Monday, April 17, 2017

The Virtue of Industry

From Seton Magazine:
The wonderful Fr. Lasance once wrote to Catholic ladies:
“Do not take alarm at the mention of work; the word may have a harsh sound, but the thing itself is not so harsh and bitter as it may appear at first sight. You must not, as is too often the case, immediately connect with it the idea of toil, fatigue, and degradation which pertains to a slavish occupation. For everything must, in fact, be won by work, everything which does not grow of itself, like fruit on a tree.”
He says: “Christianity teaches us to regard work as something sacred, honorable, and exalted. Work is your duty . . . You must not only value work very highly, you must also love it. We are taught by daily experience that industrious, active girls who are fond of work are almost without exception virtuous and pure.”

What challenging statements these are! Not only should we regard the opportunities we have every day to work in our home, cooking and tidying and wiping and straightening, with appreciation—we should love to do this work? Well . . . to be blunt, “loving work” seems possible only with gritted teeth some days, yet the virtue of industry, if we pray for it, can help us to see the proper value of our work.

Industry keeps us at work for the right reasons. Our daily work in the home, if done with as generous and humble an attitude as we can muster, is sanctifying work and pleasing to God. Simple daily work mortifies our flesh and prevents us from being idle (and idleness, as our mothers have always told us, is the devil’s playground!); it keeps our bodies healthy and our minds refreshed. It keeps us content with simple things, because after a good hour’s work, a glass of water and a book is more than enough to fill us with gratitude! Work makes us good stewards of the material possessions God has given us and prevents us from discontentedly looking outward to greener pastures . . . instead, work keeps us plowing and fertilizing our own fields! Most of all, holy work in the home directly cares for our family: the people God has ordained for us to serve first and last every day. (Read more.)

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