Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Matthew 7:17 & The Legion of Christ: A Question

From Being and Nothingness:

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit." Matthew 7:17

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45

These two passages (taken from the Douay-Rheims version of the bible) have been rolling over in my head for the last week since learning of the confirmations that many (most?) of the allegations against Fr. Marcial Maciel, the founder of the apostolic order Legion of Christ and the lay apostolic association Regnum Christi. Added to the list of accusations which were previously made is the confirmed fact that Fr. Maciel fathered a daughter who is now 22 years old and her mother is only 37 years old (which mathematics will tell you was 14 or 15 when she conceived).
Often on blogs people posit their positions as provocations or opinions, using the blog primarily as a medium of judgment on the events around them. That is usually my reason, as well. However, today I offer this post primarily to engage you to think with me what these two passages mean and how the current situation that the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi can be understood in light of them.

I want to avoid a moralistic approach and at the same time I want to avoid an interpretation of those passages as deterministic. I also don't want my reflection to remain at the surface of my annoyance with the LC or RC in my particular encounters with them. Instead, I want to try to understand what exactly a "fruit" is and more so, I want to understand how much the "charism" of any religious order or lay movement is tied to the person of the founder, and whether or not this "tie" is necessary to or a consequence of the moral life of the founder.

I also want to understand more about the Legion's formation and structure. Are some of it's tendencies (the focus on appearance, sameness, moral rigidity, secrecy, the apostolate) a result of some work Christ was doing "through" a fragile, broken creature or are they the result of a dualism that emerges as a result of his constant rejection of Christ's grace.
Here are some thoughts:

1. The focus on appearances belies the tendency in someone who lives a double life to convince all those around him that "everything is fine." It's not a coincidence that all the Legionaries are told time and time again that their appearance is fundamental in not interfering with someone hearing the gospel message.
2. The focus on the "sameness" of all Legionaries could also be a symptom of the above mentioned problem. The more everyone is the same, the more the person who is living the double life can rely on those patterns and expectations to cover their own duplicity.
3. The focus on moral rigidity often what we call "reactionary." The reaction is to the person's own sinfulness. Sin, in the Christian life, usually evokes shame. Since serious patterns of sin result from our own choices, we often think that our choices and actions will lead us back to the right path. This is a typical misunderstanding of the Christian life in which instead of a complete reliance on Christ, we rely on the rules as the path to holiness.
4. The focus on secrecy is almost self-evident. When you have something to hide you treat everything as if it is "private" and therefore create patterns of behavior where you "hide from the left hand what the right hand is doing." This isn't always negative. Somethings should be private. But when everything has the potential to be a little damaging or negative is treated with "secrecy" we can really occlude the truth.
5. The focus on the apostolate is troubling because it avoids the personal interior work of self-awareness and self-acknoledgment. This is true in my experience. Often when I focus on my work as the most important thing it is because there is an interior rejection of my dependence on Christ and an inability to be silent in front of him and recognize what I am in front of him. Even prayer can be full of this "business" so even hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament can amount to a "nothingness" if I am not present with all of myself infront of the "You" that makes me.
In addition, I think it also can be used a "measure" of one self, in the way that the protestant tradition has looked at it. "I must be good with God, because look at how successful my apostolate is going." It's the tendency that many had to say "Fr. Maciel must be a saint, because look at all the good that the Legion does, look at all the seminarians, look at how faithful they are to the pope, only a saint could generate all of that." If he's not a saint, are those things that he generated now evil?


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Yes yes my little upstarts you know how society works. Just as Barack Obama used the "Change" philosophy to get voted into the white house, so must my people use the "Gods Will" philosophy. Obama talked about change, but when the opposition questioned what he was going to change they got no definitive answer. My members of the movement I say to you... You all must never give a definitive answer, simply saying the movement is God's gift to humanity it is God's Will that it continue. If anyone tries to questions its motives further, simply tell them you fear for their soul. Who are they to question God??

