Thought for the Day – 4 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Work and Sanctity
“A man does who not work, cannot be a saint.
But it is not enough to work alone, just as it is not enough to pray alone, in order to become holy.
Either, on it’s own, is too little.
Perfection consists in praying and working.
This is how Jesus spent His Life.
The Apostolic Constitution (Pius XII), Sponsa Christi, urges, even the contemplative Orders, to devote themselves to work.
It assures them, that work will prove no obstacle to their growth in perfection but, will be “a powerful and consistent exercising of all the virtues and the pledge of an effective combination of the contemplative and active life, after the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth” (AAS 1951, p 13).
We must sanctify our work with prayer.
The Benedictines have practised throughout the centuries, their celebrated motto “Ora et labora,” “Pray and work.”
By means of it, they transformed the world during the darkest centuries of the Church.
They converted impenetrable forests into fertile plains.
They set up centres of work and study which later became flourishing cities.
They appeased the barbarians who were threatening to destroy civilisation.
They built monasteries and cathedrals.
Above all, they preached the Gospel to the people and bound them together, in the brotherhood of Christian charity.
This is an illustration of what can be accomplished by work united with prayer.
It produces holiness in the individual and, through him, in human society.”