Chaput on Laity
The last days of July offer us a good time to pray over these words from the Book of Wisdom and their meaning for our own lives. If Christians have learned anything from events in the public square over the last 18 months, it’s this: The age of easy religious faith for people in our country is over.
Religious believers founded the United States. Our civil rights, and our public ideals and institutions, are grounded in God as their guarantor. But across American culture today — from our mass media to our courts — religious faith, and especially Christians who take their faith seriously and try to live it, are increasingly the target of criticism from groups who want no talk of God at all in the vocabulary of our shared public life.
If we really believe that “there is no God besides you (Lord) who have the care of us all,” then we can’t let that happen. The world of 2005 needs Catholic disciples. It needs a new generation of missionaries to bring the world to Jesus Christ. And that requires men and women who love God; love His Church; study and deepen their Catholic faith; and then apply their faith to their personal lives and every dimension of their public witness.
In an age when so much of the Church’s apostolic work depends on the laity, men and women formed in the great moral and intellectual traditions of the Catholic faith are especially vital. Laypeople on fire with the truth of Christ’s Church are the vanguard of the Gospel in the modern world....