16. We come to a full sense of the dignity of the lay faithful if we consider the prime and fundamental vocation that the Father assigns to each of them in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit: the vocation to holiness, that is, the perfection of charity.
..."to be holy in all conduct" ( 1 Pt 1:15).
The Extraordinary Synod about the LAY PEOPLE, twenty years after the Council, opportunely insisted on this urgency: " the Church ...ought to be considered the sign and instrument of holiness... Men and women saints have always been the source and origin of renewal in the most difficult circumstances in the Church's history. Today we have the greatest need of saints whom we must assiduously beg God to raise up"(42).
THE WAY 301 A secret, an open secret: these world crises are crises of saints. God wants a handful of men 'of his own' in every human activity. And then... 'pax Christi in regno Christi — the peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ'.
Within the lay state diverse "vocations" are given.
There are different paths in the spiritual life and the apostolate which are taken by individual members of the lay faithful
“ St. Francis,” Cardinal Luciani wrote, “proclaimed sanctity for everyone , but seems to have taught only a ‘ spirituality for lay people,’ whereas Msgr. Escriva wants a ‘lay spirituality.’ Francis, in other words, nearly always suggests for the laity the same practical means used by religious, but with suitable modifications. Escriva is more radical; he goes so far as to talk about ‘materializing’, in the good sense, that quest for holiness. For him, it is the material work which must be turned into prayer and sanctity.”
17. The vocation of the lay faithful to holiness implies that life according to the Spirit expresses itself in a particular way in their involvement in temporal affairs and in their participation in earthly activities. Once again the apostle admonishes us: "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus... ( Col 3:17).
17. ...the vocation to holiness is intimately connected to mission and to the responsibility entrusted to the lay faithful in the Church and in the world. In fact, that same holiness which is derived simply from their participation in the Church's holiness, represents their first and fundamental contribution to the building of the Church herself .
17. ...that of a countless number of lay people, both women and men, busy at work in their daily life and activity, oftentimes far from view and quite unacclaimed by the world, unknown to the world's great personages but nonetheless looked upon in love by the Father , untiring labourers who work in the Lord's vineyard.
17. "Particular Churches especially should be attentive to recognizing among their members the younger men and women of those Churches who have given witness to holiness in such conditions (everyday secular conditions and the conjugal state) and who can be an example for others , so that, if the case calls for it, they (the Churches) might propose them to be beatified and canonized"(Propositio 8).
When speaking of active and responsible participation in the life and mission of the Church... : "Since in our days women are taking an increasingly active share in the whole life of society, it is very important that they participate more widely also in the various fields of the Church's apostolate "(AA, 9)
Women with their own gifts and tasks have their own specific vocation
Many women, nevertheless, accompanied Jesus in his ministry and assisted the group of Apostles (cf. Lk 8:2-3)
were present at the foot of the Cross (cf. Lk 23:49)
The first to receive and transmit the message of resurrection on Easter morning (cf. Lk 24:1-10)
and prayed with the apostles in the Cenacle awaiting Pentecost (cf . Acts 1:14).
Saint Giovanna Beretta, Martyr for the Unborn 1922-1962
Giovanna Francesca Beretta was born Oct. 4, 1922 in Milan
Gianna was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Milan in 1942, the same year both her parents died.
Alberto and Maria Beretta left an extraordinary legacy in their children as two became priests, one became a nun and physician, two others became physicians, one became an engineer and another a pharmacist.
For Gianna her abiding faith guided her in her practice of medicine. Her belief in the sacredness of all life was solid. On the topic of abortion she said: “the doctor should not meddle. The right of the child to live is equal to the right of the mother's life. The doctor cannot decide; it is a sin to kill in the womb"
She married Pietro Molla in 1955. Three children: Pierluigi, Maria Zita and Laura.
According to Gianna: "the secret of happiness is living moment by moment and to thank God for everything that in His goodness He sends us, day after day"
Gianna became pregnant with the couple's fourth child. Early in the pregnancy a tumor in her ovary was discovered. Of the treatments discussed, Gianna chose the one that would most likely spare the child, even though it would endanger her own life. For her the choice was simple: save the life of the child first and foremost.
The child, Gianna Emanuela, was born on April 21. After the birth of her child, septic peritonitis set in. The physical pain, however, was eclipsed by the agonizing thought of leaving her four children without their mother.
Gianna asked to be taken home where she died on April 28, 1962, at 8:00 a.m.
Features of the lay faithful according to Vatican II: 1 Called by God in the world and to live in the world 2 Sanctify the world from within : Christifideles laici 16 3 they are engaged in each and every work and business of the earth and in the ordinary circumstances of social and family life which, as it were, constitute their very existence.
MISSION ON EARTH MISSION OF THE LAY FAIETHFUL Mission comes from Baptism A They do not have the “sacra potestas” to act in persona Christi capitis , but they share in the Office of Christ, thanks to their common priesthood. B C Secular condition .
HOW TO BECOME HOLY? DIVINE FILIATION, SANCTIFICATION, GRACE & VIRTUES - Sanctification is progress in holiness. To grow in sanctity one must cooperate with grace , and this requires effort, struggle., because of the disorder introduced by sin ( fomes peccati = inclination to sin). - Need of grace through prayer + mortification + sacraments. - Union with Christ: it will be definitive only in Heaven.
We are deeply moved, and our hearts profoundly shaken, when we listen attentively to that cry of St Paul: 'This is God's will for you, your sanctification.'
I am often asked: 'What do you say to us married folk? To those of us who work on the land? To widows? To young people?' I reply systematically that I have only 'one stewing pot'. I usually go on to point out that Our Lord Jesus Christ preached the good news to all, without distinction.
We start with vocal prayers which many of us have been saying since we were children.
First one brief aspiration, then another, and another... till our fervour seems insufficient, because words are too poor...: then this gives way to intimacy with God, looking at God without needing rest or feeling tired.
In order to draw close to God we must take the right road, which is the Sacred Humanity of Christ. This is why I have always advised people to read books on the Lord's Passion. Such works, which are full of true piety, bring to our minds the Son of God, a Man like ourselves and also true God, who in his flesh loves and suffers to redeem the world. Take the Holy Rosary, one of the most deeply rooted of Christian devotions. The Church encourages us to contemplate its mysteries.
But do not forget that being with Jesus means we shall most certainly come upon his Cross. When we abandon ourselves into God's hands, he frequently permits us to taste sorrow, loneliness, opposition, slander, defamation, ridicule, coming both from within and from outside.
Our heart now needs to distinguish and adore each one of the divine Persons. The soul is, as it were, making a discovery in the supernatural life, like a little child opening his eyes to the world about him. The soul spends time lovingly with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and readily submits to the work of the life-giving Paraclete, who gives himself to us with no merit on our part, bestowing his gifts and the supernatural virtues!
MISSION ON EARTH Sanctify work and all ordinary realities May the Mother of God and our Mother protect us, … May each one of us joyfully honour the Lord by carrying out his own duties, those which are properly his; each one of us, in his job or profession and fulfilling the obligations of his state in life. Love the Church; serve the Church with the conscious gladness of one who has committed himself to this service for Love's sake.
MISSION ON EARTH Mission: teaching Apostolate: right and duty 1 . Adquire formation in Catholic Doctrine 2 . The light of the faith should be seen in works and decissions 3 . To work so that the divine message of salvation reach all environments ( Apostolicam actuositatem 3 ).