You Did It for Me: Care of Your Neighbor as a Spiritual Practice

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Most books dealing with the social teachings of the Catholic Church simply relate those teachings and comment on them.

You Did It for Me breaks the mold and shows that when you live the social gospel you live the spiritual life. Author Kevin McKenna explains that his "underlying reason for writing this book is my belief that spirituality and social concern go hand in hand and that Jesus is our model. He spent much time in prayer, and then went forth in action."

This model of prayer and action also helps dispel the commonly held understanding that only by praying and escaping from the world can we live a spiritual life.

McKenna explores numerous aspects of the Church's social teaching-including care of creation, human life and dignity, call to community, and the dignity of work-and shows through example and reflection, how you too can grow spiritually in the midst of the world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594710391
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 13
Abbreviations 21
Chapter 1 Care for God's Creation 23
Our efforts to serve the poor and vulnerable must be accompanied by concrete efforts to address the causes of human suffering and injustice 27
We are called to transform our hearts and our social structures, to renew the face of the earth 39
We cannot celebrate a faith we do not practice 40
We cannot proclaim a gospel we do not live 42
Reflection Questions 44
Chapter 2 Life and the Dignity of the Human Person 45
In the Catholic social vision, the human person is central 49
All people are a reflection of the image of God and thus all human life, at all its stages from conception through death, is sacred 50
The human person is the clearest reflection of God among us 53
Each person possesses a basic human dignity that comes from God 57
The test of every institution or policy is whether it enhances or threatens human life and human dignity 58
People take precedence over things and structures 63
Reflection Questions 65
Chapter 3 Call to Family, Community, and Participation 67
The mystery of the Trinity involves the relationship of complete love among the three divine Persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 71
As people made in God's image, we must model divine love 74
The human person is not only sacred, but also social 77
We realize our dignity and rights in relationship with others, in community 79
The family has major contributions to make in addressing questions of social justice 80
The family is where we learn and act on our values 82
We have the right and the responsibility to participate in and contribute to the broader communities in society 84
A central test of political, legal, and economic institutions is what they do to people, what they do for people, and how people participate in them 84
Reflection Questions 86
Chapter 4 Rights and Responsibilities of the Human Person 87
Flowing from our God-given dignity, each person has basic rights and responsibilities 91
People have a fundamental right to life and to those things that make life truly human: food, clothing, housing, health care, education, security, social services, and employment 97
Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities-to one another, to our families, and to the larger society, to respect the rights of others, and to work for the common good 99
Reflection Questions 106
Chapter 5 Option for and With the Poor and Vulnerable 107
The poor and vulnerable have a special place in Catholic social teaching 109
The gospel calls Christians to put the needs of the poor first 111
A basic moral test for society is how its most vulnerable members are faring 112
The lesson of the parable of the Last Judgment (Mt 25) 115
Our tradition calls us to put the needs of the poor and the vulnerable first 116
As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs of all our sisters and brothers, but those with the greatest needs require the greatest response 117
Whenever there is structural injustice, Christians are called to oppose it 119
Reflection Questions 126
Chapter 6 Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers 127
Work is an expression of our dignity and our involvement in God's creation 134
Work is more than a way to make a living; it is an expression of our dignity and a form of continuing participation in God's creation 136
People have the right to decent and productive work, to decent and fair wages, to private property and economic initiative 139
Workers have the strong support of the church in forming and joining union and worker associations of their choosing in the exercise of their dignity and rights 141
These values are at the heart of Rerum Novarum, and other encyclicals on economic justice 142
In Catholic teaching, the economy exists to serve people, not the other way around 143
Reflection Questions 145
Chapter 7 Solidarity 147
We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences 150
We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers (Gn 4:9) 152
In a linked and limited world, our responsibilities to one another cross national and other boundaries 152
Violent conflict and the denial of dignity and rights to people anywhere in the globe diminish each of us 155
This emerging theme of solidarity, so strongly articulated by Pope John Paul II, expresses the core of the church's concern for world peace, global development, environment and international human rights 158
It is the contemporary expression of the traditional Catholic image of the Mystical Body 161
Because we realize our dignity, rights, and responsibilities, in relationship with others, we need to continue to build a community that empowers people to attain their full human potential 162
Reflection Questions 165
Conclusion 167
Notes 171
Sources and Suggested Readings 185
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