Monday, August 13, 2012

The Dignity of Work

I love this article by Cheryl Dickow which is up today on Catholic Lane: The Dignity of Work . I know that I find great value in my work. Whether we work inside or outside the home or some combination thereof, our work has tremendous value for both us and the world.

Dickow quotes Pope John Paul II's encyclical Laborem Exercens:

“From the beginning therefore he [man] is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth. Thus work bears a particular mark of man and of humanity, the mark of a person operating within a community of persons. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense it constitutes its very nature.”

She goes on to write: "Nothing offers a fuller sense of satisfaction than a task well-performed. It doesn’t matter if that task is washing the kitchen floor, finding the best bargains at the grocery store, or guiding a classroom of middle school students towards a lesson’s objective. Inherent in who we are as humans, as Blessed John Paul points out, is the need for a person to contribute to his or her family or neighborhood or culture in a discernable way. This is what separates us from the animals but also is what gives us dignity."

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