THE LAY APOSTOLATE
[continued from yesterday]
...There are few who, if they will look about them, will not find abundant opportunities of doing good.
There are our own subjects of one kind or another; these, in a quiet but unassuming way, we can influence more than we do, to think and act in the right direction.
There are our own friends and equals; these, by some kind of co-operation, we can turn into towers of strength.
There are the poor about us, whom we have always with us; and by the poor we do not merely mean those who are in need of money.
We can, if we will, lend a helping hand in many places where help is needed; we can give much more than mere gold and silver.
I once knew a man who made a rule for himself to spend an hour every day if he could in doing something for somebody; and wonderful were the devices he discovered for making himself useful.
In this lies the principle; its application may be very varied. Let us see. In France and some parts of England, it is common to find a man or woman offer their services to their parish priest to give instructions.
Some will instruct children, some will instruct the grownups who are ignorant, some will instruct converts.
In France and England, again, the practice is growing for men, and sometimes women, to see to it that young people after leaving school do not fall away from the faith.
They follow them up; they see that they go to the sacraments; they support the clubs and gatherings instituted for their use.
In Italy and Spain, in England, France, and North America, young men work hard among themselves for their own training. They study social questions, they meet for discussion, they write essays, at times there will appear in some paper or review a telling essay, the fruit of their re-unions.
Then there is the spreading of good literature. In many ways may this be done. There are the regular Catholic papers, there is an ever-growing output of Catholic books; if only our laymen and women would work for the circulation of these, what a world of good they would be doing!...
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918