St. Francis de Sales’ Thoughts for Labor Day

While Labor Day did not exist in St Francis de Sales time or culture, he did have thoughts about the tradition of work, and wrote about it in several of his writings.

Here we quote from his Treatise on the Love of God. Perhaps these words can provide a meditation for your leisure this Labor Day!

“It seems as if these souls, … have forgotten, or do not know, the words of Jeremias : Ah, foolish man, why do you trust in your own labor and skill ? Do you not know that it is for you indeed to cultivate the soil, to plough and sow it, but that it is God Who gives the increase,Who grants the bounteous harvest, Who sends the fertilizing rain on the land which you have sown ? You indeed may water, but it will be of no avail unless God blesses your toil, and gives you, by His pure grace and not by your exertions, an abundant crop ; depend then entirely on His divine goodness.”

It is indeed for us to labor diligently, but it is for God to crown our labors with success. Holy Church sings on every feast of confessors : God made him honorable in his labors, and accomplished his labors to show that of ourselves we can do nothing without the grace of God, in which we must place all our confidence, expecting nothing from ourselves.

Let us not be at all eager in our work, for, in order to do it well, we must apply ourselves to it carefully indeed, but calmly and peacefully, with out trusting in our labor, but in God and His grace.One single good work done with a tranquil spirit is worth far more than several done with eagerness.

The dove simply occupies herself in doing her work as well as she possibly can, leaving all other care to her beloved mate. The soul who is truly dove-like — that is, who loves God dearly — applies herself quite simply, without any eagerness, ” My Beloved,” she says, thinks for me, and in Him I trust ; He loves me,and I give myself wholly to Him in proof of my love.”

Reflections for Sunday’s Chat at 730PM est:

How does your style of work compare to that which St Francis advocates?

How do you bring the Lord into your work and workplace?

How does your vocational discernment fit into your current employment?

In what ways do you show God that you trust Him as you carry out your responsibilities?

Can you cite any examples in your life when you planted the seed but God made the crop abundant?

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