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Apostolic and Lay Responsibilities: A Balanced Decision

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.


  1. What?

    1. Our Purpose today is to arrive, with God’s grace, at a balanced decision on two grave responsibilities that face every serious Catholic in our day.

      • The responsibility of the apostolate, and

      • The responsibility to one’s family.

    2. This dual responsibility affects every Catholic, priests, deacons, religious, and the laity.

    3. Our focus, however, is on the laity: single, married, widowed or separated.

    4. Note that we call this a dual responsibility because each is, in its way a duty, and I would say a grave obligation.

      • Not only as being optional.

      • But as building in Christian charity and justice.

    5. Concretely, each of the responsibilities arises from our revealed Christian faith.

    6. It may seem strange, but these two responsibilities are not naturally exclusive. They are interdependent.

      • Our apostolic responsibilities involve our families.

      • Our family responsibilities involve the apostolate.

    7. Each of these deserves a brief explanation at the start.

      1. The apostolic responsibility is the duty we have to be channels of grace to everyone whom God puts into our lives.

        The apostolate is the channeling of divine grace to others.

      2. The family responsibilities are the duty we have to provide for the material and spiritual needs of our immediate members of our family.

Copyright © 1998 Inter Mirifica

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