In memory of the eight labor martyrs of May 1, 1886 in Chicago.
IN ACCORDANCE WITH HUMAN NATURE
It is in accordance with human nature that every person, by his work, should possess what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs at the highest level required by his human dignity.
The struggle for human equality must include the struggle for economic equality; otherwise, equality will remain elusive.
WORKING AND BREATHING
In a state of unity and equality, people enjoy work as much as they enjoy breathing because just as everybody breathes, everybody works.
THE PRODUCT OF YOUR WORK BELONGS TO YOU
True liberation means to take back from the capitalist what he took from us: the ownership of the product of our labor.
JUSTICE TO THE WORKERS
In a state of justice, the work of all provides food for all. In a state of injustice, the work of many provides food for a few.
Seek unity in your family and you will create life.
Just as the life of the branches comes from the vine, so the life in your family will come from you.
This is how you give life to your family:
– In a family where parents and children respect one another, peace will come to all.
– When the members of a family pursue common interests, they will relate to one another as equals.
– When the members of a family are united, the will live in safety because they will have the strength to confront the problems of daily life.
– When parents and children treat one another as being the image of God, they will be truly alive because they share en the truth of God.
The life that comes from God is true life because it makes us who we are, it allows us to continue living on this earth, and it will take us onto eternity if we remain faithful to it.
When human societies are filled with that life, they become the “branches” that “will live for the Lord” (Psalm 22:31), that will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).
In order to remain in the vine we must “love not in word or speech but in deed and truth ” (1 John 3:18). Since God is freedom, we must live in freedom among ourselves; since God is love, we must love one another. Anyone who does not remain in the vine, that is, in God, will be “thrown out like a branch and wither” (John 15:6).
If you remain in the vine, you will “ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7); for what belongs to the vine, also belongs to the branches.
THE MISERY OF MONEY
If you have more money than you need, you will soon be its slave. If you have less money than you need, you will soon starve. Therefore, you must aim at having the right amount of money if you don’t want to be a miserable person.
SHARING IS THE SOLUTION
There are many excesses that may bring calamity to you, but the worse of them is the excess of money you refuse to share with the needy.
A SAD ENDING
If you devote your life to the pursuit of money, you will end up in idolatry.
TO BE SATISFIED OR NOT TO BE SATISFIED
In his infinity wisdom, God gave you the power to satisfy all your needs. In his wickedness, the devil can instill in you the ambition to possess lots of money so that you will never be able to satisfy it.
MONEY CAN MOVE YOU TO DO ANYTHING
It seems that modern man is capable of doing absolutely everything – if he gets paid for it.
THE LIES OF MONEY
Money always offers to take you on a flight to heaven, and it does. But what money doesn’t tell you is that, on that flight, heaven will be just a stop on the plane’s way to hell.
“A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
The relationship between the good shepherd and the flock is not that of a leader and his followers, but rather that of a person who gives his own life for the benefit of those he loves.
The good shepherd freely lays down his life for those he loves, and he loves everyone. Why does he love them? He loves them because they are sons and daughters of God, just as he is the Son of God. By giving his life for us, the good shepherd opens the way for us to “be like him” (1 John 3:2). The good shepherd is like a mother and a father who are willing to give their lives for their children. The world rejects the notion that a person can give his life for those he loves. The following are the reasons for this rejection: 1. The world has instituted inequality as the foundation of the relationships between men. According to the world, the relationship between men is one of superiors and inferiors, between the powerful and the weak, between the oppressor and the oppressed. This inequality is a source of antagonism and mutual destruction. 2. Those who hold worldly power do not follow the model of the good shepherd. For, how could the powerful who seeks his own interest (or that of his group) be interested in eradicating the inequalities between the “superior” and the “inferior”, between the master and the subject? Those who hold worldly power are like the hire men who have “no concern for the sheep” (John 10: 12,13); they are only concerned with their welfare, and disregard the welfare of others. They are the builders who reject the stone “which has become the cornerstone” (Acts 4:11).
“The good shepherd”, the one who gives his life for those he loves, continues to be rejected by a world whereby division, inequality, and exploitation are the norm. The world continues to reject the good shepherd who comes to us so we may “have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
You must depend absolutely on others in order to become absolutely free.
THE HAPPINESS OF BEING FREE
You will be much happier when you do good because you want to, than when you are mandated to.
YOUR FREEDOM AND YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS
Human life begins when human beings become individually and collectively conscious of the fact that they are free. However, since many are losing their freedom, you must fight for it; otherwise you will lose your consciousness and your freedom.
THOU SHALL NOT TOLERATE INJUSTICE
If you tolerate injustice, your freedom will become the contradiction of freedom.
THOU SHALL NOT BE IMPOTENT
The greatest impotence that can afflict you occurs when, after being created in freedom, you turned yourself into a slave, and now you refuse to regain your freedom.
THOU SHALL NOT BE IGNORANT
The worse kind of ignorance that may afflict you is that of not knowing how to use your freedom.
The powerful are concerned with expanding their dominion through war. The weak are concerned with protecting their lives. And the vast multitudes are not concerned with anything at all, as long as war does not touch them.
MONEY, THE MOST LETHAL WEAPON
It is a well-known principle in modern warfare that money is the most effective weapon of all. It may fail to buy the enemy, but it will not fail to buy the weapons to kill the enemy.
GUARANTIED TO MAKE MONEY
The growth of the weapons industry proves that war is more profitable than peace.
TRUE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
The only weapons of mass destruction are those in the hands of the one who is willing to use them.
A DESPICABLE MARRIAGE
The weapons industry is a marriage of greed with brute force.
SO MUCH FOR THE RATIONAL BEING
I have seen dogs furiously barking at each other, only to turn around and go their separate ways. I have seen world leaders yelling at each other, only to end up tearing each other apart.
Whenever you fight against death on earth, you become alive in heaven; you make your earthly life a reality in heaven. God himself is alive both in heaven and on earth (not just in heaven): “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see me, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have” (Luke 24:39).
If God is alive in you, it necessarily follows that you alive in him. To deny that God lives both on earth and in heaven is the equivalent of saying that God does not live at all. To some people, God is not alive at all because his presence in the world presents a constant opposition to the evils of the world. Those who deny that God is alive do it in two ways: by their actions and by their omissions. 1. By their actions, that is, by the evil they do, an evil that places them in opposition to the life of God. In other words, whatever is good, is against their interests. They are the ones who put to death the author of life (Acts 3:15). 2. By their omissions, that is, by their refusal to restore goodness in the face of evil. Another form of omission consists in “seeing” only certain forms of evil while remaining totally blind to other grave offenses against human dignity.
Once you see that God is alive, both on earth and in heaven, you will be able to see that your own life is the convergence of your earthly life with your heavenly life.
The fundamental purpose of an economic system is to satisfy the needs of all men, by ensuring that everybody, without exception, participates in the production, distribution, and consumption of all economic goods.
The fact that a few individuals take possession of the world’s wealth, while the vast majorities live in poverty, is an indication that the world’s economic systems have failed to live up to their responsibility and purpose.
An economic system that fails to meet the needs of all is unjust and inhuman.
The following is a just and human economic system: “No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common . . . There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceedings of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need” (Acts 4:32, 34-35).
In such an economic system as the one described above, everyone benefits from it. It is the only economic system that can fully serve the needs of humankind.