To do work carefully and well

To do 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 with God's will in my work.  I become an instrument for God to work through me.

~ from NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION by Thomas Merton

The old masters didn't care whether anyone could see their flaws

"We don’t really have to do a perfect job."

"Nobody will be able to tell, though."

"That’s not the point, not the point at all.  The old masters didn't care whether anyone could see their flaws or not.  They wanted to do as well as they could, because their work was a gift to God, who deserved their best.  That’s all gone; now what's important is whether anyone will notice the difference, and how much it will all cost.  It changes the spirit of the building forever."

~ Iain Pears

Work that is being done attentively and well

Ludmilla taught me that we can pray anywhere, during any kind of work that is being done attentively and well and to the best of our ability.  In such work, God is present.  We only have to know this and try to give it our heart.  Many people wish to have spiritual development without obstacles or even effort, and so they will never understand God’s love or the poverty of our humanity.

~ from OUT OF THE DEPTHS by Miriam Therese Winter

Not fatigued from overwork

A hidden river runs beneath the conscious layers of our lives.  We become fatigued not from overwork, but from how much energy it takes to stage our lives in order to drown out the sounds of the river inside us.

~ from All the Days of My Life, by Marv and Nancy Hiles

No one is useless

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else.

~ Charles Dickens

The many work for the One

Society functions at its very best when each member finds security in their place in the social structure.  When all members can be gainfully employed, yet have individual initiative, when they can excel in their own craft and find satisfaction in their work contributing to the overall goals of society, then there exists harmony and a sense of community.  When members have an interest in the continuity of their community, great deeds can be accomplished.  This is because the many work for the One.

~ R. L. Wing

September 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 8)

No one else can know what work will make our hearts sing, but we ourselves in our own inner being. Two mystic poets can, however, help us with the essence of what our Work can aspire to be: Gibran – "Work is love made visible" and Rumi – "Let the beauty we love be what we do." Work as an offering of our Selves in love, with all our strengths and limitations, to the wider community becomes a mutual blessing that honors our very being. To know Work as a sacred vocation no matter how lofty or how humble it may seem becomes equal in the eyes of Love. For all good work contributes to the Whole ... nothing we do with love and kindness is too little.

In the silence we can ponder the ways we work in love, create or honor beauty, and bring blessing to others. What makes your heart sing?

Great acts are the small, quiet ones that no one hears about

I didn't know exactly how to go about helping others. But if I could remember that great acts are the small, quiet ones that no one hears about, that would be a start. I could look for ways myself to help people in need of a boost, to align myself with underdogs. I need to remember Ella's way with her leprosy ... her intent. Perhaps it didn't matter what I did to earn a living, as long as the motive was to help others and not just gain attention.


God, give me work

God, give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

~ Winifred Holthy

When love and skill work together

When love and skill work together,
expect a masterpiece.

~ John Ruskin
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