04_Responsibilities & Rights, Premium Content

“In human society one man’s natural right gives rise to a corresponding duty in other men; the duty, that is, of recognizing and respecting that right. Every basic human right draws its authoritative force from the natural law, which confers it and attaches to it its respective duty. Hence, to claim one’s rights and ignore one’s duties, or only half fulfill them, is like building a house with one hand and tearing it down with the other.” —St. John XXIII, Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris), no. 30

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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.)

Read about how the Orange, CA Diocese is providing support programs to Catholic adults and juveniles incarcerated in the Orange County jail systems and the victims of their crimes through detention ministry.

From the Examination of Conscience in Light of Social Teaching

  • Do I recognize and respect the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of others?
  • Do I fulfill my responsibilities regarding my rights?
  • Do I live in material comfort and excess while remaining insensitive to the needs of others whose rights are unfulfilled?
  • Do I take seriously my responsibility to ensure that the rights of persons in need are realized?
  • Do I urge those in power to implement programs and policies that give priority to the human dignity and rights of all, especially the vulnerable?

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, show me how I can help build a society where all people are able to fulfill their responsibilities and exercise their human rights. Amen + 

Show Notes

Topics Discussed:

Catholic social justice principle #3, rights and responsibilities 

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus

US foreign aid 


Minutes 00:12:00 – Responsibilities and rights are inseparable, the contemporary imbalance   

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – The Bill of Rights, healthcare, single-parent families, smoking, abortion

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – Rights begin with responsibility, Lazarus and the rich man

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – Freedom is for responsibility, the responsibility of the wealthy toward the poor

Additional Resources:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

Book, Amazon: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and USCCB

Pacem in Terris, Peace on Earth, Pope John XXIII

Bible Study Evangelista is on the Laudate app!

Facebook Discussion Community

We’re talking about how to balance responsibilities with rights better in our culture and nation over on the Bible Study Evangelista Facebook Discussion page. Come chat with us.

Read the Transcript

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7 thoughts on “04_Responsibilities & Rights, Premium Content

  1. I applaud the concept of responsibility for rights. Our self indulgent society has been coddled and pandered to. Your talk is spot on with what’s wrong in our country. Accountability, personal integrity and respect. Thank you for having the hard discussions. A two parent household considered privilege- Wow! Is there really ‘social’ justice. Isn’t it all JUSTICE!

  2. Thank for providing this very relevant study! Your gift of being able to break everything down, provide scripture for clarity, and help us understand is such a gift to all of us! I am so grateful….God bless you Sonja.

  3. Thank you for this series!! I’ve been struggling with this social justice concept for awhile & have been wanting to know what the church teaches on it.

    1. I think a bunch of us struggle with it. There’s not been a lot of discussion publicly, but I have had a BUNCH of new sign-ups for this series. Bunch of people silently exploring the matter so they don’t get attacked, maybe? Ha! Smart!

  4. Thank you for breaking each principle down. You are truly a blessing. Who knew having a two parent household was a privilege.

    1. Well, it is a privilege my husband and I have sacrificed greatly for us and our kids to have, but “white privilege”? IDK… What about two-parent people-of-color households? Is that privilege?

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