|"Since prayer is what leads us to become ever more likened to Christ, I would like to reflect on this topic with you. Our personal life is a reflection of our prayer life."|
November 21, 2011. Fr Álvaro Corcuera, LC, general director of
the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, sent the following
letter to all Regnum Christi members and friends on the
occasion of the feast of Christ the King.
can be read in pdf format here.
Rome, November 20, 2011
To all the members and friends
of Regnum Christi
on the solemnity of Christ the
Very dear friends in Christ:
It is always a pleasure
to address you, dear members and friends of Regnum Christi,
above all to thank you for the witness of your
generous self-giving, prayers, and many gestures of support. This day,
so beloved by all of the Church and the family
of the Movement, gives me the opportunity to share some
reflections that can help us to continue living our Christian
and apostolic vocation as God expects us to.
We know that
the Movement is a work of the heart of Christ.
He is the one who has personally invited us to
be witnesses of his love and to extend his Kingdom
among our brothers and sisters. Today we look to him,
thanking him for all his blessings, for all the good
he does through each one of you. How it motivates
and consoles us to contemplate Christ, the true universal King,
whose immense love is always stronger than all forms of
evil in the world. As with the first disciples, he
assures us of his real presence among us until the
end of time. He is, truly, the culmination of all
our aspirations, the one who fully reveals the dignity of
each man in God’s eyes, and the one who assures
us of the definitive triumph of his love.
His kingdom is
very different to those of this world. Christ presents himself
to us as the true King of peace, meek and
humble of heart. He exercises his sovereignty from the throne
of the Cross. With his humility, he fills us with
peace and asks us to imitate his meek and humble
heart. We fix our gaze on him to clothe ourselves
in his own feelings, to let ourselves be imbued with
his love for all men and women. We want to
learn from his example of serving our brothers and sisters
as the sure way to one day reign with him.
prayer is what leads us to become ever more likened
to Christ, I would like to reflect on this topic
with you. Our personal life is a reflection of our
prayer life. Pope Benedict XVI is currently offering a series
of catecheses on prayer. In them, he gives us very
valuable teachings, but above all, he opens his heart to
us, since it is there, in union with God, that
he finds the light and strength to guide the Church.
We are also called to make prayer not just a
means of spiritual growth and sanctification, but a vital need,
something we really cannot live without.
1. A transformative encounter with
Christian prayer is above all an encounter with Christ
in which we contemplate his love for us. Our effort
is necessary to dispose ourselves properly to enter into his
presence, but we know that the protagonist of prayer is
God and our part is to remain in an attitude
of listening and openness. St. Augustine expressed it with these
beautiful words: “Prayer is the meeting of God’s thirst with
man’s thirst. God thirsts for man to thirst for Him”
(St. Augustine, De diversis quaestionibus octoginta tribus 64, 4).
with Christ, if we are open and well disposed, transforms
us in the depths of our being. Prayer changes our
way of seeing, thinking, and acting. In prayer, God gives
us a new heart able to love, forgive, give itself.
And he does this because prayer, as an encounter with
Christ, allows us to touch his heart and little by
little, lets him make it more like his (cf. Mt.
11:29). It enables us to know and take on his
feelings (cf. Phil. 2:5), but it also wipes away our
tears (cf. Is. 25:8). That is the most mysterious transformation:
where he touches our heart, he heals it, frees it,
gives it wings, making it like his own.
special period through which we are living, God invites us
to live very close to him, to let him be
the one who heals the wounds on our souls, who
consoles us and continues showing us his loving plan for
the Movement and each one of us: holiness. In his
homily at the canonization ceremony a few weeks ago, the
Pope said that the most outstanding trait of the three
new saints was that they let themselves be transformed by
God’s love and become a reflection of that love for
their brothers and sisters until they could say, like St.
Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ
who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). The Holy Father said,
“They let themselves be transformed by divine charity, molding their
lives by it. In different situations and with different charisms,
they loved the Lord with all their heart and their
neighbor as themselves” (Homily, October 23, 2011).
This transformation is not
principally the result of a personal decision or effort, but
of our openness to grace in prayer and the sacraments.
Being in touch with the passionate love of God also
leads us to live for Christ and for the salvation
of souls with authentic passion.
When we pray, our enthusiasm for
the mission grows. For St. Paul, preaching Christ was the
dream that marked his whole life. Enthusiasm is not a
superficial or fleeting sentiment, but the deep and convinced attitude
of the one who knows what he has in his
hands: a treasure we cannot keep for ourselves.
2. Humility and
Humility is the door that allows us to enter into
God’s presence. We know that God is pleased with humble
souls and grants them his grace. Humility helps us live
in the truth and frees us from self-love, the main
obstacle to contemplating God. When we turn to him with
humility in prayer, we let God act in us and
we can do all things with Him.
