Christian States of Life and the Vocation of the Laity
Vatican II called upon the lay faithful to work for the coming of God's kingdom within the structures of the saeculum, of the world. How is this vocation specified and mediated by a Christian state of life? According to John Paul II, "Christian revelation recognizes two specific ways of realizing the vocation of the human person in its entirety, to love: marriage and virginity or celibacy. Either one is, in its own proper form, an actuation of the most profound truth of man, of his being 'created in the image of God.'" This course seeks to show how Christian marriage and consecrated life each reveal something essential about the meaning of love as a total and irrevocable gift of one's life in response to Christ, and as such provide the basis for the Church's mission in the world. Readings include: Vatican II, Lumen Gentium; Gaudium et spes; John Paul II, Christifideles laici; Vita consecrata; H.U. von Balthasar, The Christian State of Life; The Laity and the Life of the Counsels; D. Crawford, Marriage and the Sequela Christ.