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Ora et labora

Pascal, in his Pensees, wrote that if you simply gave a man the money he wanted to win at the gaming table, he would be disappointed, because the last thing he really wants is silence. “I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.” He does not mean that we should not walk outdoors or that we should not work. He means that instead that we use the commotion of work, the chase, licentiousness, and warfare to keep ourselves distracted. The Benedictine monks, whose motto is “Ora et labora“—“Work and pray”—founded themselves upon the stability and richness of silence. Our motto instead is, “Work—or do anything at all, so long as you do not pray, or even come to an awareness of your frailty.” Turn up the noise.

—from Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child by Anthony Esolen, Ch. 3: Rush to Work




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