Our Institute, our Acton.org, and certainly my book and the one written by my colleague at the Acton Institute, Dr. Samuel Gregg (Economics for the Theologically Minded), would give a serious student a good introduction.

Before we conclude, Father Sirico, would you be willing to offer a word of encouragement to fellow pastors in the way of Jesus? For example, what would you like to say to them about pastoring people in their various vocational, economic, political, and social responsibilities and spheres?

What a great joy it is to be called by Christ to minister to his people. It is very difficult to always keep in mind that we are called "to serve and not to be served." If our hearts turn cold, which can so easily happen when we neglect prayer and necessary rest, we can easily lose sight of the eternal destiny of each person in our care.

With specific regard to our pastoral work with people who live and work within the secular domain of society, I think the paradigm of the Incarnation of Christ is critical to help them and us to keep balance.

One the one hand, we need to respect the concrete reality of the world in which people spend most of their time: the "mundane" existence whereby people earn sufficient resources to support their families. It is important that we communicate to them that this work has great dignity and eternal significance, and not that they should move from "success to significance" but rather to find significance precisely in the midst of their success. The Incarnation of the Lord was not so much Christ coming to earth as though he were an alien of some kind, but that he came through human agency (the Virgin Mary) and worked in a carpenter's shop.

You can learn more about Fr. Sirico and the work of the Acton Institute, including their various publishing efforts, educational programs, and online resources, by visiting www.acton.org.

This is part of a three part interview with FR. Robert Sirico read parts One and Two.