Thy Kingdom Come!
Rome, March 25, 2010
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
To the members and friends
of the Regnum Christi Movement
Very dear friends in Christ:
Today, the solemnity of the Annunciation, offers me the occasion to send you my warm greetings. We are celebrating the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, who wished to take for himself our human nature to expiate our sins and open for us the way back to the Father. Mystery of God’s infinite love. He could have redeemed us by simpler paths, but he chose to have his Son laid low and humiliated to show us that if the mystery of iniquity is great, that of his merciful love is greater still. We are practically on the threshold of Holy Week. Within a week we will enter the Sacred Triduum to accompany Christ in his so scandalously incomprehensible “hour.” The “hour of the powers of darkness” (cf. Lk. 22:53). The hour of his exaltation on the cross. The hour also, of his triumph and glorious resurrection.
As we contemplate these ineffable mysteries we discover a hushed, motherly presence: Mary most holy. In Nazareth, Bethlehem and on Calvary, Mary is present not as a spectator but fully immersed, playing an active role in the mystery. Mary invites us to enter in, like her, accepting the part Christ wants to assign to us, because we too are co-protagonists.
This is the context in which I want to present to you the communiqué that is being released along with this letter.
1. As you will see, the communiqué is devoted almost in its entirety to topics that in one way or another we have been talking back and forward on for over a year now. We have done so with some of you individually, and with others in larger meetings and gatherings. On several occasions I have also made sure to write to all of you together. We have prayed together many times. I also know that the Legionaries and consecrated members who serve you have done their best to be available to you, and to answer your questions and concerns as we got a better understanding of what was happening.
It has been a very painful time for everyone, even traumatic. The sudden uncovering of some facets of our founder’s life that were so removed from what we lived by his side, was a totally unexpected surprise for us all. We were not prepared for it. We all had to go through a process of gradual assimilation, in many cases a necessarily slow one, requiring an uncommon store of human and spiritual resources, which each one has been finding in prayer, in conversation with Christ in the Eucharist, by staying close to the Blessed Mother, and in conversations with your directors, spiritual guide or your section members, family members and friends.
As is natural, in this process of facing the historical reality and its consequences, each one has followed his own path depending on his sensitivity, cultural background and spiritual foundation. And it is just as natural that everyone is not at the same point. Some, having received a special help from grace, can say that this is now behind them, while another will still need time and prayer to finish processing and give closure to this chapter in their conscience. We have to be very considerate in respecting and understanding each one’s individual pace.
2. In recent days, I have been thinking through all of this with the general counselors and the territorial directors. Together, we have seen that once we have all read and assimilated this page in the life of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, our task is to take a step forward, individually and as an institution, to close this chapter of our history and open a new one.
It is true that we are still awaiting the results of the apostolic visitation, whose operative phase has ended. Undoubtedly, our attitude is one of complete openness, and we will embrace supernaturally and with docility whatever the Holy Father sees fit to ask of us. But until that moment comes, which is presumably still some months away, we want to get moving, so to speak, to set out again on our way with faith and humility, and throw ourselves back into working with all our ardor in the mission the Lord has given to us at the service of the Church. The attached communiqué, besides what it means in itself, is also in function of this goal of institutional re-launching.
3. I think that if we contemplate the Blessed Mother’s example we will find in her the attitudes that ought to be ours in this historic time in which it is our lot to live. From the Annunciation in Nazareth to the mortal scene on Calvary, we see that Mary’s soul is filled with theological faith, hope, and love. These are the three virtues that God asks us to cultivate intensely. Faith that sheds light on the past. Hope that arms us with courage for the future. Love that commits us in the present.
4. Faith that sheds light on the past
So many things happened that turned Mary’s life upside down, without her being able to understand them. Beginning with the angel’s message itself, passing through countless surprises, setbacks, mishaps and adversities, and ending in the tragic denouement – foretold certainly, but nevertheless defying all understanding, so contrary to what you could reasonably expect would be the destiny of one who was nothing less than the Son of God. What did she do? How did she react?
“His mother carefully kept all these things in her heart” (Lk. 2:51). She meditated on them. From the angle of faith. She meditated without understanding. She talked them over with God, not asking for reasons or explanations. She simply knew that everything was part of his plan, that he knew what he was doing and why. That was enough for her, even if she understood nothing. She meditated on it all, not to lock herself in fruitless moaning or to give herself to self-pity. It was to understand God’s plan better. To ask him for the strength to accept it. And to give herself docilely, humbly, and joyfully to fulfill it.
On Calvary, at the foot of the cross: silence and trustful prayer. Once again, she understood nothing. It was so cruel, so degrading, so impossibly evil. But though her eyes were fogged with tears and her mind stunned with confusion, her soul radiated faith. She knew that God was carrying out his plan. And once again, she answered, “Yes.” And she went on meditating. She meditated, believing. She believed, trusting.
I think this is the kind of faith God is asking of us. Perhaps we will never come to understand the reason for so many things that have come to light. Nor why God chose such an instrument to establish the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. Why will the Legion and Regnum Christi not be able to present the figure of its founder like other congregations and movements? God knows. We have to accept it with faith. And with faith and humility recognize that, in spite of such a great mystery, God is wiser than we are. Once again, his warning is proven true: “My ways are not your ways” (Is. 55:8).
