When anger and rage and resentment and violence are prominent in politics and the media, when they are “in the air,” one can readily question whether humans have an interior life. Whether empathy and compassion, caring and feeling for others, exists at all.
We have a name for people who seem to be completely out of touch with their interior lives: Sociopaths. People who exhibit no feeling whatsoever in the presence of the pain and suffering of others.
Many examples come to mind, among them being the fellow who hit 82-year-old Mr. Pelosi on the head with a hammer and fractured his skull.
Or the fellow with a hate-filled radio show, by which he makes millions of dollars, who was recently fined close to one billion dollars for pursuing for decades the grieving parents who lost children in Sandy Hook school massacre, pronouncing on the public air waves for all the world to hear that they were faking it, that Sandy Hook was fake news, that their children did not die.
There are those who are committed to denying the reality of climate change, even as they suffer as the rest of us do from the ever record-breaking heat and wild fires and droughts and hurricanes and floods that are products of climate change.
For those who are still in touch with their interior life, who can still feel the realness of Joy and Suffering, Creativity and Compassion, and feel themselves called to respond, let us meditate with some wisdom offered through the centuries about humanity’s interior life as it relates to our work.
They all attain perfection when they find joy in their work. (Bhagavad Gita)
Always rejoice in the good work that you do. (Thomas Aquinas)
In work, do what you enjoy. (Tao Te Ching)
Every angel is with his whole joy and his whole bliss inside me and the Godself with all the divine bliss. Yet I do not perceive this. (Meister Eckhart)
My occupation: Love. It’s all I do. (John of the Cross)
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Reinvention of Work, pp. 91f.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: A health care worker examines a patient in a street clinic in São Luís, Brazil. Photo by Carlos Magno on Unsplash
Queries for Contemplation
Which of these testimonies to the interior life of our work touches you the deepest? Why is that so?
The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood For Our Time
Thomas Aquinas said, “To live well is to work well,” and in this bold call for the revitalization of daily work, Fox shares his vision of a world where our personal and professional lives are celebrated in harmony–a world where the self is not sacrificed for a job but is sanctified by authentic “soul work.”
“Fox approaches the level of poetry in describing the reciprocity that must be present between one’s inner and outer work…[A]n important road map to social change.” ~~ National Catholic Reporter