Monday, September 3, 2012
The "Ora" of Labora
So often the term ora et labora (prayer and work) and highlighted as the Benedictine motto. In honor of today's seculary "holy-day", we thought a few thoughts on work appropo!
In recent years we have begun describing our work as our love made manifest. Our love for Christ, our Divine Spouse, needs a physical manifestation. Just as husbands and wives have a physical expression of their love and care for each other in the time they spend taking care of each other through the various "jobs" they do around the house -- from cooking to laundry, lawn care and taking out the garbage, just to name a few -- so, too, does our care get expressed in the work we do here the monastery.
It is more than that as well. In his letter, St. James proclaims I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works (2:18). For St. James, work was not an end in itself, but rather a vehicle that allowed him express his faith. So, too, with prayer. Work becomes prayer when the disposition of one's heart is right: one needs to do it joyfully, generously -- and with a desire to offer it wholly to God.
And as one can see clearly in the Latin text, the last three letters of labora spell ora -- God certainly had a hand in that!