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It’s true, abortions have decreased in the US by six percent since the Dobbs decision. But the battle for life is hardly over. Government institutions now appear to be weaponized against US citizens. And the condition of the Catholic faith in much of the world is simply deplorable. In places like Nicaragua, for example, it’s almost illegal to practice the faith openly. The Church and continues to be attacked, from an act of vandalism in a parish or pregnancy center in the US to the murder of Catholics in parts of Africa. To top it off, there's growing confusion in our understanding of human anthropology.
Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Christendom anymore!
Yet, the remnant, those faithful Catholics who still know the faith, believe, and practice it with sincerity, often seem to not realize what a crucial—historic—mission God is asking us to accomplish in the world today.
Brothers and sisters, we can no longer stay in our Catholic bubbles! We must lead! We must engage the world. This does not mean everyone needs to run for president or mayor. But it does mean that amid our own person, social, and professional environments, we have a preeminent duty to re-Christianize the world by exerting influence over it. Brothers and sisters, we must begin to seize every opportunity God has placed in our lives to win the world for Christ.
To be sure, the spiritual combat starts with our interior life. Grounded in prayer, strengthen by the Sacraments, committed to our vocation, formed in the Faith, and prepared professionally, we must pray, think about, and act in strategic ways to influence society with the values of the Gospel. In other words, we must be saints! But not like Thérèse or Benedict, who are formidable intercessors and beautiful examples of fidelity to Christ. No, friends. We must learn to be saints who get on Zoom calls, pay mortgages, sit on boards, and coach soccer teams. What the world needs more today are saints who are integrated into the fabric of society.
In this upside-down world we now inhabit, in our neighborhoods and cities around the world, dozens of human spaces and activities are waiting for you and me to join. Every human institution on our planet is directed by a group of people who, on a regular basis, sit around a table to make decisions and enact policies. These are the decisions that impact the culture! We must be present there.
Dear friends, what I am talking about is not an innovative concept. This is what the early Christians understood well and lived faithfully. This is how Christendom was built! Our vocation as baptized is to be amid the world, as model, virtuous, and engaged citizens, gaining the esteem of our peers, causing others to wonder about the secret to our joy. Friends, we must lead! It used to be that lay Catholics would naturally become leaders in their communities and places of work, simply because they were Catholics. We must return to that.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the hour of the laity! You know about our upcoming conference, THL2023. I hope that you will join our movement and look forward to your attendance. We all want to see change. Through God’s grace, change will take place as soon as each of us takes up our post as lay Catholic leaders in civil society.
P.S. Please join our social media campaign by simply (1) recording yourself on video answering the question: why is this the hour of the laity? (2) Then, post it on social media, with the hashtags #WhyTHL #THL2023 Watch the video below for some sample responses from our TLI family.
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