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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Living a journey from Lent, through Easter to Pentecost as a family.

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Fr. Sylvester Heereman, LC, Gloria Rodríguez and Jorge López published a letter inviting Legionaries and Regnum Christi members to live the months prior to the General Chapter and General Assemblies as an opportunity to seek reconciliation with the Lord and with their brothers and sisters.  They also invited Legionaries and Regnum Christi members to take part in a special novena to the Sacred Heart, focusing on personal and community conversion. 

The letter can be downloaded here: PDF of the Letter.

The novena prayer can be downloaded here: PDF of the Novena.


Thy Kingdom Come!

May 28, 2013

To the members of Regnum Christi

To the Legionaries of Christ

Dear friends in Christ,

It is a great joy to be able to send you this letter as the feast of the Sacred Heart approaches – a celebration of one of the pillars of our spirituality.  The Heart of Jesus Christ, pierced on the cross, has brought us to Him and has made us experience His merciful love and His thirst to light the fire of His love in all hearts.  We want to prepare
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for this meaningful celebration by making atonement for our offences against love and consoling and accompanying the Heart of Jesus.  

What is the meaning of this feast in light of the moment of history we are living?

We are approaching the end of an institutional journey.  A few days from now we will hold the meeting of the representatives of the first and second degrees here in Rome.  During the summer, the territorial assemblies that will revise the draft of the Constitutions of the Legionaries will take place.  After a few months, possibly after summer, we will send the official invitations to the General Chapter of the Legion, the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Men and Women, and the General Assembly of all of Regnum Christi, which we plan to hold in the first months of 2014.  With these events, we will conclude the path that the Church has marked out for us as an expression of maternal care and concern for this work of God.

These external milestones that are passing are being accompanied by the interior journey of each one of us.  Truly, life leaves wounds in our hearts that God heals, but which we will bear always until we arrive to eternal life with Him, like the wounds of the Passion, which Christ chose to bear always on his body, even after the resurrection, in order to accompany our own wounds, and which invite us to place our trust in his mercy.  We have to bear the wounds of a painful institutional past, above all the feeling of a broken fatherhood and the pain associated with the human errors that have been committed and that have made us suffer.

In each of us, the healing process has been and continues to be deeply personal.  For many, this situation has led us to find the Lord once again in our lives and vocations.  This experience of grace calls for deep gratitude towards God.  Yet, others have experienced new sufferings.  Thus we realize that, at least to some degree, some of the sense of the beauty of our calling has been lost.  At times, we continue to hurt one another and, as a consequence, our mutual esteem and trust – so necessary for
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the life of a family – have atrophied.  To this we can add the pain for those who have chosen to leave consecrated life or apostolic commitment in Regnum Christi, either because they felt deceived or as a result of a personal journey. 

This situation is the framing for an initiative that we have been reflecting on and discussing among ourselves and our respective councils.  The Chapter and the Assemblies deserve an adequate preparation on everyone’s part.  We do not want the events we will live to be limited to meetings that study and approve the text of the Constitutions or Statutes, or to be limited to a cursory review of our way of life.  We feel an appropriate spiritual preparation is also necessary, a personal and community journey to “renew our love,” and we want to begin it with the celebration of the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Cardinal Eduardo Pironio, when he was the Prefect of Religious, used to say that “a Chapter is always a celebration of Easter.”  Following this line of comparison, we should remember that Easter is preceded by Lent and that it reaches its fullness at Pentecost. 

Certainly, to arrive at Easter we feel the need to walk a journey of conversion, a “Lent” that will help all of us to grow in sincere conversion to Christ, to know his will better and to put it into practice.  The renewal of the Legion and Regnum Christi in holiness depends upon our capacity of living up to the truth in our own lives and of being open to embracing the grace of conversion to the Heart of Jesus.  It would be sad to measure the fruit of the Chapter and Assemblies by the profundity and beauty of the documents they promulgate.  Instead, the true fruit will be in the conversion of our minds and hearts to joy and self-giving in the path of holiness which God is laying out for us.   

