Life in Christ
The development of economic activity and growth in pro
duction are meant to provide for the needs of human beings.
Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and
increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of
persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community.
Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods,
is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping
with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man.
proceeds directly from persons created in the
image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by
subduing the earth, both with and for one another.
is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.”
ors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also
be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work
in union with
Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary,
man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his
redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by
carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish.
Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating
earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.
In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the poten
tial inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems
from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man,
not man for work.
Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of
providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the
Everyone has the
right of economic initiative;
should make legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the
abundance that will benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his
labor. He should seek to observe regulations issued by legitimate
authority for the sake of the common good.