For our instructions we have been reading Pope John Paul II's encyclical On Human Work (Latin: Laborem exercens). While he does address worker's rights in the encyclical, most of it is about the dignity of human work. My favorite insight from what we have read so far is the comment on the humility of God, who though He was in the form of God, He became Man. He did manual labor as a carpenter, working by the sweat of His brow (see Genesis 3:19). Then on the night before He died, He washed his disciples' feet, which at the time was an extraordinary lowly job. His disciples thought that it was beneath their rabbi to do such a thing. But He did, and then said that they are to do the same for each other (see John 13:1-17). Jesus made work holy and when we work we are in conformity with Him.
Reading this encyclical has also brought to light a significant value of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity: no job is too lowly for anyone; no person is too important for any job. Our Community Director (what other Communities call their Mother General or Mother Superior) joins the others in shoveling the snow/ice during the winter, picking strawberries in the summer, as well as anything thing else she can find time to do. Our former Community Director is often found cutting vegetables, washing dishes, and doing similar tasks around the house. Administrators, health care workers, teachers, and others all chip in where and when they can.
We'll be finishing the encyclical (and the Temporary Professed Summer Program) this week. It seems that it has gone by so fast.... Sr. Pamela Catherine will renew her vows this Sunday at Mass, which we are looking forward to. Then she is going on her homevisit, and I will be here to attend an Environmental Education workshop.
I pray that you are enjoying your summer, and staying cool in all the heat!