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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Spiritual Life

The Regnum Christi Movement offers its members some guidelines of a gospel-based spirituality as an ideal of Christian life. The spiritual path that Regnum Christi members walk mainly consists in knowing, loving, imitating, and proclaiming Christ. This is the path and these are the goals.

Below, we offer some resources that can help nurture the spiritual life of Movement members and of any Christian.

Daily Prayer 2004-11-26
Listen to podcast version here.

Clinging to the Word of Life

November 26, 2004
Friday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Edward Hopkins, LC

Luke 21:29-33
Jesus taught his disciples a lesson. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, I believe that you are truly and especially present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I trust that your Body and Blood can more than fill me. I love you Lord, for giving me the total gift of yourself. Help me to fully possess your Kingdom.

Petition: Grant me Lord, a deeper and more active faith in the Eucharist.

1. Reading the Signs. Christians from the very start were taught to read the signs. Since the Kingdom of God is an invisible reality, it can only be sensed in this world through signs. These signs are read by faith. When the things of this world begin to fade away, then we know that the Kingdom of God is near. But if we do not have faith, this Kingdom will come upon us unsuspecting and unprepared. Am I learning to read the signs? How about the signs in the Eucharist?

At the celebration of the Eucharist, the candles remind us to approach only with faith; the Penitential Rite recalls our unworthiness and the need to throw ourselves into the hands of God’s mercy; the readings tell us to listen to God’s word in order to know his will; the gifts brought forward at the offertory represent our lives and work––in short, our very selves––which we offer God for him to bless, sanctify and unite with Jesus’ sacrifice; the Eucharistic prayer expresses thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings, especially for those of faith and salvation; the consecration of bread and wine signify the Incarnation of the Son of God who enters our world to share our lives, but most especially to suffer, die and rise for our redemption. At this moment in the Mass, there is something more: what is signified is also made present in reality: “The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the cross” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 13). Not only is his saving action made present but he himself also becomes present: “a substantial presence whereby Christ, the God-Man, is wholly and entirely present” (EE, 15). The Eucharistic acclamation, which follows the consecration, symbolizes our faith in the presence also of “the mystery of the resurrection which crowned his sacrifice” (EE, 14). Finally, our union with God, the final objective of our lives and reason for his sacrifice, is both signified and realized in Holy Communion, “a foretaste of the fullness of joy promised by Christ” (EE, 18).

2. “Until All These Things Have Taken Place.” Our Lord’s words were realized already in the lifetime of his followers with the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD. And so it is that in the life of every Christian, the kingdom of material realities passes, sometimes swiftly, at other times slowly. What is left is the interior life of each person, with what we have accomplished for God and others, primarily through the virtues of faith, hope and love and the degree of establishment of God’s Kingdom of grace in our soul. How does such a marvel come about within our own poor hearts? It is by following the ‘Way of the Cross’––with Christ, step-by-step, blow-by-blow, with each decision of faith and love––that the kingdom is built. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies…” (John 12:24).

3. “My Words Will Not Pass Away.” Everything passes but the word of God. Everything we hold and cling to that is of this world will vanish. The virtual stripping away of all that a dying person had once securely held on to––family, home, health, freedom to move and reason––testifies to this. Yet our one eternal possession, by faith, is our relationship with him who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” When all is gone, his words, promise and love continue to live on in us.

Even before we leave this world––or it leaves us––the words of Christ show their permanence. “The Church has received the Eucharist from Christ her Lord not as one gift – however precious – among so many others, but as the gift par excellence, for it is the gift of himself, of his person in his sacred humanity, as well as the gift of his saving work. Nor does it remain confined to the past, since ‘all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times’” (EE, 11). How radically do I cling to the eternal? “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day”(John 6:54).

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, open my eyes in faith to your presence in my life, most of all to that presence that is most real, full and enduring: the gift of your Body and Blood. Increase my faith so that I seek and find you in this Blessed Sacrament. May the fullness of your presence help me to let go of all that I inordinately cling to with my heart. I want to seek and find you each day with more and more faith and love.

Resolution: I will spend 15-30 minutes before the Eucharist reviewing the meaning of each element of the liturgy in preparation for Mass.

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