Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
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. Yet my work itself will purify and pacify my mind and dispose me for contemplation.
Unnatural, frantic, anxious work, work done under pressure of greed or fear or any other inordinate passion, cannot properly speaking be dedicated to God, because God never wills such work directly.
He may permit that through no fault of our own we may have to work madly and distractedly, due to our sins and to the sins of the society in which we live. In that case we must tolerate it and make the best of what we cannot avoid. But let us not be blind to the distinction between sound, healthy work and unnatural toil.
—Thomas Merton. New seeds of contemplation. New York: New Directions, 1962, p.9, excerpted.
Lord Christ, you are stronger than the strong: deliver us from evil, we pray, and so guard our hearts and minds that, filled with your spirit, we may devote our lives to your service and so find perfect freedom, for the honour of your great name.
Psalm 135 (in Greek). Monks of the Simonopetra Monastery.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.