We would like this preparation to be carried out on different levels:

  1. In our personal lives, we should open ourselves to a true renewal in love for God, for our neighbor and for our own vocation in Regnum Christi.  This presupposes prayer, a sincere effort to go along with the grace of conversion, and a growing identification with the merciful love of the Heart of Christ.  It also presupposes a willingness to reach out to those who feel hurt or have distanced themselves from us.  We need to cultivate the desire to learn, to forgive and the humility to ask for forgiveness, so as not to live as prisoners of spite.  Each one of us, in the reality in which he or she lives, should decide before God the steps that he or she must take. 
  2. In communities and teams of Legionaries and Consecrated Members, in teams of the first and second degrees, and in our localities, we must renew and strengthen our union of hearts, living a profound communion that imitates the first Christian communities (cf. Acts 2:42-47) such that, when people look at us they will say: “See how they love one another.”  We want to be bound together in the essential, to give ourselves one to another to truly be brothers and sisters in the calling and mission that we share, to reconcile with one another where it is
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    necessary and to learn to listen to each other, understand each other, accept each other and spur each other on in holiness such that we will experience the meaning of Christ’s words: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20)
  3. On our part, those of us in positions of authority hope to continue moving forward along the path of renewal that the Church has marked out for us.  We want to arrive at the Chapter and the Assemblies having reached a greater clarity regarding the gift God is giving to the Church by means of Regnum Christi, having determined the rules and structures that will most help us to conserve the charism, and having put in place what is needed to overcome what needs to be purified in our mentality and customs.  We want to renew our personal and institutional commitment to place our talents at the service of the Church with humility, gratitude and enthusiasm.  And, of course, we are committed to continue reaching out to those who have suffered more.

 From the General Directorate, we will put different initiatives in motion and we will send some resources to live this preparation on different levels.  With this letter, you will find a text that we propose to unite ourselves in prayer during the novena of the Sacred Heart.

As you can see, we wanted to keep the practical aspect simple in order to leave as much space as possible for personal initiative in each one’s own circle.  There is no need to wait for more indications from the General Directorate to begin the journey.  If you have ideas that go beyond the scope of your own responsibilities, feel free to suggest them to the proper person so that he or she can determine whether if the idea is opportune or possible.  In the instances of government, we will consider with interest any proposal that you send in order to see which can be put into practice in our respective levels of government or ambits of authority. 

Let us all pray insistently that God prepare a wonderful outpouring of his grace on this work of his, and that a great Pentecost will follow on the suffering He has asked of us.  The gift given will be in proportion to the suffering requested. 

We entrust the fruit of our spiritual preparation in the next months to Our Lady of Sorrows and we ask her to intercede for us, her children, so that we will be completely open to the action of God’s grace. 

Promising you a continual place in our prayers, we are sincerely yours in the Heart of Christ,

Fr. Sylvester Heereman      Gloria Rodríguez      Jorge López


Thy Kingdom Come!


Download on pdf format

— Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.  

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a
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new heart.

— “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 Jn 4:8) You, who have opened up for us a way to imitate you fruitfully that all can find, help us to remember that without love, we are nothing.  For our idleness and laziness in love, for our aloofness, distrust and discouragement…  

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt11:29) You who, in your heart, show us humility as the root and meekness as the fruit, grant that by imitating the example you gave us of living these virtues, we may obtain the precious gift of peace with one another and in our own souls.  For the attitudes of pride that you have found in us…

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Mt6:14-15) Grant us, Lord, the grace to forgive others with the goodness with which you embrace our own sins and to let go of grudges against those who have made us suffer.  For the times in which we have closed our hearts to forgiving our brothers and sisters, letting ourselves be driven by bitterness and spite…

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— “No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29)  Help us, Lord, to use the gift of speech to build each other up and not to do harm.  For the times when we have preferred to focus on and diffuse the evil that there is in persons and institutions instead of the good…

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— “Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal6:2)  Grant, Lord, that we may love and understand one another with a merciful heart, thus letting others see your Face.  For the times when self-centeredness has prevailed in us, closing our hearts before the needs of our brothers and sisters…

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— “…that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (Jn 17:21) You, who prayed that we be one, make us patient builders of unity within the great family of the Movement and among all the sons and daughters of the Church.  For the times in which we have fostered the spirit of division and discord that comes from the Evil One…

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

— Have mercy on us, Lord, for we have sinned.

R/ Heart of Jesus, wounded out of love for us, forgive our sins and give us a new heart.

Let us pray:

O God, who in the Heart of your Son, wounded by our sins, bestow on us in mercy the boundless treasures of your love, grant, we pray, that, in paying him the homage of our devotion, we may also offer worthy reparation.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

R/ Amen.



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