I confess I'm beginning to glaze over. I've only read a portion of this and am so bogged down in Biblical quotes and forced theological aphorisms that I simply must take a break. I'll post it all and continue to tweak it for edits and smoothing the translation. Kudos and prayers for the heroic translator -- s/he evidently plowed through it and lives still. I'm not sure why Fr Corcuera didn't just ask them all to pull out their Bible's and take turns playing Scripture Roulette. (God forgive me for my irreverence!)
Your Kingdom Come!
Prot. D.G. 2608-2009/13
August 8, 2009
To the priests and religious
of the Legion of Christ
and to the consecrated members of Regnum Christi
Dearest in Jesus Christ,
I send you cordial greetings from the
where I have had the opportunity to share some days with a good number of fathers and brothers from these territories in diverse places, something that I desired to do for some months now but it was not possible for me before now. In making these visits I feel the need to give thanks for God’s work in our brothers, having seen their spirit of faith, generosity, charity and union. How beautiful it is to perceive that each one seeks to serve and edify the others! This is an unequivocal sign of the presence of Jesus Christ and of everyone’s efforts to live the Gospel authentically. United States
God has made us see with greater clarity every day that the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement are His work and that if we are here, it is because He has called each one of us in a distinct but equally personal way. We give thanks for the life of each Legionary, of each consecrated man and woman, personally and intimately invited by Christ to follow Him. At the same time, in visiting the communities and teams I have given thanks to God for always finding that whoever wants to follow Christ, whoever wants to transform themselves in Him, leaving everything and following him out of love, has in the Legion and the Regnum Christi Movement a path that is sure, efficacious and fruitsful, of which so many people have benefitted and should continue to benefit from. There is so much thirst for God in our world! And the life that He has given us to fulfill the mission is so brief that it knows neither respite nor rest. There is no time to lose and we must dedicate ourselves without rest, as
says, to always do good. Our true rest is to see souls come to God and love Christ. St. Paul
I do not want to extend myself in commenting to you this about this perception of which we have spoken in other occasions, but how many fruits and blessings God gives to those who follow Him with such abnegation and generosity each day! It is a reality in which we discover the love of God for His Church as we know that all things proceed from Him. For all of us this action of God should be a cause of meditation, and I believe, also of sincere and filial gratitude.
I also take advantage of this occasion to thank you from my heart for your fidelity and giving which are born from love. Even though only God can know it and value it in its just measure, I am very aware of the generous sacrifice which is implied by your daily self-gift in search of that proper sanctity of those who take the narrow path of the Gospel; a path which leads to salvation, which lead to our homeland: heaven. Whoever meditates on heaven sees everything with the eyes of God, and as the Cure of Ars said, with prayer, hardships dissolve, as snow before the sun. I will never have sufficient words to thank you and to manifest my desire to accompany each one of you closely, in every moment, sharing my pains and joys, as the first Christians, who were recognizable because they formed one single body, one heart and one soul.
Thus, through these lines I desire to unite myself to you in prayer and to live with a supernatural spirit these moments which should bring us a greater sanctity of life. I have already sent some letters about these themes and I have spoken in meetings with some communities and teams, and so I only wish to offer some points of reflection, which I hope might be of help and might strengthen us in our vocation of imitating Christ and growing in love. I have sought to write these letters in a climate of prayer, asking the Holy Spirit, sweet Guest of the soul, that it be Him who guides us in the fulfillment of that for which God has created us: to love more in union with Him.
1. Apostolic visit
The Apostolic Visit is starting these days in the centers of formation and apostolate of the Legion of Christ, disposed by the Holy Father with fatherly attentiveness for each of us. Each one of the Visitors is going to organize his calendar with the help of the territorial director and will advise the Legionaries when they will have the visits to the centers. We receive them as representatives of the Vicar of Christ who are coming with the purpose of better knowing the life of our Legionary communities in order to refer to the Holy Father, to help us overcome the difficulties of the present moment and to offer a work of encouragement and of orientation in our path of service to the Church.
I know that each one of the Visitors desires to complete this task which they have received with a profound ecclesial and pastoral spirit, as a manifestation of the paternal heart of the Pope, in accordance with what Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announced to us in his letter dated March 10.
