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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
The Labor and Legacy of a Catholic Man
Photo: When Men Put God First
Photo: When Men put God first, all else falls into their proper place. Black and White Photography by Frank J Casella All Rights Reserved.
The labor and legacy of a Catholic man is celebrated in both his family and his community, and can even impact the world at large. He touches countless lives with his love and guidance, and his teachings remain a source of strength and hope to many.
Labor Day is celebrated as a holiday in the United States and Canada in honor of workers. Personally, it seems, I’ve heard from more wives recenlty than their husbands, most of them grateful for the encouragement and support we have shown the men in their lives during these economic times. Because our economic times have seen many men either underemployed or unemployed, more so than their wives.  
CCC 2460 The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.
We are now in a time where people are creative with their finances in order to get their bills paid and not create new debt. Some examples are people canceling or downgrading cable or internet, downsizing to one less car, cooking at home more than going out to eat, canceling vacations, some college students have taken a year off so the family can pay down the mortgage on their home, and people coming up with all kinds of new jobs and services to get their bills paid.
On the opposite end of the economic spectrum are some businesses or people who have prospered greatly or have not felt much of the effects of the economy personally as the rest of us. Some of these businesses or people are immune to recessions due to their unique marketplace conditions or their own business strategies.
It reminds me of something Ronald Regan used to say, “if your neighbor is out of work it’s a recession, and if YOU are out of work it’s a depression”.
We know that God is working in all things for our good and our ultimate reward. It is said that adversity allows us to change our thinking. Our current circumstances often provide us a chance to reflect on our relationship with Him and to make necessary changes.
We should not depend on our own human understanding but fully depend on Him for our needs and security. This is what God truly wants from us. Many testify (myself included) that God does answer prayer when we wait on Him. It is not easy, but this is where trust comes in.
“Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."  Matt.” 6:34
This is also a time to reflect on our Catholic Faith and the many ways it impacts our lives. CMCS will never give up. We're here to serve you, as a Catholic man striving to live out your faith. Keep your eyes peeled to this blog for the fundamentals of Catholic manhood and hold tight to Bishop Perry's A Prayer for Employment (PDF).  It's touching to see each day how people are working to help each other make it through life and these historic times … in the true Christian spirit.
Ultimately, as you leave this earth, it's important to be known for who you are, not for what you do. Your legacy should be what's etched onto your heart - your identity in Jesus Christ.
That’s what Christ is looking for in his followers. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to give up your career or your profession. What it does mean is that you should put your faith in Christ and serve Him first, through serving others. That’s what will give you the most fulfillment in life, and it will be the legacy that you leave behind.
“If we build into ourselves a deep understanding and conviction that serving the needs of other human beings is the reason we profit, that the reason we earn money is because we are focused on serving the needs of other people, other people will see this. We must commit ourselves to these convictions. Then and only then will the money follow. The money comes automatically.”
― Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance
How are you living out your legacy today?
What legacy will you leave behind for future generations?
How will your family and loved ones be affected by your actions?
What you sow in your life today, you will reap in the life to come. So, be diligent in your walk with the Lord. Be sure to forgive and love your neighbor, even if they have done you wrong. And most importantly, know that you are loved and you are worth living for.
For example, my legacy is to be a good husband, father and friend - a real person - to those around me. I would like to leave this life knowing that I have been forgiven my short commings, and loved, by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That I would be His disciple and, thus, have discipled others.
What if your (future) wife said, "If Jesus is anything like you, I want to know Him. But if He's not like you, I want to leave Him." Can you imagine how this would change your relationship? Pray and ask God daily how to put your mission into action, through your labors. Then watch Him show you through your actions what His will and legacy is for your life.
God's will is that we depend on Him.
"He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands."
— St. Benedict of Nursia
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