Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the Laity, Sanctity in Marriage, and the Mission to the Secular World

It is not the rejection of the world but the redemption of it. We must baptize all things to Christ. There is no difference between a Catholic chair or an un-Catholic chair, or a Catholic table and an un-Catholic table. So it is with a Catholic home. All homes are first catholic. What matters are not its contents, but rather the actions and the beliefs of the hearts within.

Many have seen Catholic homes that are Catholic in word only. And, likewise, un-Catholic homes devoid of anything to pin it to a catholicity, and yet in truth they are catholic. What can be said of the Catholic broken home? Much! Not only does it fail the first test, that of belief, but also the second—action. It is "very good" enough to assent to the belief handed on from antiquity but in truth is not the case if the action proceeding fails to live the credo out. Where is the redemption of the world?

The answer then is not to reject it outright. It is to redeem it, to baptize it to Christ. And there the family—intact and whole—is most needed. It is here that the first missionary acts are borne; it is here that the first transmission of faith, of credo is given. As milk from the mother is this done, and here the father is most important in the role to daughter and son. It is here, most often, the child will receive the fire of His love, of Christ's indomitable love. And so too is this true with the mother as the seat of compassion. Where are our holy saints of happy marriage? Where are the saints of marital bliss?

Heroic virtue is first born in the home, like faith a grace-filled gift, always a gift with a purpose. So why not the saints of the home?

Many have been born out of home a vocation of sanctity. Namely among them, St. Augustine, whose own sainthood one could argue was born out of the prayers of his mother, she too now called "Saint."

One cannot doubt heroic virtue to be born out of, or rather, in spite of, broken homes, unhappy marriages. This much is true, but never has such an example of sanctity has been recorded that such a tested soul takes the helm too to the unsteady waters of the earthly sign of Heaven's Banquet. No, this is rarefied air. But is God intending this to be so? I wager not.

What a sign for the world would this be! Indeed, it would be a credo worth believing. Heroic virtue found not only in strife but also prosperity, would this not be classified as territory of a friend of God, too? This is not solely of the Catholic domain. It is a uniquely human desire, hope, and dream. However, this is not merely a dream; this too can be a reality.

This can be captured through the gift of faith, yes, but how is the faith to be nourished? From scraps and left-overs? I think not! We must have an educated laity. This means the resources of books, libraries, radio, and television must be renewed! The excuse of never having being done before or of others not doing the same must not be the excuse! "Either we accuse ourselves or we excuse ourselves," St. John Vianney once said, so too in this case. Let us not excuse a lack of zeal and haste to this aim.

We must renew our parishes to being a center of knowledge, of faith, of sacraments, and of wisdom. The Mass must be nourished!

Why not a library of faith for instruction into that which is sublimely beautiful, all-encompassing, and most needed and beneficial? The Mass cannot itself teach or merely preach. Its action provides an example which is incomprehensible if not without a guide. Let this be the writings of Christian antiquity, to stir us renewed in our one true faith! The Word made flesh dwells among us!

The Half-way House of our Lord is made known through all the vocations but especially in the breaking of the bread. It is here too that the family plays a crucial role! Where are we placing "the breaking of the bread" in our families' lives? Are we even getting the proper idea of breaking the bread? If not, then let us renew this too and truly "ita missa est" into the world. This is where all vocations, all calls to sanctity and sainthood begin!

This is our call to living as laity enriched by the faith, sanctifying marriage and its bonds, and being true missionaries to the secular world.


  1. I loved this post... You're so eloquent!

  2. What can I say but the words you write,are inspiration for me and a pride as a Mom!God has tuely blessed you,I kew that when you were born.So very beautiful,and inspirational!!!!