St. Joseph


Originally published by Blessed Is She


Tolkien’s short but poignant work “Leaf by Niggle” offers fascinating insights into the intersection of our personal and professional lives. Niggle’s vocation involves painting leaves. But he battles against his own inertia as various chores and inconveniences keep him from finishing the painting to his satisfaction.


When Niggle passes from this life, he discovers that the leaves he was painting are, in fact, embedded in lush forests, mountains and streams of Heaven. Tolkien’s theory of vocation concludes fittingly: a worthy vocation contributes not only to financial well-being but ultimately to new creation.


How might this change the way we see our work as spiritual calling?


The feast of Saint Joseph the Worker is a powerful reminder of the real purpose of our work. In response to “May Day,” Pope Pius XII instituted the feast in the 1950s to encourage devotion to Saint Joseph, in whom he saw a perfect model for dignifying human work.



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