Catholic Social Teaching and the Directory
An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better that we found it (EG #183).
Catechesis and social engagement go hand in hand. As we are created in the image of God, who is as communion of persons, we have a responsibility to build a sense of communion with our families and our larger communities. We are called, by this belief into participation in society, solidarity with one another as one human family and concern for the common good. For this reason, as Catholics, we work to identify and correct the injustices in society (DC #389). Catechesis must work with Catholic Social Teaching to help the faithful to promote the common good in areas where injustice results in sinful social structures (DC #390).
The Kerygma has a clear social content: at the very heart of the Gospel is life in community and engagement with others. The content of the first proclamation has an immediate moral implication centred on charity.. Christ redeems not only the individual person, but also the social relations existing between men (EG #177).
Catholic social teaching and catechesis share the kerygma as their source and as a result provide a compelling challenge for living responsibly and building a just society in the light of that first proclamation and the witness of the life of Christ. The kerygma is the very heart of the gospel, a simple and clear proclamation of our faith in Jesus as the Christ. It always includes an invitation into ongoing relationship. It is about conversion. It is about encountering Jesus, surrendering into his love and deciding to follow him in our day-to-day lives.
Modern Catholic Social Teaching examines our day-to-day lives and resolves to live out the implications of the kerygma. CST, rooted in Scripture and articulated through a tradition of written documents, like catechesis, has evolved over time in response to the challenges of the day. Like catechesis, CST, explores the reality that “precludes the separation of faith and life” (DC#391).
… being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place; on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey (EG #128).
The implications of the public life of Jesus illustrated the social repercussions of the kerygma and reveals a coherence between the faith professed and the life lived. After all …
We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. (EG #183)