The Dimension of Laity

An essential dimension of the SDC identity since the beginning is that the Members are lay men and women. The Founder repeatedly emphasised that he was inspired to commit lay people for the apostolate by St Paul’s words to Timothy (2 Tm 2:2), and because of this Blessed George Preca used to insist that the true Founder was St Paul who since the time of the first Christian communities recognised lay people as worthy and capable of doing apostolate.

The Member is called to be a lay (distinct from a priest) and secular (distinct from a Religious) person committed to the Kingdom of God. He is called to seek holiness in the world and renew the temporal order. As lay Christians, the SDC Members respond to their calling by seeing in their daily routine an opportunity how to be united to God and to do his will while serving other people and leading them to union with God in Christ. The words of Lumen Gentium fit the Members perfectly: “And so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God”.

Living in the world, the Member recognises that the condition of a lay person exposes him to all spheres of life. He understands that this activity in the world is inherent to his vocation. As such the Member may take up any profession or work, and he ought to contribute to the best of his capabilities in all situations that he finds himself in. Urged on by the “hunger and thirst for uprightness”, the Member ought to feel responsible to develop in himself those qualities which make him a better and more professional worker so that even at work he promotes God’s Kingdom through his most often silent, but valid, witnessing.

Every Member, therefore, is expected to be diligent at his job and to safeguard it prudently. At the same time, however, the urge to make a career should not be a motive in the Member’s heart since for him work is the means to earn a living, to develop himself and to promote God’s Kingdom on earth through an attitude of service. Hence this work dimension ought to be lived in unison with all the other dimensions of his vocation.

In living out his calling, the Member should also learn how to integrate the cultural and social aspects of his lay and secular life among family and at work. This integration is centred on the priority of and the longing for God in the life of the Member and not on self-satisfaction which leads only to the losing of self instead of finding self in God and God in all.