9/2/11

Thoughts and prayer for Labor Day weekend


Image source: The Garden


UPDATED for 2012 HERE
 
For folks searching for Labor Day thoughts and prayers, you'll find here:
- A Prayer for Labor Day
- Learning About Labor Day
- Some Words about Work

A Prayer for Labor Day

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
as gift from you.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Let a fair and good day’s wage be paid
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom, without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.

Amen.

-ConcordPastor


Learning about Labor Day

This Labor Day weekend is a good opportunity for us to remember the wealth of Catholic teaching on concerns and issues related to labor and justice for workers. The Catholic Labor Network provides an excellent collection of resources on such issues with links to documents as old as the papal encyclical of 1891 and as recent as the 2009 Labor Day statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On the long Labor Day weekend, take a few minutes to click on the link above and to read, at least, the US bishops' Labor Day statement. And here's a link to the USCCB site and an archive of previous Labor Day statements.


Image source: Ebooke

And some Words about Work...

Work is what I
do and avoid,
love and hate,
need and ignore,
thrive on, put off,
look for, hide from,
want, reject,
relish, despise,
overdo, skip,
share, possess,
quit and begin...

Work
rules and frees me,
weakens and strengthens me,
separates and connects me,
empties and fills me,
annoys and gratifies me,
saps and energizes,
destroys and defines me,
dispirits and lifts me,
consumes and develops me,
ruins and saves me...
-ConcordPastor


 


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3 comments:

dylan said...

My work is poetry,
my work is prose:
making a sonnet,
washing the clothes.

My work is walking
and sitting still:
it never ends,
through heat and chill.

My work is dreary,
my work is bliss.
It is not distraction
or fretfulness.

My work is a problem
both vexing and pleasant,
and it's piling up
at present.

My work is heavy,
my work is light,
my work continues
both day and night.

My work is penance
and sweet reward.
With all this work,
I'm never bored!

michelle said...

work...
questions and answers me.

and this is actually one of the things I said the last time you posted this (about a year ago maybe?)

but, NOW, this actually doesn't apply, or mean the same to me-


work DOES question me, but, answers? no.
at least not answers that I can understand at all.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good link to an article from the Harvard Business Review, April 2010. [You have to copy and paste to your browser window if the link isn't live.]

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6404.html

In the foreword to Stud's Terkel's book "Working", 1974, is written the following:

"Mr. Terkel found, work was a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, 'for daily meaning as well as daily bread' . . . . The oral histories in Working are wistful dispatches from a distant era. . . when management practices and computers were just beginning to transform the American workplace. In the last thirty years, productivity has soared but job satisfaction has plummeted. It is hard to read Working without wondering what has gone wrong."


I believe, in spite of all the research that proves there is a correlation between satisfied, engaged employees and successful, profitable workplaces, when the economy is very weak people fear job loss and the first thing on the chopping block would be the human resource departments that give voice to employee concerns.

It's brutal out there. When people live in fear of job loss it negatively impacts families and ultimately the entire culture. You can feel it just driving down route 2. In times like these it is more natural for people to tolerate work and do whatever is necessary to keep food on the table. The search for meaning in work is no longer a priority. When money is tight, everything changes and organizational theories about happy employees are "out the window". Everyone just wants to hang onto the job they have even if it means sacrificing their human needs and talents to do it.

I offer my prayers and compassion to people who are feeling the negative impact of a weak economy and work for companies offering low wages, long hours, poor benefits, no health insurance, a poor safety environment and job insecurity. I can't even imagine the effect this must have on families and private lives out there.