I love this Facebook conversation! It is an opportunity for me to explore and explain more of the mission Spiritual Lives Of Women. Jeannie is someone who had been a fellow parishioner of Saint Casimir. In our parish when a child is baptized our Pastor will say over a boy Priest, Prophet and KING, and of course for a girl it is QUEEN. On the Blogger the more traditional Catholic site I have had a similar conversation with Jackie Parkes.
When I say that we are called to be Priest, Prophet and Queen it is a very Catholic thought.
I don’t think of myself as a Catholic woman… Just as a Catholic. I am a partner (in my marriage), a parent (to my children and many of their friends), and a person to myself. I feel neither empowered nor subdued… I just keep putting one foot in front of the other on this climb toward heaven. I have His steady love, I believe what He promised and I continue in faith. I have no conflict with my church over my feminine sex. I will never be a priest but neither will a priest ever bear a child. We each have our roles to play in finding God’s love and salvation. The cabbage doesn’t yearn to be a pineapple. It just grows to be the best cabbage it can be, doing the job that was assigned at its creation. That is how I feel about being a Catholic who is also a woman.
Paragraph 31 of the dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium defines the laity as follows:
“ The term laity is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in holy orders and those in the state of religious life specially approved by the Church. These faithful are by baptism made one body with Christ and are constituted among the People of God; they are in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world. ”
The Second Vatican Council taught that the laity’s specific character is secularity, i.e. as Christians who live the life of Christ in the world, their role is to sanctify the created world by directing it to become more Christian in its structures and systems: “It belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in the affairs of the world and directing them according to God’s will,” stated the Council in “Lumen Gentium.” The laity are full members of the Church, who fully share in Church’s purpose of sanctification, of “inner union of men with God,” (CCC 775) acting with freedom and personal responsibility and not as mere agents of the hierarchy. Due to their baptism, they are members of God’s family, the Church, and they grow in intimate union with God, “in” and “by means” of the world. It is not a matter of departing from the world as the monks and the nuns do that they sanctify themselves; it is precisely through the material world sanctified by the coming of the God made flesh, i.e. made material, that they reach God. Doctors, mothers of a family, farmers, bank tellers, drivers, by doing their jobs in the world with a Christian spirit are already extending the Kingdom of God. According to the repeated statements of Popes and lay Catholic leaders, the laity should say “we are the Church,” in the same way that the saints said that “Christ lives in me.”