Last week Benedict XVI spoke to people who belong to various movements in the Church that make contributions to work, culture and education. Why is my posting this important? Because I believe what the Pope has to say is crucial in following his lead in the life I lead, and I believe it is helpful for others who desire to live similarly. I am confronted –in a good way– with questions about the value of work, culture and education and the place of the Church in these sectors. As Father Giussani told us, the Church is not here to fix our problems but to offer us a lens by which we can judge the reality in front of us so that we can fix a problem. Pay close attention to what Benedict has to say:

Work is not only an instrument of individual profit, but it is a moment in which to express ones’ own skills with a spirit of service in a professional activity, be it factory work, agricultural, scientific or otherwise,” 

“Culture, voluntary service and work constitute the indivisible trinomial of the Catholic laity’s daily life, which makes belonging to Christ and the Church more real, in the private as much as in the public spheres of society.” 

The lay faithful put themselves in the game when they touch one or more of these contexts and, in the cultural service, by showing solidarity with those in need and on the job, they strive to promote human dignity.”

“These three contexts are tied by a common denominator: the gift of one’s self. Cultural engagement, above all, that of education and of the university, aimed at the formation of future generations, is not limited, in fact, to the transmission of technical and theoretical knowledge, but it implies the gift of one’s self through the word and example. Voluntary service, an irreplaceable resource of society, involves not only the giving of things, but the giving of one’s self through concrete aid towards the needy.”

Pope Benedict XVI 

at an audience with the Christian Workers Movement, 

the Ecclesial Movement of Cultural Engagement, and 

the Federation of Christian Organisms of Voluntary International Service