Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Power of Small Things

I have been considering Thérèse de Lisieux's (1873-1897) theology of doing the smallest of things with great love and devotion unto God, as a possible foundational construct in a renewed theology of "redemptive work". It strikes me that the beginning of this exploration must start with the ultimate purpose of all action: love. Thomas Merton puts it as follows:

"We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others."

How will our perception and practice of work changes when our first and ultimate motive is love?

Picture: Martin Creed, Work No. 567: Small Things.