Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times. At other times, they should read spiritual books. If, however, the needs of the place, or poverty should require that they do the heavy labor themselves, let them not be upset by this, for that is when they are truly monks. However, on account of the weak, let all things be done with moderation.
But here’s the catch: Jesus worked too. So work, which
was once a punishment, has become for all of us a sacred duty and a
redemptive act. By virtue of his hard
work, the monk not only brings himself into closer conformity with Christ, he actually
helps bring creation itself to perfection.
He completes God’s work!
Therefore work—whether it’s a chore, a homework assignment, a sports practice, or a job with an office and a paycheck—isn’t just a means of economic development. Nor is it something to “be done with” so you can get on with your life. It’s an essential part of your sanctification.
John Paul II wrote, “It is through man's work that not only the fruits of our activity but also human dignity, brotherhood and freedom must increase on earth. Let the Christian who listens to the word of the living God, uniting work with prayer, know the place that his work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the Kingdom of God, to which we are all called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the Gospel” (Encyclical Laborem Exercens, par. 27).
 Randy Bachman reflected on a similar theme in the aptly titled “Taking Care of Business” when he sang “I like to work at nothing all day.”