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Living Our Faith: The value of work

Workers set a girder in place while rebuilding a bridge in Detroit. Labor Day, honoring U.S. workers, is observed Sept. 2 this year. (CNS photo/Jim West)

Most of us have an innate desire to contribute in a positive way to the good of society, to help make the world a better place through the work we do, and not simply to earn a wage to support our families and pay our bills.

We work because that is a part of who we are, because that is who God, through his divine work, created us to be.


Food for Thought

Work and the dignity humans find in it long has been part of Catholic social teaching.

“Work is more than a paycheck; it helps raise our families, develop our potential, share in God’s creation and contribute to the common good,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, of Stockton, California, in a 2012 Labor Day statement about “Placing Work and Workers at the Center of Economic Life.”

Bishop Blaire asked others to work toward a reality of providing work for all, especially urging “people of faith” to stand in solidarity with those who struggle to meet the most basic of needs.

He said society needs “to reflect on the moral and human dimensions of too much poverty and not enough work. We are called to work together — business, labor and government — to build a productive economy that offers opportunity, creates jobs, generates growth, protects the dignity of working people, respects the family and promotes genuine human development.”