Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Sometimes we can overlook an obvious “gift” from God. He sends people into our lives and we fail to recognize Who sent them and what His purpose may be. In a similar way God can introduce us to a book, or another form of literature which can carry Him into our lives, as surely as persons can bring us closer to Him. The author of any work comes to us through his words. Scripture reminds us “Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” God Himself speaks to us through His Word.
So this morning I would like to begin a series of threads to discuss a book which can easily be overlooked as a gift “limited” to a certain group, and thus read only by that group. However, as you begin to read the opening chapters, you may discover as I have, this book was written for not just a few but for many. Venerable J. Fulton Sheen said this author anticipated Vatican II (1962-65) and its renewed call for “universal holiness” and evangelization. The author was a lay observer at Vatican II (and when introduced to the assembly, the entire body of Bishops present rose to give him a standing ovation for the unique work he had been doing in and for the Church since 1921.
The author of this book, Servant of God Frank Duff died Nov. 7, 1980 and his cause for canonization was introduced in 1996. Interestingly, the first page of the revised edition is an Address given by Pope St. John Paul II to the Legion of Mary in 1982. I hope many on CCF will begin to discover this gift God has given to His Church. See HERE
I will close this post with a quote from St. John Paul II’s address:
…Your proper vocation as lay people, that is the vocation to be a leaven in the People of God, a Christian inspiration in the modern world, and to bring the priest to the people, is eminently ecclesial. The same Second Vatican Council exhorts all the laity to accept with ready generosity the call to be united ever more intimately to the Lord and, considering as one’s own everything that is his, to share in the same salvific mission of the Church, to be its living instruments, above all where, because of particular conditions of modern society – a constant increase in population, a reduction in the numbers of priests, the appearance of new problems, the autonomy of many sectors of human life – it could be more difficult for the Church to be present and active (ibid. 33).
The area of the lay apostolate today is extraordinarily enlarged. And so the commitment of your typical vocation becomes more impelling, stimulating, live and relevant. The vitality of the Christian is the sign of the vitality of the Church…
I’d be grateful for your thoughts, but even if you are not ready to share your thoughts, I hope you will read from this book and receive all God intends to give you. Eventually, perhaps you will share what God is working in your own heart for the good of His Church. Thanks.
PS For any readers unfamiliar with “Apologetics”: for this thread, the word refers to a reasoned defense in regard to religious beliefs. The thread is not intended as a debate format, however. It is intended to present truths of Catholic faith in the words of one who earnestly lived them and offer opportunities for questions and comments on his book.