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Spirituality of Work

Spirituality of Work

(A chapter from the book, Confident and Competent – A Challenge for the Lay Church, William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce, 1987. Reprinted with permission from ACTA Publications, Chicago, Illinois)

So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.” – Genesis 1:27-28

Laypeople must realize that their daily work is the primary means by which they help bring about the kingdom of God. Any spirituality which detracts or distracts from work is therefore counterproductive.

In the final sentences of his encyclical On Human Work, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Let the Christian who listens to the living word of God, uniting work with prayer, know the place work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the kingdom of God, to which we are called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the gospel.”1 Read more

Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service | 0 | Print | Share
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WASHINGTON (CNS) — Even before he announced his resignation, the words of Pope Benedict XVI were cited to crystallize the unease many feel about the U.S. economy.

There is “a direct link between poverty and unemployment,” the pontiff said in his 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.”

Quoting the pope was Tom Mulloy, a domestic policy adviser to the U.S. bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. Read more

A Speech To The Pontifical Council For Justice and Peace – John J. Sweeney

A Speech To The Pontifical Council For Justice and Peace John J. Sweeney President, AFL-CIO Meeting of Trade Union Leaders Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace December 2-3, 1996

I. The principal problems for the world of work resulting from the process of globalization of the economy.
I want to thank Cardinal Etchegaray and the Pontifical Council for the great honor of participating in this meeting.
I am here as president of the AFL-CIO, the more than 13 million-member labor federation of the United States. As we do in our work every day, I will try to speak for the values and the interests of working Americans — people of every faith and viewpoint, union and non-union. And I will speak out of a deep belief that we share those concerns with our sisters and brothers throughout the world.
Cardinal Etchegaray has set the tone for this discussion in his article calling upon us all to “re-establish the concepts of solidarity and common responsibility as essential principles of the human endeavor.” As he writes, “These principles must be placed not just at the center of international development policy, but so much more so in the hearts of citizens and of societies, especially in the wealthier countries.” Read more

Thoughts from a Working Person’s Pope

Faith and Work in Cyberspace–April 18, 2005

Thoughts from a Working Person’s Pope

(from Initiatives special edition number 148)

Greg Pierce – National Center for the Laity and ACTA Publishing 

Lost amid the accolades about Pope John Paul II might be his greatest legacy: his theology and spirituality of work. Below are 10 great quotes from JPII that show the depth and breadth of his understanding of work. In my opinion, this will be his greatest legacy.  

These quotes are from the special issue of the Initiatives newsletter put out by cyberspacer Bill Droel for the National Center for the Laity. If you want to receive a copy of that newsletter, either electronically or in hard copy, please send me an e-mail and I will have it forwarded to you. (Any cyberspacer worth his or her salt already subscribes to Initiatives, of course.)

Here are my favorite quotes from Pope John Paul II on work:  Read more

Spirituality of Work – William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce (1987)

Spirituality of Work

(A chapter from the book, Confident and Competent – A Challenge for the Lay Church, William L. Droel and Gregory F. Augustine Pierce, 1987. Reprinted with permission from ACTA Publications, Chicago, Illinois)

So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.” – Genesis 1:27-28

Laypeople must realize that their daily work is the primary means by which they help bring about the kingdom of God. Any spirituality which detracts or distracts from work is therefore counterproductive.

In the final sentences of his encyclical On Human Work, Pope John Paul II wrote: “Let the Christian who listens to the living word of God, uniting work with prayer, know the place work has not only in earthly progress but also in the development of the kingdom of God, to which we are called through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the word of the gospel.”1 Read more

Laborem Exercens – Summary

Laborem Exercens – Summary

(SEPTEMBER 14, 1981)

VATICAN CITY, DEC 4, 1997 (VIS) – John Paul II wrote the Encyclical “Laborem Exercens” in 1981, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII’s Encyclical “Rerum Novarum” on the question of labor. It was signed on September 14, feast of the Holy Cross.

In it he develops the concept of man’s dignity in work, structuring it in four points: the subordination of work to man; the primacy of the worker over the whole of instruments and conditioning that historically constitute the world of labor; the rights of the human person as the determining factor of all socio-economic, technological and productive processes, that must be recognized; and some elements that can help all men identify with Christ through their own work.

The Encyclical has an introduction and four chapters: “Work and Man,” “Conflict Between Labor and Capital in the Present Phase of History,” “Rights of Workers,” and “Elements for a Spirituality of Work.” Read more

Theology of Work

Catholic.net

Theology of Work

The late Holy Father John Paul II teaches that work must test and engage the whole person, not just the physical aspect.

by Robert J. Batule |

Much has changed in the world of work over the last thirty years. We have only to consider the sweeping changes in technology, the composition of the work force, especially the presence of women today and the higher standard of living now, especially in Western democratic nations.

Changes in the world of work have forced us to look more carefully at their implications in our lives. Not all of these changes, we must admit, have had a salutary effect.

Ever since Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), the Catholic Church has been officially on record as showing a concern for the person and work. Leo XIII´s encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) was published precisely for the purpose of addressing the many issues surrounding the person and work. Successive popes have sought to build on the pioneering work of Leo XIII by publishing their own encyclicals, all important contributions to the developing body of the Church´s understanding of work. Read more

A SPIRITUALITY OF WORK

A SPIRITUALITY OF WORK

Contents:

• Foreword

• Work in the sacred scriptures

• The Church’s teaching on work

• Human dignity and the value of work

• Prayers and meditations

• Resources

Publisher’s Information © 2001 Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 39 Eccleston Square, LONDON SW1V 1BX

Published in January 2001 by the Catholic Media Trust on behalf of the Committee for the World of Work of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales The scripture quotations are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved.

‘Lord God, who entrusted the earth’ from Divine Office © 1974 Hierarchies of Australia, England & Wales, Ireland; A P Watt. ‘Blessed are you, Lord our God’ from Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Book of Blessings © 1981 Concacan Inc.  Take my hands by Sebastian Temple © 1967 OCP Publications.    Produced by the Catholic Media Office, London.  Printed by MCS Thorndale Ltd, London.  ISBN: 0 905241 18 5

Foreword

The World of Work Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales offers this booklet as a contribution to the awakening of the Catholic Church to the blessing given the human race by God by the gift of work. The members of the Committee, who are themselves laity and workers, are well aware of the discontinuity in the perception of many workers between the experience of work (or unemployment) and the fulfilling of God’s purpose for them. It is my hope that this modest volume will be of help to many. The mix of text and quotations from Scripture, the teaching of the Church and from  experience, I hope will encourage reflection, lead to prayer and finally to conviction about the blessing of work.

I am deeply grateful to each member of the Committee for their contributions to this work. Inevitably, not all the riches of their experiences and observations could be included. This will serve to remind those who use this booklet in a spirit of discovery and reflection that work is part of the mystery of God’s loving will for the human race. May this small publication help all who use it to explore yet further that mystery.

Bishop John Jukes OFM Conv

Chairman, Committee for the World of Work Read more