German Benedictine monk Fr Anselm Grun, spiritual adviser to managers, gave a series of seminars in Singapore recently.German Benedictine monk Fr Anselm Grun, spiritual adviser to managers, gave a series of seminars in Singapore recently.

Fr Anselm Grun warns against conflict of values at workplace

A German Benedictine monk, who has authored over 300 books on spirituality with a total circulation of 14 million, spoke to Mandarin-speaking Catholics and Protestants recently.

Fr Anselm Grun, who is spiritual adviser to managers, spoke on the conflict of values at the workplace in a series of seminars.

If one’s work superior does not possess good values, one must still stick to one’s values as a subordinate and find opportunities to raise one’s concerns with the superior, he said.

Fr Grun advised that one should refrain from harbouring prejudice when dialoguing with the other party, and be open to the possibility that one’s superior could raise other ideas and change.

However, he warned, “Do not subject oneself to a compromise inside.”

“If you’re forced to compromise the values you believe in, then you should consider whether to stay with this organisation,” said the priest who has written on values-based leadership.

Fr Grun also spoke on the topics The Beatitudes, The Seven Last Words of Jesus, Money and Conscience and Leadership by Values, during the six seminars held on Oct 14-15 and Oct 20-21 at the Risen Christ, St Bernadette and Holy Trinity churches.

The Commission of the Apostolate for Mandarin Speaking in Singapore (CAMS) helped organise the talks.

The priest also spoke at the All Saints Presbyterian Church and Toa Payoh Methodist Church.

An interpreter from Taiwan translated Fr Grun’s words from German to Mandarin.

In the session on the Beatitudes, Fr Grun gave an insight on how they could be applied in the modern-day world and gave examples.

“There are many books that speak about happiness, and many people seek happiness, but I feel that such books won’t bring happiness to the person, but instead add onto one’s burdens,” he said.

“Jesus offers through the Beatitudes a practical way to discover the road to happiness. Jesus offered a promise in each of the eight Beatitudes,” said Fr Grun, who is business manager of Münsterschwarzach Abbey in Bavaria.

Fr Grun said that poverty in spirit means being detached from monetary and material wealth. One’s obsession with money could lead one away from God, he said.

One is not able to have everything one desires in life, he noted. Life presents many options, and one has to choose between options.

Therefore, one should learn to appreciate one’s situation, he shared.

Fr Grun urged his audiences to become spokespeople for Christ and witness to justice, fairness and love in a world which opposes such values.

He reminded them to be light and “yeast” to help shape society.

Ms Catherine Chia who attended a few of the talks told CatholicNews that Fr Grun’s words struck a chord with her.

She said she found his advice and examples “practical” and applicable to daily living.

By Darren Boon
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