The Regnum Christi Movement offers its members some guidelines of a gospel-based spirituality as an ideal of Christian life. The spiritual path that Regnum Christi members walk mainly consists in knowing, loving, imitating, and proclaiming Christ. This is the path and these are the goals.
Below, we offer some resources that can help nurture the spiritual life of Movement members and of any Christian.
Daily Prayer 2013-01-21
Listen to podcast version here.
The New Joy of the Bridegroom
| SPIRITUAL LIFE
Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr
Father Walter Schu, LC
of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to
fast. People came to him and objected, "Why do
the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees
fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered
them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom
is with them? As long as they have the
bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will
come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day. No one
sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old
cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the
new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise,
no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise,
the wine will burst the skins, and both the
wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is
poured into fresh wineskins."
Introductory Prayer: Jesus,
what a joy and what a gift to have this
time to be alone with you! I want to
know you more deeply. I want to hope in you
more firmly. I want to love you with greater
constancy in my daily life. Only you can give me
these gifts. Only you can make me a bold
and joyful apostle of your Kingdom.
Petition: Lord, help
me to experience the new joy that comes from carrying
the cross alongside you.
1. The Joy of the Bridegroom:The
Old Testament prophets, especially Hosea and Isaiah, describe the
relationship between Israel and Yahweh as a marriage covenant.
Israel is the bride, often an unfaithful one, and
Yahweh is the bridegroom. When Christ refers to himself as
the bridegroom, he is appropriating a title that had
been reserved to God alone. Clearly, Jesus is much
more than an ordinary rabbi. What experience do we
most associate with a bridegroom and the wedding feast? Joy!
“Although it is true that the cross is never
absent from an authentically Christian life, it is equally
true that the God who meets us on that cross
is the same God who created the heavens and
the earth, the oceans and the mountains, laughter, sunlight,
and every earthly delight” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better Part,
p. 365). Christ came to bring us joy, a joy
that would last into eternity.
2. Should Christians Fast? Christ
says that when the bridegroom is taken away, then his
disciples will fast. This is his first reference in
the Gospel of Mark to his coming passion. Fasting
is a way of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Fasting,
sacrifices, and acts of self-denial are also means to detach
ourselves from earthly goods in order to cling more
firmly to Christ himself. They make us aware of
how much we need God. But these ways of sharing
Christ’s cross should not make us glum followers. “Some
Christians give the impression that following Christ is a
somber affair, or that the Christian life consists above all
of dour sacrifices and boring obligations. Joyless, dreary, dull.
No wonder their friends want to stay as far
away from Christianity as possible!... If our friendship with
Christ does not fill us with contagious enthusiasm, we’re
probably being a half-hearted friend” (John Bartunek, LC, The Better
Part, p. 365).
3. “Behold, I Make All Things
New.” The movie The Passion of the Christ puts
this phrase from Revelation on Christ’s lips when he meets
his mother Mary as he carries the cross to
Calvary. Christ’s “narrow gate” of the cross leads to
a radically new way of life. It brings an abundance
of joy, a new vigor, interior peace. The new
wine of the life of grace that Christ pours
out on his followers must change not only their way
of life, but even their internal attitudes and consciousness.
As St. Teresa of Avila once put it, “A sad
saint is a bad saint.” What obstacles in my
life do I need to overcome in order to follow
Christ with greater joy and to radiate that joy
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord,
for the new life you came to bring — your
own divine life of grace inside me and each
of your followers who is faithful to you. Help
me to share that joy with others. I long to
be a true apostle of your joy.
Resolution: Today I
will forget about myself and seek only to help make
those around me joyful.
The daily meditation is a service of Regnum Christi that offers people a Gospel reflection through e-mail. You can view the weekly meditation on this link or listen the podcast version here.
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