PSALM OF WORK
For anyone who is a minister at a place of work (an industrial chaplain) or a minister in secular employment (tent-making ministry) prayer is continually about work. Yet that is not often perceived to be the work of the churches. This has not always been true - St Bernard is credited with the view that a monk's work is his prayer too.
- I enjoy my work, for you've given it to me:
you are a God who works, and I work with your blessing.
- You are there when I go to work in the morning:
I meet you in my friends as we greet one another;
- as we prepare for the day, you speak to us through others:
you are in new ideas and the training we share;
- my concentration reflects your loving care:
your creative power inspires my thoughts and actions.
- When I help another it's you that I meet:
as I serve a customer, I am serving you;
- when I am called to give account to my superiors:
it's your judgement I face and you will judge in fairness.
- If others treat me harshly, I am only your servant:
Jesus was also the servant of others;
- his work was to make your love visible:
in my successes I, too, am completing your work of creation.
- Long ago monks were taught that to work is to pray:
help me see my task today as part of your purpose.
- My achievements I offer to you:
exhausted I give you my life.
v.9 - "laborare est orare" was supposed to be the motto. A monk's work was his praying, but also his work in the fields (or wherever) was his prayer.