Work

POETRY: Sabbath Poem X, 1979, by Wendell Berry

April 5, 2017

Whatever is foreseen in joy Must be lived out from day to day. Vision held open in the dark By our ten thousand days of work. Harvest will fill the barn; for that The hand must ache, the face must sweat. And yet no leaf or grain is filled By work of ours; the field is tilled And left to grace. That we may reap, Great work is done while we’re asleep. When we work well, a Sabbath mood Rests on our day, and finds it [...]

ADVENT WITH EVELYN UNDERHILL: A Job To Be Done

December 9, 2016

From The Spiritual Life More is required of those who wake up to reality, than the passive adoration of God or intimate communion with God.  Those responses, great as they are, do not cover the purpose of our creation.  The riches and beauty of the spiritual landscape are not disclosed to us in order that we may sit in the sun parlor, be grateful for the excellent hospitality, and contemplate the glorious view.  Some people suppose that the spiritual life mainly consists in doing that.  God provides the spectacle.  We gaze with reverent appreciation from our comfortable seats, and call this proceeding Worship. No idea of our situation could be more mistaken than this.  Our place is not the auditorium but the stage – or, as the [...]

WISDOM: Work, by Joan Chittister

December 21, 2015

From Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light One of the elders said: “I never wanted work which was useful to me but a loss to others.  For I have this expectation, that what helps the other is fruitful for me.” And Abba Theodore of Pherme said, “In these days many take their rest before God gives it to them.” I   n this society, work has become the way we make money, the way we enable ourselves to do what we would really prefer to do if we didn’t need to work.  No other approach to life, perhaps, explains so clearly what has really happened to the quality of the world around us than this.  If there is anything that measures spiritual depth in a work-oriented society, it is surely the [...]

SERMON: Sermon 47, by Johannes Tauler

July 5, 2015

Divisiones ministrationum sunt, idem autem spiritus. . . There are different kinds of gifts, though it is the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:6) Saint Paul says in today’s Epistle: “There are different kinds of gifts, though it is the same Spirit who is imparted to each man to make the best advantage of it.”  It is one and the same Spirit who works equally in all things.  We all receive a revelation so that we may use it to our best profit and advantage.  To one is given the gift of knowledge, that he may expound the faith, through the same Spirit who works differently in someone else.  Saint Paul lists a great number of gifts, which are all the work of one and the same Spirit, and on the whole he mentions those which [...]

SATURDAY READING: John as Model for Contemporary Christians, by Alexander J. Burke, Jr.

June 22, 2013

From John the Baptist: Prophet and Disciple John the Baptist, since the time of the Counter-Reformation, has been lost to the Christian tradition. Some biblical scholars try to confine him to the status of an Old Testament figure. With the decline of monasticism, his severe virtues seem irrelevant to many modern Christians. It is one of the aims of this book to make one, small attempt to restore John to the beadroll of Christian heroes, to reinstate him to his proper and august role, as he is depicted in the ancient renditions of the Deësis, as an intercessor for all humankind second only to Mary. John has much to offer as a model for contemporary Christians, as we would expect of the saint who received from Christ’s own lips the [...]

POETRY: Trappists, Working, by Thomas Merton

May 17, 2013

Now all our saws sing holy sonnets in this world of timber Where oaks go off like guns, and fall like cataracts, Pouring their roar into the wood’s green well. Walk to us, Jesus, through the wall of trees, And find us still adorers in these airy churches, Singing our other Office with our saws and axes. Still teach Your children in the busy forest, And let some little sunlight reach us, in our mental shades, and leafy studies. When time has turned the country white with grain And filled our regions with the thrashing sun, Walk to us, Jesus, through the walls of wheat When our two tractors come to cut them down: Sow some light winds upon the acres of our spirit, And cool the regions where our prayers are reapers, And slake us, Heaven, [...]

LENTEN FIRE: Monday in Holy Week

March 25, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  Even if I were ashes thrown to the wind Abba Poemen used to say this about Abba Isidore: “Every night he plaited a bundle of palms and the brothers pleaded with him, saying, ‘Rest a little, for you are getting old.’ “But he said to them, ‘Even if Isidore were burned, and his ashes thrown to the winds, I would not allow myself any relaxation because the son of God came here for our sake.'” Macarius, the thief, and the recalcitrant camel They said of Abba Macarius that a thief went into his cell when he was away.  Macarius went back to his cell and found the thief loading his things onto a camel.  So Macarius went into the cell, [...]

LENTEN FIRE: March 21

March 21, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  Abba Macarius welcomes rebuke It was said about Abba Macarius that if a brother came to him fearfully as though to a saint and great old man, he would say nothing to him.  But if one of the brothers heaped scorn on him, saying, “My father, when you were a camel-driver and stole nitre and sold it, didn’t the guards beat you?”  If someone said these words to him, he would speak with him with joy about whatever he asked him. Imitate the dead A brother paid a visit to Abba Macarius and said to him, “Tell me a word: How can I be saved?” The old man said to him, “Go to the tombs.  Curse the dead.  Throw rocks at them.” The [...]

LENTEN FIRE: March 19

March 19, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  Sailors fighting a surging sea Amma Syncletica said, “In the world, those who sin, even involuntarily, are thrown into prison; as for us, on account of our sins let us imprison ourselves so that such voluntary judgment may drive off future punishment.  Are you fasting?  Do not pretend to be ill, for those who do not fast fall into real illnesses.  Have you begun to do what is good?  Do not fall back when the Enemy cuts off your advance, for through your patient endurance he is rendered impotent.  Indeed, those who begin a voyage first unfold the sails and go before a favorable wind but later the wind becomes adverse and impedes them.  The sailors, [...]

LENTEN FIRE: March 16

March 16, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  See the sin but not the repentance An old man said, “Even if someone sins in some way in your presence, do not judge him but consider yourself more of a sinner than he is, for you have seen the sin but you have not seen the repentance.” Abba Macarius learns about true work It was said about Abba Macarius the Great that, passing through Egypt one time, he came upon a threshing floor.  He saw a heap of grain that had been threshed, its owner using it to pay wages to the workers.  When the old man wished to test the grower, wanting him to talk about the nature of his work, he said to him, “Please do me the kindness, my father, of giving me a little [...]