God asks us for faith to believe firmly that “all things work for the good of those who love God” (Rom. 8:28), and therefore, that he is preparing us for a special outpouring of grace. We have to trust that he, who has allowed things to happen this way, is sufficiently good and powerful to draw greater benefits from them. In part, we already see them. I am sure we will see many more. The Catechism teaches us that “In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures” and that “from the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God´s only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that ‘abounded all the more’ (cf. Rom. 5:20), brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption.” At the same time, it warns us that “but for all that, evil never becomes a good” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 312).
With faith, we must discover and accept that above all the vicissitudes that shape our past history, it is divine Providence that is really guiding our destiny. Faith helps us to truly believe it, though at times it might seem we are moving in the wrong direction, though at times our eyes might see no more than the often clumsy action of human freedom. In this past year, many factors have determined the course that the Legion and the Regnum Christi Movement have followed. One of these factors has been the actions of their directors. From a human perspective, you might think that they were more or less appropriate, or inappropriate. As I examine my own actions, given the responsibility I have, I can assure you that at all times I have tried to proceed with greatest purity of intention and maximum prudence. I have asked the Holy Spirit daily for the gift of counsel which, as you know, enlightens and perfects the virtue of prudence. I have used the help of my general counselors, of many men of the Church, and yours. We have tried to make every decision and take every step in the presence of God, trying to discern how Jesus Christ would act. But I am not infallible. I don’t know if I got it right. For certain, not in everything. The other directors also may very well have committed some mistakes among countless wise actions. But what is without doubt is that God can write straight with crooked lines. In spite of the great limitations and defects of his instruments, God has guided our trajectory in the past, and he will continue to guide us in the future. Mary’s faith assures us it is so.
5. Hope that arms us with courage for the future.
Mary also gives us an example of hope. She never gave in to the temptation not to trust. There were terrible moments in which the future seemed to offer no way out. The angel told her she would be a mother and virgin, and she was well aware of the suspicions that this could stir up. She was told that they had to leave in haste for Egypt, fleeing from Herod’s hatred; and it is easy to guess the uncertainty and anxiety that flooded her spirit. She was told that a sword would pierce her soul and she must have endured many years under the anxiety of the prophecy that would be fulfilled. Below her Son’s cross, she was told of a new, universal motherhood…. But she learned to place herself time and again in God’s hands, with limitless hope. And God did not disappoint her hope.
Like the Virgin Mary, we too must look to the future with great hope in God, letting no storm rob us of the optimism which is proper to the one who knows, like St Paul, that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and that all is loss compared to the experience of Christ’s love, which is the only reason for our existence. Trust follows faith. If we truly believe in God, his Providence, his infinite wisdom and goodness, we cannot but grasp his hand and place all our trust in him, only in him. Nothing in the future can make us fear.
Looking to the future with theological hope means facing it with a deep sense of responsibility. It is God who willed to bring forth the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, so as to give the Church a group of apostles to humbly and passionately cooperate in the great mission of evangelization. He is not going to abandon us. He will not let us down. All he asks of us is to be holy, consistent, and responsible, so as not to let down him, the Church, society and souls.
6. Love that commits us in the present.
Mary did not only believe and hope. Above all, she loved God. Out of love, she accepted his will at all times and she gave herself to fulfill it diligently, never thinking of herself, her comfort, her reputation, or her welfare. She cared only about loving God and doing his will.
This is the commitment God is asking of us too, at this time. If faith shows us that all things work for the good of those who love God we have to love more, we must love without limits. And we will see how much good God will put into this world. This is what he asks of us, that we not limit or dilute our love, that we nourish it more and more every day in prayer. Let this be one of our main resolutions: to be prayerful men and women, people with a deep interior life.
Love moves us to continue serving the Church. Unselfishly, not for the benefits it brings us.
Love moves us to continue making a reality of the beautiful and fruitful charism that God gave us. Out of love, we seek to make it bear fruit. Out of love, we want to share it so that many others will be spiritually enriched with the gifts that we have received from him, and we will thus reach the final goal of our lives: heaven.
Love moves us to continue walking together, supporting each other, giving our mutual understanding. Out of love, we seek to strengthen even more our unity and family spirit, the priceless treasure that gives such peace and serenity to our communities and teams.
Love moves us to remain beside all our companions in Regnum Christi, our friends, families, benefactors, and all those whom God places on our path, so that we will be for them a Simon of Cyrene to help them carry their cross as they follow Christ.
7. Dear friends and Regnum Christi members, these thoughts are the fruit of long and deep reflection done together with the general counselors and the territorial directors, and I invite you to take them to Christ who is present in the Eucharist. There, with our hand in Mary’s, let us meditate on these things, renew our “yes” – one that is clearer, more consistent, more long-suffering and also more joyful. And let us pray that he will grant every one of us, like Mary, the grace to accept his plans with luminous faith, to look toward the future with unbreakable hope, and to commit ourselves to living in charity in every present moment.
Very united in prayer and in the mission entrusted to all of us, I remain your affectionate servant in Christ,
Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC