WASHINGTON (November 12, 1998) -- In a document to be considered next week, U.S. Bishops will challenge Catholics to transform their faith from passive worship on Sundays to proactive work on behalf of justice every day of the week.
According to its subtitle, Everyday Christianity: To Hunger and Thirst for Justice is a pastoral reflection on lay discipleship for justice in the new millennium. It is scheduled for discussion and a vote of the nation's Bishops at their semiannual meeting in Washington next week.
"Catholicism does not call us to abandon the world, but to help shape it," the statement says. "This does not mean leaving worldly tasks and responsibilities, but transforming them."
Everyday Christianity was developed by the Bishops' committees on the Laity, International Policy, and Domestic Policy. It is intended to affirm the good work already being done in many parishes and communities in the United States while offering encouragement to all Catholics to work for peace and justice in everything they do.
"Social justice and the common good are built up or torn down day by day in the countless decisions and choices we make," the Bishops urge.
Decisions within the family as well as at work "can make important contributions to an ethic of justice." Owners, managers, and investors are reminded that "while economic returns are important" economic decisions should be made "in the light of the Catholic call to protect life, defend the poor, and seek the common good."
Consumers, too, are urged to practice social justice. "In an affluent culture that suggests what we have defines who we are, we can live more simply."
All are called to be good stewards and good citizens.
As a concrete step, Everyday Christianity includes the special "Jubilee Pledge for Charity, Justice, and Peace," which offers Catholics an opportunity to commit themselves to ongoing prayer, reflection, service, and action in preparation for the Millennium.
"Our society urgently needs the everyday witness of Christians who take the social demands of our faith seriously. The pursuit of justice is at the center of the Catholic call to holiness."