A Catholic is as a Catholic does. So, what does a Catholic do?

One of the things a Catholic does is go to Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. If you’re reading this, then chances are pretty good that you obey this first basic responsibility of Catholic life. We could talk all day about what Catholics do, of course. But let’s just mention one additional thing for the moment: a Catholic studies his faith.

I mean, on his own time. It’s fine to think of Sunday Mass as “God’s time.” This time becomes authentically my own, however, when I freely offer it to God. Nothing I keep just all for myself will come with me to face God when I die. Another thing that a Catholic “does”, then, is study her faith on her own time. We can all do this to the degree we are able, but we can all do this.

There was an old canard that said the task of the priest is to study the faith and be holy, and the task of the laity is to “pray, pay, and obey.” Well, with all respect, that is pure nonsense. We are all to pray, we are all to obey God as he gives us himself in the Church, and we are all to contribute money to the upkeep of the church and the financing of the apostolate. But….

“The Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate….The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. They are consecrated for the royal priesthood and the holy people (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10) not only that they may offer spiritual sacrifices in everything they do but also that they may witness to Christ throughout the world” (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Vatican Council II).

How can we be a witness to that which we do not know well? FORMED.ORG is a remarkable tool for learning about the Catholic faith. Use this tool to open up new windows for you and your family on Catholicism for our time. As the wise maxim goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know!” Explore the never-ending adventure of the Catholic faith through FORMED.ORG, and let us never stop growing, never stop preparing our Christian witness.

Fr. Hagan

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