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At Home in Lent - Day 22

Vacuum cleaners are the focus today - labour-saving devices intended to relieve the drudgery of housework - along with the story of Mary and Martha where Jesus tells Martha to stop fretting...

The idea of work as prayer is offered by the author, not a Protestant Work Ethic so much as a Benedictine understanding.

The final part fo the reflection, where the author plays with a verse from the hymn 'teach me, my God and King in all things thee to see' made my smile, and made his point pretty well.

The original words...

If done to obey Thy laws,

e'en servile labours shine;

hallowed is toil, if this the cause,

the meanest work divine.


In some hymn books this is updated thus:

A servant with this clause

makes drudgery divine:

who sweep s a room, as for thy laws

makes that and the action fine.


The author playfully offers this version...

When working for an hour

on vacuuming a stair,

who cleans up dust with suction power

makes that a task of prayer.


Maybe I need to keep that in mind next time I get out my vacuum cleaner...


  • Trying in vain to make a new verse for the hymn regarding ironing. I haven't got anywhere yet, other than "He must increase and I must de-crease

  • Brilliant! That really made me chuckle!!

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