If you have been following my blog on Brandon Vogt and his new book “The Church and the New Media”, you might remember Decree on the Media of Social Communications INTER MIRIFICA being mentioned.
Today, I would like to share a Church document, a decree, that focuses on the Laity in the Catholic Church. There a great number of individuals and organizations that have sprouted out and are doing great works for our faith, and are reaching out to the non-believers, non-practicing of our faith and those that might be considered “lukewarm.”
What I share is for encouragement, “not what we are doing wrong, but simple only what we are not doing.” Here in my diocese there are a number of activities and organizations that one can participate in, and draw a more meaningful and enriched life, with Christ. Lately I find my life much more enjoyable and complete, with my new friends from the parishes and organizations I work with. But what I was missing, and now I am trying to do more of, is share what it means and what the Church expects from laity. (You can check out a great podcast from iPadre, Active Participation)
Catholic laity are considered to be a powerful tool of the Church
Laity in the Catholic Church, I encourage to read a simple document, a decree of the Church that is available online for anyone to read, the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM (click here to read full document)
“Our own times require of the laity no less zeal: in fact, modern conditions demand that their apostolate be broadened and intensified. … …the Holy Spirit in making the laity ever more conscious of their own responsibility and encouraging them to serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances.” (Introduction – Apostolicam Actuositatem)
Now this is a decree! And you see the Church is giving us the idea that to broaden and intensify is truly needed, which you can see simply by them using the word, “demand.” Then I shared with you another fraction of a sentence about the Holy Spirit making the laity (us!) more conscious, and serve in “all circumstances.”
I take this in a manner where I must constantly be practicing , constantly seeking a better understanding, and constantly be open to sharing,… our faith. Piety, Study, and Action!
This plan for the spiritual life of the laity should take its particular character from their married or family state or their single or widowed state, from their state of health, and from their professional and social activity. They should not cease to develop earnestly the qualities and talents bestowed on them in accord with these conditions of life, and they should make use of the gifts which they have received from the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, the laity who have followed their vocation and have become members of one of the associations or institutes approved by the Church try faithfully to adopt the special characteristics of the spiritual life which are proper to them as well. They should also hold in high esteem professional skill, family and civic spirit, and the virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty, justice, sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true Christian life can exist. (Chapter I The Vocation of the Laity to the Apostolate - Apostolicam Actuositatem)
Now from reading this part in chapter one, you hear (see) the Church is calling upon everyone to partake in the piety, study and action of being a faithful. No matter what your situation is in life, you are called to share Christ.
The Church is crying out and encouraging the laity to hold their positions in life, in sharing Christ, to the highest esteem,… the very aspects of our lives, the laity of the Church.
Are you following the Call of the Church?
Something to ponder, something to pray.