labore est orare

By September 29, 2008Theology

Imagine you are in your workplace. Perhaps it is an office, or a car, or the kitchen, or a classroom. You have been given a pair of those 3-D specs, the kind with a red and a green window. Putting them on, you notice everywhere you look a blizzard of angels. They are cartwheeling across your mousemat, swinging from your car mirror, making faces behind your rather cross boss, helping you load the laundry, and singing about God.

If your specs aren’t working, imagine that the Large Hadron Collider has split God into a shower of diamonds. These fragments of God are scattered around you like motes of dust, shimmering in the strip lighting, illuminating everything you do with a heavenly light. Father Ingham used to describe prayer as ‘the practice of the presence of God,’ and St Benedict reminds us that to work is to pray. The Celtic Christians had working songs like ‘Come, Mary, and milk my cow’, ‘God, bless Thou Thyself my reaping’, and ‘I will raise the hearth-fire as Mary would.’ Perhaps it would be a shortcut to a P45 if we were to start singing in the office ‘Jesus, fix my photocopier’ or ‘Cleanse Thou my Inbox,’ but imagine if we really worked in the presence of God, with angels perched on our shoulders instead of the chips that are often there. Imagine that instead of chewing on the sins of others we always had a prayer trembling on our lips. Imagine we really did dress ourselves in God when we put on our working clothes, and trod God up and down the escalators. Work is prayer, prayer is work. Everything we do is or is not of God. Is there at least part of your workplace you could make more heavenly today?

Leave a Reply