Monday, September 07, 2009

The World the Monks Bequeathed

Before Lauds at St. Joseph's Abbey

It was the monasteries of the seventh to the twelfth centuries that were the seedbed for the civilization we have inherited. Among the countless things bequeathed to us by those monastic orders is the recognition of the dignity of work and the joy of being productive and contributing to the material welfare of one's community. They were able to sustain those noble ideas because their commitment to work was only exceeded by the commitment to prayer.

On this Labor Day in the U.S. we can remember not only our debt to those monks, but the dignity of labor as well. We should also pray for those who have lost their jobs or who are unable to find work to support themselves and their families. We may not be able to guarantee every person adequate employment in this vale of tears, but, when given the opportunity, we can do something to remind the less fortunate that we recognize their inalienable human dignity.

The least fortunate among us are those who have no one to pray for them by name. We can pray for them especially.

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