I love it!! I love how you are so gracious to react.. a brain tumor.. brilliant!! I was sweating bullets to see how I was going to pull this one outta my ass but I taught you well. That darn brain tumor.. wow I tell you that thing made me horny as a goat. The more my head throbbed with excruciating pain, the more I had the urge to get my booty on. Once again everyone will blame it on me. It can't be her fault for wearing the see through sun dress and those fake DD's.. No its poor ole Maciels fault for being human.. Oh the suffering I endore.. All my suffering is starting to make Christs Passion look like a walk through Strawberry field. Wow sainthood ain't easy boys and girls. Or perhaps I was going for my morphine and accidentally took the Viagra sample the darn Mexican pharmacist accidentally gave me instead of my Prozac? It was a strange feeling my whole life my heart always ached to save souls. but for some reason , that day, my genitals were really aching to knock up a 15 year old girl. Between the Brain tumor and the Viagra, I once again relieved 300 souls from the deepest rungs of purgatory with all that suffering.

So here comes little Maciel.. shit now I got a kid. I always made fun of black people now I know what they're going through. What was I suppose to do abort my daughter! Riiight.. A saint doesn't believe in abortion. Was I to tell the Pope? No way! Do you think he would really believe me? A 65 year old Saint knocks up a 15 year old Spanish Bimbo. That's like a plot from a bad movie, the type of movie I make my seminarians watch. So I nurtured my daughter in the charism of my spirituality. My spirituality was approved by the Church, so what better way to raise your kid right? Do you think I'd raise her in Franciscan spirituality? Come on those guys have beards they gotta be weirdo's. Right!!! I tried to get her to go to the pre canadicy for consecrated women but she really resisted me, saying she's not into cult life. See again! I try and try and try to save souls and my own daughter tells me I'm a whacked out nut job who should be locked up in a Mexico City jail, but being called this by so many people in my life it didn't phase me one bit. I tried to get her to read "Time and Eternity" and she said she would only use that God awful thing for toilet paper. I was wandering why the middle 5 pages were missing? I guess when ya gotta go ya gotta go. Then I tried to get her to read "Dating and Engagement" she told me she'd rather get marital advice from Jenna Jamison then some womanizing freakshow like me. My own daughter told me this! Christ has really blessed me with so many great sufferings. It was such a gift to have her call me these things, I watched 300 more souls flee from purgatory and my rank in the Sainthood sky rocketed up once again. I really suffered raising her, but I offered it all up. Wow I think all that suffering just bumped St. Paul down a step. Look out Holy trinity, look out Blessed Mother, look out Communion of Saint's MM is getting old he'll be joining ya all soon.

Getting old is a bitch to. My mistress ditched me for some younger guy who didn't need 10 Viagra pills to please her. I mean yeh I am 80 and she's 30, but I'm a fricken saint! He's some lowlife French prick who's not even an RC member!! He has no chance of salvation and I coulda solidified her a spot next to the Blessed Mother!! I guess she was just to earthly to see my inner beauty, because let me tell you I am one beautiful son of a bitch, aren't all saints!! I got the pope on my side to, how can you doubt me!! My therapist told me she didn't like the fact I was an oversexed pedophile. Maybe that's why I freaked her out when I wanted a son so bad instead of a daughter? Hey, I thought to myself since I can't keep it in my pants I may as well keep it in the family right? But of course I will get condemned for that to. It's a cruel world. Oh well, but anyway The last I heard of my daughter she was working at the bunny ranch out in Nevada. She blames it on bad parenting but I blame it on the fact she's just a whore. I guess there's nothing bad about having a daughter follow Mary Magdalenes foot steps. Wow once again I amaze myself. Not only am I a saint but I also breed saints! The bottom line is I spent my whole life having my people protect my image, when I should have been having protected sex instead. Oh wait saints don't use contraceptives. So I did the right thing again!! This saint thing.. Wow! I just love myself!

But what i want my people to reflect on is See how Christ giving me this brain tumor let me save so many souls? How many of you can say that... Oh how weak you are my people. How weak you are.

For the fear of God never surrender to the Truth,

Saint MM

PS: Donations were weak last month I know where in a recession and all. But come on I live off donations. I couldn't even build my new Villa in Spain this month. If you want to be stingy convert to Judaism and goto hell. If not get those checkbooks out and solidify your spot in heaven.

And why the hells is my Mother at least a Blessed by now? Geeez.. come on people wake up!!

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious. Thanks for clarifying things. It is so easy to be duped! Keep posting!!!