Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dangers and Ideals

28. Work, too, has a double edge. Since it promises money, pleasure and power, it stirs up selfishness in some and incites other to revolt. On the other hand, it also fosters a professional outlook, a sense of duty, and love of neighbor. Even though it is now being organized more scientifically and efficiently, it still can threaten man's dignity and enslave him; for work is human only if it results from man's use of intellect and free will.

Our predecessor John XXIII stressed the urgent need of restoring dignity to the worker and making him a real partner in the common task: "Every effort must be made to ensure that the enterprise is indeed a true human community, concerned about the needs, the activities and the standing of each of its members." (30)

Considered from a Christian point of view, work has an even loftier connotation. It is directed to the establishment of a supernatural order here on earth, (31) a task that will not be completed until we all unite to form that perfect manhood of which St. Paul speaks, "the mature measure of the fullness of Christ." (32)

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