|"Thank you for coming and for joining together as one heart and one soul."|
March 24, 2009. Puebla, Mexico. At the recent Youth and
Family Encounter in Puebla, Mexico from March 12 -14, Father
Álvaro Corcuera, LC, gave three separate addresses to Regnum Christi
• A question & answer session with the youth on Saturday,
March 13 in the morning.
• A homily during the Mass
on March 13 at midday.
• A conference with the youth
and families on March 13 in the afternoon.
Excerpts from those
addresses are presented below.
Round Table Question & Answer Session with
Upon arriving to the meeting on Saturday morning, he
invited all the youth to pray an Our Father, giving
each word meaning by praying it in conversation with the
Father, as when talking to a friend. He said that
the most important thing in prayer is to give it
meaning, rather than just saying words.
“Say it with the
heart. Everything is possible with prayer, to think like Christ
and to love like Christ. Prayer is like the lungs
of the soul.”
|"How can we get discouraged in difficult times? They are times to grow."|
The question and answer session followed.
do you see in the youth of the Movement, and
what do you hope for from us?
Fr Álvaro: This
is a question that should be directed to Christ. We
can ask him what it is that he expects, since
the Movement is a means to help us live our
Christian life. What does he want of the Movement? I
would want what Christ wants of it. For us to
A Movement member should ask himself: What can
I do in the midst of so much darkness in
the world? What does Christ expect of us? He wants
us to be mirrors of him, so that when people
see us, they can say: “I’m seeing Christ.”
us to live the commandment of charity. He hopes that
we will be like the first Christians, sharing our faith,
being of one heart and one soul.
Q: How can we
strengthen our faith in times of adversity?
Fr Álvaro: Here
also, we have to ask Christ. And the answer is
love, because after a difficulty and a difficult moment, there
is more love. How can we get discouraged in difficult
times? They are times to grow. God allows it for
one reason: so that we will be centered on Christ,
so that we will center ourselves on loving Christ and
belonging to Christ. That is what makes us conquer these
difficulties. The apostles grew more when they were caught in
the midst of the storm. In the time of test,
their trust was strengthened.
Q: How can we know what Christ
wants from each one of us?
|"If something characterizes us, it has to be that we speak well of others, that we are apostles of the good."|
Fr Álvaro: Once again,
we have to ask Christ that question in prayer: “Christ,
help me to discover what you want of me. Help
me to discover your will, and to not be afraid.”
Maybe we will never have an exact answer, but we
can never go wrong if we ask Christ. Our life
is not about doing a thousand things. It’s about giving
ourselves to Christ.
Some youth like to do extreme sports.
What is an extreme sport? Kneeling before Christ and asking
him what he wants of us, and not being afraid
of the answer. God never lets us down.
Q: How can
we help the Church in the midst of so much
Fr Álvaro: In the first place, we have to
thank God for the criticisms, because they help us live
the beatitudes better. We can offer at least a little
thing for him. The best answer we can give to
the criticisms, difficulties, and misunderstandings is to do what Christ
did. He answered insults with blessings. He responded by loving
more, loving those who don’t love you, those who criticize
On the other hand, if they criticize us, we
also have to analyze and examine ourselves, to correct, to
improve, to learn, and to keep overcoming evil with good.
We all have to correct ourselves, too, because we are
men and we make mistakes.
But the important thing is
that when they criticize us, we should never respond with
criticism. We have to thank God and improve. The more
trials, the more holiness, the more charity, the more unity.
It is a blessing to be more humble. They criticized
Christ, and his answer was to open his arms on
the cross. It is an opportunity to be signs of
contradiction, overcoming evil with good. If something characterizes us, it
has to be that we speak well of others, that
we are apostles of the good. Christ would tell us
that we have to think well of others, always speak
well, and always build, never destroy or hurt our neighbor’s
reputation. To be apostles of benedicencia (speaking well of others).
Homily at Mass: On the Mercy of God
Father Álvaro was
the main celebrant at Mass on Saturday, March 13 at
midday, along with dozens of Legionary priests who concelebrated. Married
couples also renewed their marriage vows during the Mass.
homily, Father Álvaro spoke about the value of the cross
and the mercy of God, based on the reading for
the day, which was the parable of the prodigal son.
this period, in which God has permitted some difficulties, we
are sure that he allows everything for one reason: to
grow in love and holiness. They are opportunities to strengthen
our life in our love for Christ. When we make
|"What is it that God wants in these moments? More holiness, more faith, a lot of charity, humility, and purity of intention."|
the sign of the cross, we do it on our
forehead, to tell him that we want our thoughts to
be like his. We make the sign of the cross
on our mouth so that our words may produce peace
in the hearts of men, so that they will be
words like Christ’s, meek and humble of heart. Then we
make the sign of the cross on our heart so
that we see all realities, be what they may, from
the heart of Christ. The limit of our weaknesses is
the mercy of God.
