As we pause this weekend for the last holiday of the summer, may we reflect on the gift of work.
But we do so. conscious of all those suffering the loss of not only their jobs, their paychecks, but also their homes and almost everything dear to them as the result of an intruder called Harvey.
We pray in solidarity with them and reach out to them with love and with whatever support we can offer as we consider our own gift of work. And so, I invite you to pray with me . . . .
Good and gracious God,
you told us from the very beginning that we would earn our bread by the sweat of our brow.
We are interdependent in our laboring, Lord.
We depend on the migrant workers who pick our lettuce and our strawberries,
the nurses’ aids who empty bed pans,
the teachers who form our children’s minds.
We thank you, Lord, for the gifts and talents you have given us
that allow us to earn a living and contribute something positive to our world.
We pray, dear Lord, for those who are without work.
Sustain them — us — in your love.
Help us to realize that we have worth as human beings,
job or no job.
But that’s hard to get, Lord.
of being better than the Jones’.
But our worth comes because You made us. We are Your children, no matter what,
job or no job.
You love us and you call us to love and support each other.
We pray, Lord, for those who do the dirty work in our lives, Lord,
those who break their backs for us, those who are cheated out of even a minimum wage,
those who don’t have access to health care,
those who cannot afford to send their kids to college.
Help us to bind together, Lord, as a community, as a nation
because we depend on one another — the garbage men,
the police, the folks who stock our grocery stores,
the UPS driver, the airline pilot, the 7/11 clerk, the ticket-taker on the turnpike,
the plumbers, the accountants, the bank tellers, the landscapers, the lifeguards,
those who clean our houses, the cooks, the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters,
the scientists, , our doctors and nurses and yes, the writers.
Help us to realize this weekend how dependent we are on one another, Lord.
We are ONE! We are family! We need each other.
May we give thanks for each other this Labor Day weekend, Lord.
Help us to celebrate and give thanks for each other and appreciate the value, the dignity, the contribution
that each one makes to keep our country, our cities, our lives going.
And in tough times, help us remember the words of Jesus. . . .
Come to me all you who labor
and are heavily burdened
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you . . .
for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
And, finally, this prayer of Cardinal Newman:
O Lord, support us all the day long
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in thy mercy,
grant us a safe lodging,
a holy rest, and peace at the last.
Finally, may I suggest this weekend that you might think about all the people who’s work makes your life go better.
The next time you talk with them, tell them you appreciate them!
Two words have great power: THANK YOU!
If only we would use them often, we would ease each other’s burden and energize each other.
and we would make trying times just a little bit easier for us all.
We call that: Love!
And before you go, here’s a spirited version of the great Celtic hymn “Lord of all Hopefulness” about the blessing of our work. Click here.Be sure to turn up your speakers and enter full screen.
Enjoy. Have a great weekend!
THE FEAST OF ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY ~ AUGUST 15th, 2017
In 1950 Pope Pius XII declared as a dogma of the church something that we Catholics have believed throughout the church’s history ~ that Mary was taken up into heaven, body and soul, to sit at her Son’s side for all eternity. On August 22nd, the octave of the Assumption we celebrate a minor feast ~ the Queenship of Mary. I honor her as my queen. Now this may sound a bit odd, my friends, but I take her shopping with me. I thanked her for my lovely condo. I signed the documents for the condo on August 15th, 2008.
Here’s a bit about this Feast (or Solemnity, as we call it in the liturgy.)
First of all, it’s a celebration of the body and an exaltation of womanhood.
Everyone was quite startled when the distinguished psychiatrist Carl Jung, who was not a Catholic, said that this declaration about Mary was “the greatest religious event since the reformation.”
Here’s the entire text of what he had to say. You ought to read this; what he says is truly amazing coming from a psychiatrist and a non-Catholic!
The promulgation of the new dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary could, in itself, have been sufficient reason for examining the psychological background. It is interesting to note that, among the many articles published in the Catholic and Protestant press on the declaration of the dogma, there was not one, so far as I could see, which laid anything like proper emphasis on what was undoubtedly the most powerful motive: namely the popular movement and the psychological need behind it. Essentially, the writers of the articles were satisfied with learned considerations, dogmatic and historical, which have no bearing on the living religious process. But anyone who has followed with attention the visions of Mary which have been increasing in number over the last few decades, and has taken their psychological significance into account, might have known what was brewing. The fact, especially, that it was largely children who had the visions might have given pause for thought, for in such cases, the collective unconscious is always at work …One could have known for a long time that there was a deep longing in the masses for an intercessor and mediatrix who would at last take her place alongside the Holy Trinity and be received as the ‘Queen of heaven and Bride at the heavenly court.’ For more than a thousand years it has been taken for granted that the Mother of God dwelt there.
I consider it to be the most important religious event since the Reformation. It is a petra scandali for the unpsycholgical mind: how can such an unfounded assertion as the bodily reception of the Virgin into heaven be put forward as worthy of belief? But the method which the Pope uses in order to demonstrate the truth of the dogma makes sense to the psychological mind, because it bases itself firstly on the necessary prefigurations, and secondly on a tradition of religious assertions reaching back for more than a thousand years. What outrages the Protestant standpoint in particular is the boundless approximation of the Deipara to the Godhead and, in consequence, the endangered supremacy of Christ, from which Protestantism will not budge. In sticking to this point it has obviously failed to consider that its hymnology is full of references to the ‘heavenly bridegroom,’ who is now suddenly supposed not to have a bride with equal rights. Or has, perchance, the ‘bridegroom,’ in true psychologistic manner, been understood as a mere metaphor?
The dogmatizing of the Assumption does not, however, according to the dogmatic view, mean that Mary has attained the status of goddess, although, as mistress of heaven and mediatrix, she is functionally on a par with Christ, the king and mediator. At any rate her position satisfies a renewed hope for the fulfillment of that yearning for peace which stirs deep down in the soul, and for a resolution of the threatening tension between opposites. Everyone shares this tension and everyone experiences it in his individual form of unrest, the more so the less he sees any possibility of getting rid of it by rational means. It is no wonder, therefore, that the hope, indeed the expectation of divine intervention arises in the collective unconscious and at the same time in the masses. The papal declaration has given comforting expression to that yearning. How could Protestantism so completely miss the point?
I was amazed and thrilled when I discovered this text and again when I’ve just now re-read it. And I’ve always loved to pray and sing these words from the preface of the Mass of the day:
Today the virgin Mother of God was assumed into heaven
as the beginning and the image
of your Church’s coming to perfection
and a sign of sure of hope and comfort for your people
on their pilgrim way.
Mary is the first disciple of her Son.
She is the one who said Yes! “Be it done unto me according to Your word.”
Each of us who bear witness to Christ give birth to him in our own way.
May we honor Mary on this wonderful feast day and enjoy this late summer day.