Labor Day

When I was growing up, I was taught that St. Joseph was the patron saint of labor, of workers. Because he was a carpenter, I guess: I pictured little-boy Jesus messing around underfoot, playing with scraps, while his (adoptive) dad worked with wood and tools, labor and skill, to make the things that carpenters make. Worked with his hands, did St. Joseph.

Nowadays, when I think about labor and workers, I think of Dorothy Day.

I came across a good article on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement last year, but never did get around to posting it. I commend it to your attention, along with this Commonweal article, also from last year, on Labor Lost.

At Mass this weekend, our general intercessions were quite beautiful, and apparently adapted from the Litany of Labor by ELCA pastor Thomas L. Weitzel. I invite you to pray this adaptation with me, which I close with the prayer for Labor Day from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.

Let us pray to the Lord of all creation, from whom comes life and work and purpose.

For those who plow the field and those who make the plow; for farmers and farm workers, for steelworkers and machinists; for those who work with their hands and those who move the earth:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those who tend the sick and those who seek new cures; for doctors and nurses, for scientists and technicians; for those who keep notes and those who transcribe:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those who think and those who create; for inventors and explorers, for artists and musicians; for those who write books and those who entertain:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those who work in offices and those who work in warehouses; for secretaries and receptionists, for stockers and bookkeepers; for those who market products and for those who move them:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those who inspire our minds and those who motivate us; for teachers and preachers, for public servants and religious servants; those who help the poor and those who work with our children:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those whose labor is tidiness and cleanliness; for janitors and sanitary workers, for drycleaners and maids; for those who produce cleaning products and those who use them:
Bless us, O Lord.
For those who sail the waves and those who fly the skies; for captains and attendants, for astronauts and deep sea divers; for those who chart and those who navigate:
Bless us, O Lord.
Look kindly upon the unemployed and the disabled. Give health to the sick, and hope to the bereaved.
Bless us, O Lord.

God our creator,
we are the work of your hands.
Guide us in our work,
that we may do it, not for self alone,
but for the common good.
Make us alert to injustice,
ready to stand in solidarity,
that there may be dignity for all
in labor and in labor’s reward.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

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1 Response to Labor Day

  1. Pingback: Labo(u)r Day blog posts « BLT

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