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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Challenge to the Catholic Laity

.. is being thrown by Thomas Colyandro at Catholic Exchange in this article, Time to Clean Up Lay Spirituality Too. Some interesting points:

 Sadly, too many of the lay faithful doubt they have heard His whispers and tend to ignore His booming voice because they have been taught over a four decade or more span that their thoughts, feelings and day-to-day experiences are the valid conduit through which God will save them. In other words, the trend among spiritual bureaucratic types in the Church has been to train lay narcissists fully convinced that “where they are” is simply enough. The rationalization, of course, is that life of the layman is inherently noble with its struggles in and with spouses, children and work.

The time has come to remind the lay faithful that “the perfection of man does not consist in that which assimilates him to the whole of creation, but that in which distinguishes him from the created order and assimilates him to his Creator” (Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, p. 114).

Quite a bit more food for thought in that article. My first reaction to the first paragraph I quote above was shock. I am, after all, married with kids, and I do believe, as St. Josemaria Escriva taught, that we are sanctified wherever we act with God's grace. Thus the Holy Spirit uses us to sanctify our work, as a witness to others and a call for them to examine the cause of our joy.

But another thought hit me as I read that paragraph: being a husband, father and worker is indeed what I am, and I think (guided by prayer) what I am called to be. However, that's not the end of it. I am also called to be priest, prophet and king: to offer a sacrifice of praise and mercy to God, to speak God's words as a witness, and to dispense the justice of God. Ah. Now it makes more sense. In whatever role I play, I must be, at the core, nothing more than a disciple of Christ.

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