Posted September 17, 2010:

by Catherine Doherty.

The pressures of work can push us into a production mentality. Unfortunately, into this picture comes another element—one I call "productionitis" or "workaholism."

From childhood on, we measure our self-worth by the reflection of that worth in the eyes of those who matter, meaning that we value ourselves the way that we are valued by others.

If "those who matter" did not give us our true value, our true dignity as children of God, then our self-esteem is very poor and we have to prove to ourselves and to the world that we have some use, some value, some shred of dignity. We seek to prove it by our production.

So many of us find "escape" in work and in production, escape from our own tensions and our own emotions. So many of us still have a very low opinion of ourselves, so we measure ourselves by the amount of "more strenuous" work or "longer hours" of work we do.

Add to this the way the world evaluates the specific type of work done, and the idea of status develops in us. This makes the chains of misery grow, and our human dignity is destroyed further.

But by the very essence of the Gospels that we try to preach with our lives, we must spiritually and intellectually reject this mentality as a terrible heresy. In fact, we must wage war on this heresy.

From Grace in Every Season, (2001) pp. 248-249, Sept. 17, available from Madonna House Publications


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