Economics is one of
those social sciences which helps the correct functioning of a world developed
according to the will of God, and what follows is also the consequence of the
words written in the Bible, Genesis (1:26):
Then God said, "Let us make humankind in
our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
This is the world we received as a gift of original
creation, for the purpose of proper management, of Cactive and careful
Active and careful
administration (dominion) is not
only recommended by the Gospel, but also by local law established for our
congregations and also for the Union, as recalled by Fr. Friedrich Kretz SAC in
his introduction to the Textbook of Economic Administration for the Società.
This “dominion” as expressed in economic
science, is a means and a use of various tools for the purpose of
“administration”, ie. responsible management taking care of what has been given
order consciously to be able to take care, to manage according to God's will,
it is necessary to include God in this dialogue, as the Creator of what has
been given to us. The Dialogue in
Economics, God's dialogue, takes place at various levels: local and
personal. This dialogue concerns everyone personally, depending on their
situation and condition. It concerns the owner, manager, supervisor, employee
and everyone who makes us of the product of their work. We are all protagonists
in the same dialogue.
Let us leave the
global economy to the experts of this world who, like us, will one day have to
give a final account of their stewardship (Lk 14: 25-33).
the following part of this reflection, I would like to share my personal
experience of dialogue in economics, on the level of my relationship with God,
with other people and myself, giving some indications, perhaps even some
suggestions, models which have been very useful in helping me to remain
actively engaged in this Dialogue.
The essence of the
beginning of this difficult dialogue with God, in the management of HIS
property, is God’s invitation to work, to make money, to accumulate money, to
spend and administer them. The result of this invitation is the awarennes,given
by God Himself, that all these goods belong to Him, and have their beginning in
Him. Putting God in first place, not depending solely on my own skills,
education, resourcefulness, need to possess and to create a world in my own
image instead of in HIS image, is an
act of trust which, instead of “JESUS I trust myself”, expresses “JESUS I trust in YOU”.
time passed before I understood and accepted this, and it has become for me a
kind of conversion, metania and liberation. Such conversion is probably more
difficult for lay people in their contexts, as their life is so connected with
the skills they possess in order to acquire such goods, but
this conversion is also necessary in consecrated life in order to understand
God's will regarding the possession and administration of such material goods.
that what I have is not my own, but something which I have received in order to
manage, changes the perspective of looking at the world, at work, at earning,
investing and saving. It is a conversion that gives life, as the Scriptures
say: “Repent and live!” (Ez 18:32). Such awareness is not easy to develop and
every day requires conversion, prayer, dialogue, giving a “management report”,
a continuous renewal of friendship with HIM to whom all belongs.
Vincent saw economic resources as ultimately belonging to our Lord Jesus Christ
and as the heritage of His poor. (cf. SAC Law n 26).
way to work, in my daily dialogue with God, I try to completely entrust to Him
my day, my skills, my decisions, my partners, my employees and the people I
will meet that day, in order to enable me to be a useful instrument “in the
vineyard of the Lord”.
prayer, together with God, I find solutions to professional problems or other
matters entrusted to me. Sometimes the answer comes immediately, but often it
needs more time, in order that my heart be opened and prepared for it.
best place and time to talk about these topics related to work is before His
presence in the Blessed Sacrament or in the Sacrament of Penance. In these two
presence, the answer to the questions asked comes to the heart or directly to
often entrust my work and professional duties to God through the saints, but
especially to St. Joseph the Worker. Pope John XXIII taught me this prayer,
which I offer here as an aid which you may find useful.
Prayer of the Pope
John XXIII to St. Joseph the Worker
O Saint Joseph,
guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of Mary, who passed your life in the perfect
fulfillment of duty, sustaining the Holy Family of Nazareth with the labour of
your hands, protect kindly those who trustingly turn to you. You know their
aspirations, their miseries, their hopes, and they have recourse to you because
they know that they will find in you one who will understand and protect them.
You too have known trial, labor and weariness.
