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The Principle of Gratuitousness M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D. Institute of Pastoral Studies Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics Loyola University Chicago.

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Presentation on theme: "The Principle of Gratuitousness M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D. Institute of Pastoral Studies Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics Loyola University Chicago."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Principle of Gratuitousness M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D. Institute of Pastoral Studies Neiswanger Institute of Bioethics Loyola University Chicago

2 The Good Samaritan Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

3 Objectives Connections to the last few episodes… Definition and History: Gratuitousness Scripture and Tradition Other Religious Traditions Catholic Social Teaching Practicing Gratuitousness and Transformation

4 Reprise

5 Affirm… Presentations build upon one another Catholic Social PRACTICES Practices   Spirituality Shape our vision: How we see What we see CSPs are dynamic and evolving

6 ??? Dignity Common Good Care of Poor SubsidiarityAssociation Participation Gratuitous ness/ Caritas Solidarity Stewardship Which principle is at the center or foundation?

7 Common Good Dignity Care of Poor SubsidiarityAssociation Participation Gratuitous ness/ Caritas Solidarity Stewardship 1891, Leo XIII

8 Dignity Common Good Care of Poor SubsidiarityAssociation Participation Gratuitous ness/ Caritas Solidarity Stewardship John Paul II

9 Stewardship Participation Association Subsidiarity Care for the Poor Solidarity Dignity/Com mon Good Gratuitousness /Caritas Benedict XVI

10 A “New” Principle?? Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate) – 2009 At the heart of: Catholic Social Tradition Judeo-Christian (Islamic) tradition All of reality

11 Definition and History

12 Why ‘Gratuitousness’? Latin gratuitus : free, without pay Unnecessarily excessive “Without reason; unjustified” An unnecessary and unexpected gift Freely bestowed, obtained Costing nothing to the recipient

13 Why ‘Gratuitousness’? Latin: Gratuitus  gratia (favor)  ‘grace’ Greek: grace  cháris Latin Vulgate Cháris  ‘ caritas ’  ‘charity’ ‘ Agape ’  ‘ caritas Thus: gratuitousness, grace, love, and charity are deeply intertwined concepts “At the heart of gratuitousness is grace”

14 Secular Treatment “Charity” – meaning narrows 1700’s: charity becomes reduced to monetary donations Alms to the poor Donations to ‘charitable organizations’ Tax deductible (1950s) Gratuitousness also monetized “Gratuity”—monetary tip Reserved for the deserving

15 Scripture and Tradition

16 Scripture No one biblical word Concepts grace, gift, love, charity permeate the biblical record.

17 Scripture Creation: freely, out of love, each new thing “good” Abraham and Sarah: Descendants as numerous as the stars Exodus: Land flowing with milk and honey Sabbath and Jubilee: rest, restoration

18 Scripture Incarnation Jesus’ life and actions Small, ‘insignificant’ actions Every time: creative, excessive, and transformative ! Transform how we see Transform how we reason— how we understand the world

19 Early Church “Love one another as God has loved you” (John 13:34) Love enemies Love gratuitously Give one’s coat as well as one’s cloak (Luke 6:29) Sell all one has and give it to the poor (Matt. 19:21) Pool assets (Acts 2:44) Collection for widows St. Paul: Greatest of three theological virtues—faith, hope, and LOVE (1 Cor. 13:13)

20 Tradition St. Thomas Aquinas Charity = the central Christian virtue The “form” or “shape” of all the virtues Challenges us to see every aspect of the Christian life as a practice of caritas, love, gift, or gratuitousness.

21 Other Religious Traditions

22 Judaism Tzedakah Righteousness, fairness, justice Highest form Gift, loan, partnership  self-sufficiency of recipient

23 Islam Zakat Third Pillar of Islam Practice of charity = obligation, compulsory A form of worship and thanksgiving to God

24 Buddhism Giving is akin to a virtue Reduces greed and attachment Possessions are to be used for others Regular acts of generosity Dana –intentional spiritual discipline of giving

25 Catholic Social Teaching

26 Rerum Novarum (1891) YES: Change working conditions YES: Private property BUT LIMITED: Right to private property limited by what one and others need. Strong emphasis on the duty of charity All persons of good will called to give of their excess to those in need

27 Quadragesimo Anno (1931) Pius XI Introduces the term ‘social charity ‘Charity must not be a mask for injustice.’

28 Mater et Magistra (1961) Shift focus away from individuals toward businesses and countries “All forms of economic enterprise must be governed by the principles of social justice and charity” How?? Enabled by Christ’s gratuitous, charitable love toward us.

29 Universal Destination of Goods In creating all that is, God gave all the goods of the earth to all people in order to sustain human life and well-being. For basic human needs, all persons have equal claim to the goods of creation. Ownership and private property, therefore, “presupposes these riches and resources of the visible world, riches and resources that man finds and does not create. In a sense man finds them already prepared, ready for him to discover them and to use them correctly in the productive process. In every phase of the development of his work, man comes up against the leading role of the gift made by "nature", that is to say, in the final analysis, by the Creator. At the beginning of man's work is the mystery of creation” (Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens §12).

30 Post-VCII Too many examples to count FRAMEWORK for the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004) Opening chapter: “God’s Plan of Love for Humanity” from creation to the end of time. Final chapter: “Building a Civilization of Love”

31 Benedict XVI Love/charity/gratuitousnes s = the hallmark BXVI’s papacy 2009: names the principle of gratuitousness “Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine.” Because charity is the inner dynamic of love among Persons of the Trinity.

32 Benedict XVI “Economic, social, and political development, if it is to be authentically human, needs to make room for the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity.” The principle of gratuitousness ought to shape economic, social, and political practices: “…in commercial relationships the principle of gratuitiousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity can and must find their place within normal economic activity. This is a human demand at the present time, but it is also demanded by economic logic. It is a demand of both charity and of truth.”

33 Benedict XVI In addition to contracts, just laws, and forms of redistribution via politics, economics needs “works redolent of the spirit of gift. The economy in the global era seems to privilege the former logic, that of contractual exchange, but directly or indirectly it also demonstrates its need for the other two: political logic, and the logic of the unconditional gift.” Catholic institutions should witness to the wider culture what the logic of gift might look like within contemporary market practices.

34 Catholic Health Care: Grounded in the Logic of Gift

35 Practicing Gratuitousness

36 Charity or Justice?

37 Practicing Gratuitousness…Transforms Us

38 …Transforms Our Workplace

39 …Transforms Clinical Care Palliative care “Loving care” Costs less Better patient outcomes

40 …Transforms Communities

41 …Transforms Health Policy Partners in Health

42 “Perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18)

43 What are some behaviors that enact the practice of gratuitousness?


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