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456 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

• The Christian practice of giving and sharing is a powerful alternative

to greed and a positive contribution to a peaceful and just society.

• “Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of

heaven. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’” (CCC, no. 2556).

• “Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train him-

self to live in humility: ‘Would you like to see God glorified by you?

Then rejoice in your brother’s progress and you will immediately give

glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in

the merits of others, God will be praised’” (CCC, no. 2540, citing St.

John Chrysostom,

Homiliae in ad Romanos

, no. 71, 5).


The Church witnesses the fact that human dignity cannot be

destroyed, whatever the situation of poverty, scorn, rejection or

powerlessness to which a human being has been reduced. [The

Church] shows her solidarity with those who do not count in

a society by which they are rejected spiritually and sometimes

even physically. She is particularly drawn with maternal affec-

tion toward those children who, through human wickedness,

will never be brought forth from the womb to the light of day,

as also for the elderly, alone and abandoned. The special option

for the poor . . . manifests the universality of the Church’s being

and mission.

—Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,

Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation

(1986), no. 68


The Prayer of a Poor Man (The Canticle of the Sun)

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!

All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.

No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,

especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;