I am sure that God our Lord accompanies us in a special way in this period, guarding the present and the future of the Legion and the Movement, so that we can continue to offer a humble but intense service to the Church who guides us with maternal attentiveness, convinced in the security that proceeds from the Vicar of Christ. With the help of God, the instructions and nearness of our superiors in the Holy See, this Apostolic Visit will help us to be every time more united to Christ and to continue walking with a firm step of one who knows that the love of God urges us, with humility and with an infinite trust in the action of Him who carried the reins of history. These are moments in which we receive a particular vocation, within this second chapter of our history; the vocation to sanctity and to apostolic effort.
2. Seek union with God
This is a time to continue seeking to be more united to God. That is to say, a time to seek sanctity in our lives and this give Him glory and try to please Him in everything. In this last year we have frequently remembered this recommendation of St. Paul: “For the rest, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him; of those who have been called according to his design” (Rm 8:28). The love of God is faithful and never abandons us. He accompanies us in our trials and in his providential plan everything brings us to love more and to be more united to Him. Because of this our trust in Him does not have to have limits. In the Gospel we see how the apostles trusted much in Christ. But when the storm came they experienced fear and uncertainty. St. Peter hesitated and upon seeing that he was sinking he begged Jesus to save him. He, as the Good Shepherd, makes us experience His hand, taking by force our own. And this we give thanks for His mercy that saves us and never abandons us. He is so good, that he always brings out a good for his children in every circumstance!
But human collaboration is also necessary to make this providential plan reality. Our life is always, in every moment, the actuation of that mystery of the human collaboration with the grace that God offers us. We also should, in our own lives, intervene so that all things might be for the good that He wants for us. Difficulties should not be an obstacle to continuing to grow in sanctity, but rather an opportunity of overcome. Who would have thought that we would have had this occasion to sanctify ourselves in this way, living and dying for Christ? We cannot always resolve all the difficult circumstances we encounter, but we do have to put all our effort into living those circumstances with love, to seek virtue in all that God permits in our life.
To collaborate with the intervention of God so that all things spiritually benefit us (and so also better serve our brothers with a heart like that of Christ’s), is to always react virtuously, before every circumstance, so that nothing separates us from Him, rather, to the contrary, it brings us to be more faithful to the friendship that God offers us, more faithful to the vocation received, firmer in virtue. At the end of the day, it is what makes us say with profound joy and peace: “Now it is not I, it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). All virtue makes us more free in our interior, because we remain detached from everything, having only Him in our heart. This is the result of the trials and the purification for those to whom God grants to live them with generosity. And so, we can say that the important things is that nothing separates us from Christ. I am not referring only to external elements, but also to ourselves, in our interior life, to be sure that nothing separates us from Christ (cf. Rm 8:31-39). And this is a grace of God. We do not achieve it only with personal effort, for although He asks for our free and loving response, it is a pure gift and present of the infinite love of God.
I am convinced that this is the invitation that God extends to each one of us today: to make it that, with his divine help, for love of him, all things might be for our spiritual good, and no thing and no one can separate us from Him. This is a task that is both personal and communal at the same time. In the difficulties the virtues is forged, and besides, we know that God, to those he loves, he purifies and test as gold in the fire. The cross is a sign of the trust of Christ who loved us to the extreme, and simply said to us: “Accompany me.” To be with Him is the true victory in life. It is not the human success or victory but rather to bury oneself in the furrow, knowing that whoever loses his life for Him, will gain it. This is the paradox of the Gospel that makes us be in the world, but not be of the world. St. Peter heard the words that changed his life when Christ invited him to think as God does and not as man does/ They were strong words, but St. Peter learned the lesson and gave thanks to Christ for the trust that He showed because as the good teacher, He demanded the best.
The foundation and the starting point for this to be possible we find in the theological virtues. They permit us to see all things from God, in the context of his plan of salvation, with a priestly heart. And the path is of cordial and loving adhesion to his Will through the faithful, motivated and loving observance of all that God has asked us through our vocation.
Our religious exercise the theological virtues and make them the source of their interior and apostolic life, so that they always walk along the path of a living, working and illuminating faith, which permits them to be faithful and persevere until death in the means of the difficulties and battles which demand from them the faithful fulfillment of the will of God in their life; along the path of a joyful and unbreakable hope, which fills them with the security that only God can give; and along the path of an ardent and generous love which makes them understand how lovable God is and brings them at the heroic sacrifice of themselves for the triumph of his Reign and the salvation of souls. (Constitutions of the Legionaries of Christ 230; cf. Statutes of the Regnum Christi 49).
