Monday, December 31, 2007

Dignity of the Person

The Dignity of the Person in Catholic Social Teaching
The intended audience for this paper/presentation will be youth, between the ages of 20-30 , as well as adults. The manner of this presentation will follow closely the teachings of the Catholic Church in its Compendium of Social Teaching, which can be found on the Vatican website. The subject chosen for presentation is essential for understanding the teachings of the New Testament and the development of those teachings in the theology of Catholic Social Teaching.

"The Church sees in men and women, in every person, the living image of God himself. This image finds, and must always find anew, an ever deeper and fuller unfolding of itself in the mystery of Christ, the Perfect Image of God, the One who reveals God to man and man to himself." (Peace and Justice, 2005)

Goal and Objective
The objective of this presentation is the explicit theology of the dignity of the human person as understood as the 'imago dei.' As seen in the quotation above of the Compendium, the Church assumes that every person is made in the image and likeness of God.. The Church is following the revelation of the old and new testaments, which reveals the dignity of the human person. In the above article from the Summa Theologica, Aquinas following Augustine, distinguishes between the image itself , the likeness and the similarity. While many would want to distinguish this image and likeness to the seen and the tangible, the Church following the inspired word of God, always assents to the revealed truth that man in his essence carries this likeness to God in his very makeup.

Place, Time

This presentation is intended to be presented over four fifteen minute presentations or as one full hour presentation. Over the internet it could be presented in 15 minute segments to a person who would like to consider each portion separately. On the other hand, it could equally as well be presented as one presentation to a group in one sitting.

Powerpoint Presentation (20 slides)


Pontifical Council For Peace and Justice, December 31, 2007 (2005). Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. from Web site:

1-Catholic Social Teaching -Our Best Kept Secret by DiBerri and Hug, 2003 and
2-St. Francis and the Follishness of God by Dennis, Nangle, Moe-Lobeda, & Taylor, 1993.

In Christ

"This is the cup.."

"Stay with us, Lord." These are the words in which John Paul II began his Apostolic Letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine" (JPII, Mane). " "Stay with us, Lord." This is a cry of the soul to God. The cry of the creature to the Creator. This is the cry of the Church along the way of Jesus: 'the way, the truth, the life."
"Stay with us, Lord." This is the repeated request of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, who , at first, did not recognize the presence of their God, but later, after he had given himself thru his revealed words and their 'hearts were burning within them,' recognized Him.
"Stay with us, Lord." This is the request of every heart that longs for rest. Augustine said 'our hearts are restless, until they rest in thee." God, Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, is both our Mediator and our God. "Stay with us, Lord." Who else could understand this reality of the hearts cry for a consoler than Jesus, our Eucharistic Lord.
"Stay with us, Lord." We seek consolation or our body and our spirit, since both of these form part of the persons we are. We journey together along the lines of time, we are constantly reducing the options we have up against the one big option of Choosing Christ. We know we are in need of others, yet at times we are confused how God brings unity out of chaos, riches out of poverty, creation out of nothing. The desolation of being apart from God is more than we can bear in knowing that he allows us the freedom to be for Him alone, yet free to be apart from Him forever. We fear ourselves, since God is faithful, at times, we are not sure of our own fidelity to God. Nonetheless, we search for the end of our faith and we know, by reason of our hearts content-"our hearts are restless until they rest in thee"-the Mystery of his love in our lives. It seems always to be the case, that nothing can satisfy us, save his voice alone.

"Stay with us, Lord." This sincere prayer wears thin our insincerity and all that "comes out of the deep recesses of the heart," and make us unclean. Jesus, reveals himself to souls that search for Him and that most assuredly in the Eucharist.