It is energizing and refreshing when we allow ourselves to move away from our way-too-busy routines and think about deeper matters, about those things that really matter to us!

Each January, the U.S. Bishops Conference provides us a calendar of ideas about how we can make a difference in our own and other people's lives by taking a deeper look at the roots and effects of poverty.  Few of us have time to read and reflect on all that is contained on the calendar, so here's a suggestion.

Once a week or maybe just once this month, CLICK HERE to view the calendar.  Then pick a day's topic that interests you.  For instance, pick January 13 which says:

January 13. Work is much more than simply earning a living; it is away of using our gifts to participate in God’s creation. We are called to uphold the dignity and rights of workers i.e. just wages, humane conditions, and respectful treatment,etc. How can you help ensure workers’ rights and dignity are respected? 

This January 13 calendar entry contains three links which can guide you in  a short time of learning and prayerful reflection.  Pick one or all of them and give yourself time to go deeper.

  1. The first link is to information on the dignity of work.  See if anything there speaks to you or interests you.  This might be just the first sentence of Pope Francis' "There is no worse material poverty than one that does not allow for earning one’s bread and deprives one of the dignity of work."  That's an interesting thought.  Do you agree with it?  Do you know anyone who is out of work?  What must he or she be going through?  Is there something you can do to reach out to this person?
  2. The second link is a four-minute video: Catholic Social Teaching 101 on the Dignity of Work.  Place yourself in a frame of mind in which you remember our ever present God and some of your deceased hard working relatives and friends.  Then watch the video of the Archbishop of Boston, a Washington DC black priest and the vice-president of Catholic Relief Services speak on the dignity of work.  What can you do to show gratitude and support for the workers whom you are going to see during this coming week? or
  3. "The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to  make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation."  The third link is to some passages in Scripture and teachings of the Church related to the dignity of work.  Pick one or two of these to ponder.

Enjoy! And then ask yourself:  Was this helpful?  And it it was, consider doing it often.

Sister Loretta

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