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Posted March 9, 2014

Book: Happy the People When Love becomes Justice
Author: Marie D. Hoff
Liguori, Liguori, Missouri, 2013. Pp. 128

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

In this book I attempt to do three things: provide an introduction to the social teachings of the Church; relate these teachings to Scripture, prayer, and liturgical worship; and give some basic information on how to take action for justice, in conjunction with your own local parish, but also in your work and civic life.

As a beginning introduction to the social teachings of the Church, this brief volume can be read individually; the prayers and reflection questions in each chapter can help you deepen your understanding. It is also designed for a small faith community where you can pray together and gain enriched understanding through discussion and exchange of life experiences. It would also serve well for general parish faith formation groups, for young adults, or for people new to the Catholic tradition, such as RCIA candidates.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Economic systems and public policy:

Catholic Social Teaching asserts that government also has proactive duties with regard to work and economic conditions in society. Government should promote policies and programs that foster employment and protect the rights of workers, including their right to form unions.

While communism prevailed in eastern Europe, the Church strongly criticized the totalitarian effort of communist governments to control all of society. In more recent years, Church teachings have paid more attention to the excesses of capitalism when government fails to regulate business to ensure fairness and transparency in how it operates. (A great portion of the recent 'meltdown' in investment banking can be traced, without political prejudice, to weak regulatory policies.) Church teaching acknowledges positive aspects of capitalism, such as encouragement of creativity and hard work. However, the sinful results of capitalism are also pointed out: uncontrolled greed, increasing economic inequality and consumerism, millions left behind with no jobs or adequate income, unfair profits, manipulation of international trade to the advantage of large corporations and richer nations, and the use of earth's resources in destructive, unsustainable patterns. Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth, 2009) discusses how the Christian virtues of charity and truth can and should govern secular economic activity.

Table of Contents:

1. Justice and peace will kiss: overview of sources for Catholic teachings on justice

2. This we believe: justice foundations and values

3. Your word is a lamp: biblical and church sources for social justice

4. Made in the image of God: human dignity

5. People who need people are the happiest people in the world: community, participation, and the common good

6. Finding holiness in the world: work and economic life

7. Globalization and its discontents: one human family or just one big global mall?

8. All my relations: spiritual and moral dimensions of creation care

9. In love with the prince of peace: Catholics as peacemakers

10. Faith into action: living Catholic social-justice values: closing celebration

Appendix A Global solidarity

Appendix B Resources for Catholic social ministries of justice and charity

Appendix C Social-justice saints and leaders