3. The demand of prayer and the attentive listening to his action
To live virtuously we need to pray much and grow in evangelical discernment which helps us to look at everything with the eyes of Christ, according to his example and teaching. Prayer and discernment make us act looking for the criteria of the Gospel How many decisions that we should make cause the soul to bleed! God knows the interior tabernacle of our lives, and even though on the human level one experiences solitude in those moments, his nearness and trust in Him make us leave everything in his hands, without detaining ourselves nor pausing in the mission to do the good. He is the only source of peace in our heart.
In this sense, I have listened to priests that recommend to lay people that they ensure to spend more time in front of the Tabernacle, listening more to Him. More time before the Eucharist than in front of the means of communication, or in front of that which can distract us in our mission to love and be of God. [my bold, G.] I believe that this is a challenge that we all have. It is something that we all need to do: without prayer the soul becomes asphyxiated, and the nourishment of our life is no longer that of eternity. The danger that we all have to look for nourishments which are not of eternity is indubitable, rather of “what they say” of “what is going to happen,” be they articles, commentaries or news, from whatever source they may be, with whatever tone and focus. How different it is all seen when we see it in the Tabernacle and the Gospel, when we seek more time to be in the chapel and illuminate life from God! The result can be noted by the fruits that are of the Holy Spirit: peace, goodness, service, magnanimity, courage, humility, patience, charity, as
Who among us does not have the need to be vigilant and pray? I believe that before each action we have to ask ourselves, and above all ask God, what is that which leads us to a holier life, and what is it that He most wants so that we can be better apostles according to his example. This is the criteria which has to mark each moment of our lives. Peace can only come from here.
Because of this I also desire to invite each one of you, before any circumstance whatsoever, to continue the effort of discerning how to respond virtuously, how to grow more in love of God and objective sanctity, which is union with Him. And to do it in front of God, from theological faith and love. We have only one life, very brief, and it is worth it! It is the best investment that we can make.
The basic criteria of this discernment we find in the Gospel, and also in the doctrine and moral teaching of the Church, collected in a particular way in the Magisterium, but also laid out by the great Catholic authors throughout the centuries. Or said in another way, as you already know, the criteria of out action we must seek in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, meek and humble of heart.
And we know that God is a God of peace since He is Love. This with a certain ease we can discern if it is the Holy Spirit who guides and illuminates our thoughts and criteria, or if it is another source.
4. Before the present circumstances
This attitudes are necessary before the present circumstances of our religious and consecrated life in the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement.
This is not a case of detaining myself in themes which I have already treated on in other letter. I have tried already to express that the essential criteria of action, in this period which is not at all easy, has not been any other than to seek to proceed as Christ would have done. It is true that there have been consultations with many people, with moral theologians, ecclesiastics, etc., and that they have been helping us with their wisdom, prudence and courage. But in the hour to hour, each decision has not had any other intention than that of seeking the greater good of souls and to help overcome these moments in which, as human persons, we all have a different story, diverse degrees of assimilation, diverse processes in the journey of our own consecration, etc. The prayer to the Holy Spirit which we find in the manual of prayer is a source of much peace because we know that as this is a work of His, it is Him who guides us. We know, at the same time, that on the human level there are not perfect nor universal decisions even though we would want there to be. It is God who helps each one of us to live this period as a time of purification and of growth in sanctity and in apostolate.
And this process in which we find ourselves is not a fully closed chapter of our history, if even we have already started a new chapter. We ought to continue to walk as a congregation, as a movement of apostolate, and also each one in a personal way, according to what God asks of us, growing in holiness and virtue. At the same time it is necessary to recognize with great realism, as I was saying above, that from the human point of view, frequently there are not answers or decisions that are simply correct or incorrect when we confront complex circumstances. Rather there are given prudential decisions, necessarily limited and imperfect. And it is normal that not all share these decision from their diverse points of view. But I can affirm that it was sought that these decisions be made after much prayer, many meetings and consulting holy and prudent persons, with dependence on those who have the service of the authority and the grace of state in the Church. I have thus sought to respond to God in this moment in which He calls us, more than ever, to carry forward the Legion and the Movement, in our service to the Church, and he is making us see how He helps us strengthen the virtues, above all humility.