We want to listen to him in
these texts that speak to us about the mercy of
God. In the text of the prodigal son, we see
three characters with whom we too can identify. We see
the father who has given everything to his sons, who
has lived for his sons, and whose joy was to
see his sons faithful and happy. The delight of God
the Father is to see his children happy. He is
merciful and compassionate. He loves us with tenderness and affection.
If a mother’s love moves our heart, how much God’s
affectionate love must move our hearts! What would happen to
the father if he saw his son claim his inheritance
and go away?
This son left because his was seeking the
warms of a home in a place where he was
not going to find it. The father did not humiliate
him, just as God does not humiliate the sinner. He
did not throw the sin in his face. How many
hours in silence, how many tears shed in silence by
the father who so respected his son’s freedom, just as
God respects our freedom. He hoped and trusted that he
would come back.
Father Alvaro then invited everyone to renew their
vision of the greatness of love and forgiveness, and of
the danger of pride:
The second character is this son
who goes away, who distances himself. Why does he go
away? Why do we distance ourselves from God? Perhaps it
is because we grow accustomed to God’s caresses, and when
there is pride, those caresses are like scratches. God’s corrections
are pure love.
The son distanced himself. He left. What
happens when we sin? We grow accustomed to the love
of God, we forget God’s goodness. A good means to
not forget this is to make sure we never stop
marveling at God’s love. To discover God’s love in everything,
even in what we don’t understand. We love God not
because we understand him, but because we love him. The
young man lost the joy of love. May we never
get used to belonging to this family, to the Catholic
Church, of receiving the sacraments that are a true feast.
We distance ourselves from God because of this, because we
grow accustomed to so much love, and we seek love
where it is not to be found.
And so when the
son saw that his happiness was like a mirage, he
repented. But it was out of hunger, not so much
because of the father’s affection. It was because of the
bad situation he was going through. Sin is a mirage
of goodness when it produces so much unhappiness.
prepared his speech. God is waiting for us all day,
thinking, “That’s my son. He’s going to come back. How
I miss him!” So, when the son was just barely
starting to take a step, the merciful father went out
running to him, embraced him, and almost didn’t let him
speak. He didn’t throw his sin in his face; he
|“A little while ago, I was with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, and he passed on greetings from himself and from the Pope."|
forgave him by loving him. He prepared the best meal
for him, what he knew his son liked. That father
never humiliated him.
The third character is the older son. He
was faithful, impeccable, hardworking. He did not commit sins of
infidelity. However, he could not bear to see his father
treat his brother, who had sinned, so well. It was
even hard for him to recognize him as a brother.
“Your son,” he said, throwing it in his father’s face.
Sometimes pride is a sin that makes us blind, that
makes us forget that God’s mercy is infinite.
But instead of
reproaching him, his father reached out to him and went
looking for him. He didn’t say to him, “Son, you
are an envious person.” He also reached out to him:
“My son…” and he explained it to him with great
kindness and embraced him. For God, there is no limit.
For God, we are all his children and he goes
out to meet us.
Today this liturgical text gives us an
explaination of our Christian reality. Lord, form a pure heart
in me, a meek and humble heart. Lord, never let
me get used to your goodness. Never let me get
used to being in your house. There is no greater
warmth than that of your home; may I never grow
used to the sacraments. May I always know how to
recognize the good, even in the midst of the evil
that there may be among men. Help me to think
like you, to speak like you, to love like you.
To think well, to speak well of others, to be
an apostle of charity.
He concluded by passing on a greeting
and a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, and invited everyone
to continue responding to the call to love and holiness
that we have all received in the Church.
while ago, I was with the Secretary of State of
the Holy See, and he passed on greetings from himself
and from the Pope. And the Pope’s secretary also mentioned
that the Pope is close to us. I told them
that I would pass on the Pope’s love and closeness
to all of you, especially with all the suffering he
carries in his heart.
