Lay Life in a Year

52 Reflections on JPII's vision for the Laity

Discover the Lay Vocation

What does it actually mean to be a lay person in the world? How are we to serve God, His Church, and His world? How are we to reach holiness?

A lot of the answers we hear can be boiled down to one of two misguided views:

Mistake 1:The laity can just sit back and do the bare minimum. Most of the work is for the bishops, priests, and religious.”


Mistake 2: “The laity needs more authority and power and we really don’t need these bishops and priests telling us what to do.”

The issue? Neither of these takes are what the Church actually teaches. For years, there has been extreme confusion about what it means to be a lay person, which is why Pope St. John Paul II wrote Christifideles Laici.

52 Weekly Reflections

This is his Apostolic Exhortation on the Mission and Vocation of the Lay Faithful and it has gone largely unread! In it, he shows how the lay life is central to God’s plan for the world and how it is meant to lead us to the height of holiness.

The lay life, like priestly and religious life, is designed to make us saints who transform the world and renew the Church.

Here at reCatholic, discovering Christifideles Laici has lit a fire in our hearts and transformed how we live out our lay vocation to help serve Jesus. And we want to make this treasure accessible for you too.

Sign up to discover the lay life in a year as we break open John Paul II’s vision for the laity in 52 short, weekly reflections.

Sign Up for the Weekly Reflection

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Read Past Reflections

Week 18: Continuing Christ’s Mission

You may have heard St. Paul’s shocking words: “We make up for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.” (Col. 1:24) Is he saying Jesus isn’t enough? It’s a bit like when my 4 year old helps me cook. Well, he feels like he’s helping, but mostly I let him add some...

read more

Week 17: Being Christ In The World

Charles was an older man who spent the whole day working with us on a project. It was touching how often things reminded him of his wife. Flowers he brought to their first date, the time she was in the hospital for a week, and her kindness, joy, and patience. After 55...

read more

Week 16: Temples of the Spirit

Have you ever lost your keys and ended up searching all over the place? Maybe you even look in the same drawer two or three times? You know they’re around, but they just don’t seem to be anywhere. Well, sometimes this is how it is with God too. We know He is...

read more

Week 15: One Body in Christ

Critics of the Church often accuse Her of all sorts of scandal, politics, and power struggles. Well, they’re right! The Church today and through the years has been filled with disunity. We can’t pretend these problems haven’t been there in the past or that they don’t...

read more

Week 14: Children of God

One of our team members was talking to an atheist who said, “I just can't accept a God who is Father.” His earthly dad had been so cruel that he couldn’t bring himself to see God as a good dad. Although the challenge might not always be this intense, even a Catholic...

read more

Week 13: Rediscovering Baptism

We might not remember our own Baptism, but we often remember the Baptism of our loved ones: the joy of being surrounded by family and friends, the good food, conversation, and community. It can be a wonderful event. But, reading through Christifideles Laici, John Paul...

read more