The officially recognized status of the Catholic lay person in the Church has taken a long time to develop. This should not be surprising because, among other reasons, the status of the individual person in the civil political world has undergone a similar developmental stage of centuries of discoveries and expression.
In the Church for almost 1800 years the focus was upon the finding and expression of the truths of faith, the nature of the Church, the Sacraments of the Church, the liturgy of the Church, the use of authority in the Church, hierarquical structure of the church, the unity of the Church and the missionary task of the Church.
In reality most of the investigation, debates and clashes of different approaches referred to the ordained ministers—popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons-along with the consecrated priests, monks, and nuns, (sisters). This should not come as a surprise since the western world has advanced through many cultural changes, and it became necessary to clarify the structure and at times to define and defend the structure in order to lead all Church members to holiness and salvation.
For centuries many of the learned people, that is, those who had received a full education, were clerics and monks and nuns. After the invention of the printing press, this began to change quickly, but even the Code of Canon Law of 1917 defined the lay person as one who is neither a priest nor a consecrated religious. Such a definition was not exactly full of content.
Continue reading “A Better Me: The Catholic Lay Person in the Church and the World (Part II)”
An analysis of the baptized Catholic lay person is a four week trip. The four weeks of letters have the following titles.
II. The Catholic lay person in the Church.
III. The Catholic lay person in the world.
IV. The Catholic lay person’s role in changing the
There is so much going on in the Church right now that it can be helpful to know where the lay person stands in the Church and what God wants and calls him/her to do in the world. Our house has to be built on rock. If we are building it, or have built it, on sand, it is going to get flooded, fall apart and get swept away (Mt. 7:24-27) by the rains, hurricanes and earthquakes that occur these days. Obviously you don’t desire (e.g. will) this to occur, but if you don’t have a good understanding of the truth, (e.g., intellect), you may be vulnerable to the confusion that is occurring and run the risk of building on sand.
That, we certainly do not want. So let’s take a shot at presenting and understanding the position of the lay person in the Church and the role that he/she has the world.
Continue reading “A Better Me: Where we are going – Introduction (Part I)”
You are set to have a good meeting with a secretary of a properous company concerning a possible employment. But when you are with the person you get so nervous that you can hardly speak a word.
It is the night of your dreams you are going out with your boyfriend to the most important social event ever in your life. You try to make your appearance look very appealing. Your boyfriend meets you at the door and his first words are: “You look beautiful.” What a moment!
You are on a golf-course teeing off on the first hole. All of a sudden, about 50 meters above you, a fellow in a flying suit with a flying motor on his back, comes over you and your fellow players. It is in the middle of your swing and you are so surprised that you miss the ball.
Continue reading “A Better Me #5: God, Neurons, Emotional Balance & Life”
It is quite an adventure to live in a world that God has created which will never cease to challenge our intellects, our wills, our senses, and our hearts! To read about the structure and the working of the body, the functioning of our intelligence, the marvelous reality of nature, the existence of space and planets, the millions, and even billions of years that have passed for all this to have occurred and developed. Amazing!
And yet all of this is only part of our world, and not even much of it at all. We can perceive with our senses so much of reality but, through faith and God’s revelation to us, we can “transcend” in our knowledge and wisdom and come to an understanding of the angelic creation.
Continue reading “A Better Me #4: The Angels”
It is interesting that many times when people are asked how often they pray each day, their answer is: once, twice, a few times, every once in a while…. If they are asked, “Why not more?”, their replies can be: “I don’t think of it,” or “I don’t have time for it,” or “I don’t make time for it,” or “I am often too busy in many necessary activities,” etc.
It is true that they may realize that, being baptised Catholics, we are children of God the Father, living in the Mystical Body of Christ, and called to imitate Jesus Christ in each and every human action. His words, thoughts, actions and reactions are the “good news” contained in the Gospels. But the Gospels relate primarily the details of his “public life,” the few years that he spent with his Apostles and disciples. His first thirty years has been called his “hidden life”, namely, his time living with Blessed Mary and St. Joseph. In those years he lived a very ordinary life, working with St. Joseph.
Continue reading “A Better Me #3: Sanctification of Work”
Last week we discussed our place and role in the Mystical Body of Christ. Now we are going to talk more about the Mystical Body and how it lives and works. Our Mother Mary is considered by many theologians to be the “neck” of her Son’s Body. You and I are parts of the Body that function as a unity to make the Body work, develop and fulfill its goals. Just as blood makes the natural human body go, so grace makes the Mystical Body work. Each of ourselves, baptised in Christ, needs a lot of grace to fulfill the tasks that God the Father has given to us.
You may remember last week how we saw that each one of us is intimately united to the other members of Christ’s Body. It is obvious that each of us has to be healthy and in good shape in order to contribute to the Body’s life. Sit back perhaps, and imagine this Body full of Christ’s life, working in the world. If the Body were perfect our image would be that of a world full of peace and joy.
Continue reading “A Better Me #2: Sense of Sin and Frequent Confession”
I send you a first attempt of, hopefully, a consistent weekly note. We all need a good theological and philosophical formation and I ask God to help you to use the note as assistance in your interior and exterior life.
We are going to begin by presenting a part of the “structural” analysis of the position, the “where” we are after we are baptised.
Through God’s Love, the death of the Father’s Son Jesus on the Cross brought about the reality of a “new human being”, a “new man”. Jesus not only came forth as resurrected from the tomb, but God made it such that humanity itself, through Baptism, would be reborn, “revivified”, “recapitulated” in Him. The “new baptized man” became part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ is the Head and all of those validly baptised are members of His Mystical Body. This “new man” sprung forth from Jesus on the Cross when the Roman Centurion pierced Jesus’ side with a spear and from His heart there flowed “blood and water”, signifying the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments of the Church.
Continue reading “A Better Me #1: Our Real State after Baptism”