Gaudium et Spes 61

Gaudium et Spes 61 addresses the basic human values of intellect, will, conscience, and community–aspects which the Church insists must be the basis for the formation of new generations:

Today it is more difficult to form a synthesis of the various disciplines of knowledge and the arts than it was formerly. For while the mass and the diversity of cultural factors are increasing, there is a decrease in each (person’s) faculty of perceiving and unifying these things, so that the image of “universal (person)” is being lost sight of more and more. Nevertheless it remains each (person’s) duty to retain an understanding of the whole human person in which the values of intellect, will, conscience and (community) are preeminent. These values are all rooted in God the Creator and have been wonderfully restored and elevated in Christ.

The family is, as it were, the primary mother and nurse of this education. There, the children, in an atmosphere of love, more easily learn the correct order of things, while proper forms of human culture impress themselves in an almost unconscious manner upon the mind of the developing adolescent.

The recognition of the expansion of leisure and the purpose to which it should be put:

Opportunities for the same education are to be found also in the societies of today, due especially to the increased circulation of books and to the new means of cultural and social communication which can foster a universal culture. With the more or less generalized reduction of working hours, the leisure time of most (workers) has increased. May this leisure be used properly to relax, to fortify the health of soul and body through spontaneous study and activity, through tourism which refines … character and enriches (people) with understanding of others, through sports activity which helps to preserve equilibrium of spirit even in the community, and to establish fraternal relations among (those) of all conditions, nations and races. Let Christians cooperate so that the cultural manifestations and collective activity characteristic of our time may be imbued with a human and a Christian spirit.

And it’s more about keeping one’s leisure life full. Note that leisure is designed not only for the mind and body, but also for the soul.

All these leisure activities however are not able to bring (a person) to a full cultural development unless there is at the same time a profound inquiry into the meaning of culture and science for the human person.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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