noticed something different about me (*cough, cough* - my Catholic Worldview) and it has sparked their interest. Through this curiosity, I have been presented with opportunities to witness to our faith.

I don’t go out and broadcast my Catholicism, but I don’t hide it either - I just focus on living out my faith in the best way possible, and through that example, I hope to share God’s love with everyone. I have found that the simplest things have the greatest impact on people.

The first thing that really sparked the interest of my coworkers was when I told them that I don't use profanity, which shocked them. This simple act of prudence is reflective of my faith, and leaves others interested/desiring.

Another simple act that sparked the interest of my coworkers occurred on my first business trip, when I spent two and a half weeks in Santa Fe. I found a nearby church where I could attend daily mass; it was just a short 10 minute walk away from the hotel. The mass was offered at 6:30am, so I made it my morning routine. I decided to post a picture of the church on social media, because it was a beautiful and happened to be the oldest shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the US. This one simple act of me posting about going to morning mass, resonated with one of my coworkers. He saw that I went to mass, and then slowly started to ask me questions about the Catholic faith, and I was happy to answer them to the best of my ability (with the help of some of my Fellows, and guidance of the Holy Spirit!).

I thought about not posting the picture of the church, because I knew my coworker would see it, but I quickly reminded myself (or maybe it was my guardian angel) that this is who I am, and that I should not be afraid. That one simple act ended up being the beginning of a sort of quest for truth by this coworker of mine. We have now had a few conversations about a variety of topics regarding the Catholic Church.

The ‘real world’ can be scary, but if you hold fast to your faith, especially in the simplest of actions, God will use you as an instrument of his love, and transform the world around you.

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