Faith Life, Not Separate from Public Life

I think this is a good reminder for all Catholics.

In 2002, Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, published a doctrinal note to clarify some important elements of the Church’s teaching regarding the participation of Catholics in political life. The document says:

The duty of a lay Catholic is to be morally coherent, found within one’s conscience, which is one and indivisible. «There cannot be two parallel lives in their existence: on the one hand, the so-called ‘spiritual life’, with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called ‘secular’ life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.


Also, a Vatican II document Apostolicam Actuositatem says that our life is a life of intimate union with Christ in the Church. This means that our lives and public duties can never be separated from our union with Christ so that we can progress in holiness. (AA # 4)

The Church did not make this up, of course. It’s based in the teachings of Jesus and his apostles which are recorded in the Bible. For example, in his letter to the Colossians, Saint Paul clearly warns us all: “Whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17).

So we are encouraged to be very careful with our decisions and actions because our real being is reflected in them. Our actions will either please God or Satan. There is no way to please both so our only option as Catholic is to please God whenever and wherever we shall be.

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