CHARISMS & THE LAITY
To integrate or awakening of the role of the laity into the whole life of the Church will need Power of the Holy Spirit and all His charisms. All the baptized by the very fact of their baptism, can minister in Christ’s Name to the whole world. They can have a desire to lead committed lives but they can also call to be actively involved in the liturgy. They can sometimes be involved with the development of some area of lay ministry or specialty in ministry.
To be Church means to live as community in the world for the service of the world. The Church is a community before it is a hierarchical institution. Unless we exist as a family, we do not exist as a Church. The image of the Church as family as a model can be easily understood: a Spirit inspired community whose members are one corporate body or family.. We are all social beings and we cannot live nor develop fully without interpersonal relationships
The “sacred traditions” of the Church claim exclusive hierarchical rights to teach, preach or govern. The total absence of the laity from leadership roles is an unhealthy dimension of the Church – even inefficient and spiritually damaging.
In His own time, Jesus condemned leaders”who make their authority felt” or “who lord it over others,” and He insisted “it is not to be so with you” Luke 22:24-27
There has been greater spiritual renewal in prayer and faith sharing outside the parish life in spontaneous small support groups and spiritual movements. This spiritual renewal has not been sacramental; these groups use healing gifts .
Each of us has a proper and indispensable role in the mission of the Church. Lay persons identify with the world and through the grace of baptism and aided by charisms they strive to make the world a better place.
Shared responsibility would require that each baptized Christian be guaranteed not only freedom in responsible involvement in ministry but also freedom of speech regarding what him or her judges to be best for the Church. This new direction will only be realized if the non-clergy are willing to move up and the clergy are willing to move over, which is all based on the philosophy of genuine love – not on authority.
O humility, the most precious of virtues, how few souls possess you! I see only a semblance of this virtue everywhere, but not the virtue itself. Diary 1436 of St. Faustina
As John the Baptist the first preacher of Jesus Christ, reminds us that, “I must decrease so that He may increase.” John 3:30
Charisms are not just “natural abilities” but gifts distributed by the Holy Spirit to each person as He wills.
Continue reading AWAKENING CHARISMS 2