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Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, LC: John Paul II, faithful until death on the battlefield!
How can we thank God for having given his Church a man like John Paul II? It is to be hoped that our self-giving, in the eyes of Christ, will not be unworthy of what he has shown us with so much love in his Vicar.

Bendición navideña JPII Roma

Your Kingdom Come!

Rome, April 4, 2005

Dear Regnum Christi Members in Christ,

We have spent these last few days spiritually united with all of the faithful of the Church, praying together for our beloved Pope John Paul II. We have felt and continue to feel that he is a father to us, because he received from Christ the mission to be the guide and pastor of us all. His passing away leaves a profound sense of orphanhood in our hearts. Our love for him is "ardent and personal", just like our veneration and our sincere recognition. Yesterday, on Sunday, April 3rd, I had the opportunity of being in the Clementine Hall in front of the mortal remains of the Pope; there I spent some minutes offering my prayers and yours, while my mind was filled with so many moments of special graces that we received from John Paul II.

We are all in debt to his example: he has taught all of us what it means to be a priest, an authentic follower of Christ, a man of the Kingdom.

The history of the Legion of Christ and of Regnum Christi owes a great deal to this dearly beloved Pope. I will never be able to forget his first trip to Mexico, which as he himself has revealed, decisively set the course of his pontificate. He was the instrument that Providence used for the approval of the Constitutions of the Legion of Christ in 1983, and recently, we received a new manifestation of his fatherly kindness in the approval of the Statutes of Regnum Christi. During these days, the words of Nuestro Padre have come over and over again to my mind and heart: "How close I have felt to God when I am close to the Pope! How much I thank the Lord for this inestimable grace!" (Letter of December 20, 1982); or those others that he wrote when he came to Rome for the first time to present the Constitutions when he was only twenty-six years old: "The excitement one feels upon being with the Vicar of Christ on Earth is indescribable. It seems as if one were truly speaking with Christ himself in person" (Letter of June 13, 1946). With Pope John Paul II, he had established a deep friendship, moved by their shared zeal for the extension of Christ´s Kingdom and by this Pontiff´s repeatedly expressed hope in the Legion and the Movement. Nuestro Padre praised him, recognizing him as a truly holy man, a giant of the faith, a tireless and ingenious pastor in his effort to reach all men without distinctions.

Surely, we all feel profoundly moved by the remembrance of him, especially in these recent times when, by God´s plan, he reproduced the living image of Christ on the cross. We saw him carrying that cross of pain and suffering throughout interminable years, without voicing the slightest complaint, without giving in to self-pity. Besides that, we saw him carrying the weight of the entire Church, making himself a Simon of Cyrene for millions of his brothers, bishops, priests, and faithful who were overwhelmed by the weight of their own crosses.

His entire life as a pastor was marked by the suffering of one who has given everything for his mission, up to the point of total exhaustion. But in this last stretch on his way of the cross, he had to drag along with unspeakable pain a body that no longer responded to him, thus closely resembling Christ who also had to drag his body along on his Via Crucis, because he no longer had the strength. Just as Christ was stripped of his clothing, so too, God stripped him of those gifts and talents that he had given him: his physical strength, his beautiful way of speaking, the expressiveness of his face, and even his very voice. Like Christ, he endured hours of agony in which it seemed he could not go on. And like Christ, they cried out to him time and time again to come down from his cross, but he responded with his silence and his heroic fidelity, thus copying the example of his Lord.

Faithful until death on the battlefield! John Paul II is a fully accomplished example of what it means to live this principle. He is a very special gift of God so that all of us will understand the degree of self-giving to which we are called. For the lives of all of us, marked by the weight of the mission, are also a way of the cross.

God willed to call the Holy Father on the eve of the Sunday on which we celebrate the Divine Mercy, a feast which he himself instituted in the Church, perhaps to underline before the world that the life of all men, of each man, is precious in God´s eyes, that Christ died on the cross for each one, that God desires us to open our hearts to him so that he can live in intimacy with us.

How can we thank God for having given his Church a man like John Paul II? It is to be hoped that our self-giving, in the eyes of Christ, will not be unworthy of what he has shown us with so much love in his Vicar. We hope that we will one day hear from Christ those same words: "Good and faithful servant, enter in the joy of your Lord" (Mt. 25:21). It is an invitation to live his first message, which he maintained throughout his entire pontificate: "Do not be afraid!" And we can do it, if we have in our hearts, as he did and as Nuestro Padre has always lived it, the invocation: Totus tuus ego sum, Maria!

I assure you that I will remember you in my prayers in this moment of such transcendence for the history of the Church, and I ask you to keep praying for the Movement so that it will continue being faithful to God´s plan. I remain affectionately yours in Christ,

Alvaro Corcuera, LC



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