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Contemplating Mary at Pentecost
A Pentecost letter from Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, to the Legionaries and Regnum Christi consecrated members.


June 16, 2011. In the following letter, Fr Alvaro Corcuera, LC, shares some reflections about the role of the Virgin Mary at Pentecost, and about some dispositions for receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

"On this solemnity, I would like to invite you to live a special spirit of prayer and supplication, hand in hand with Mary. Let us insistently ask God to infuse the gifts of his Spirit in each one of us, and in the entire Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement. At this unusual time in our history, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us to Jesus. We need the Legion to be more and more ´of Christ,´ and for the Movement to be always ´of Christ,´ only his," he writes.

An English translation of the letter is available below and in pdf format.


Thy Kingdom Come!


Rome, June 12, 2011

To the Legionaries of Christ
To the consecrated members of Regnum Christi

Very dear friends in Christ:

Today we are celebrating the solemnity of Pentecost, praying for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit to find us open and in readiness so that he can renew our heart and fill us with his gifts. The love of God has been poured out in us through the Spirit, as Scripture tells us, and this love is the engine and the source of meaning for our entire life.

Without a doubt, one of the protagonists of the event of Pentecost is the Blessed Virgin, with whom the apostles persevered, united in prayer as they awaited the Holy Spirit. We just celebrated the month of May, which is dedicated to her in a special way. Now I would like to share some reflections on Mary’s relationship to the Holy Spirit.

Contemplating Mary helps us very much. By her example, she shows us how to live open to the Holy Spirit’s inspirations, how to let ourselves be guided by him, as St. Paul says: “all those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Rom. 8:14). St. Luke the evangelist tells us that soon after receiving the inspiration to visit her cousin, Mary set out on her journey “in haste.” She lived filled with God, constantly listened to his voice, and always responded with alacrity and docility. We see her walking to Ain Karim, conversing with the “sweet
P. Álvaro Corcuera, L.C.
"Let us insistently ask God to infuse the gifts of his Spirit in each one of us, and in the entire Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement."
guest of the soul” like a living temple of God’s presence in the world.

Mary, full of grace, let the Spirit do great works in and through her. Her life was a song of praise to God. She was gathered with the apostles in the cenacle while they prayed for the coming of the Paraclete, the Consoler who Jesus had promised them, the one who was to guide them into the full truth, who was to explain so many things that Jesus had not been able to tell them because they could not bear the weight. Mary experienced in herself the fruitfulness and the power of the Spirit that had overshadowed her. For this reason, she was present at Pentecost and is always present in the Church that prays and beseeches, “Come, Holy Spirit!”

On this solemnity, I would like to invite you to live a special spirit of prayer and supplication, hand in hand with Mary. Let us insistently ask God to infuse the gifts of his Spirit in each one of us, and in the entire Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement. At this unusual time in our history, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us to Jesus. We need the Legion to be more and more “of Christ,” and for the Movement to be always “of Christ,” only his. Now that the apostolic visitation to the consecrated members is concluding and the Legionary communities are immersed in the process of reflecting on the Constitutions, God asks us to open ourselves to his plan so that the Legion and Regnum Christi will be what God wants them to be. How will everything end up after this process? None of us has the answer, but we know that the Risen Christ makes all things new (cf. Rev. 21:5) and that God acts in everything for the good of those who love him (cf. Rom. 8:28).

This process requires great self-detachment from each and every one of us. It means accepting that we do not have all the answers, but “the Holy Spirit comes to help us in our weakness” (Rom. 8:26). The gifts of the Spirit are so wonderful that only a heart emptied of self can receive them. It is not a matter of asking the Holy Spirit to follow our own ideas, but of letting ourselves be guided by him to find his will. “We do not
Papa Benedicto XVI
know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with ineffable groanings” (Rom. 8:26). As the papal delegate wrote to us, instead of creating our counter-arguments to make our own view prevail, each one must also look at the others, and be open and ready to have their own ideas assessed by them. From everyone’s assessment and contribution, we are called to a discernment that will lead us along the path of change in the continuity of the very life of the Congregation.” We need to live very open to the Spirit to move forward on this road.

A soul open to the Holy Spirit is a soul that lives immersed in the theological virtues. Faith teaches us to find God in all events, also in setbacks or in our own limitations; supernatural hope takes away the fears and discouragements that can sometimes paralyze us, and gives us an unbreakable security in the triumph that comes from God; the charity that the Spirit pours out into our hearts fills us with filial love and gives us the strength to pursue the ideal, regardless of tiredness or difficulties. What we most need in the Legion and the Movement is to live these virtues in depth. But this is not something we can acquire with our own will, simply by willing it. It is a gift that God wants to give us if we let the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and inflame them with the fire of his love.

We need the gift of the fear of God so that our only fear will be not responding to our God-given call to holiness. We need the gift of fortitude to persevere in the battle and fight the good fight like St. Paul, who said, “I can do all things in him who gives me strength.” We need the gift of piety so as not to work according to human prudence, but rather to proceed with holy audacity and let ourselves be surprised by the Spirit. We need the gift of knowledge to find God’s hand in our history, and the gift of understanding to see ourselves as God sees us, to know ourselves as he knows us.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us grow each day in discernment so that we will not allow anyone to take away our peace and interior joy, and so that no situation will lead us to discouragement, fear, or mistrust. We already know the fruits of the Spirit that we need so much: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22). The thoughts and feelings opposed to these fruits do not come from the Holy Spirit.

We need the Holy Spirit to renew us from within, like the apostles, in order to evangelize without fear and so that nothing will stop or divide us. Benedict XVI taught the youth that “Apostolic and missionary fruitfulness is not principally due to programs and pastoral methods that are cleverly drawn up and ‘efficient,’ but is the result of the community’s constant prayer. Moreover, for the mission to be effective, communities must be united, that is, they must be ‘of one heart and soul’ (cf. Acts 4:32)” (Benedict XVI, Message to the Youth, Sydney 2008). I believe that if we are to bear more apostolic fruits, God is asking more prayer and more charity of us. In some communities and apostolates, members have spontaneously organized special times of adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist, writes Pope Benedict, is a “perpetual Pentecost.” There we discover that “whenever our strength is not enough, it is the Holy Spirit who transforms us, filling us with his strength and making us witnesses suffused by the missionary fervor of the risen Christ.” (ibid).

I invite you to ask for the grace of the Spirit’s fire to renew us from within and to do an examination of conscience about our openness and docility to the Holy Spirit. Let us seek the grace to open our heart more and more to receive him and for him to live in us, so that we will interiorly accept his will above our own, leaving aside the desire to control and direct the events of our own life and letting God take the reins. Along with this letter, I am sending some texts that can perhaps be useful for you to reflect and meditate on during these days.

May Mary, united in prayer with the apostles in the Cenacle, accompany us always and obtain for all Legionaries and consecrated members of Regnum Christi the grace of a new and continual Pentecost in our lives.

Your affectionate brother in Christ,

Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC



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