What is it that God wants
in these moments? More holiness, more faith, a lot of
charity, humility, and purity of intention. We have no other
answer. The degree of pain is not important. Blessed are
you when they say all manner of evil about you…
when you can share in some suffering for my name’s
Our role now is to ask forgiveness for all
the suffering that has been caused, and to forgive with
all our heart. To love with all our heart. To
grow in the only thing we can grow in, which
is love, charity. Because loving is heaven. And Mary is
the expert in bringing us to heaven. A sword pierced
her heart. She gave her heart so that our heart
would be more like Christ’s.
May God bless you, and
may we always be of one heart and one soul.
with the Youth and Families at the YFE
Father Álvaro Corcuera,
LC, gave a talk in the afternoon on Saturday, March
13 to all of the participants at the YFE. He
began by thanking them for their presence and their closeness,
and for the family spirit that could be sensed in
He began by recalling the mission of Movement
members in the Church and society.
Thank you for having
come and for joining together as one heart and one
soul. Your presence is a sign of so much love
from God. In the midst of these difficult moments, I
would like to thank you deeply. I would also like
to ask your forgiveness for so much suffering that has
been caused, and I pray that everything will lead us
|"Our life is not about doing a thousand things. It’s about giving ourselves to Christ."|
to love Christ.
Mexico is a country that has great spiritual
richness. The people love Christ, the Blessed Virgin, the Eucharist,
and the Pope. We believe in the salvation of souls.
And Mexico also suffers many crises: the force of secularization,
of indifference. The Holy Spirit is calling us today to
be holy, to be apostles and to evangelize. Woe is
me if I do not preach the Gospel of Jesus!
are apostles of peace who help people to see that
our life is very short, but that it is worthwhile.
Let us ask God: Lord, what do you want? To
spend our life to do good, no matter the cost.
Thank you to all of you who give us an
example, because you make us see that we need to
preach Christ from the heart, with a sense of urgency.
It’s up to us to help people see that friendship
with Christ is the best gift we can have on
After, he touched on the importance of prayer and sacrifice:
want to ask Our Lord to help us be men
and women of prayer. What problem cannot be resolved in
prayer? Any difficulty can be solved in front of the
tabernacle, in prayer. Let’s not forget the specific moments to
be with him. The entire day can be spent talking
and listening to God. But it is important to make
specific spaces to pray. Prayer is our best apostolate. We
realize that only in prayer can we find the solution
to what the mind cannot understand. Prayer makes us see
heaven. In prayer, God makes us see that everything is
a path toward God.
Lent is a time that offers us
the opportunity to make a sacrifice: the small trials of
each day, the humiliations, moments of sadness, the sufferings that
| Prayer is our best apostolate. We realize that only in prayer can we find the solution to what the mind cannot understand."|
each one carries in the heart, those trials that makes
us suffer more – these are the best penance. They
cease being a disgrace, and become a great blessing, because
the way of the cross is the way of love.
And suffering is not bad when one loves. Suffering for
love is to unite yourself to Christ whose open arms
tell you: accompany me. Suffering with Christ is a blessing,
a gift. The one who suffers with Christ does not
suffer with a face of shame, but as someone who
has received a gift of trust. No one likes to
suffer, but we all like to love. God does not
ask us to sacrifice just for the sake of sacrifice.
Love is priceless, and that is the sacrifice of Lent:
offering everything so that others will be happier. It is
the sacrifice of ourselves.
And he offered some advice to live
Lent is also a moment for almsgiving. Our
only alms are the only wealth we have, which is
Christ, the greatest treasure and the greatest joy of our
heart. If we don’t give you Christ, you have to
reproach us, because the only thing we have to give
you is Christ. He is our life’s only answer.
is also a fast. It is a fast from other
media: television, internet, not because we can’t see them, but
because they are little sacrifices we can offer. To spend
more time in front of the tabernacle, to offer the
use of our time as a gift and a talent.
Our vocation is always to sow seeds of goodness, to
live the commandment of charity. The first Christians were probably
not the best prepared or the most intellectual, but they
went about doing good. May people recognize us for doing
good. Goodness is creative. It’s enough to see all the
variety of apostolates that exist in the Church…
When we want
to know if we have the Holy Spirit, we have
a good thermometer, which are the fruits of the Holy
Spirit. We have to look into our heart, and not
just depend on the environment, whether it be favorable or
hostile. The thermometer of our heart is to change the
environment, like the grain of wheat that dies to give
life. If we want to give fruit, we already know
the price. But when we are united, we even rejoice
in suffering. Suffering makes us love each other more…
more about the Youth & Family Encounter in Puebla, visit