Laborem exercens

Posted: November 26th, 2013

Laborem Exercens

Part One: “Introduction”

Work is one of an aspect in life that differentiates man from the rest of the creatures. In addition, he must perform in order for him to earn his daily bread and contribute to the advancement of technology, science, political and economical status in the world. Automation of production, the high cost of raw materials, and the emergence of democratic revolution affected the distribution of work. According to Paulus (1981), work is part of what is old. However, man devised a way of specialization of work and division of labor in order to cater for the various aspects of life like geography, culture, and civilization. Ever since, the only purpose of work is capital and property. This means that man has to work in order to produce goods and services. It makes no sense to divide labor and capital separately. However, work serves man in ownership of property hence the existence of man on earth is essential on work.

Part Two: “Work and Man”

In the book of Genesis, is written that, the main aspect of human existence on earth is dependent on work. Man dominates the world by domestication of animals and obtaining food and clothing from them, farming and extraction of minerals from the sea hence starting the industrial era. Development and advancement of technology has made the work of man easier and simpler thus creating a specialization of work. Workers solidarity came about after injustice in the system came about. Their solidarity and worker’s rights have brought many changes like the control of productivity and running of the business. Paulus (1981) also states that, “On the world level, the development of civilization and of communications has made possible a more complete diagnosis of the living and working conditions of man globally.” Moreover, other forms of injustices, which were more extensive, have come up.

Part Three: “Conflict between labor and capital in the present phase of history”

During the period of “Rerum Novarum”, the industrial insurgency brought about the conflict between labor and capital that later transpired into a struggle of the various classes in the society. In addition, the greed motivated by the opportunities for the unique profits that the industrial revolution brought about, man, the most important factor in work, hence relegated to a subsidiary role based on the economic value of his contribution to the industrious process. Moreover, it contributed to removing the conflicts between workers. Unemployment need to be deal with, as it is a major drawback to the wellness of the economy of the world.

Part Four: “Rights of workers”

The rights of workers should include job offers to disabled persons. In addition, they should include salaries, medical insurance, retirement benefits, and work leave every year. According to catholic teachings, workers unions are a mouthpiece for lesser-paid workers in the industry. God sees the spirituality of work especially on human. Paulus (1981) states that, “an inner effort on the part of the human spirit, guided by faith, hope, and charity, is needed in order that through these points the work of the individual human being may be given the meaning, which it has in the eyes of God”. Whichever department one works in, he or she should work heartily as if he or she is serving God not man, remembering that the chosen one will receive inheritance as a return. Later, our actions here on earth will determine the resulting outcome.

Part Five: “Elements for a spirituality of work”

If a man gains the world and loses himself, he has no use in this world. Moreover, God’s kingdom should be eminent from the earthly possessions. In the end, it is in our very nature that man must work in order to sustain himself and his family in this changing world. Sweat and fatigue are in our everyday lives as we work for a better future. Christians should pray and have unity in the work place in order to build a stronger nation with good morals.


Paulus, Ioannes PP. II (1981). Laborem exercens. Retrieved from

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