Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Must Remake The World
(from Fr. Tobin, CSSR)

The word “layman” or “laity” comes from the Greek word which means “people”. In the Old Testament, it was used in this sense: You are the people sacred to the Lord your God. He has chosen you from all nations on the face of the earth to be HIS OWN.

The priest is a mediator between God and man; he brings the prayers, the sacrifices and the sins of man to God and, from God, he brings to man graces and blessings. By the very fact of his ordination, he is taken from among men and ordained for men in the things that pertain to GOD. A Religious is one who renounces life in the world and consecrates himself to God by the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. A religious is called by Jesus Christ to separate himself from the world. But the layman is a Christian who loves and serves Christ IN the world.

Some time back, a group of zealous priests were appalled at the apostasy of the masses from the Church. They determined that the best way to win them back to Christ would be to share their way of life and their work. They reasoned that, working thus in close contact with the faithful, they would demonstrate the love of Christ for them and win them back to the Church. The priests took off their habits, left their monasteries and went to live in the tenants of the poor. The results were DISASTEROUS! A good many of these priests not only gave up the priesthood but also abandoned their faith!!! These dear priests had been called from the world by Christ and were attempting to do the work that was not theirs as priests to do. They were ordained or “taken from the world” to bring to men ‘the things of God’, but in the world they were so busy; there was not enough time to nourish themselves and the workers with spiritual food. They failed in their DAILY DUTY because they attempted to do the work of the layman.

“The consecration of the world is essentially the work of the laymen themselves; those who are intimately a part of the economic and social life of the world. The layman, himself, can form cells among the workers in every job and bring back to the Church those who have strayed from Her. The lay apostle is called to consecrate the world to God through His Immaculate Mother.” Pope Pius XII

The world is the sum of all creation. God saw that it was good. Sin entered the world of man and the things of God were abused. Pleasure, wealth and honor were adored and served – the devil was enthroned. Through his Baptism and Confirmation, the lay apostle is called upon to consecrate the world to God. This is clearly what Our Lady came to Fatima to ask of each and every one of us. To consecrate means to “make holy”… to set aside for God. The lay apostle is a mediator, a go-between for the Church and the world; he receives CHRIST, as the Way, the Truth and the Life, and then brings Him to the world. As a citizen of both the Church and the world, he is meant to be the bridge that unites them.

“God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things in the order of grace that everyone may know it is through her we obtain: EVERY HOPE, EVERY GRACE, ALL SALVATION!” Ven. Pope Pius IX

The layman cannot give Christ to others unless he himself possesses Christ. He must know and love Christ and the Church before he can impart by word or example this knowledge and love to others. A layman sanctifies himself by living according to the duties of his particular state in life. He loves and pleases God when he does God’s Will, which is made clear to him by the multiple obligations of his vocation.

The layman is called not to a minimal holiness, but to the full Christian sanctity of life to which Christ called everyone: “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” Sanctifying Grace is not merely the absence of mortal sin but, above all, the presence of God in the soul.

Almighty God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” We have been commanded to obey God. The world is consecrated when it serves this purpose; to be at the service of man, who is living in obedience to God. The housewife consecrates her world when she brings peace, order and love to the home, that her family may live a natural and Christian life; the businessman consecrates his labor by following the principles of justice and charity so that his workers may lead a human and Christian life. Every person, no matter what his particular work, can help attain the goal of consecrating the world to Christ, by living a holy life, thus all that serve him, in turn, serve God.

When asked if the consecration commanded by Our Lady at Fatima had been accomplished, Sr. Lucia said that it had been done, in part, but would only be complete when every person, every family, every parish, every diocese and every country had made the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and lived it.

Every Catholic is an apostle. He must continue to study so that he may build upon the foundation of his faith laid in the days of his formal religious instruction. Religion is a vital topic and should be discussed. It is for a mother to instill in her child the apostolic spirit. We should examine our conscience daily, concerning our duties to our neighbor. We have to ask ourselves not only, “Have I harmed my neighbor?” BUT ALSO “Have I shown him the way that leads him to God, to Christ, to the Church and to salvation?”

A hundred years ago, Cardinal Newman wrote: “In all times the laity have been the measure of the Catholic spirit; they saved the Irish Church three centuries ago, and they betrayed the Church in England.” This is so true! The Irish laity took their Church into the hedges and preserved it in their homes and in their hearts; while the rich nobility of England betrayed the Church for the sake of material gain. In Japan, the Christians kept the faith alive without priests and the Mass through their deep personal devotion to the Mother of God and faithfully praying each day the Holy Rosary.

The layman lives in the world, and his essential role is to consecrate the world for Christ. If the world is made a better place in which to live and if vast millions of un-churched in this world find Christ, it will be the fruit of intelligent and zealous laymen who have properly fulfilled the role to which they have been called.

My dear faithful, You MUST remake THE WORLD!
This is Your Vocation and that to which You have been called by GOD.


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