Today is the feast of St. Joseph, which Margaret mentioned this morning. St. Joseph is one of my go-to saints and he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. It’s probably how he would like it, but the husband of Mary, earthly father of Jesus, deserves the highest honors. He is the patron of the universal Church, as well as the patron of workers, families and a host of other things.
In honor of St. Joseph, here’s a excerpt about the dignity of work from Wendell Berry’s essay, “The Body and the Earth,” found in The Art of the Commonplace:
As the connections have been broken by the fragmentation and isolation of work, they can be restored by restoring the wholeness of work. There is work that is isolating, harsh, destructive, specialized or trivialized into meaninglessness. And there is work that is restorative, convivial, dignified and dignifying, and pleasing. Good work is not just the maintenance of connections — as one is now said to work “for a living” or to “support a family” — but the enactment of connections. It is living, and a way of living; it is not support for a family in the sense of an exterior brace or prop; but is one of the forms and acts of love.