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TOPIC: Work As Service   
by Regina Coeli McKnight (Labor Day Sunday)  

From the Bhagavad Gita  

He, who living in this world of action attempts to refrain from action--he, who, enjoying the fruits of action of the acting world, would shirk from his share of the work and action of the world--he who would thus idle away his life lives a life most vain and shameful.  He who profiteth by the turn of the wheel, at every moment of his life, yet refuseth to touch his hand to it to impart motion, is a shirker and a thief who takes, giving nothing in return. 

But wise is he who acteth otherwise, and who perfrometh well his work of the world, providing that he be unattached to the fruits thereof and that he be always centered in the knowledge of the Real Self.  ......Such action, springing from Duty, free from attachment or dependence, leadeth one straight to the consciousness and plane of Spirit. 

The Divine Songs of Zarathustra  

Whoso, after becoming learned and wise, after gaining insight into Faith, 
out of his own love for mankind strives to do good unto all through the fruitful deeds of a better life that man, so well offering his life's work, is an ally of the Great Cause. 

Matthew 25 

Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;  for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me,  I was in prison and you came to me."  Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?  And when did we see the stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?  And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?"  And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." 

From the Gospel of Buddha  

The Buddha replied:  "The bliss of a religious life is attainable by every one who walks in the noble eightfold path.  He that cleaves to wealth had better cast is away than allow his heart to be poisioned by it; but he who does not cleave to wealth, and possessing riches, uses them rightly, will be a blessing unto his fellows. 

It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men, but the cleaving to life and wealth and power. 

The bhikkhu who retires from the world in order to lead a life of leisure will have no gain, for a life of indolence is an abomination, and lack of energy is to be despised... 

Whatever men do, whether they remain in the world as artisans, merchants, and officers of the king, or retire from the world and devote themselves to a life of religious meditation, let them put their whole heart into their task,let them be diligent and energetic, and if they are like the lotus, which although it grows in the water, yet remains untouched by the water, if they struggle in life without cherishing envy or hatred, if theyu live in the world not a life of self but a life of truth, then surely joy, peace, and bliss will dwell in their minds. 

Koran Chapt 57 

God knows what goes down into the earth and what comes out therefrom, 
And what comes down from above and what rises thereto. 
And He is with you wherever you be, 
For God sees what you do. 
To him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. 
And towards God is the return of all affairs. 

Ecclesiastics XXXVIII 

Let us now praise the artificer and workmaster, 
That passeth his time by night as by day; 
He cuts gravings of signets, 
And his diligence is to make great variety; 
He setteth his heart to preserve likeness in his portraiture, 
And is wakeful to finish his work. 
So is the smith sitting by the anvil 
And considering the unwriought iron; 
The vapour of the fire wasteth his flesh, 
And in the heat of the furnace doth he wrestle with his work; 
The noise of the hammer is ever in his ear, 
And his eyes are upon the pattern of the vessel'; 
He setteth his heart upon perfecting his works, 
And is wakeful to adorn them perfectly. 
So is the potter sitting at his work, 
And turning the wheel about with his feet, 
Who is always anxiously set at his work, 
And all his handiwork is by measure; 
He fashioneth the clay with his arm. 
He applieth his heart to finish the glazing, 
And is wakeful to make clean the furnace. 

All these put their trust in their hands, 
And each becometh wise in his own work. 
Yea, though they be not sought for in the council of the people, 
Nor be exalted in the assembly; 
Though they sit not on the seat of the judge. 
Nor understand the covenant of judgment; 
Though they declare not instruction and judgment, 
And be not found among them that utter dark sayings: 
Yet without these shall not a city be inhabited. 
Nor shall men sojourn or walk up and down therein. 
For these maintain the fabric of the world, 
And in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer. 

Gayan, Vadan, Nirtan 

The service of God means that we each work for all 

Every soul inclined to serve has a scope for service on every plane, and the one who is able to serve here is able to serve even more on the higher planes. 

The one who serves however humbly, has the privilege of serving God. 

The essence of spirituality and mysticism is readiness to serve the person next to us. 

Only when man learns to serve and do his duty without the thought of appreciation, only then will he attain. 

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