In Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Hamilton recounts her husbands work ethic as follow: he wakes up early morning before sunrise, takes a strong drink (understood here to be coffee), and works on his letters and manuscripts until 3 in the afternoon, whereupon he would eat, spend time with his family, read and go to sleep again. This wouldn’t happen everyday of course, but the essential fact is that Hamilton had a-near obsessive predisposition for work. It’s important to note there was no social media or internet to distract him, only his paper and quill were in front of him. Work became the means to entertain his mind. In other places throughout his biography we also see his superhuman work ethic in action. He once delivered a 30,000 word report on the commercial and financial state of the United States to congress in a mere month or two (It was a Herculean feat that Democratic-Republicans didn’t think he could accomplish). I believe that a singularly focused mind dedicated wholeheartedly to a task can achieve great things in this world. I also believe it would attain some special recognition, as the world has become connected and exceedingly distracted by the myriad of communicative opportunities.
In work, we can find meaning. If we can toil away our bodies and minds for the purpose of achieving a higher end, we are becoming fuller in our Christian identity. The ultimate toil of course, being that of achieving heaven -no greater reward compares to this, and there is no greater work required than the sacrifice of oneself for this purpose.
Let us work then, in dedication, focus, and earnest confidence that what we do can serve a higher purpose.
When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.
When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by.
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.
Still Jesus cried, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do, ‘
And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.
In the convention of bringing something new to discussion, I would like to bring up something as old as civilization itself. Tradition is generally thought of as a fixed set of cultural rites, actions and relationships that pass on from one generation to the next, with a fixed power dynamic on those who create the tradition, and those that follow it.
Before St Francis Xavier departed on an evangelizing journey that would take him to India, China and the far reaches of Japan, he received a farewell that became the dominant focus of the mission he was about to partake in.
Ite, inflammate omnia – “Go, set the world on fire”
St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, proclaimed this to all his missionaries, and its the same tagline I’d like to use to start this blog. The aim of this space is to become a place where ideas and mental processes can help us arrive towards a fuller understanding, a more truth-filled outlook, on the whole word. Yes, I do profess there is something as truth, and I also profess for there to be an absolute truth. And through it all it accompanies us as we dwell in this world of tears and joys, of sorrows and praise. Join me, so that we too, might set the world on fire.