Daily Archives: August 11, 2020

Musings #18-Work

Musings 18 4


The greatest example of work is found in Monasteries, because their manual labor is considered part of their sacred calling. Monks fill a good portion of their day in work that serves the monastery and the world at large. Every member of the monastery is assigned some daily work.

The Rule of Benedict insists on work as an important part of the monk’s labor of obedience. The Rule does not put work above everything else or single out one type of work as more monastic than all others. Monks show their love by serving one another in whatever work they do, invoking God’s blessing on tasks large and small. They share in God’s continuing creation while supporting themselves by earnings and by producing for their needs.

There is no reason that we, as non-monastics, could not have the same approach to our work. Think how much it would change your world if you saw your work as part of a holy calling. Monks for many years have linked work and prayer. Work does not have to be a separate and very distasteful part of your life. Your work no matter how mundane, can be offered up to God.

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Just imagine what a wonderful blessing it would be if we rethought our concept of work and allowed it to be a part of our prayer lives. No matter what task you perform, it comes from the talent and strength that God has instilled in you when he created you. That alone makes work a sacred act. We have spent too much of our time and effort trying to eliminate work instead of embracing it as part of our devotion to God.

In this piece I offer some scriptures and quotes that I hope can serve as a starting point to look at the work you do and why you do it.

The old man said to one of the brothers that he never stopped

his manual labor, but his prayer ascended continually before God.

He was very humble and very stable.

~~~Sayings of The Desert Fathers 


Quotes BannerIf there are artisans in the monastery, let them work at their arts with all humility.

~~~Saint Benedict of Nursia

I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

~~~Thomas Jefferson

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

~~~Paulo Coelho

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

~~~Thomas Edison

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

~~~Robert Louis Stevenson

The old man said of one of the brothers never stopped is manual labor but it’s prayer ascended continually before God. He was very humble and very stable.

~~~Sayings of the desert fathers

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

~~~Franklin D. Roosevelt

The future depends on what you do today.

~~~Mahatma Gandhi

Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.

~~~Gary Ryan Blair

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

~~~Confucius

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

~~~Albert Camus

Works of art make rules but rules do not make works of art.

~~~Claude Debussy


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Scripture BannerWhatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

—Colossians 3:23-24

Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy

—Ephesians 4:28

Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,

and prosper for us the work of our hands—

O prosper the work of our hands!

—Psalm 90:17

Those who till their land will have plenty of food,

but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.

—Proverbs 12:11

The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing,

while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.

—Proverbs 13:4

It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops.

—2 Timothy 2:6

The hand of the diligent will rule,

while the lazy will be put to forced labour.

—Proverbs 12:24

I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.

—Ecclesiastes 3:12-15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.

— 2 Timothy 2:15

This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is our lot.

—Ecclesiastes 5:18

Prayer BannerLord, Allow me to offer my daily toil as a sacred act of devotion. Let me not feel as though my work takes me away from you, but that it brings me closer. I recognize that the works of my hands are a product of your Divine creation. I can do nothing without you. Bless me as I toil.

Amen

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