“But would the father have the heart to work if he didn’t have his children?
If it weren’t for the sake of his children.
And in winter when he works hard.
In the forest.
When he works the hardest.
With his billhook and with his saw and with his felling axe and with his hand axe.
In the icy forest. . . .
His children will do better than he, of course.
And the world will go better.
Later.
He’s not jealous of it.
On the contrary.
Nor for having come to the world, as he did, in an ungrateful time.
And to have no doubt prepared for his sons a time that is perhaps less ungrateful.
What madman would be jealous of his sons and of the sons of his sons.
Doesn’t he work solely for his children?”
Charles Péguy, from The Portal of the Mystery of Hope

Work grows wearisome. Virgil says that all year round the laborer “treads in his own tracks.” (Georgics, II) Often it is hard to see the point. Especially when your tracks are in the snow. Will my work every lift me beyond my work?

But work done for others can lift me beyond itself. It is more than just my work, because it is for them. Then even if I work alone, I am not alone.

The times in which we live seem to be ungrateful…

The conclusion of this Wednesday Quote and reflection is at Bacon from Acorns.

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John A. Cuddeback is a professor and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he has taught since 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America under the direction of F. Russell Hittinger. He has lectured on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, friendship, and household. His book Friendship: The Art of Happiness was republished in 2010 as True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics, as well as in several volumes published by the American Maritain Association. Though raised in what he calls an ‘archetypical suburb,’ Columbia, Maryland, he and his wife Sofia consider themselves blessed to be raising their six children in the shadow of the Blue Ridge on the banks of the Shenandoah. At the material center of their homesteading projects are heritage breed pigs, which like the pigs of Eumaeus are fattened on acorns, yielding a bacon that too few people ever enjoy. His website dedicated to the philosophy of family and household is baconfromacorns.com.