William E. Simon, Jr. has coauthored a new book with Michael Novak entitled Living the Call: An Introduction to the Lay Vocation (EncounterBooks, 2011). Simon adapted some of the material from his book in writing this opinion piece published at foxnews.com.
Simon’s presentation is not that of a polished theologian explaining the lay vocation in abstract, technical terms. Nor is it the rambling of an ideologue seeking to impose upon his readers his own spin on Vatican II and the Church.
Rather, at least in the published essay, he writes as a 60-something Catholic layman who over time has come to see experientially not only what the Church can do for him, but also what he can do for the Church. I look forward to reading his book.
This week the Vatican released the 2011 Lenten Message of Pope Benedict XVI. The message’s title is taken from St. Paul: “You were buried with Him in Baptism, in which you were also raised with Him” (Colossians 2:12).
The message in its entirety may be viewed here. (Scroll down for the English translation.)
As the title suggests, this year’s focus is on the relationship between Baptism and Lent. The Holy Father writes:
“The fact that, in most cases, Baptism is received in infancy highlights how it is a gift of God: no one earns eternal life through their own efforts. The mercy of God, which cancels sin and, at the same time, allows us to experience in our lives ‘the mind of Christ Jesus,’ is given to men and women freely. . . .
“Hence, Baptism is not a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion; initiated and supported by Grace, it permits the baptised to reach the adult stature of Christ.
“A particular connection binds Baptism to Lent as the favorable time to experience this saving Grace. . . . Continue reading Pope’s 2011 Lenten Message