Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

5/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Catholic Church proclaimed a different way than the false materialist ideologies of collectivism, whether they came from the left, as with Marxism, or from the right, as with National Socialism. She proclaimed that the path to true freedom and flourishing is the Way of Jesus Christ.

I am old enough to remember what used to happen on  May 1st, when some Communist Regimes paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of many major cities in the Capitols of Nations held captive under the boot of Marxist oppression. They call it May Day and International Workers Day. The Marxists proclaimed that a workers' paradise could be achieved through a counterfeit ideology which promised a new man and a new society without need for a Savior. They lied.

St Joseph the Worker

St Joseph the Worker

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/1/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: work, worker, St Joseph, Joseph the Worker, dignity of human work. International Workers Day, May Day, Social Justice, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I am old enough to remember what used to happen on  May 1st, when some Communist Regimes paraded their weapons of destruction through the streets of many major cities in the Capitols of Nations held captive under the boot of Marxist oppression.

They call it May Day and International Workers Day. The Marxists proclaimed that a worker paradise could be achieved through a counterfeit ideology which promised a new man and a new society without need for a Savior. They lied.

It was during that period of time that the Catholic Church emphasized this Feast of Joseph the Worker. It was intended to make a prophetic statement, expose the lies of that false ideology and proclaim that the only truth which can liberate men, women and nations, is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fullness of that truth subsists within the Catholic Church which He founded. (See, L.G. #8)

The Catholic Church proclaimed a different way than the false materialist ideologies of collectivism, whether they came from the left, as with Marxism, or from the right, as with National Socialism. There are those who claim that National Socialism also comes from the "left". Wherever these two false ideologies come from, in political language, they share a common foundational error and can never lead to authentic freedom.
 
The Church rightly proclaims that the path to true freedom and flourishing is the Way of Jesus Christ.She also affirms that there is a dignity to all human work precisely because of the dignity of every human worker engaged in it. That worker is created in the Image and Likeness of God. That dignity is elevated to an even greater height through the Incarnation of Jesus the Worker of Nazareth.

On this Feast of St. Joseph the Worker we should reflect once again upon the creative and redemptive value of all human work, especially when joined to Christ the Worker. Though the lies of Marxist totalitarianism hold less sway in this hour, other false ideologies have now entrapped cultures once infused with the Christian worldview. 

In the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, the fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught concerning Jesus Christ: "He who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too."

"For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin." (Gaudium et Spes #22)

The Catholic Catechism adds these insights, "Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: "If anyone will not work, let him not eat." (2 Thess. 3:10) Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive."

"By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish."

"Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary."

"Work is for man, not man for work. Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive." (See, CCC # 2247 et.seq)

A Catholic understanding of human work views it through the lens of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God Incarnate, Jesus the Christ, was a worker! The dignity of this God become Man elevates thereby elevates the basic goodness of all human work.

The early Church Father Gregory Nazianzus expressed the implications of the Incarnation best when he insisted that "Whatever was not assumed was not healed!" Because the entire human experience was assumed by Jesus, work has been transformed by Christ the worker!

As a child, Jesus learned from Joseph the Worker how to work with wood. He would later climb upon a wooden cross in order to re-create all humanity in the culmination of His great work of redemption. All of the work undertaken by Jesus was joined to His Heavenly Father's work. That is the same relationship we have with the Father now through Him, with Him and in Him.

Though there is some biblical support that the toil and drudgery or "sweat" of work is connected to the fracture in the order of the universe occasioned by sin (see Gen 3:19), human work itself is not the punishment for sin.Work occurred before the Fall, in that Garden where our first parents lived in communion with God, one another and all creation.

Rather, for the Christian, all human work can become a participation in the continuing redemptive work of Jesus, when embraced with living faith and joined to His work. Jesus was always doing the work of the One who sent Him (John 9:3-4) and we are invited to now do the same in the work which is a part of our daily human existence.

The early Christians' worship became known as liturgy. The Greek word can be loosely translated work or duty. Liturgy is the work of the Church. For the early believers, the world was not a place to be avoided but became their workshop!

They were in the world in order to bring all men and women to the Font of Baptism and include them in the Body of Christ, the Church - where they participated in preparing the world for His return. The work of Jesus continues through His Body, the Church, now placed in creation as a seed of its transfiguration.

The Paschal mystery, the saving life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, began a process of transformation not only in the followers of Jesus but also in the cosmos created through Him and for Him. It is being recreated in Him.

All things were created in Jesus Christ (see Col 1:15-20) and are being re-created as His work continues through His Body, the Church of which we are members. The unfolding of all of this is a what St. Paul calls a plan and a mystery, to bring all things together under heaven and on earth in Him (e.g. Eph 1: 9-10).

