Love, compassion, holiness and peace are the foundations of the Catholic Church’s teachings on the Common Good, Social Justice, and Charity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a systematic presentation of these teachings.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church Part Three: Life in Christ)
The common good comprises “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily”.
The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members.
The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life.
It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society. The common good of the whole human family calls for an organization of society on the international level.
Social Justice (Catechism of the Catholic Church Part: Three Life in Christ)
The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society.
Key themes that are the heart of our Catholic social tradition are:
- Life and Dignity of the Human Person
- Call to Family, Community, and Participation
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
- The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
- Care for God’s Creation
To learn more, go to USCCB Catholic Social Teaching
Corporal Works of Mercy (The Catechism of the Catholic Church Part Three: Life in Christ)
The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity; it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.