This prayerful attitude is something which, with serenity [of course, G.], maturity, realism, truth and charity we should continue to do when faced with the information or new facts which can appear on that dimension which until now has been unknown about the person of Nuestro Padre. Without a doubt, it has been the cause of much pain to discover this dimension and we should recognize also that it is really very difficult to know all the elements in depth. The only thing that we ask God is that everything makes us see all things from the heart of Christ. I admit to you that the only petition that springs out from me in prayer in each moment of the day is that he permits us to act as He wants, according to his Will, without counting the cost.
And also we must analyze the circumstances and act in each moment with the nearness of our superiors, knowing that in religious obedience we will always find the security that we go on the path of the will of God.
I would have to recommend the same for facing the comments of people or of the means of communication that we come to know about. In each one of these circumstances we have to seek to live in charity so that “all things will work for our good.”
On the other hand, we must recognize that it will take time to arrive at a definitive institutional stance, and for some also a personal stance, that is complete, objective and serene [ack! G.] toward the person and the work of our founder Nuestro Padre (literally in Spanish: Our Father founder). In the present moment it is not always possible even to deduce all the consequences. It is thus, in part, because we do not count even with all the elements of judgment and valuation; and in part because of the nearness of the facts and their impact on our intimacy and personal life.
As I have said, it corresponds to us to live this moment with an evangelical spirit. With a heart that seeks to imitate Christ, with much trust in the plan of God. And the more that I consider it, if we should do and we are doing “the truth in charity,” we have to see forward, having Him as model, criteria and center of our lives. This does not mean to flee from the reality nor to deny the gravity of the facts that have occurred, but rather to incorporate them with Christian realism and set our gaze on the future. For the one who has love, there is no respite in the giving nor in the mission. It is walking, also with more humility, with a sense of reparation and with the seal of the Gospel in every moment.
A danger that can present itself in this circumstance is to permit that confusion, anxiety, sadness, or perhaps the absence of a height of charity and definition that even today we cannot reach, which hurts our fervor, our certainties, our same vocational conviction, especially if we see ourselves confronted with real dates, suppositions, opinions or demands that until now were unknown to us and that, in the first moment, could strongly impact us [interesting, is he already admitting that the dates won't add up? G.].
From God, in prayer, we have to discover the will of God for our lives, that certainly will not be abandonment nor lukewarmness. In contemplating the history of salvation we can discover that it is his love and his mercy that give continuity to his designs, for He is faithful, despite the human lacks, fragility and falls. But, at the same time, the Legion is more than ever in our hands. We can thus remember
I know that God is achieving a miracle, and in seeing you, one cannot but believe more in the action of our Lord, rich in mercy and in goodness [isn't there a sappy pick-up line that goes something like this? G.] . Also, I know that no one should feel bad if he experiences reactions of diverse types. It is not material of integration or of a lack of integration, but rather the living of a complex reality that, from the spiritual point of view, makes us share more in the cross of Christ and impels us to seek the good of our neighbor more than our own good. On the other hand, if someone does not feel the strength to continue in this path, he should not feel pressured nor humiliated. The personal response in this moment is more free than ever, and the only thing that we want is that each one of us accomplish the plan of God for our own life, laid out with infinite love. For me personally, each time I love the Legion and the Movement more, because I know that they are of Christ, and in the measure that we love Him more, the more we love that which He loves [Does that mean you love MM more too, who allowed you this "complex reality?"]
It is God our Lord who has accomplished great works of salvation by means of so many Legionaries and members of the Movement [Um, salvation? Very questionable wording, borderline scary. G.] It is a reality that we cannot but give thanks for, in the midst of the human limitations and deficiencies of every person and human group. We discover the action of God in attesting to so many examples of sanctity in the life of our brothers and members of the Movement, in the charity that cannot be explained except as a gift of God, in the apostolic fruits for which we give thanks and we value so much out of faith. It falls to us to live the conviction that our mission is to conserve and bring to fullness this gift for the good and the service of the Church and of society. To not do it is equivalent to taking a pause or a respite in life, that is brief, while we feel that the charity of Christ urges us. To live every day, every moment, as the only one we have at our disposition, as if it were the ultimate of our lives, as if today I were to present myself before God in his eternal judgment, and moreso knowing that at the end of our life, we will e judged on love.
