Who is a Worker ?
What is work? Who is a worker?
Letters recently printed in the "C.H." confuse the whole issue re the above and indicate that : A teacher is not a worker. A schoolboy is not a worker. A manager is not a worker. A director is not a worker. A sailor is not a worker. A soldier is not a worker. A bishop is not a worker. A policeman is not a worker. A financier is not a worker. . A housewife is not a worker. An employer is not a worker.
Who, then, is a worker ? A worker is a person who works. Therefore a person who works is a worker. Will someone kindly tell me how all the above people get their jobs done ?
Before we go much further let us look at the dictionary for a definition. " Work," it says, is " effort directed to an end," and again, " to make efforts to attain anything," and yet again, " to bring into any state by action: to effect: to influence: to manage: to solve."
In the sense given above, who is there, apart, penhaps, from the physically and mentally incapable. who does not work and is not a worker ? Who is there to whom the Feast of Christ the Worker would not apply ? Are not we all workers following the lead of the Great Worker ?
Work is not just manual labour. That is only one aspect of the whole of work. This appears to be where your previous letter-writers became confused. They regarded one aspect as the whole, and the other aspects as separate entities not in any way associated with this whole.
It is quite -obvious from their letters that they do not consider themselves as workers. What then do they
think they arc, and why? Let us hope they have not been affected by the modern idea that to be a worker is somehow to be low and common. How many-times have I seen people (many of them good Catholics) shudder and slam the door in our faces when we called on them during door to door sales of our paper Young Worker?
Perhaps no one in this country knows better than the Young Christian Workers how many people detest being called or associated with the low and common workers. To many people to be called a worker is worse than to be called a criminal. When these people find us calling for the help of Christ the Worker, they shout, yell and rave. " Anything but that. Christ anything you like but not Christ the Worker. It is too low. too common. too political. Why, it is worse than saying Christ the Criminal." Such is the pride of our modern society.
Yet, for all that. without workers there is no work. and to quote our great founder. Canon Card ijn. '' Without worl, /here is NOTHING, neither moral, intellectual, nor religious. Without work there is no Host, not a single drop of wine to consecrate. no altar stone, no vestments, no Church. WrTHoUT WORK THERE IS NO RELIGION."
FRANK DINEEN, A Young Christian Worker of Brentwood.
4 Brentwood Road, Ingrave, Brentwood.
Sue-On the subject of a new Feast of Christ the Worker your correspondents show a tendency to particularise too closely.
Obviously Canon Burrett can speak with authority and much wider knowledge of this matter that I tan, but I would suggest that there is a danger of too great a rigidity in the conception of what constitutes a " worker." My own job is in no way manual, yet I consider myself a worker. and so, I am sure, do most teachers. schoolboys, managers, directors, sailors, soldiers, policemen and bishops !
As for your other correspondent's over-nice distinction between " facts" and " attributes" in the Liturgy. this is indeed a two-edged weapon. One could argue that the Kingship of Our Lord is an attribute and His Work a fact, or vice versa.
With social conditions as they are today a Feast of Christ the Worker, in the general sense of the word, would have an almost universal application, and deserves consideration for this reason alone.
3 Craven Court, 29/31 Craven Road, W.2.