Lay Life in a Year

52 Reflections on JPII's vision for the Laity

Week 6: Secularism In The Church

The Church itself is not immune from secularism. All of us are tempted to fall into cultural Catholicism. We continually try to create a way to keep our Catholic card but live like the rest of the culture.

But to be Catholic is to be countercultural. To follow Jesus means living a life that really is different from others. It’s impossible to authentically live the lay vocation and just be like everyone else. Holiness means to be set apart, to be different. 

So we can’t be satisfied when our parishes or dioceses settle for cultural Catholicism or act as if Catholic identity is living like everyone else, just with a little Jesus sprinkled on top. 

Through the countercultural life of following Jesus, you are called to help your parish and diocese avoid the disastrous path of cultural Catholicism. You are called to the constant, difficult work of Church renewal. And this only happens if we commit to live an authentically radical Catholic life—one where we seek to encounter Jesus, be transformed by Him, and share His mission—no matter how odd it may seem to the rest of the world.

Lay Life in a Year Overview

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Week 19: The Sacrifice of Spilled Cereal

It was a hard morning with the kids. The oldest didn’t listen and spilled his cereal all over the floor. I was upset, but surprisingly, my wife wasn’t. She refilled his bowl, patted him on the head, and then quietly got down on her knees to clean up his mess. It was...

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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...

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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...

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