What Is Your Real Job?


Maybe you work in IT. Maybe you’re in the insurance business. Maybe you are a doctor. Whatever you do for work, don’t let your work job make you forget your real job.

What is your real job?

“Everything a baptized person does every day should be directly or indirectly related to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.”

Dorothy Day

If your job is to install plumbing, then your real job is to give drink to the thirsty. If you manage a grocery store, then your real job involves feeding the hungry and instructing the ignorant. If your job is to mop floors, then maybe you are really offering hospitality to the homeless or bearing wrongs patiently.

Whatever your job is, underneath you can find your real job. Some of us are called more to one or another of the works of mercy, but we are all called. Keeping your real job in mind can put all the little and mundane tasks you do at work into the right order. It can help you prioritize and go at your work with the right perspective.

Above all, we must remember our most important job, to love one another. It can be very tempting and very easy to let love come second to a job, but it doesn’t have to, and it never should.

We must guard our hearts from actions that might seem to go along with our work but are contrary to our real jobs – things like impatience, greed, and pride. We can best defend ourselves from those temptations by remembering our real jobs.

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has – or ever will have – something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”

Mister Rogers

If we look at the teaching of Mister Rogers, at its very core it means helping others. In other words, loving others. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are the jobs God has given us in order that we may do the work of love.

Which works of mercy are part of your job?

The corporal works of mercy:

feeding the hungry

giving drink to the thirsty

clothing the naked

offering hospitality to the homeless

caring for the sick

visiting the imprisoned

burying the dead

The spiritual works of mercy:

admonishing the sinner

instructing the ignorant

counseling the doubtful

comforting the sorrowful

bearing wrongs patiently

forgiving all injuries

praying for the living and the dead

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