Pope Francis said recently in an audience that it is a tragedy for someone to be retired at 20 years old. As awesome as that sounds, I understand what he is talking about.
I tell my wife that the reason we haven't won the lottery, besides the fact that we don't play, is that God wouldn't allow it for our souls. If I had all the money to be at leisure, I would have no motivation to do anything. I would sit on my comfy couch inside my life-size Millennium Falcon watching stuff on my 100ft TV.
Work gives us a sense of purpose. It gives us a sense of dignity. It gets me off of my lazy butt and into the world.
CS Lewis wrote that by letting human beings work to build up the kingdom, God gives them the "dignity of causality." God doesn't need our labor. But in his generosity he allows us to help so that we can have a share in dignity of work.
So on days like today, when we take a rest from our labors, I think it is important to take a moment and think about how our work brings us closer to God. How does my job build up others? How do I use my income and experience for my family? How do I care for those I am called to look over?
And on days like today, I like to turn to St. Joseph, who labored day in and day out to provide for the Holy Family.
Below is a prayer that my wife and I pray every day as we have cultivated a deeper devotion to St. Joseph. It is posted always on by blog, but I thought I would reprint it here (hat tip to Fr. Z's Blog).
HAPPY LABOR DAY!