When I have the opportunity to encounter a group of families, men, women, young people who live their Catholic faith with such conviction coherence and joy I better understand why the Enemy of our souls does not at all like this work. [Au contraire, mon frere, he LOVES it. You've confused the nature of your friends and enemies once again!] How is it going to please him that every year there are tens of thousands of missionaries preaching the name of Christ, or that there are thousands of consecrated souls that dedicate all their life, all their time, to preaching the Gospel? We have to lend ourselves in each moment to be instruments of grace and avoid all that could slow us down or could arise from he whom cannot see the love of God. With the more we love and speak of Christ, the more strength the enemy puts to avoid what it is we are doing. But we also know, that with the more we love and speak of Christ, the more divine grace will sustain us. Thus what is lacking is a permanent attitude of seeking what God wants of each of us, employing the means that the Legion and the Movement offer us, with the help of God and the prudent assistance of the superiors, spiritual directors and confessors.
5. Sanctity in our religious or consecrated life
All of us who are here have received a call to the life of religious perfection. We are convinced that upon entering the Legion of Christ of the consecrated life, the only thing that we wanted and that we want is to respond to a call of God that is the perfection in love: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Our consecration is demanding, like the Gospel, and for that reason we feel the need to renew each day our personal response to God. It is indubitable that we must be vigilant and pray, as it is evident that the perseverance and fervor are also fruits of a daily work. There are obstacles and difficulties that we all know of. We know well that the religious life in the Church has suffered much, and to overcome the attacks of secularism, the only answer is more sanctity and the living of our religious or consecrated life as an excellent means that God grants us to bring ourselves nearer to Him. It is an important part of our service to the Church: to be authentic religious, to be authentic consecrated.
I write this to you a a brother, equally needing to renew myself every day and to be vigilant to never lose the fervor, even more, to grow each day in this fervor and in faithfulness, above all to the small details wherein delicate love is demonstrated.
We are living, most certainly, a time of grace, but also a time of trial. The trials are not bad. They are talents that God gives us to purify and to grow. They are moments in which none of us is exempt from the danger against fervor, generosity, self-giving, apostolic fruitfulness and perhaps even perseverance. We all have our battles, temptations and difficulties. They are opportunities to love, as
This is the sense of the Constitutions, of the Statutes and of the norms of religious and consecrated life in general, as an inheritance of every institute of consecrated life [then why on God's green earth did you SUE Regain for making them public! And why STILL do you hide them from outsiders?] Thus we find it in tradition, that throughout all of the history of consecrated life, of which there has born and sprung up so many fruits of sanctity and of the apostolic extension for the good of the Catholic Church. From this springs love for the rule and the gift of fidelity and self discipline of the consecrated life, without which an end would be made of them. St. Benedict reminds us that all the norms arise from the first commandment, “Do not put anything before the love of Christ.”
The norms, rules and schedules show us an efficacious path of sanctity as they help us to dedicate the time necessary to prayer, to live the virtues and the community or team life, to forget ourselves and give ourselves without reserves to the apostolate [not to mention keeping members so controlled and busy that they cannot think for themselves.] Whoever lives with love and sincerity these means difficulty can find himself lost in his path towards God. On the contrary, whoever starts to forget them or leave them to the side because of a lack of motivation, tiredness, carelessness, or for that lukewarmness that always presents a danger to the religious life, may find a growing difficulty in diverse areas of his life, putting in danger his own perseverance or provoking the diminishing fervor of those who by vocation are invited to a path of perfection in the following of Christ.
Following the example of Jesus Christ, in times of difficulty it is necessary to “pray with more intensity.” It is necessary to insist more in faithfulness, full of love, so as to thus avoid leaving space for the enemy of our souls who suggests to us doubts and make a burden the path that should be light and full of light. In the one who really loves Jesus Christ and desires to respond to his call, it is impossible to have the desire of live less holy. From love springs passion for holiness, which as we know, implies taking our cross every day out of love for Him.
