“In the Creator's plan, created realities, “Work has a place of honour because it is
which are good in themselves, exist for a source of riches, or at least of the
man's use. The wonder of the mystery of conditions for a decent life, and is, in
man's grandeur makes the psalmist principle, an effective instrument against
exclaim: poverty (cf. Pr 10:4)….Work is essential,
'What is man that you are mindful of but it is God — and not work — who is the
him, and the son of man that you origin of life and the final goal of man….
care for him? Yet you have made him
little less than God, and crown him
with glory and honour. You have
given him dominion over the works
[Work] is, in
of your hands; you have put all things principle, an
under his feet' (Ps 8:5-7)….
What is man that you are against poverty
“human work is a key, probably mindful of him, and the
the essential key, to the whole son of man that you care
social question” for him? Yet you have “The apex of biblical teaching on work is
the commandment of the Sabbath rest….
(Pope John Paul II, made him little less than Rest gives men and women the possibility
to remember and experience anew God's
Laborem Exorcens) God, and crown him with work, from Creation to Redemption, to
Human Work glory and honour. You recognize themselves as his work (cf. Eph
2:10), & to give thanks....
As per Chapter 6 of the Compendium of the have given him dominion
Social Doctrine of the Church, “To the first
human couple God entrusts the task of
over the works of your
subduing the earth and exercising hands; you have put all
dominion over every living creature (cf.
Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by things under his feet'
man over other living creatures, however, (Ps 8:5-7)
is not to be despotic or reckless; on the
contrary he is to 'cultivate & care for' (Gen
2:15) the goods created by God....
“Work is part of the original state of man
& precedes his fall; it is therefore not a
punishment or curse. It becomes toil &
To the first human couple God pain because of the sin of Adam and Eve,
who break their relationship of trust &
entrusts the task of subduing harmony with God (cf. Gen 3:6-8)....
the earth and exercising Notwithstanding the sin of our
dominion over every living progenitors,… the Creator's plan, the
meaning of His creatures — & among
creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The these, man, who is called to cultivate &
dominion exercised by man over care for creation — remain unaltered.
other living creatures, however,
is not to be despotic or reckless; “Work is part of the original state of man &
on the contrary he is to precedes his fall; it is therefore not a
'cultivate & care for' (Gen 2:15) punishment or curse. It becomes toil & pain
the goods created by God.... because of the sin of Adam and Eve,
"In his preaching, Jesus teaches that we “Work is 'a foundation for the formation of unemployed workers and their
should appreciate work.... Jesus teaches of family life, which is a natural right and families…
man not to be enslaved by work.... something that man is called to'.[John the right to a pension & to insurance
Work…[is a] participation not only in the Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem for old age, sickness, &
act of creation but also in that of Exercens, 10: AAS 73 (1981), 600.]....it is in case of work-related
redemption. Those who put up with the necessary that businesses, professional accidents….
difficult rigours of work in union with organizations, labour unions and the the right to social security connected
Jesus cooperate, in a certain sense, with State promote policies that, from an with maternity...
the Son of God in his work of redemption employment point of view, do not the right to assemble and form
and show that they are disciples of Christ penalize but rather support the family associations….
bearing his cross, every day...Christians nucleus....
are called to work not only to provide “The Magisterium recognizes the
themselves with bread, but also in “The rights of workers, like all other fundamental role played by labour
acceptance of their poorer neigh- rights, are based on the nature of the unions….
bours….By his work and industriousness, human person & on his transcendent “unions may not misuse the tools
man — who has a share in the divine art & dignity. The Church's social Magisterium of contention ….they must
wisdom — makes creation, the cosmos has seen fit to list some of these rights…: overcome the temptation of
already ordered by the Father, more the right to a just wage… believing that all workers should
beautiful.... the right to rest… be union-members, they must be
the right 'to a working environment & capable of self-regulation and be
to manufacturing processes which able to evaluate the
are not harmful to the workers' consequences that their
physical health or to their moral decisions will have on the
integrity'…. common good….they should not
the right that one's personality in the be forced to submit to the
workplace should be safeguarded decisions of political parties nor
'without suffering any affront to one's be too closely linked to them”
conscience or personal dignity'…
the right to appropriate subsidies
that are necessary for the subsistence
“Some people think the Crucifixion only took place on Calvary. They better wise up …every
time the mob puts the crusher on a good man - tries to stop him from doing his duty as a
citizen - it's a crucifixion. And anybody who sits around and lets it happen - keeps silent
about something he knows has happened - shares the guilt of it just as much as the Roman
soldier who pierced the flesh of Our Lord to see if He was dead….
Every morning when the hiring boss blows his whistle, Jesus stands alongside you….how does
He, who spoke up without fear against every evil, feel about your silence?
You want to know what's wrong with our waterfront? It's the love of a lousy buck. It's
making the love of the lousy buck - the cushy job - more important than the love of man!
It's forgettin' that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ!
But remember, Christ is always with you - Christ is in the shape up. He's in the hatch.
He's in the union hall….And He's saying with all of you, if you do it to the least of mine,
you do it to me!”
(from the fictional Father Barry’s “Sermon on the Docks” in “On the Waterfront)