Poverty and Work

“You shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; happy shall you be and favored” (Ps 128:2). “The poor shall eat their fill” (Ps 22:27). Work means any activity by man, whether manual or intellectual, whatever its nature or circumstances; it means any human activity that can and must be recognized as work, in the midst of all the many activities of which man is capable and to which he is predisposed by his very nature, by virtue of humanity itself. Man is made to be in the visible universe an image and likeness of God himself, and he is placed in it in order to subdue the earth. From the beginning therefore he is called to work. Work is one that distinguishes man from the rest of creatures. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth (cf. John Paul II.: Laborem exercens).

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