If there is a need to protest unjust employment, then just work is a prerequisite for that protest. It provides the foundation for protesting injustice. If the protesters themselves are not just, they won’t have the credibility to effect justice in their workplace.
Indeed, Christians are called to work honestly and excellently. In the book of Genesis, one of the punishments of Adam was to have to work by the sweat of his brow (Gen 3:17). But Jesus, true God and true working man, redeemed that curse by himself working by the sweat of his brow. Thus when we work as Christians, we don’t work in the mold of the cursed Adam but in the mold of the redeemer Jesus Christ.
Daily work is plain old work, yes, but through the redemption of Christ, it is transformed into a part of his saving mission. And this doesn’t just involve manual labor. White-collar workers, students, teachers, stay-at-home moms—all are called to work excellently, and their work has dignity in itself, even in monotony. In turn, this work becomes evangelization, and it helps to spread the Gospel to co-workers, family members, and outside observers.
Bouck uses Father Walter Ciszek as an example. Imprisoned over two decades in the Soviet gulag, Ciszek worked harder, not less, at his assigned labor...and for no apparent, immediate reward.
Often despair so easily takes control. Bad news seems to dominate, but even just a momentarily deeper look reveals so much more. There is so much good at work in the world today. The breadth and depth of Catholic social media presence(s) astonishes; the bloggers' creativity, faith, and yes joy spring forth. There really is a new Catholic renaissance afoot--online as well as in real life. The Dominicans--so long traditional defenders of the Faith--are right there in the midst, too. Read more about it here.