Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 583 IV. E conomic A ctivity and S ocial J ustice 2426 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. 209 2427 Human work 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. 210 Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” 211 Work hon­ ors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work 212 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. 213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. 2428 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. 214 Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community. 2429 Everyone has the right of economic initiative; everyone 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. 215 209 Cf. Gen 1:28; GS 34; CA 31. 210 2 Thess 3:10; cf. 1 Thess 4:11. 211 Cf. Gen 3:14-19. 212 Cf. LE 27. 213 Cf. LE 6. 214 Cf. CA 32; 34. 215 Cf. LE 11. 1928 307 378 531 2834 2185