A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Stress interviews

Hiring managers and HR professionals at different times and in different places have used a technique known as a “stress interview” – ostensibly intended to weed out prospective employees who might be ill-suited to the stresses of the particular workplace. The technique often fails to produce desirable results: usually because the contrived stress of the interview does not match the actual stresses of the job (and sometimes because the interviewers end up using the interview to take out their own emotional problems on the interviewees).

Ironically, the interviewees themselves often bring enough stress of their own to the interview. It is the same also with oral examinations or thesis defenses in school: interpersonal encounters made stressful by our own insecurities and even more stressful by the challenging perspective of those on the other side of the table.

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:16-23), our Lord warns us about some particularly nasty stress interviews:

Behold, I am sending you like sheep
in the midst of wolves...
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans....
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents
and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,

There are some places in this world where some of this still happens literally to faithful Christians, in places such as Saudi Arabia, China, and (amazingly) even Europe.

Yet even in places where freedom of religion is not a dead letter, many of us sometimes feel stressed at the very idea of talking with other people about our faith: sometimes because of our own insecurities and sometimes because of potential attacks by others.

No matter what stresses await us or besiege us, however, we have these comforting words from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
....whoever endures to the end will be saved.


May we not be afraid or stressed.

May we speak the truth in charity
and share our faith in word and deed
by the grace of Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus.

Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Thy faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray:
O God,
Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful
by the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise,
and ever rejoice in His consolation.
Through Christ our Lord.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus
reple tuorum corda fidelium,
et tui amoris in eis accende.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.


qui corda fidelium
Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti.
Da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere,
et de eius semper consolatione gaudere.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.