From here also springs the healthy distrust of ourselves. We can do nothing without God, but with Him we can do all things. When facing difficulties is when we most have to pray and take advantage of the many means that we have: prayer, retreats, triduums of renewal, spiritual exercises, closeness to one’s own superiors and directors, spiritual direction, the advice of a holy and prudent confessor. Thus proceeds the soul that seeks perfection and desires to live the spirit of the body. In all things and always we must start anew knowing that we count with the fatherly closeness and mercy of God, with the understanding and support of the own superiors, directors, spiritual directors and confessors, with the example and welcoming of our brothers. In our own conversations and mutual dealings with one another, we see unique opportunities to edify ourselves. In effect, the theme of our conversations is always a good thermometer of how our spiritual life is going. In each moment, in every conversation, it always helps us to know and to remember that we are acting in the presence of Christ.
6. To value what is one’s own
To value what is one’s own in the spirituality that God has transmitted is to show thanksgiving to Him. When we see all that we have received as a gift, we cannot but recognize, appreciate, love and transmit with simplicity and conviction the mystique, spirituality and apostolic methodology that make us live centered on the love of Christ. It makes us love that which is our own, not simply because it is “ours” but because it comes from God [Cyclical nonsensical reasoning. We are, therefore we are good.]
Only from such an attitude are we able to objectively discern, with the help of the Church, and now with the Apostolic Visit, where to grow and overcome difficulties or limitations. Thus, we encounter ourselves before an invitation to give orientation, to improve, to correct what needs to be corrected and thus to consolidate the trust that we have all received this vocation, as have all those people in the present and in the future that God wants to benefit from this gift. In this sense we can discover an invitation of the Holy Spirit to discern what aspects of our life we should improve to brings ourselves closer to the ideal of sanctity to which we are called. Of the Church it says semper purificanda (LG 8). How much moreso our own life and that of other institutions like the Legion and Regnum Christi! [But I was always told, "in following the methodology, you can never go wrong. It was inspired by God Himself. Now it needs to improve?]
To retrace this path is not to underestimate that which is our own, but rather to appreciate so much that we desire that it always be better, for the glory of God and the good of the Church and of men.
7. Trust in the superiors and directors
Too live in this climate of theological faith and trust, also makes us trust in one’s own superiors and directors, with taking into account their qualities or defects, and supported, rather, in the certainty that they have the grace of state [thrumm, thrumm]. It is them who help us to go on the paths that God wants, with peace. I know that the circumstance of these past years have not been anything easy and that each decision has been a moment of much trial, after many hours of prayer and pain. In everything, before the complexity of the circumstances [new buzz phrase?], we have tries to help each soul, with clarity and charity to overcome this situation, as God wants, knowing that no solution is perfect, but yes having considered the good of each soul and knowing the limitations of each decision.
At the same time we recognize, and the same local superiors and directors have commented it to me, that it has not always been easy to attend to each person with the answers and just orientations in each moments of the inevitable process of assimilation that we have all had to trace. I thank you for your understanding and also for your example of virtue and supernatural spirit which in almost all of the cases has been very edifying for me and for the other superiors. Also I wish to ask your pardon if some of you have felt less attended to or for all that which has been able to increase your mortification and pain [That's an apology, all right -- but not to the victims, once again.] Believe me that I would give my life, or whatever it would take, so as to soften the cross of each one, and that I feel very unworthy of being able to offer you my whole life and renew to you my gratitude, support and brotherly closeness.
For this reason l pray to God that no one allows themselves to be led by what could perhaps be interpreted as distance, or by a certain distrust, and that all of us might be as never before, one single body. It is the vocation of which St. Paul speaks to us about, “Put on, then, as chosen ones of God, holy and beloved, mercy, goodness, humility, meekness, patience, supporting one another and forgiving each other” (
I can assure you with all my heart that we superiors seek only to help, support, enliven, and find that which we consider is better for everyone, according to the plan of God. On occasions it has been so painful and sad to listen to some comments that, with all good intention, have been very harsh. The superior is a human being, with many limitations, but really the only thing that he desires is the good of the souls that have been entrusted to him. It its often a very lonely and hard experience of every person that has the mission of serving souls, that even though he only seeks the good, he does not always get the welcome and understanding of all people. Thus, I ask that you feel all the trust and nearness to express your difficulties, your personal situation, and all that could help you. The same superior or director is a man that needs, at the same time, the closeness of those who by vocation have been called to the same path.
