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The Joy of Just Living Living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with the poor

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Living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with the poor
The Joy of Just Living

Prepared with love and devotion by the Team at the Pastoral Center

14 steps -- each 3 to 5 pages long -- to be used in families, small groups, or even alone -- eResource: we send links to the steps and you take it from there

Pope Francis reminds us forcefully that we need to discover the joy of just living. Just living simply, just living happily, living justly so that others may also live comfortably.

As Pope Francis reminds us, there is great joy in such living. There is the deep knowledge that just living is right living.

This resources brings together the message from four of Pope Francis' major initiatives, in a very practical way!

  • The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium): In his first Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis laid out a plan for Christians, Catholics, and all people of good will to live more simply, sustainably, and in greater solidarity with the poor. This exhortation is a true call to action. Action! The Joy of the Gospel is bold and thrilling. Pope Francis is inviting the People of God to make a clear choice between small-minded faith which is content with things as they are (#83) and passionate faith that results in a real mission to change the world in light of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • Praise Be: On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si'): Pope Francis' encyclical delves more deeply into how our actions affect other people and the rest of creation. In it, he urges us to seek interior conversion, to move toward a new lifestyle, and to start taking little daily actions in this direction. He encourages cultivating new positive attitudes (e.g. gratitude, creativity, and responsibility), putting healthy limits on technology and consumption, and to embrace the liberating simplicity that we find in the Christian way.
  • The Jubilee Year of Mercy: Pope Francis asks all of us to focus on God's great mercy and how we can show it to others starting in December of 2015. His call particularly includes how we can change our routines to become aware of and reach out to the poor.
  • On Fraternity and Social Friendship (Fratelli Tutti): Pope Francis' latest encyclical focuses on our relationships with those in our local communities and the world community. It challenges us to think about inequality in a more systematic way and how we can step away from an extreme individualism and selfishness that hurts others.

Directly reflecting Pope Francis' teachings, this resource will help everyone look deeply into our first-world lives to draw out the desire of the Holy Spirit for us. It leads us to consider all that we have, how much we need, and how to reach out to those who are poor, vulnerable, and forgotten.

The steps:

  1. Renew your personal encounter with Christ
  2. Become aware of and write down your own core values in life.
  3. Become aware of all that you currently have.
  4. Become aware of what really makes you happy.
  5. Be aware of the many people in today's world who live in suffering and poverty.
  6. Learn what it means to include the poor in your society.
  7. Watch what you eat, drink, use up, and throw away! Examine your patterns of consumption.
  8. Become conscious and honest about your money, bank accounts, credit card balances, and income.
  9. Renew your relationship to the Earth itself.
  10. Become conscious of how much time you spend with media.
  11. Begin to give away your possessions. Clean out your closets!
  12. Look into the future and become aware of your buying plans.
  13. Become a spirit-filled spokesperson for the love of God.
  14. Join now with others and embark on the “missionary option” as a parish.
This is a downloadable, reproducible product sold with a lifetime parish or school license. Please read the full license terms below.

Product License

This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.

Format: eResource
Product code: CT610
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
The Pastoral Center
Written by Our Pastoral Center Team


Bill Huebsch is an author, theologian, former director of religious education, and long-time Catholic publishing professional. He is also a husband, a widely-published and award-winning author, a gardener, a university professor, and a pretty qualified corkscrew operator. He has been a farmer, a marketing director, arts administrator, director of religious education, and diocesan administrator. Bill has published nearly thirty books as well as numerous articles, booklets, and screenplays.

Bill is the founder of the online Pastoral Center and past president of Twenty-Third Publications. Bill writes and teaches extensively on the catechetical mission of the Church and on the importance of continuing to implement the vision of the Second Vatican Council.

View all resources by Bill Huebsch