Monday, April 30, 2012

May 1 St. Joseph the Worker

The feast day of St. Joseph the Worker was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII. May 1st was chosen to enhance May Day with Christian meaning. May Day or  the International Workers' Day, was secularly established for unions, workers and socialists.
St Joseph the Carpenter by George de La Tour, 1640s
On the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the church proclaims the high dignity of all work. Work is a gift from God and man enhances his own dignity when he collaborates with God. The Church proposes St. Joseph as an example of someone who worked to provide for his family. All honest work has value.

God intended work to allow us to create and follow His example. With the fall of man, work became burdensome. But with and through Jesus Christ, work becomes a means of sanctification.

And so today we ask ourselves:

Do I put my best effort into all my work, whether paid full time job, work in the home or volunteer work?

Do I have a sense of urgency and thoroughness in my work?

Do I properly care for the instruments with which I work?

Do I offer any/all sufferings of my work to Jesus for the Salvation of Souls? Including feeling tired, overwhelmed or incapable?

Do I give a good example to all by work done well?

Let us model our work after St. Joseph and be diligent, honest, thorough and cheerful in all we do.
Let us also pray for all unemployed and underemployed who are seeking meaningful work.

Prayer to say each day before work or school:
"Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my watchword for life and eternity." - Pope Pius IX

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