The Dignity of Work - Catholic Rural Life

The Dignity of Work

Dr. Carmina Chapp • March 4, 2024


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Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

With these words, we are dismissed from our celebration of the Eucharist. We have entered the house of God, repented of our sins, heard the Word of God proclaimed, offered the sacrifice of our hearts with the offering of the bread and wine, which were accepted by God the Father through Christ Jesus, and received the Body and Blood of our Lord in Holy Communion. Now, we are sent forth with the command to “glorify God with our lives “. 

In this, we imitate the Blessed Mother, who proclaimed “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

The work we do must glorify God and therein lies its dignity. The work of rural communities has a special dignity in that it consists of providing the human race with its basic sustenance. Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, the only creatures held in such high esteem and given the responsibility for the care of the earth. The calling to provide that which is necessary, indeed essential for human life, is a privileged vocation. 

The dignity of agricultural work is highlighted in the fact that the worker cooperates with God, who has created the land with the ability to grow food and raise animals. Attuned to the fact that we are utterly dependent on God and ever discover more ways that He provides for us, we treasure our vocation to the rural life. 

Our work as “First Cooperators” gives us a front row seat to the way God intended to support human life, which we come to discover is both physical and spiritual. Working on the land offers a particular experience of God that edifies us. It offers us the opportunity to truly “glorify God with our lives. 

The Dignity of Work and Catholic Social Teaching Webinar
By Dr. Carmina Chapp

Don’t miss out! On March 20th at 3:00pm Central, Dr. Carmina Chapp is giving a webinar on the dignity of work in the context of rural Catholics. During this webinar, Carmina will cover a basic overview of Catholic Social Teaching in the rural context, give an introduction to Catholic Worker movement, and share about the Catholic view of the dignity of work. We hope to see you there!

About the author

Carmina Chapp is a Catholic theologian with a mission. She didn’t have any farming experience when she and her husband, Larry, felt called to start the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm. Both are Oblates of St. Benedict, committed to living a life of simplicity and practicing the works of mercy.

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