The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. St John Paul gives us guidance today, rooted in the impulse of the Second Vatican Council:
127. We are convinced that “(humankind) is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life”.[Gaudium et Spes 63.]
Without stepping aside from the impulse of the culture, we can be seduced by its false and abusive approach to work:
Nonetheless, once our human capacity for contemplation and reverence is impaired, it becomes easy for the meaning of work to be misunderstood.[Centesimus Annus 37]
Properly understood, work does more than develop material assets:
We need to remember that men and women have “the capacity to improve their lot, to further their moral growth and to develop their spiritual endowments”.[Populorum Progressio 34]
Speaking from the inspiration of his second predecessor, consider Pope Francis’ list …
Work should be the setting for this rich personal growth, where many aspects of life enter into play:
- planning for the future,
- developing our talents,
- living out our values,
- relating to others,
- giving glory to God.
Pope Benedict seems unsatisfied with unemployment rates of any size:
It follows that, in the reality of today’s global society, it is essential that “we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone”,[Caritas in Veritate 32] no matter the limited interests of business and dubious economic reasoning.