St Winnoc

Abbot (entered heaven this day around 717)

Dear Wilma,

I think you will find much more peace if you stop complaining about having to work to help pay for your school.  Let’s be realistic, first of all, then super-realistic.  Being realistic, you have to admit that most of your friends who don’t have to work to help pay for their school actually end up wasting a lot of time.  They take things for granted (most of them), and use their time and their resources irresponsibly, carelessly.  It’s human nature, so we need not be surprised (although you should do you best to help them take better advantage of their situation – for their own good and the good of the Kingdom).  And if you were in their position, you would probably end up wasting time too (although I would be here to prod you if you did).  Being super-realistic, however, I would like to remind you that our Lord and his Mother had to work as well.  They worked hard.  When Jesus was your age he worked full time.  So there must be some supernatural value in it.  If you are willing to prayerfully delve into the example of Christ, I am sure the Holy Spirit will give your soul plenty of light and strength in this regard.  Besides, hard work, physical labor done well, has been one of the saints’ favorite ways of winning hearts to God, so you have a wonderful chance to follow in their footsteps.  Take today’s saint for example.

Winnoc was a British fellow.  As a young man he and a few friends took a trip to a newly founded monastery.  They went out of youthful curiosity, but the diligence and joy of the monks fired them with a desire to take the habit as well.  Soon Winnoc “shone like a morning star among the 150 monks who inhabited that sanctuary” as one biographer has put it.  When the monastery outgrew itself, St Winnoc was given charge of his original companions and sent to set up camp at a location farther out, in an area that was largely unevangelized.  They arrived, rolled up their sleeves, and when they weren’t praying, eating, or sleeping, they were working hard – physical labor, mind you, building up their church and their cells, plus a hospital for the sick and abandoned of the countryside.  Soon the monastery became a missionary headquarters, spreading Christ’s Kingdom throughout the region.  Besides his miracles, Winnoc’s most effective tactic for winning over the locals was serving them by his work.  Even when he was an old man he worked hard; the young neophytes used to sneak around the barns to catch a glimpse of the gray-haired saint plugging away at the hand-mill or repairing things.

So you see, my dear niece, realistically, having to work is a blessing, and supernaturally speaking you are in excellent company as you toil away among the pots and pans.  Don’t let the devil try and convince you otherwise.

God bless,

Uncle Eddy

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