But what does being “in union with God” really mean?
To be in union means to unite, to incorporate, or to bring into a single whole. It is the joining of two or more into one. In other words, union with God means to be one with God. Jesus said:
“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23 NRS).
We ask ourselves: “What does it mean to love Jesus?” He said we are to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind.
In other words, our love of God must include our total being.
- What am I doing right now?
- What am I thinking right now?
- What am I feeling right now?
- Is it all giving him Glory?
- Am I putting God first in every decision I make?
- Am I communicating with him constantly?
- Am I encouraging others?
- Are my thoughts, words, and deeds bringing those around me to Jesus?
Next we ask ourselves: “Do I know and understand the words of Jesus to such an extent that I can follow them?” St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians put it this way:
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Phil. 2:1-2 NRS).
We can only have the mind of Christ if we know the mind of Christ. Of course, Paul is also saying that we, together as Christians, all must have the same mind — the mind of Christ. One could conclude that we owe it to ourselves — and to our fellow Christians — to be in union with God. For we cannot build Christian community unless we are all united with each other in God.
Consider implementing these ideas throughout each day:
- Pray for the grace to be in union with God today, especially while at work. Being in union with him is a gift. We don’t do it on our own. It takes our desire, our hard work, and his holy activity within us. Recall your baptism and how it made you a member of the body of Christ.
- Be very aware of his holy activity within us while at work. Ask God today what he is up to in your work life. Then sit still and listen to his answer. The Holy Spirit you received in the sacrament of Confirmation lives and works right there within your temple.
- Read, study, and deeply meditate on scripture every day. Carry that scripture to work with you. Don’t worry about how many verses you complete. God might be leading you to only one verse, one word. Remember, you are endeavoring to be one with him throughout the day. He has the answers. He wants to give them to you. Consume and digest his real presence in his word each day. Then, live it all day.
- Spend a few minutes imagining yourself in complete union with God. Try to picture having the mind of Christ while you are at work. What would that feel like? What would it mean? Experience his peace, patience, and joy. Take in his wisdom and understanding. Imagine showing the compassion of Jesus to everyone you meet.
- If there is some habitual sin or problem in your life, he’s ready when you are to discuss it and forgive you. He is the God of healing and reconciliation. Experience your oneness with the God who loves you more than you can imagine.
God created us because he loves us and he wants to spend eternity with us in heaven. But because he can’t wait, he wants to be in union with us even now. Be Godlike. Don’t wait another minute. Unite with him, even throughout your workday, right now.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor. 13:13 NRS).
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity — to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA. Discover more about Mike at www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.