Humility helps us put
our trust in God and abandon our restlessness and difficulties
into his hands. The Pope said in one of his
audiences, “Turning to the Lord in prayer always implies an
act of trust, with the awareness of entrusting oneself to
a God who is good, rich in love and fidelity.
[…] Under the Lord’s guidance, we must be sure that
those are the right paths for us, that He is
guiding us, that He is always close to us, and
that we will lack for nothing” (Audience, October 5, 2011).
Thus, humility and trust are like the keys that allow
us to enter into that dynamism of transforming contact with
the heart of Jesus in prayer. Before him, everything that
is not of him falls away and frees us from
the danger of individualism. If humility is the truth with
which we see ourselves, the truth is what God sees
in each one of us: that authentic vision is a
result of prayer because it is a participation in his
divine vision. But this sincerity does not lead to discouragement,
because we discover that what God asks of us is
to trust, to cast our nets (cf. Mt. 5:5), and
to prepare ourselves and others to meet Jesus (cf. Mk.
When prayer is humble, it is also grateful. Christ
himself gives us evidence of that when he addresses his
Father, saying, “I thank you, Father, because you always listen
to me” (Jn. 11:41), “Thank you, Father, for you have
hidden these things from the wise and the learned, but
you have revealed them to the simple” (Mt. 11:25). Gratitude
helps us recognize God’s action in our life and his
interventions in the small or big events. For grateful souls,
God’s gifts do not go unnoticed, and that is why
they communicate peace and joy, even in the midst of
life’s darkness and trials. Gratitude opens the way to hope
and makes us feel God’s presence more closely, “since in
reality, He is not far off. You are the one
who makes Him be far off. Love Him and He
will come close to you: love Him and He will
dwell in you” (St. Augustine, Sermon 21:3-4).
3. Supplication and
We frequently turn to prayer to present our needs or
our brothers’ needs to God. When facing a special trial,
a painful situation, or the daily difficulties of living our
Christian vocation faithfully, we know that in prayer we will
find the peace of soul and the light we need
to show us the way. True prayer teaches us to
recognize God’s loving plan for us in the midst of
these unexpected situations. That prayer and openness do not usually
give us an intellectual understanding or a rational conviction that
brings tranquility, but rather allow a certainty of faith to
emerge: God has chosen the cross as a means of
Redemption, and he associates us to that dynamic in ways
that are often mysterious. He enables us to see the
meaning of suffering, like Christ, who loved us to the
end. Contemplating Christ crucified leaves us speechless and fills us
with love and gratitude.
In the Our Father, we find the
model to present our petitions to God. When we turn
to him with purity of intention, seeking to please him
in the fulfillment of his will to establish his Kingdom,
we learn to lift up our heart and pray as
we ought. We discover that his ways are not our
ways, and that his ways are much better. He knows
better than us what we need: when we pray trustfully
for our needs, we dispose ourselves better to receive the
gifts that he, as a good Father, wishes to give
God is moved when we pray for others. The best
help we can offer others is to pray for them
to bring them closer to God. In his preparation for
the Assisi meeting, Pope Benedict reminded us that the Christian’s
best contribution to peace on earth is prayer. Before so
many situations that upset us and make us suffer because
they are contrary to God’s plan, the most important thing
is prayer. That is where we learn to enter into
the heart of God and see problems with his eyes.
We learn to see the evil in the world with
the redeeming heart of Christ, who came not to judge
or condemn but to save.
4. Prayer and peace
other hand, prayer also allows the Holy Spirit to grant
us his fruits, the ones St. Paul reminds us of
in his letter to the Galatians. “But the fruit of
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
meekness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Today we contemplate Christ the King
of the universe, but, as Benedict XVI recently reminded us,
he is “a meek king who reigns with humility and
meekness […], He is the king of peace, thanks to
the power of God, which is the power of goodness,
the power of love. He is a king who makes
the horses and chariots of war disappear, who breaks the
bows of war; a king who makes peace on the
cross, uniting heaven and earth and building a bridge of
brotherhood among all men” (Audience, October 26, 2011). Those conflicts
and wars also nest within the heart: there as well—through
contemplation and constant dialogue—the Lord brings peace and comfort. Thus,
in the measure that we ourselves have peace in our
heart, we will be “instruments of peace” for our brothers
and sisters, as St. Francis of Assisi prayed.
Dear friends, I
wanted to reflect with you and go over some topics
that you surely already know or live, but that help
us go to the essential of the apostle’s life and
which, for that reason, are worth going over and examining
within that same dialogue with Christ. May he himself make
these ideas fruitful in your soul and continue making the
Movement a united family in Christ, a family in which
we are filled with trust knowing that we have Mary
as our Mother and that we can take refuge in
her motherly protection.
Know that you always have my prayers for
you. Sincerely yours in Christ and in the Movement,
Alvaro Corcuera, L.C.