Work is not punishment or a necessary evil, nor is it mans means of accumulating control, power and wealth. Both of these ideas are contrary to the biblical view of work. We understand work as something intrinsically good, we are co-creators of Gods world and work is part of our contribution.
Work must be undertaken responsibly and labour treated well, this includes how we approach the work we do, what it is we do with our work and how employers treat their employees. A strong theme in Catholic Social Thought is support for trade unions and state measures to ensure concrete safeguards in place like living wages and holiday leave.
Jesus speaks a lot about work, while much of this is in parables, we shouldn’t restrict interpretations of these parables to be only spiritual ones. Jesus spent most of the years of his life learning the trade of carpentry and we shouldn’t forget this when we hear him lament about the servant who hides his talent in the ground.
Dignity in work also touches upon work life balance, in some places cultures where people are expected to give more and more to their employers to the determent of other spheres of our lives. The keystone of this is the importance of the Sabbath, but the principle extends to other areas of our lives and has implications for how we use our own time and how we mange the work of others in our employment.
Read more about Dignity in Work here
Dignity in Work Quotes
The condition of the workers is the question of the hour. It will be answered one way or another, rationally or irrationally, and which way it goes is of the greatest importance to the state.
Pope Leo XIII Rerum Novarum
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.
Saint John Paul II - Laborem Exercens
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