Laborem Exercens by Blessed John Paul II

by Randy Hain | September 5, 2011 12:00 am

The Editorial Team of Integrated Catholic Life wishes our readers in the United States a blessed Labor Day!

We offer Blessed John Paul II’s insightful and far-reaching Encyclical on Human Work, Laborem Exercens for your reflection today.  We encourage you to read this important document and reflect on the purpose and nature of work as described by the our Holy Father of Blessed Memory.  Below is the opening paragraph of the document, followed by a link to the entire encyclical at the Vatican website.

THROUGH WORK man must earn his daily bread[1] and contribute to the continual advance of science and technology and, above all, to elevating unceasingly the cultural and moral level of the society within which he lives in community with those who belong to the same family. And work means any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual, whatever its nature or circumstances; it means any human activity that can and must be recognized as work, in the midst of all the many activities of which man is capable and to which he is predisposed by his very natures, by virtue of humanity itself. Man is made to be in the visible universe and image and likeness of God himself,[2] and he is placed in it in order to subdue the earth.[3] From the beginning therefore he is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth. Thus work bears a particular mark of man and of humanity, the mark of a person operating within a community of persons. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense it constitutes its very nature.  (Blessed John Paul II; Laborem Exercens)

To read the entire encyclical, click here.

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