Friday, November 18, 2005

Role of the Laity

From Mary Jane in the Comments:
I believe one of the problems with the "role of the laity" in the the post-Vatican II Church has been the spread of the belief that the role only finds its expression in what gets done in the church buildings or organizations. And you can end up with people whose entire lives revolve around that address - very often to the great neglect of family, friends, co-workers, and the whole wide world that is waiting to learn about Christ. For some folks, it's as though good deeds don't count unless they're done in an ecclesiastical environment. (A corollary is that service to the poor is the only one that gets brownie points, whereas loving those God puts right under your nose isn't worth working on.)


  1. I agree with Mary Jane, and I think this mentality is largely the result of the proliferation of paid laity "staff" in parishes. When egos ("This is MY ministry, and I decide who do it") and cliques (sort of like high school) develop, charity goes out the window. The necessity to withdraw from the "church crowd" to keep one's faith becomes very real...

  2. My wife has been a longtime proponent of friendship evangelization. For my part I have long noted how easy it is to be charitable to others and go home and be a pain to my wife. I remind myself daily that charity begins at home.

  3. Very a propos comments from Lynn and Martin. This is my 19th year as organist, at our parish, and it will probably be my last. There are "high school"-type cliques in our choir as well, and as Lynn points out, charity left the building long ago. I myself have often gone home from Mass in a snit, or downright angry, and subjected my poor family to ill-tempered rants about what had gone "wrong" that morning. Last year seeing TPOTC made me remember Who the true Centre of the liturgy is and I've been working with His help to try and clean up my act ever since. Yes, stuff still bothers me sometimes, but I look at the Crucifix above the altar and remind myself of Who it's all about, and what a tremendous Gift He gave us, and try with my music to thank Him for it.

  4. I agree, Martin. I try to keep my eyes on Jesus, and sometimes I go to different parishes.


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