This search for holiness in the religious life also leads us to try to discern personally, with a delicate and well formed conscience, all that helps the good of the soul, and avoid all that hurts it. One of these areas, among others, is the use of the means of communication. We already know that when well used they can do an immense good and we ought to promote it. But the vigilance also invites us to prudence and their proper use. As with conversations, a thermometer for the correction of its use is to examine if what I see, her or say is for greater holiness or not, if it is for the mutual edification, as
When we read the news, when we receive diverse types of messages, or when we deal with people, the most immediate fruit that we must seek is our own greater virtue and that of everyone, fervor, trust, and a way of helping our brothers. An essential part of the good use of our liberty is to speak of all this with God our Lord in prayer. It could happen that there are notes that could upset us, that can create sadness, anxiety, surprises. I invite you to deal with these themes with Christ so that nothing steals the peace of the soul, and that you might act always before Christ and before those who represent Him and directing you in the path toward sanctity, deal with these themes with openness and trust. [This seems vague and yet is very pointed, leading the members back to "emotional vacancy" -- he realises that those emotions will be jolts, since they haven't been felt in so long, but he wants them suppressed in lieu of his version of "peace of soul."]
This vigilance is also necessary when we receive, to give an example, different kinds of messages or when someone sends us news articles. It is necessary to discern what helps us for the good of our souls, or what can in some way harm, if it does good to us or if instead its end, or the effect that it have on us is harmful to the spirit and a loss of peace. Peace is not to be without problems, to avoid them or to ignore them. But it is to see everything according to the good of the soul, with a constructive spirit, that helps us to achieve the greatest good possible: union with God according to his will. There is no doubt that our faith in the action of God should help us in this path, and a good means is when we see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our souls.
In a broader sense is does well to remember that readings are not an indifferent part of our life as legionaries and consecrated, to form ourselves, to nourish us spiritually, to be attentive to the problems of the world and the currents of thought. It is also natural, and part of the tradition of consecrated life in the Church, that out reading forms a part of the discipline of our programs of formation. It is material for our habitual dealings with out superiors or directors, formators and spiritual directors.
There already exist and there will continue to come out books, television programs and articles about the Legion whose authors often present a mix of facts of varied objectivity, suppositions, speculations and interpretations. Even from the human point of view, before these publications what is most sensible is to assume a posture of serene prudence that does not lead us to precipitates affirmations, it does not forget the good achieved, and it recognizes that only with time can one place the elements in their just place. As I was telling you, this does not mean minimizing the facts, of ignoring or hiding them in any way, but rather with the greatest serenity and objectivity possible, before the face of God, achieve this vision that helps all of us and prepares the future generations. To proceed with this mode is to be very realistic, and to know how to confront the facts, not as one who says “nothing is going on here,” but as one who recognizes, values and appreciates all the good, while at the same time recognizes and walks with a spirit of reparation, forgiveness and humility towards the future. One could also say that what has happened is a call to greater sanctity, especially virtuous sanctity, to always take out of everything, even from evil, the good that God wants.
8. Building authentic charity and unity
To be good brother and Cyreneans of our companions in the Legion and the Movement means to seek their greater good. In no case can we justify hurting their fervor. We must help each other to overcome the crosses that by themselves make us suffer so much. How much we should give thanks, especially in this time, the abnegated work of so many of our brothers. And I am sure that it is the only thing that each one of you wants. How much a good spiritual conversation can help to together find the will of God for our lives.
For this reason I invite you to live trusting in the superiors and directors as it is fitting of the religious and consecrated life. I know that there have been very complex situations, and logically, moments of much loneliness and strong difficulties. But precisely in these situations we can achieve, with the help of God and in prayer, a trust that does not proceed from simply leaving things as they are, but from help one another as a body to reach the greater good of all, as a single family. Today this principle of the religious life which is a consequence of out vow or promise of obedience is put to the test of fire.
On the other hand we should continue putting forth great effort to conserve and foment the spirit of authentic Christian charity that characterizes our teams and communities; to anticipate, understand and accept the diverse personalities, reactions and personal situations of each one, as members on one single and great family, united around Jesus Christ. To not judge anyone because he has more difficulties, because he finds himself in moments of greater confusion or difficulty, but rather, to pray for one another, and thus to support and soften the crosses that God has permitted. In each moment, living in the presence of our Lord, and asking him how He would act in each situation.
