.- The President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, said this week that “in the life of the Christian, work becomes a path to sanctity, a school of sanctity. And all this is not a utopia, but rather a treasure we should be committed to seeking out every day.”
In referring to the 19th International Youth Forum organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and taking place March 28-April 1 in Rome, the archbishop explained that “work, despite its importance, is not an absolute and should not become an idol. The man who works is called to be a conscious and responsible collaborator with God the Creator and Redeemer. The apostle is diligent in doing everything for the glory of God.”
“Work,” he continued, “is an important factor in the personal fulfillment of men and women. Generally many of our contemporaries superficially reduce it to a task whose purpose is work itself, to unbridled activism, a type of ‘drug’ that makes one forget about the essential things. Therefore, we need to re-think it constantly and constantly seek out anew its deeper meaning.”
“The world of work is today an important areopagus for evangelizing. Therefore we need courageous and convinced messengers of ‘The Gospel of work’. Human work has a profound spiritual sense. The reference to God is fundamental, as the Benedictine maxim says, ‘Ora et labora’,” Archbishop Rylko explained.
“The mobility and flexibility of work also generates conditions of precariousness and extreme uncertainty in the future, complicating the obtaining of fundamental realities for our lives such as marriage and the formation of the family,” he said.
In order to respond to this situation, Archbishop Rylko suggested young people seek a profound change of mentality “in order to overcome passivity and resignation and become courageous protagonists of their own future, investing their best energies in their own professional formation. We need a true ‘cultural revolution’ in this area. In order to seek out just solutions, the Social Doctrine of the Church is a good source which many have yet to discover,” he said.
“In the encyclical Laborem Exercens, the Servant of God, John Paul II reminded us that man is called to work not only ‘to have’ but above all ‘to be’ more, to mature in our own humanity. Young Christians need to become the protagonists of a new culture of work,” the archbishop said.