Populorum Progressio 15: Personal Responsibility

There is a basic truth about how human beings were made. At birth we are incomplete, both in biological maturity and spiritual connection with God. God desires our completion–every human person, everyone he has made.

15. In God’s plan, every (person) is born to seek self-fulfillment, for every human life is called to some task by God. At birth a human being possesses certain aptitudes and abilities in germinal form, and these qualities are to be cultivated so that they may bear fruit. By developing these traits through formal education of personal effort, the individual works (their) way toward the goal set for (them) by the Creator.

Be careful with this expression of optimism:

Endowed with intellect and free will, each (person) is responsible for … self-fulfillment even as (they are for their) salvation. (We are) helped, and sometimes hindered, by (ours) teachers and those around (us); yet whatever be the outside influences exerted on (us), (we are) the chief architect(s of our) own success or failure. Utilizing only … talent and willpower, each (person) can grow in humanity, enhance … personal worth, and perfect (themself).

Not only the talent and will of a person, but also the cooperation with the Divine.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this linkThe image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

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