For the Christian work is an invitation to participate in that plan or mystery. No matter what we are doing as work, we are admonished to "do it as unto the Lord" (see Col 3). That choice, that exercise of our human freedom, enables our work to change the world both within us and around us.

This way of viewing work includes all human work, not just what is sometimes viewed as the "spiritual stuff." God Incarnate, Jesus Christ, did not just do what is often called the "spiritual stuff." All human work sanctifies us - and changes the world around us.

St. Paul captures the hope of the fullness of redemption including all creation when, in the eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans he reminds us that all of creation "groans" for the full revelation of the sons and daughters of God.
 
We can have a new relationship to the entire created order beginning now by choosing to live by faith. We live in the Son, through whom and for whom, all was created and is being re-created. When we embrace our daily work with a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit, we begin to comprehend the plan and purpose of God.

That includes developing a Catholic view of work.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Extending the Lie: Ken Blackwell Asks, Which Black Lives Matter? Watch

Image of J. Kenneth Blackwell

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

Almost seven months after the fateful, fatal encounter between Michael Brown and former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Attorney General Eric Holder officially announced a truth he had been holding close for months - that the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" mantra ... continue reading


Is the U.S. under Invasion? In nine U.S. States, troops to 'operate undetected amongst civilian population' Watch

Image of Despite assurances that the training is to prepare troops for overseas missions, Army documents in the past have made clear that plans for martial law are in place for within the Continental United States, or CONUS.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The military exercise is both mysterious and just a little bit threatening. The controversial Jade Helm military exercise, scheduled to take part in nine U.S. states this summer will involve soldiers operating "undetected amongst civilian populations." The ... continue reading


OPEN BORDERS: Children without guardians continue to stream into the United States Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Children without adult guardians, from the southern border that the United States shares with Mexico, continue to stream into the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, speaking to Congress last week, says that these child immigrants number in the ... continue reading


Bella's Gift: The Santorum Book that Keeps on Giving Watch

Image of The book, Bella's Gift, has shaken me. On more than one occasion, it has forced me to my knees in tears. That is because, in a candid, honest, profoundly spiritual way, this splendidly written book puts the reader in the presence of unconditional love. then, through its deep spiritual truths, it unleashes the dynamic power of amazing grace.

By Keith A Fournier

I was with Rick Santorum at the Awakening Conference in Orlando, Florida. Rick and Karen Santorum are personal friends. Their whole family is a source of inspiration to me. But most especially, that little Princess named Bella Santorum. She is the center, the ... continue reading


Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

Image of Bell can have his happy-clappy, navel-centered religion and his wimpy god. He just can't call it Christianity, and he can't claim it's the Church.

By Jennifer Hartline

There is no Christianity without Christ, and no Christ without the cross. There was no need for the cross except for our Redemption, and no need for that except for our sin. To preach Christianity without preaching repentance from sin and taking up your cross is ... continue reading


McDonald's does the unthinkable - Big Mac Shop launches McFashion clothing line Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fast food conglomerate McDonald's had released its own fashion and lifestyle line, with the clothes full of Big Mac prints on them. The McFashion debuted on Tuesday in Sweden, in celebration of their most recent campaign, "I'm Lovin' It 24." Profit generated from the ... continue reading


Top Stories of the Week You Can't Miss Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From a tragic airplane crash that killed 150 people to the blood of St. Januarius liquifying, this week in news has been quite a roller coaster. We saw nuns mob Pope Francis, a father lose seven of his eight children in a horrifying fire and the first announced ... continue reading


Majority of Latinos in United States speak English Watch

Image of  Latinos who only speak English are often ostracized by Latinos who only speak Spanish or are bilingual. Many Latinos, upon being hired for positions, are presumed to know and speak Spanish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it would appear to some to be contrary, the majority of Latinos within the continental United States, 62 percent, speak English. A new analysis of the Pew Research Center's 2013 National Survey of Latinos has found that the current demographics will ... continue reading


The Christian Feast of the Annunciation is About More than Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:26,27)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Walking along this Way of Yes, leads us into a dialogue, a conversation, a communion, a new Way of life, the Christian Way. By saying Yes, offering our own Fiat, we become consecrated and enlisted in the ongoing mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary shows us that ... continue reading


Where's the most hate in the United States? A look into the top states with the highest amount of hate groups may shock you Watch

Image of There is hope. According to the center,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While California is typically known for laidback attitudes and acceptance of diversity - it comes as a shock to learn that the Golden State has the largest amount of "hate groups" across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 49:1-6
1 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, John 13:21-33, 36-38
21 Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 31st, 2015 Image

St. Benjamin
March 31: St. Benjamin, Martyr (Feast Day - March 31) The Christians in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter