An Extract from a letter sent by Fr. Alvaro Corcuera
to the Legionaries of Christ and the members of Regnum
Christi on occasion of Ash Wednesday, 2013.
Jacksonville, February 13, 2013
his radiation treatment and chemotherapy, Father Alvaro Corcuera dictated a
letter to the Legionaries of Christ and all the members
of Regnum Christi on the occasion of the beginning of
Lent. This letter is very Spanish in style and, in
some sections, is as difficult to render in English as
Spanish poetry. Those who would like to read the Spanish
original can find it here. Below, we offer an
extract of the main ideas Father Alvaro addresses.
again extending his thanks for the many signs of support
and gratitude he has received in the past weeks, Father
Alvaro reflects that Lent is both a journey carrying the
cross along with Christ and a time to receive the
Lord into our hearts in prayer.
He then goes on
to meditate on the Our Father line by line. Here
is a summary of his reflections:
The “Our” with which the
Our Father begins shows that, as children of our heavenly
Father, we should be one family, healed of all division.
When our contemporaries look at us, they should say, “See
how they love one another,” just as the pagans did
with the first Christians.
Father Alvaro’s bout with cancer has made
him see the phrase “who art in heaven” in a
new light: he feels much closer to heaven than ever
before. He invites us to quicken our pace in this
pilgrimage, renewing our trust in the Good Shepherd who will
guide us there if we let him.
We live out
“Hallowed be thy name” when we make God the one
and only Lord of our lives. If we do so,
then we will not be slaves to vanity and the
praise others lavish upon us.
“Thy Kingdom Come!” Our life
is to be apostles of God’s Kingdom of love. He
offers some characteristics of this Kingdom:
- Kingdom of humility – God
has revealed himself to us as meek and humble. When
we ask him to make our hearts more like his,
we are asking him to make us humble and to
free us from slavery to pride.
- Kingdom of charity –
Charity is to share the countenance of God with others
by giving ourselves to them in little things and in
big things. After making this reflection, Father Alvaro shares his
memories of all the love that different people showed him
in the days before his operation.
- Saying “Thy Kingdom Come!”
fills us with enthusiasm to share the power of love
with one and all. Love is more powerful than fear
“Thy will be done on earth as it is
in heaven” means that, when we are doing God’s will,
we enjoy a little piece of heaven here on earth.
But, since we say it in the context of the
Our Father, it also means that we want to be
united as a family that is doing the will of
our loving Father.
“Give us this day our daily bread”
made Father Alvaro think of receiving the Eucharist. He says
that one of the first things he realized when he
awoke in the hospital was that he had not received
the Eucharist in several days. When he learned that it
was the feast of the Epiphany, he asked them to
put the Holy Father’s Mass on the television. Seeing it
made him want to receive communion even more.
Praying “forgive us
our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,”
shows us that we are freed from our pride both
when we ask for forgiveness and when we forgive others.
As well, we make our Father in heaven happy when
we approach him in confession. He is waiting for this
chance to say “Don’t worry! I love you!”
us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” makes
Father Alvaro remember that, although we are weak, we should
not fear temptation. We should remember that God offers us
many more graces than the temptations that come our way.
We carry treasures in vessels of clay. It will be
God who frees us from evil if we let him.