THE LAY APOSTOLATE
If is the inevitable consequence of the democratic age in which we live that everything, education, government, even religion, should fall into the hands of the people.
There must still be school-masters, but the people wil1 decide what shall be taught.
There must still be ministers to frame and to pass laws, but the people must tell them what those laws shall be, and see to their fulfilment.
And in religion there must still be priests and bishops; there must still be all that inherited possession which no revolution can destroy; but the working element of the faith, the preservation of the faith, the spread of the faith, the manifestation of the faith to men, all this, from the very nature of the case, must devolve more and more upon the people.
If the people do their duty then religion wil1 be safe, will go forward and prosper, no matter what else may happen; if they are wanting, then no amount of preaching by its priests, or of administration by its ministers, will save it from failure.
Of course in some sense this has been always true; but it has never been more true than now, unless we except the very first ages of the Church....
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918