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Praying for a New Experience of His Mercy
U. S. A. | WHO WE ARE | NEWS
Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil LC writes a letter to the Legion of Christ for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus

On the occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we wanted to share this letter from the Legion of Christ General Director Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil LC:

Thy Kingdom Come!

June 18, 2014

To the Legionaries of Christ

Dear fathers and brothers:

In my meditations these past weeks I have been reflecting on the second chapter of the Constitutions that the General Chapter submitted to the Holy See. There we talk about the spirit of the Congregation: Christ-centeredness, devotion to the Sacred Heart and the loves of a Legionary. In preparation for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day in which the Church invites all the faithful to pray especially for the sanctification of His priests, I wanted to write you a letter.

Our spirituality is based on two ways of looking at Christ: the first is directed to his Heart, where we learn what it means to be loved, embraced, objects of his mercy and able to accept this transforming love; the second way of looking at Christ is from the perspective of his Kingdom, which enflames in us the desire to transmit this love to all people so that they encounter Christ personally. The key to our holiness is to live fully this intimacy with Christ and this evangelical passion.

Let’s briefly reflect on these two ways of looking at Christ and the consequences a life in the Heart of Jesus has for us.

1. The mercy that heals us

In the new number of the proposed Constitutions that defines our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are reminded that in this Heart we find the “merciful love of God that leads us to embrace the cross in our own life and to make reparation for sins” (CLC 2014, 10). Indeed, anyone who accepts the primacy of God´s love experiences an invitation to abandon oneself to divine mercy and to reciprocate by giving oneself to others as instruments in the hands of Christ.

The first look is directed to the Heart of Christ, which is wounded, to see how divine mercy overflows from his wound onto everyone. This wound of the Heart of Jesus reminds us of the wounds that each of us carries in our own hearts: some wounds we have caused ourselves through our sins, others are sufferings from a bad thing done in the past or an evil done to us by another. Some particularly painful wounds are a part of our history and we carry them as members of this religious family. We all go through life with these wounds, but taken with faith, they help us give a priestly character to our existence. Christ does not want us to hide our wounds with shame, but to join them to his wounds that He shows us in his Heart. He offers us the medicine of his mercy that is able to take the pain that comes from sin and transform it into an immense fruitfulness. As St. Paul says, “I complete in my flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for his body which is the Church” (Col 1:24). Our pain becomes joy when we see how powerful and good God is, to the point that He knows how to bring good from evil – just as He brought forth our redemption from the greatest evil in the world, the death of his Son.

We all ask Christ for the grace to live his mercy, to forgive from the heart and to accept forgiveness, finding in him reconciliation, for he is our peace (Eph 3:14).

2. The mercy that allows us to be holy

This interior reconciliation in the Heart of Jesus allows us to experience anew his love and his personal invitation to holiness, to a total identification with his life and feelings. This is the will of God: your sanctification (1 Thes 4:3); this is the fulfillment of God´s dream for us.

As Saint John Paul II said in Novo Millennio Ineunte, to ask a catechumen if he wants to receive baptism is equivalent to asking if he wants to be holy (see no. 31). If this is true for all the baptized, how much more for us as religious and priests. Our vocation is a gift that shows us a path of special identification with the way of life that Christ chose for himself, in obedience, poverty and perfect chastity. It is an invitation to being molded by the love of Christ who gave his life for us (see 1 Jn 3:16).

Love cannot be imposed on anyone; it is the most personal response that anyone can give to a God who loved us first (see 1 Jn 4:10). It is a response which involves carrying our cross, as Christ bore his for us, faithfully living our religious life because He was faithful to the end, before we were.

If we have our gaze fixed on the Heart of Christ we avoid the temptation to these false shortcuts that lead us to seek our own interests; what Pope Francis describes as worldliness (see Gaudium Evangelii, 93 and 95). Worldliness is born from taking your eye off Christ crucified, from not believing in the value of the cross and, therefore, searching for easier paths. We all know how worldliness leaves the soul sad and disenchanted, and more exposed to the snares of the enemy of our souls, who does not want us joyful with the joy of love, but sad and permanently dissatisfied.

Christ, on the other hand, wants us to be joyful. The first step to happiness is to trust Him, to believe in the way that He teaches us without being scandalized by his Gospel. The Heart of Christ reminds us that we must not flee before the cross of detachment from ourselves, which is the price of love. Do not be afraid to really love him who has loved us so much.

3. Heralds of his mercy

The second way of looking at Christ, that of contemplating his Kingdom, reminds us that Christ´s Heart was moved; he had compassion on the crowd because they were like sheep without a shepherd (see Mt 9:36). Our mission is “to form apostles, Christian leaders at the service of the Church” (CLC 2014, 4), and we must always remember that only he who has intimately known the mercy of Christ can be a credible witness of this mercy to his brothers.

We need to ponder the meaning of our vocation to Regnum Christi, like Mary, keeping all these things, pondering them in our hearts and marveling at God´s plans for us. In light of our history, we have some questions: What does Christ want from us? What has he revealed of his plan about this work of his? Is he not calling us to a deeper experience of his mercy?

The contemplation of the Heart of Jesus and of his desire to reign in this world is an invitation to make us apostles and brethren who give witness to communion, who accompany each other in their following of Christ, who love each other and who support each other wholeheartedly. The world needs pastors after God’s own Heart (see Jer 3:15), pastors who are witnesses of reconciliation and forgiveness, who heal many wounds with the knowledge that he loved us first. Is not the Lord inviting us today to bring to fullness, and faithfully express with contagious enthusiasm, the gift he has placed in our hands to serve our Mother, the Church?

For my part, I pray to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that he give us all, without exception, a new experience of his mercy, renewed every day in the Eucharist, and to grant us to be religious who seek holiness, capable of totally giving ourselves to others, answering Love with love. I ask all of you to pray for me.

With a remembrance in my prayers,

Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil, LC


PUBLICATION DATE: 2014-06-26


 
 


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