In Praise of Work

Item Number: 60756

Catalog Code: POW

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How to find more meaning, and perhaps even joy, in your work. And accomplish more than you ever thought yourself capable of!


What keeps so many of us from working to our fullest capacity? According to Fr. Raoul Plus, SJ, one of the most popular spiritual writers of mid-20th century, the fault is in our misunderstanding of the meaning of work, such that we find it a drudgery. In this just reissued treasure from 1952, he not only guides us to a true understanding of work, but ingeniously enkindles a capacity for deep christian joy in our labors. Some topics:



  • “I work for eternity,” great artists used to say. Why that’s still the best way to work—even when seeking the most immediate results
  • The key role of imagination in motivating oneself to accomplish great things
  • Why the greatest achievements are founded in a spirit of personal sacrifice and renunciation
  • Who said this? “The truth is, I am a very ordinary person, and if I have any success it is only due to hard work.” (The answer will probably both astound and inspire you!)
  • The important difference between working and being busy
  • Illustrated by a powerful example: “Mere doing is nothing; what is required is doing things as beautifully as possible”
  • What those who work with their brains should learn from those who work with their hands (and vice versa)
  • The spiritual benefits of work
  • How hard work protects us from temptation
  • Do some forms of work have a higher dignity than others?
  • “Luck”: How hard, persevering work “creates” good fortune
  • “Pluck”: How to use setbacks and suffering as a step to something better
  • The rewards of diligence—and the dangers of negligence
  • All-too-common attitude by which some parents foster degeneracy in their children
  • When high ambition is a good thing...and when it’s not
  • Why detachment from worldly goods is an essential virtue, especially for those engaged in profit-making enterprises
  • Why Michelangelo once wrote, “It is not enough that a painter be a great and able master. What is more important is that his life should be as pure and holy as possible”
  • Why dishonest businessmen sometimes thrive—but honest ones do more often.

    Some topics:

    “Powerful and persuasive.”

    “A witty, anecdotal book, eminently readable, pregnant with painless wisdom and illustrative inspiration. Pere Plus is well known for his more sober spiritual works; here he emerges as a raconteur of wide reading and experience who presents his observations on men and matters most palatably....A powerful and persuasive presentation of that faceless, anonymous apostolate which each man may exercise whatever his milieu.” —America (1953)

    “Tells you what work has been and could be to mankind, first in general and in particular professions...and the joys of each toilsome life are illustrated by examples.” —Blackfriars

    Many helpful extras

    Important lessons from the great giants of achievement, including: Mozart * Da Vinci * St. Francis Xavier * Balzac * Columbus * Joan of Arc * Beethoven * Michelangelo * St. Francis de Sales * Racine * Rubens * Kipling * St. Vincent de Paul

    Specific advice and examples for those in particular professions, including: Lawyers * Businessmen * Laborers * Doctors and Surgeons * Musicians * Artists * Journalists * Philosophers * Teachers and Educators * Writers * Soldiers * Judges * Domestic Employees * Monks * Missionaries * Mothers

    Fosters virtues necessary to hard work, such as: Perseverance * Courage * “Providential insecurity” * Imagination * Faith * Purity * Honesty * Humility * Sacrifice * Prayer * Conscience * Patience * Charity * Fidelity * Unselfishness * Diligence *

    Special concluding advice for religious, priests, and “laymen of all callings”



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