Reflecting on Pope Francis’ Message to the Members of the “Social Soul in Business Values” Association

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Pope Francis encouraged entrepreneurs to generate jobs worthy of the human person, following God's plan for integral human development.
Pope Francis (1)

“If you wish to be the “soul” of the business world,

do not neglect to care for your own soul, that which comes from God.” 

Pope Francis, March 14th 2022

Recently, on March 14, the Holy Father addressed a message to a group of entrepreneurs in Italy encouraging them to continue their essential contribution to the common good: to generate jobs worthy of the human person in order to change society in accordance with God’s plan for integral human development.

It is not the first time that Pope Francis has encouraged representatives of the economic sphere to work seriously in the service of others, trusting that talents are gifts from God to help others. He recalled this in his last encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, (n.123):

“Business activity is essentially “a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world.” God encourages us to develop the talents he gave us, and he has made our universe one of immense potential.” Pope Francis, March 14, 2022

The vocation of the entrepreneur is not an easy task, which is why the Pope encouraged them not to be discouraged and to unite their work with the sacrifice of redemption that was the work of Christ. A good resolution for this Lenten season could be to work smiling.

“You, who primarily represent small- and medium-sized enterprises, are well aware of how difficult it is, in such a context, to develop and create employment that respects ethical values and social responsibility.”  Pope Francis, March 14, 2022

The Pope also gives a key to face the difficulties of an uncertain context such as illness or international conflicts. The key is hope, trusting that our personal work, if we do it facing God, improves our relationships with others. And trusting that by creating healthy communities, where leadership is service, we can contribute to improving relationships between our managers and employees, our customers, and shareholders. In short: we find in our God-given work a way to improve society at large. So says the Pope:

“I think – and I hope – that the construction of a new economy, that respects human dignity and that of the environment, can and must start from the grass roots. Or indeed, as we know, it has already started from the bottom: throughout the world there are many experiences of ethical and sustainable businesses that are paving the way. It is necessary to promote communication and sharing between these experiences, so as to form a network capable of having an increasingly wide-ranging impact.” Pope Francis, March 14, 2022

In addition to inviting us to smile and to trust in God’s action at work, the Pope invites us to prayer and personal recollection. This good advice from the Holy Father achieves beauty in our daily work, beauty that results from seeking the good and the truth in what we do:

Finally, permit me to give some advice “as a bishop”: if you wish to be the “soul” of the business world, do not neglect to care for your own soul, that which comes from God. And for this reason, it is necessary to resist the temptation of activism, and find time to reflect, to think, to contemplate.” Pope Francis address, March 14, 2022

Guest article written by Rev. Cristian Mendoza

Guest article written by Rev. Cristian Mendoza

Professor of Catholic Social Teaching at the School of Theology and Professor of the Program of Church Management, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

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