Monday, November 30, 2009

Sanctifying One's Work

by Elder Paisios

Everyone should, by his life and prayers, sanctify his work and become holy.  Additionally, if he is an employer and has responsibilities, he should help his employees spiritually. If he has a good inner state, he sanctifies his work.  For example, when young people go to study under a craftsman to learn his trade, he should also teach them to live spiritually.  This will benefit himself, his employes and his customers.

Every profession can be sanctified.  A doctor, for example, shouldn't forget that that  which helps most in medicine is the Grace of God.  Therefore, he should strive to become a receptacle of Divine Grace.  A doctor who is a good Christian also helps the sick with his goodness and faith.  To a patient with a very serious illness he can say: "Medicine has helped to this point––but remember from now on that there is God who works miracles."

Or a teacher should try to instruct with joy, and to help the children in their spiritual rebirth, something which not all parents are able to do, even if they have good intentions.  While teaching them to read he can also teach them to be good people  Otherwise, how will learning to read benefit them? SOciety needs good people who will do well in whatever profession the choose.  A teacher shouldn't only pay attention to whether the students know how to read well, but they should also consider whether they have other good qualities, such as piety, goodness, and conscientiousness.  God's grades don't always correspond to those of the teacher's.  The four that one child receives might be a ten in God's eyes, while a ten for another might count as a four to God.

Source: Family Life by Elder Paisios the Athonite, published by the Sacred Hesychastirion of St John the Evangelist, Souroti, Greece (2002); translated from the Greek by Fr. Luke Harting.  Seen in Orthodox Heritage, vol7, Issue 09-10, p. 26

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