PATH TO COMMUNION (continued)
Spirit of Love!
Come that we may be one, as the Father and You
One united through our
Lay faithful and the renewal of the Church
The lay faithful or laity are those members of the Universal Church who are not members of a professed religious order, society or congregation.
Pope John Paul emphatically states that
the renewal of the Church in America will not be possible without the active presence of the lay faithful.
THEREFORE THEY ARE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
FUTURE OF THE CHURCH.
AND ~~ It is through
our Baptism that this responsibility comes to us.
Our Holy Father reminds
us that it is through the Sacrament
that we "...receive a dignity which includes the
imitation and following of Christ, communion with one another"
a missionary responsibility.
We must come to realize how important it is to be
The Holy Father cites two areas in which lay people may live their vocation or life's work.
through the secular world, we are able to
"consecrate the world itself to God."
He reminds us that because of the variety of our charisms and talents, we are able to "...evangelize the various familial, social, professional, cultural and political sectors of life"
when we stand as
Our Holy Father expects us to be creative in our activities
and works demonstrating a life in harmony with the Gospel. He also reminds us
how important it is that we, as lay Christians need to take over leadership roles in
He exhorts us that it is URGENT to train men and women who can influence and direct public life toward the "common good" of all God's people.
It is good for us to remember that by virtue of our Baptism,
In fact, this may be a path of our own sanctification if we are "...formed in the TRUTH and VALUES of the Church's social teaching."
very important that we not only LIVE these truths and
values, but that we have
courage to PROCLAIM them at all times!
Other lay faithful may
be called to work along side with the priests, deacons and religious
Examples of which may be working as
The Synod Fathers want to remind everyone that these ministries in no way should take away from those who have received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
That is why it is very important that the lay ministers meet the
following criteria ~~
Only those people "...who have received the necessary training in accordance with clearly defined criteria:
~~ a stable presence,
~~ a real readiness to serve a determined group of persons and
~~ the duty of accountability to their Pastor..."
should be considered for this SECOND way in which we may be able to fulfill our life's vocation.
IMPORTANCE OF THE LAY FAITHFUL in the renewing
of the Church
IS NOT A NEW IDEA!
Even in ancient Christian times,
today is recognizing and recalling once again