Sanctifying Our Labor


Young Manhood of Jesus ~ Sanctifying the Ordinary

From My Meditation on the Gospel

As Jesus grew older He noticed St. Joseph growing more tired, so He took over more and more of the work. He did it gradually and unobtrusively, so that St. Joseph would always feel that he was still the head of the family and the main support.

The days for Jesus now became very full of work and activity. He carried lumber, sawed, hammered, measured, fit together the finished products and carried them to those who ordered them.

There were annoyances, too, as with all who serve the public. He had to change His plans to suit their convenience would accept complaints when they felt the work wasn’t done correctly.

And then there was the monotony of small-town living. He could feel Himself hemmed in by small talk and gossip, by small-town thinking and the wearisome routine.

Often as He came to the edge of the hill that overlooked Esdralon, He thought of the world that was hungry for His coming. He thought of the crowds He could sway with His sermons, the miracles He could perform … And then He turned and went back to His work!

Dear Lord, humanly speaking, how You longed to go out to that world that needed You so much! How tempted would anyone else have been to leave Nazareth and the carpenter shop, and simply blaze a trail of miracles from Jerusalem to Rome!

But, O my King, You were teaching us still that greatness does not consist in outward show but in faithful devotion and love. What a wonderful lesson for us !

We couldn’t imitate Your miracles, but we can follow You in Your faithful devotion to duty. You were just as great at Nazareth in performing the ordinary duties of a carpenter as You were in Your miracles and great sermons. It’s not what we do, but how we do it that counts.

My King, what a lesson for me. The monotony of everyday life makes me so listless and discouraged. “If only I were doing big things and important things! But these petty, insignificant duties—what good do I accomplish with these?”

And because I feel this way I become careless and unhappy. O my King, in these moments take me back to Nazareth! Show me there that nothing is ordinary when it is done in a spirit of Nazareth.

 The smallest, most insignificant duties are great when they are done with fidelity and love. Teach me that spirit of faithful love. Let me live Nazareth day by day, and then… nothing will be ordinary.

Prayer for Workers

Oh glorious St. Joseph! Model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty above my own inclination; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by work the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work especially with pure intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, O patriarch Joseph; Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days.

“I do not know any among the ordinary conditions of life as good and desirable as that of a life of service or of daily labor. A life of labor has always been considered, by spiritual persons, most favorable to the soul. The labor of the hands is, then, a source of blessing. It furnishes a great help to spending life in innocence. It fills up our time with holiest industry, while it leaves the soul free to raise itself from time to time to God.” -Rev. George Deshon, 1863

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My Meditation on the Gospel

The essence of our faith is the Good News of Jesus Christ. My Meditation on the Gospel traces the events of Our Lord’s life through all four Gospels. This pocket daily devotional puts the reader in the footsteps of an early follower of Christ watching the events of the Gospel unfold.

Father James Sullivan recounts the details of the Gospel with a gentle hand and rich historical details. These carefully crafted meditations allow the reader to feel the joys and sorrows of Christ’s life, from his public ministry to his Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Father Sullivan brings the eternal Word of God to bear on the daily struggles of contemporary life.

The daily readings end with a practical reflection and a contextual prayer for God’s grace to deal with modern day anxieties and hopes.

This feature-packed little book includes:

• Iconic pencil drawings featuring scenes from the life of Christ as well as depictions of modern man encountering Our Lord
• Meditations and prayers on every major event of Jesus’ life from across all four gospels
• Beautiful prayers that will help us align our will with Christ’s will as exposed in his Word.
• Reflections on the gospels that will encourage us to live the Good News in our everyday lives
• And much more…

Only by prayerfully considering the Gospel and its meaning on a daily basis can we draw ourselves closer to unity with Jesus. My Meditation on the Gospel is the ideal book for careful, daily study of God’s Word.

Available here.

My Daily Psalm Book

The Church gives us many prayers. But after the prayers of the Mass, none are more hallowed than the Psalms—where God Himself teaches us to pray in words inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Arranged by Father Joseph Frey, My Daily Psalm Book features a beautiful, solemn, but readable text, adorned with nearly 200 stirring illustrations by artist Ariel Agemian.

In My Daily Psalm Book, these powerful prayers are presented in compact size, perfect for pocket or purse. Take out and read in spare moments or brief periods of reflection throughout the day.

My Daily Psalm Book is a simple Divine Office for lay people to pray the Psalms assigned to each day of the week. Or follow your own schedule, returning to favorite Psalms or using the helpful guide to find those Psalms specially suited to personal occasions and needs, including:

• Dealing with depression and discouragement
• Managing excessive pride—as well as timidity
• Preparation for Confession and Adoration
• Times of need, sickness, and trouble

In addition, My Daily Psalm Book includes a numerical index of Psalms (p. 365), a guide on how to pray the Psalms and a section to record your favorite Psalms and page numbers for easy-access at any time.

The psalms are the vital presentation of God’s inspirations and man’s aspirations; they are the ideal manifestations of man’s hunger and thirst after God and of God’s loving response to man. Of great age, they are ever new and appropriate.

My Daily Psalm Book opens up these treasures, making them accessible to laypeople so that they may join in the prayer of Church and turn to the Psalms in time of need.

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