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I think your instincts are good regarding the insistence upon Christ rather than Jesus. One, this could simply be a way to differentiate from the traditionally more "personal" relationship among Protestants--esp. Evangelicals; an elitist Legion move to mark the movement as "superior" as establishing a relationship with "The Christ" rather than (merely?) Jesus the Nazarene. On the other hand, Legionaries don't baptize babies (the "gateway" sacrament that introduces the Christian to all the other sacraments), so perhaps a "relationship" with "Jesus" is too much for the "charism" to handled. Lord knows Maciel never wanted to come too close to the man, Jesus--only to manipulate a relationship with an idea . . . Finally, note that the language of RC and LC is of "encounter"--not "friendship", not "brotherhood," etc. "Encounter" is a term of war; at it's most intimate, a concept trafficked among strangers. Friends "meet" each other because, in the Medieval sense, they are "mete" (i.e. the same--they share the Greek homonoia--like-mindedness, or like-heartedness). Those who encounter each other do so on a field of battle...Maciel was never a friend to Jesus. Hence, the vocabulary befits the vocabulary of a stranger.

By itself, the traditional titles of the Savior do not indicate one brand of Christology or another. I just looked at a few online sermons of our separated brethren and they were just as ready to use Christ as Jesus. Fulton Sheen would say "Our Blessed Lord" more often than not.

Pegging the character of Maciel's declared Christology is not easy- why? Because, as we found out later, a lot of it was borrowed in eclectic fashion from others, sometimes wholesale. He stole chapters out of the Imitation of Christ, and the entire Psalter of my Days was lifted, and so on.

But there is another way to look at this- the Christology that flowed from the Legion praxis, from the lived witness of MM, and his entourage especially, that communicated the LC style. Not a theology per se, but an acting out of a kind of anti-Gospel, a justifying of behavior that instrumentalizes the true Gospel. I suppose that is what you were getting at, but I do not think you can get at it with the titles of the Savior in and of themselves as indicators.

Yes my fellow RC'ers always used "Christ" as well. As did I (mostly following the crowd on this one).

It seemed "special" to say Christ. More reverence. More respect. We weren't part of the "Jesus Movement" like those dissenting Catholics who refused to kneel. We were Regnum Christi - here to establish Christ's Kingdom on earth.

"Jesus" was for the little tykes doing K for J.

I agree with the assessment that dissenters, post-Christian types, and New Agers tend to speak of "Christ" or "the Christ" and rarely use the Holy Name of Jesus (incline the head) or "Our Lord." Because one can say "Jesus is Lord" -- and know that this Man Jesus is the Lord of my life -- only in the power of the Holy Spirit. (cf., I Cor 12:3)

Having never been inside LC/RC myself, I don't know where their custom of speaking of Christ originated, but Gregorbo's explanation above makes sense to me, especially when he says, "Lord knows Maciel never wanted to come too close to the man, Jesus--only to manipulate a relationship with an idea."

Every priest basically has one or two themes for his homilies that are reiterated in various ways throughout the liturgical year. As those who have heard me preach will attest, my two themes come down to: 1)"It ain't about us, folks; it's about Jesus." And 2)"God doesn't love us because we're good; God loves us because HE's good, and it's His loving us that makes us good."

I especially love #2, Concerned. Right on the money, as it were.


Theme #1 comes into play when the Gospel is about Our Lord's miracles, or other Mysteries in the Life of Jesus, such as the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, or even the Transfiguration. It's a counter-balance to homilies that claim that Jesus taught the people to be generous with the food they had brought with them, or that the disciples came to see Jesus in a new light. It's not Good News because we learned some lesson; the Good News is Jesus is God-made-man and Lord. It shifts the spotlight back where it belongs: on Him.


There is nothing intrinsically wrong or right about using Christ or Jesus. When I was in the apostolic school, we used both. The name "Jesus" can definitely be more personal and because you may have been ill-formed in your personal relationships (as we all were) during your time in the RC, the name Jesus is healing for you and is more personal. Just my thoughts.

Has anyone considered:

"Jesus" is a name meaning God saves,


"Christ" means the anointed [of God].

Does nobody else think lc/rc was more about being anointed than being saved??

Cephas--I think you are right. And, don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely sure that these were conscious decisions on Maciel's part in laying out what he thought the charism (i.e. rules) were. But I am now operating on the firm foundation that his enterprise from just about the beginning was (and remains, but does not have to remain so) diabolical in nature. He cooperated with that diabolism and the structure he built reflected it more and more and more as time went on.

The other thing is... the Jesuits say Jesus a lot.... because they're His close personal friends....

So, it may have been about not doing things like the Jesuits do.

Well, they are the "Legion of Christ." (Although I think of them as the legion of Maciel.)
So it may have been another way of subtly promoting themselves.

Or, "My name is Legion. For we are many" (Mark 5:9).

I'm very pleased that this topic came up and became its own thread. I've thought about this many times and I agree that all the years I was in the Legion, the vast majority of references to Jesus were always under his title as Christ. Very seldom was he called Jesus. I know it's our own subjective confusion, but at least on a superficial level, saying Christ kind of conjures up images of someone superior, elite and always slightly above your current level in life. A goal to strive for but never quite attained. Jesus strikes my mind as someone at my level, someone who is a man and understands my daily struggles and can be my friend. I'm probably just projecting my own internal confusion, but I credit this confusion to the Legion. I never had any Jesus vs Christ issues before I joined the Legion.

A friend you call by his first name; a stranger you call by his title.

Christ is definitely the title we would assign to the God/Man who would solve the problem of being Human--in our fallen state. But Jesus is the name of the man who fell to earth and lived our suffering life and knows our struggles. Given what we know now, I don't think it's exactly sane to think that Maciel cared much for anyone thinking in terms of Christ's humanity. It's a mystery, of course. But Maciel didn't want his own followers (and they were followers of Maciel, not Christ) to be thinking in terms of "Jesus." If they did, they'd have noticed something was amiss. Is all.

Gregorbo, you are onto something profound, in your two posts. Confessing the Jesus is Lord is something Satan will not do. but Christ, as a function, yes, he can say Christ.....

I meant, That Jesus is Lord.

It's because Jesus is a man and a "man" is supposed to be lower than an Angel. So, it makes sense that the title "Christ" is the preferred title for an institution based upon the structure of an idea--but not based upon a biology. I'm sure that one of the Devil's biggest peeves about our savior's modus operendi is that it involves the Body (His Body; Jesus' Body)--a thing that Satan literally does not have . . .

Thanks, Mary Ann. I stumble mostly, but Jesus leads me to stumble sometimes on the right paths...

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