Dr. Michael Naughton spoke from his newly released document “The Vocation of the Business Leader” (editor’s note: Naughton helped produce the document in the name of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and it can be found here).
In the document, he confronts what he calls the “logic of the market” by contrasting it with the “logic of the gift.” The former is driven by the ethic of choice and acquisition. Conversely, the logic of the gift presupposes having been chosen, a dynamic process of first receiving from the Giver before we ourselves can give–much less choose and acquire.
True fulfillment in daily work is elusive until we embrace the underlying truth that vocation is grounded in having first been chosen. Dr. Naughton says that only then can we embrace practical wisdom, which is the ability to 1) see the fact and value of true reality; 2) judge with principles not simply based on consequences; and 3) act in the knowledge that all we do and give finds meaning only in recognizing what has first been done for, and given to, us.
For, according to Dr. Naughton, “If we never get receiving right, we won’t get giving right; If we never get rest right, we won’t get work right; If we don’t get the Sabbath right, we won’t get Monday right.“