The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Thomas Merton on work

I’m reading Thomas Merton’s “New Seeds of Contemplation,” and it seems like every page has a glistening pearl, waiting to be discovered.

This caught my eye the other day, and it seems apt for Labor Day:

“The requirements of a work to be done can be understood as the will of God. If I am supposed to hoe a garden or make a table, then I will be obeying God if I am true to the task I am performing. To do the work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself to God’s will in my work. In this way I become His instrument. He works through me. When I act as His instrument my labor cannot become an obstacle to contemplation, even though it may temporarily so occupy my mind that I cannot engage in it while I am actually doing my job. Yet my work itself will purify and pacify my mind and dispose me for contemplation.”

Happy Labor Day.

Comments read comments(5)
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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted September 3, 2010 at 8:50 am

Your post is a gift as I begin my work day…

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Jonathan Aquino

posted September 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Reminds me of something Flannery O’Connor wrote about her work: “I write because I write well.”

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Andre John

posted September 4, 2010 at 12:59 am

reminds me of the Benedictine motto:
“ORA ET LABORA” (prayer and work/labor)
Happy Labor Day to you all!

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Randy De Trinis

posted September 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

You might want to take a look at this site. Another view of Merton.

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Michael Boreskie

posted October 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Do you know where I could obtain permission to use the photo above of Thomas Merton?

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