“She hath sought wool and flax and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like a merchant’s ship: she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night and given a prey to her household and victuals to her maidens…with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard…her fingers have grasped the spindle…She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle.”

Excerpts from Proverbs 31:13-15, 16, 19, 27

As the next part of our series on the Proverbs 31 woman, we will study the verses which touch on a very important aspect of Catholic life; that is, work.

The valiant woman is a busy one! She is always working: spinning, cooking, planting, watching over her family – even eating has a purpose beyond filling the stomach; she needs to keep up her energy for all the things she has to do! Most of us cannot relate to many of the occupations listed in Proverbs 31, such as spinning or weaving, but that does not mean we cannot embrace the industrious spirit of the valiant woman. She does everything her state in life requires of her.

We only have so much time on this earth. Regardless of this fact, we often find ourselves wasting time doing useless things, like excessive entertainment in the form of books, movies, videogames, etc. Perhaps we don’t know what else to do with our time, so we just use things like these to fill in the void. Or we use them as an escape from duties we ought to be doing, but simply don’t want to do (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself I would finish one more chapter of a book before I did my chores…). The industrious woman sees beyond present moment, though. She uses her time wisely and for the benefit of herself and others at worthwhile tasks, filling her time with wholesome hobbies that will help or beautify her home life. She knows she cannot get lost time back, and so lives every moment in service to God and neighbor, because these are what really matter.

Now, don’t think I’m saying we should work like slaves and never get a break! There is a time and place for relaxation, so long as it is a wholesome form of relaxation and is not done in excess (even too much of a good thing is not a good thing anymore). As these verses state, a virtuous woman isn’t forced to work, but, simply and for the love of God, does her duty in her state of life. Then, outside of her duties, she uses her time to serve others and better her life and theirs, instead of wasting it on useless things. A woman working for God’s glory is not oppressed by embracing her duties and keeping busy, but rather she is at liberty to do whatever God asks of her!

St. Philomena, pray for us!

Stay tuned for more in this series!

In the meantime, catch up on the latest posts in this series: An Introduction to Proverbs 31, Approaching Proverbs 31: The Godly Woman, Applying Proverbs 31: The Hopeful Woman

Works Cited

Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims version, Loreto Publications, 2007