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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Fr Alvaro Corcuera: month to honor Mary, our Mother in heaven
The beginning of Mary’s month also gives me the occasion to invite you to renew your way of living a central aspect of the Regnum Christi Movement’s spirituality: our filial and delicate love for the Mother of Christ.

Virgen de Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Your Kingdom Come!

Rome, May 1st, 2005


Dear Friends in Christ,

The month of May has just begun, the month the Church devotes in a special way to honor our heavenly Mother, Mary. I take the opportunity to send to all my warmest greetings, and to thank you for your prayers and all the expressions of support and loyalty that you have sent me over the last few months. The start of Mary´s month affords me the opportunity to invite you to renew your living of a central aspect of Regnum Christi’s spirituality, which is a childlike and exquisitely faithful love for the Mother of Christ. 

Devotion to Mary is a distinctive element of the Movement’s spirituality which, by being centered on Christ is deeply Marian. This devotion does not consist in merely feeling affection toward Mary, which is very good and necessary. It requires above all our sincere effort to imitate her hallmark virtues: faith, hope, charity, humility, obedience, the spirit of service, purity, self-denial and apostolic zeal.

She is the Mother of Church, and under that title was invoked with special love and faith by our beloved Pope John Paul II. How could we forget his example of love for the Mother of God, beginning with the motto “Totus tuus” that he chose for his coat of arms, words that sum up a lifetime devoted to honor and serve the Mother of God? How many Marian shrines he visited all around the world, to pray to her for the needs of the world and the Church! In the tragic moment of the attempt against his life in 1981 his first thought was for her and his first defense was to pick up his rosary to invoke her help and protection. He himself attributed his delivery form the death that humanly speaking seemed the natural result of the gunshot wounds to Mary´s intercession invoked as Our Lady of Fatima on whose feast-day the attack took place. Even when he could no longer speak, shortly before he died the first thing he did was to renew in writing his total consecration to Mary, thus expressing his unwavering wish always to be totally hers.

John Paul II has left us an admirable example of devotion to Mary, which he lived simply, sensitively and constantly. Though at the outset of his formation, as he himself says in his autobiographical Gift and Mystery, he wondered if devotion to Mary would separate him from Christ to whom he wished to give his life as a priest, moved by the Holy Spirit he very quickly understood that true devotion to Mary leads us to imitate her Son more perfectly.

We can see the same devotion in our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, God´s great gift to his Church in today’s historical context. In his first appearance to the world immediately after his election, from the balcony of blessings in St. Peter’s Square, he entrusted his whole pontificate to Mary, and in his recent “Regina Coeli” address he invited us to contemplate Christ through the eyes of Mary and to value the Rosary prayer, after the example of John Paul II.

Dear Regnum Christi members, I invite you especially in this month of May to thank Mary for the countless gifts granted to the world and the Church through John Paul II and his words, and not to let a single day go by without imploring her intercession and help for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI. In these first days of his service to the Church as bishop of Rome and universal Shepherd, he has asked us insistently for prayers that God will help him fulfill his vital mission. We cannot ignore this request form the one who is for us the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Successor of Peter, especially in the opening days and weeks of his pontificate, when the Church’s enemies redouble their attacks by trying to discredit the Holy Father in various ways.

It is the Movement’s custom to pray for the Pope to support him in his ministry, but we cannot forget other reasons which, humanly speaking create for us a debt of gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI. How could we fail to be grateful for the countless expressions of affection and benevolence he has constantly lavished in recent years in various encounters with Legionaries and Regnum Christi members? On many occasions he visited our Center for Higher Studies and our Athenaeum in Rome in order to share with us his experience as a man of faith, a theologian, a shepherd of the Church, and a close, frontline collaborator with the Holy Father. How could we fail be grateful for those entire days of study he dedicated to the professors and students at our Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, and to the priests and religious of our community, despite his overcrowded agenda? On those occasions he was always generous with his time, staying on after meals in long conversation with our Founder, formators and professors, showing his closeness, affection and kindness. He also had many encounters with various Regnum Christi groups that went to see him where he worked in the Vatican, and he always had words of encouragement for them to fulfill their apostolic mission with greater zeal and holiness. There are many testimonies from Legionaries and Regnum Christi members whom he received personally for various reasons, or whom he recognized as he came and went between his office and his residence, stopping to have some friendly words with them as simply and spontaneously as can be.

