The value of work with respect to prayer depends very much on the attitude we bring to it. Work is a human reality willed by God, and has intrinsic value, if we accomplish it with all good will. Apart from the intention with which we do it, it has been explicitly willed for us by the Lord: ‘The Lord God took man and set him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it’ (Genesis 2:15). We have to acknowledge, however, that in certain cases the work, if it is done conscientiously, is not compatible with prayer, or that the actual dispositions of the monk make it impossible for his work to be effectively a prayer. Prayer and work will then be juxtaposed, and not directly related.
We can be faced with several possibilities:
–work is an aid to prayer,
–work seems to be neutral in regards to prayer,
–work is actually an obstacle to prayer.
‘The Wound of Love’ A. Carthusian