Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Distinction: Apostolate Vs. Career

The apostolate is also a social action because it is the activity not of an isolated individual but of a person in a society; for the Christian apostle the authentic society is the Church, the people of God. The apostolate, as a social function, bespeaks a necessary relation to others; the apostle needs others, else he can have no apostolate. Moreover, only those activities which have a social aspect can be classified under the apostolate.

This gives rise to the distinction between the apostolate and a career or profession. The profession may serve others, but as it is a means of livelihood it is self-regarding. The apostle, on the other hand, simply serves others. [1]



1. St. Thomas admits (2a2æ. 181, 2 ad 2) that the exterior acts of virtue do perfect a person engaged in the active life and can readily dispose him for the exercises of the contemplative life (2a2æ. 182, 3; 4 ad 3).


Source: Fr. Jordan Aumann, "Appendix 7: The Apostolate," in Summa Theologiæ: Volume 46: Action and Contemplation, trans. by Jordan Aumann (Cambridge: Blackfriars, 1966), 120.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments ad hominem or deemed offensive by the moderator will be subject to immediate deletion.