On all these occasions he not only showed himself to be an authorized Teacher in the faith, but also a true Father who in a most considerate and humble way wanted to devote time to be with his children. Personally, the many occasions I have had the grace of meeting and spending time with him in a climate of friendship, affection and trust are engraved on my heart. How true is the promise the Sacred Heart made to our Father in the first years of the foundation, that he would give him “the arm and heart of his Vicar!” The Movement has always counted on the support of the one who is the Vicar of Christ on earth. Now, with the new Pope providence has chosen for this time in history, it is evident yet again that in the Successor of Peter we have not only a beacon of truth and light that enlightens our journey through the world, but also a loving Father who confirms us in our faith and guides us, as a Good Shepherd, along the path of God’s will. 

The closeness and support of the Popes helps us to march decisively toward the goal we all aim for in this life, Christ and extension of his Kingdom in the world. The Blessed Virgin also offers us her motherly protection, and she helps us, by her example and intercession, to fulfill our mission to bring Christ to the heart of human society. We know by personal experience that fulfilling this task brings contradiction, opposition, criticism and difficulties. If you are faithful to the mission you will always be, like Christ, a sign of contradiction. Mary was told that a sword would pierce her heart. The more we experience trials, persecution and crosses, so much the more we assimilate her silent experience as she accompanied her Son to the foot of the cross. And so, we ought never to forget the close, tender, strong and faithful presence of our heavenly Mother. In times of cross and pain the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego become a source of strength and fidelity: “Am I not here, your Mother? Let not your heart be troubled, let nothing upset you.” 

Let us live this month of May in the Year of the Eucharist very close to Christ and Mary, praying insistently for the needs of the whole Church, for the Pope, bishops, priests and lay faithful, and those who suffer. Let us pray with great faith and trust for the Legion and Regnum Christi, especially for vocations. In the Eucharist, both in our conscious, active and fervent participation in the holy Mass and in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in our Eucharistic visits, we find the power to restore in our hearts the love we need if we are to fulfill our mission, and patiently and serenely bear the cross the Lord has allowed to fall on those who want to follow him – a cross that at times seems too heavy for our feeble resources. Let us nourish our lives on the Eucharist, because in it lays the source of love and the secret of our perseverance. Therein lays the key to live the specific charism of charity that has been given to us. 

Who better than her can teach us to live the commandment Christ left us? There are times in which St. Paul’s words, “Conquer evil with good,” come more to life than ever. To be able to discover that behind everything God will draw a greater good. And that charity is our distinguishing mark. Charity surpasses justice, forgives injuries, is understanding, encourages and accompanies in the midst of any tribulation. What a wonderful apostolate to be charity’s tireless apostles, to the limits of our strength. Never a grudge or reprisal, never an expression of contempt or misunderstanding... Martyrs of charity, witnesses to charity, like the first Christians: “See how they love one another.” 

And, as the Holy Father Benedict XVI has asked us, let us have constant recourse Mary during this month of May, especially by the loving recitation of the Holy Rosary in order to entrust to her all the intentions we hold in our hearts. Let us keep our beloved Pope constantly in our prayers, that God will grant him the light and strength he needs as our Good Shepherd to guide the Church along the path of God’s will in these first decades of the third millennium. Let us also ask her during this month of May, to be there always with the young people who are now deciding their vocational future. May the generosity of the Blessed Virgin´s “yes” lead them also to want to give themselves unreservedly to the joyous following of their call to the priesthood or consecrated life. 

I entrust myself to your prayers that the Lord will not cease to enlighten me as I fulfill my mission, and I can be a faithful instrument in his hands. Thus, with the help and prayer of all of you the Kingdom of Christ will be spread in this world through the charism of the Movement for the good of the Church. May the Blessed Virgin Mary’s presence in your lives draw you closer and closer to Jesus the Christ.

In him I remain yours affectionately,

Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, LC



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