Wednesday, August 31, 2011


About ten minutes ago I finished up celebrating a funeral. I will admit when I go to bed at night it is with a certain amount of satisfaction that my vocation in the priesthood does a lot of good in the world (now whether I do well at it is another question but the vocation itself does a lot of good.)

Recently a number of people, mostly men, have come to me and stated that they do not feel that their chosen careers make much of a difference in the world. For example, “I sell whichamajiggies Father and at the end of the day nobody will be saved because they have one, it won’t affect history, it won’t give others hope or ease their suffering.” I challenge that assumption and I challenge it because of what another man who does sell whichamajiggies taught me.

His side of the story goes more like this, “Father, I sell whichamajiggies but that is not what I do. That is a tool. I own this whichamajiggy shop and that allows me to employ these husbands and fathers so that they may raise Christian children with a certain amount of security. Selling whichamajiggies allows me to support my family, my parish, and my community. It allows me to witness to my faith. That is what I do – not sell whichamajiggies.”

If you enjoy your job but it does not feel as though you are contributing to the betterment of man and the glory of God, it may be that it simply a tool to allow you to do those things that do accomplish that end. It may be that your employment is a blessing to others afterall.


ck said...

My dad (a mechanic) and I (a machine designer) were discussing how our jobs don't exactly save the world. My dad commented, "Well, SOMEONE has to do our jobs!" I thought that was pretty profound. If the world was nothing but priests, firefighters, and nurses, who would provide what they eat, or drive, or make the lights go on when they flip the switch. We all have different gifts and temperaments that were given to us by God to give something vital to humanity.

The Wild Optimist said...

Dear Father,

That is an AWESOME perspective! Thanks for the thought.