The Witness of the Laity – from Lumen Gentium
THE WITNESS OF THE LAITY
– from Lumen Gentium; the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.
Christ, the great Prophet, who proclaimed the Kingdom of His Father both by the testimony of His life and the power of His words, continually fulfills His prophetic office until the complete manifestation of glory.
He does this not only through the hierarchy who teach in His name and with His authority, but also through the laity whom He made His witnesses and to whom He gave understanding of the Faith (sensu fidei) and an attractiveness in speech (cf Acts 2:17-18; Apoc. 19:10) so that the power of the Gospel might shine forth in their daily social and family life.
They conduct themselves as children of the promise, and thus strong in faith and in hope they make the most of the present (cf Eph, 5:16; Col. 4:5), and with patience await the glory that is to come (cf Rom. 8:25).
Let them not, then, hide this hope in the depths of their hearts, but even in the program of their secular life let them express it by a continual conversion and by wrestling “against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness” (Eph. 6:12) ….
…Consequently, even when preoccupies with temporal affairs, the laity can and must perform a work of great value for the evangelization of the world.
For even if some of them have to fulfill their religious duties on their own, when there are no sacred ministers or in times of persecution, and even if many of them devote all their energies to apostolic work, still it remains for each one of them to cooperate in the external spread and the dynamic growth of the Kingdom of Christ in the world.
Therefore, let the laity devotedly strive to acquire a more profound grasp of revealed truth, and let them insistently beg of God the gift of wisdom.
From Lumen Gentium #35