But, even in the
midst of worries of the material life, your soul was filled with profound peace
and it exulted in unerring joy through intimacy with the Son of God entrusted
to you, and with Mary, his most sweet mother. Make those whom you protect
understand that they are not alone in their labour, but show them how to
discover Jesus near them, to receive him with grace, to guard him faithfully,
as you have done.
And assure that in
every family, in every factory, in every workshop, wherever a Christian works,
all may be satisfied in charity, in patience, in justice, in seeking to do
well, so that abundant gifts may descend from heaven.
discovering and allowing God to lead us allows us to enter into a specific
dialogue with God, sometimes allowing us to gauge a particular economic
situation and whether or not to take concrete action. I will try to describe it
through a particular example.
while contemplating the joyful mysteries
of the Rosary, it struck me that, based on their meaning, it was possible
to find an answer regarding the appropriateness of choosing a particular
economic task and creating a feasibility study.
the very beginning, before a new “business idea, product, project to implement”
comes to birth, the Annunciation is
to be followed - a certain thought, God’s touch, the Angel’s prompting: “You
might do this”, or “maybe this might be important to do”... Annunciation is a specific beginning of
the process, the conception of an idea, the START UP. Annunciation is also the
skipping of a heartbeat, a brainstorm, when a “wonderful” new idea appears. But
in the mystery of the Annunciation, there is remains a lot of uncertainty, a
response yet to be given: will something happen? Will it come about? Is it
really God’s will? Will it be anointed by God?
next step is to do further evaluation, to try to reduce risk and see whether
our idea is a one-off, unique, innovative, because only such characteristics
and our way of implementing our idea can guarantee its future success (and show
whether it is “anointed by God”). It is also necessary to check our design
against what is already in the market, to see whether there is already anything
similar to our idea. There are often many similar products but only some are
successful. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth further confirmed to her that her son was
the Messiah; Elizabeth’s son was already even at this point shown to be “prophet”, already pointing to and revealing Mary’s son as the
promised “Messiah”, “anointed by God”.
If your idea is
“anointed by God”, you can sing the Magnificat and bring it forth to be an
instrument in the hands of the Father for helping to “save the world”. If you
say that it is a “prophet”, this decision to bring it forth still rests with
you, but the possibility of success can be far more difficult to achieve.
to the mystery of “Birth”, a coming to be in which the idea becomes reality and
complements God’s plan of creation. This mystery can meditate on further, the
revelation to the shepherds, the Epiphany of the “birth” and so on, as the Lord
will suggest. The level of detail of this plan can be worked out within the
Dialogue, which begins where God is invited.
the mystery of the “Presentation of the
Lord”, we touch on the question of entrusting to God, in the temple, what
already belongs to Him. In meditating on this mystery, I often try to
understand the nature of God’s action in me which led to the realisation of the
idea, in order to reentrust it to His care. This offering is also has a public
dimension, involving promotion, marketing and all the consequences resulting therefrom.
the mystery of “the Finding of Jesus in
the Temple”, we touch on the problem of product sustainability, design. If
the product has stayed on the market for a “12” year period and we continue to
find it in the divine economy of creating and developing the world (even if it
is a small thing, as we do not know who and what will inspire us in the
future), it means we have succeeded in the economic field and in God’s field at
the same time.
other mysteries of the Rosary, certain connections, comparisons or touches can
be found, but I will leave this for individual meditation.
example of the connection between prayer and reflection on the mysteries of
Rosary in the context of our attitudes of dialogue in the economy of everyday
life is a generalization, perhaps not the best, but showing the possibility of
seeking and finding a space of economic dialogue in a sphere exclusively for
contact with God.
always leads to cooperation, this “holy cooperation”, and not only with God,
but also with the people who we invite to cooperate.
purpose of every dialogue is always to better understand the other person and
their faith, and also deepen understanding of our own faith in being an apostle
wherever God sends us.
Questions for personal and
1.Do I know and have a sense
of responsibility that my whole life (including money and finance in everyday
life) and all of my actions constitute my participation in God's plan of
creation for the world?
my Dialogue with God cover matters of my daily life, work, management?
is my responsibility for the place where I work, and for the people with whom I
work?, Do I pray for my employers, employees, cooperators, superiors?