We should seek the nearness of those who edify us with their holy and virtuous life, of those who fulfill with love the Constitutions, Statutes, schedules and rules; of those who give us an example of self-giving, charity and understanding. In them we find an authentic reflection of Jesus Christ and the consolation of meek and humble hearts. We should know to avoid with all out heart that which could lead us to division or to a spirit where there is no longer a healthy criticism but rather the influence of passion, of our human nature. Pray much so that our thoughts are none other than those of the Gospel. Our consecrated vocation have here a very real expression of the words of Christ: “They are in the world, with being of the world.” (Jn 17:14)
In all this, the charity of the Church and hierarchical communion can encourage us very much: the union that is unconditional adhesion to our Church and the security of being in the hands of the Vicar of Christ. How much peace this union gives, gratitude and fidelity. How much we give thanks for the paternity of the Holy Father and the way he has guided us, with a prudence, wisdom, mercy and charity that could not but come from the heart of a father. All that we received and might receive from him will always be for us a reason for profound gratitude and an occasion for full and total adhesion.
Personally I can say that these past months I have received numerous pieces of advice and suggestions of great value from many legionaries who are distinguished for their virtue and personal sanctity. I hope to be able to follow this path so as to go out to meet those who wish to speak with me with all liberty. In this days I have sought to meet with diverse communities, and so I will continue to do, with the help fo God, through the year while God grants us life. It is to share joys and sorrows, to live the truth in charity.
I encourage all of the superiors that they continue doing the same in their territories and communities. In this same sense, all of us legionaries and consecrated members are called to offer support and orientation to the other members of the Movement. You can share the ideas of this letter eith them through spiritual direction, preaching, personal contact and I am sure that you can also be of help to them in their personal life.
Now, with the presence of the apostolic Visitors in the houses of the Legion, we legionaries have the opportunity to show our faith, welcoming, openness and gratitude. That they be for us signs of the presence of the Holy Father. They have very intense agendas, and together we pray that we all listen will all our love and all out faith to the action of the Holy Spirit who animates our Church, Mother and Teacher.
As we form a body in the Church and in the Legion, it falls to us to look forward, and see that God has centered us on the love of Christ, living all the good, strengthening the virtues and the call to holiness
As a conclusion, I sincerely believe that the only important thing is the living of sanctity. I ask the Lord with all my soul that he grant us the grace to live this period of our history with generosity in such a way that “all works for the good” of each one of us, that “none are lost” and that “love does not grow cold” (Mt. 24:12). We must help one another to persevere in the following of Jesus Christ, according to the beautiful vocation that we have received. This is really the only thing that I want, beseeching to our Lord the largest of gifts, which is union and charity.
I know that this letter has been long. I ask your forgiveness for the disorder of ideas, written between one place and another, but written from the heart of a brother who is very proud of all of you and thanks you all so much. It can also seem that there are many motivations and perhaps they lack more practical and concrete points, but personally, with all sincerity in my own life, without the motivations that make us see everything from God, I would not understand anything nor be capable of anything. But when grace makes us see everything from Him, then we see with a clarity and security that do no come from our capacities or from reflection, but from the action of God which penetrates the most profound mysteries. This does not mean that there does not exist a deep suffering, but it is what we can carry to the altar in the offertory, to offer our lives together with the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. How many things we cannot and we are not ever going to understand humanly, not matter how hard we try, as it is up to us to do in this life. But we are going to understand them from the eyes of God and from eternity. The day of judgment, each one of us is going to be judged not for what the other do. Neither for the degree of human understanding, but rather for our personal response of love to the infinite and mysterious love of God. This is what we most ask for in prayer:
“Lord, that I do your Will, that I think, speak and act as You want. I love you, Lord, you are my strength, you are EVERYTHING for me. Without you I do not love anything, and with you, I love everything. What you want, as you want it, without counting the cost.”
And God never is going to leave us alone. What is important is to not leave Him alone and to be like that angel in
You know very well that my only desire is to accompany each one of you. I ask you that if you see something in which I might be able to help of step forward in, do not hesitate to tell me.
I finish asking you to remember me in your prayers and assuring you of my own. Affectionately all of yours in Jesus Christ,
Alvaro Corcuera, L.C.