01_The Seven Principles of Catholic Social Justice

One of the most unique and attractive beacons in the Catholic Church is her well-defined, carefully articulated, deeply-held, and concisely packaged body of social teachings, a body of doctrine with which, the bishops say, “far too many Catholics are not familiar.” In fact, they add, “many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith.”

Our times have made us hungry for guidance on how to live social justice with catholicity. We acknowledge that every baptized Catholic must live his or her faith in truth and justice. If you don’t get anything else out of all God is allowing in our world right now, get this week’s overview of the Seven Principles of Catholic Social Justice, and hear the Holy Spirit guide you in *your* next steps.


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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on Sonja’s method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.

L – Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)

O – Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

As you listened to the show, which Catholic social justice principle has been part of your life recently, through your relationships or circumstances? Which principle was most attractive to you? Which provoked negative thoughts or emotions, and why? Which principle was least attractive? Are you active in any of the principles already? Were you stirred by one in particular?

V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)

Lord, I am overwhelmed by the scale of injustice in the world and your call to fight against it. Teach me what that means for me. My heart is open to the love that will starve soulless practices and nourish a spirit of mercy, truth, justice, and compassion in the world. While we work toward your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven, give us the fortitude to start and the wisdom to listen so we will know where and how to begin answering your call to justice. Amen + 

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Read the Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript here.

7 thoughts on “01_The Seven Principles of Catholic Social Justice

  1. I really appreciate the concise organized way you laid out the principles and the connections to scripture. I look forward to a greater understanding of Catholic Sicial Justice and how to put it into practice in my world.

  2. Second time listening and although many deeper instructions enlightened me, the stand out one for me was your caution about talking and sitting with the Holy Spirit gave me the mental picture for myself to put my seatbelt on before proceeding on my own understanding.. This bible study is helping me to get my heart mind and spirit working together ! Thanks so much and praying for you and your ministry!

  3. Your podcasts are so rich with interesting and useful information. I look forward to every new series. I have to be honest, I wasn’t too excited about a series on Catholic Social Teaching but I love the way you are connecting it to scripture. Thank you for your passion and hard work!

  4. This series is coming at the exact moment I needed it. Thank you for doing this!!
    Question though, you mentioned that charity is the greatest gift. Are you referring to love as charity? I’m a little confused.

    1. Yes there are three words for love used in the Bible: eros (erotic), phileo (friendship), and agape (charity, or sacrificial love). God’s love is agape, or sacrificial love: agape always desires the other person’s good, and only offers what is for the other’s good. Agape is translated as grace or charity in the Bible. They are from the same word, karis, to treat someone better than they deserve when it’s in their best interest. (Sometimes it’s not in someone’s best interest to sacrifice for them, when they need tough truth or boundaries instead.)

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