4. Accompaniment: the Fourth Element in the Life of Lay Members of Regnum Christi
Regnum Christi sees accompaniment as essential in following Christ. We seek to accompany others as Christ did people in the Gospel, person to person, discerning and following the path of holiness together. Accompaniment can be natural and spontaneous, as in friendships, or more formal and intentional, as in Spiritual Direction. Pope Francis states that the Church invites everyone, “priests, religious and laity – into this art of accompaniment which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5)… Missionary disciples accompanying missionary disciples.” (Evangelii Gaudium)
11. Accompaniment (see Statutes of the Regnum Christi Federation 35 §1) is a responsibility shared by the lay member, who should seek it, and Regnum Christi, which should offer it. This accompaniment is realized especially in personal and sacramental attention, team life, and apostolic formation and follow-up.
12. Lay members of Regnum Christi seek regular spiritual direction as a traditional means offered by the Church for spiritual growth. Through it, they learn to discern God’s will and to embrace it with love.
Dialogue with the team leader
13. Lay members of Regnum Christi are accompanied by their team leader, who through frequent dialogue helps them as a friend and brother or sister on their journey of personal and apostolic growth
Person to person
34. Christ not only preached to the multitudes, but he also went out to encounter each person where they were at. Therefore, members of the federated institutions and the associated faithful give priority to activities and ways of carrying them out that favor personal contact.
Accompaniment and spiritual direction
35 §1. Accompaniment is required to form convinced apostles who aspire to the fullness of life in Christ. Accompaniment is understood as close, stable personal attention marked by selfless service. It seeks to help the other be open to the action of grace and contribute their own human collaboration, so they can respond to the questions and challenges they encounter on their journey of human and spiritual growth.
§2. Spiritual direction is a specific form of accompaniment and an important means ofgrowth in the spiritual life.
Video: Personal Accompaniment — the Heart of the Matter – Janet Lees
Member Testimony: Sara Blalock on Personal Accompaniment
Accompaniment. What a strange word! Yet, for our lives in the Regnum Christi Movement, this word has become more and more part of our regular language. What does it mean? I have prayed extensively about this topic. Recently, at a holy hour, the Lord gave me a beautiful, concrete image to share with others.
Imagine a singer, standing on an empty stage of a large music hall. The performance begins with a clear voice singing–a capella. The sound of his voice echoes strangely around the gallery. Suddenly, from the orchestra pit, you hear a faint sound of a piano carrying the simple melody. A few moments later you hear the drums, adding to the beat. The singer continues his song, becoming stronger, bolder. One by one, more instruments are added to the sound until a full orchestra is playing. Is the song the same? Yes. What does the accompaniment do to the tune? The song fills our senses and awakes our soul to a rich depth we did not know was there. Perhaps, we didn’t even know we needed this awaking in our soul until we experienced it.
Regnum Christi has been one of the most beautiful gifts in my life. I joined the Movement in October 2007. At the time, I had been praying for five years about a need to have a community. I desired a group of people who were in a similar state of life and desired to be active in the Church. My friend Michelle, who was really an acquaintance at the time, invited me to a discernment course that ultimately lead to my incorporation. Her sanguine personality and zeal for Christ attracts people like a light attracts moths. I thought, if there are other women like Michelle in this group, perhaps I needed to be part of it.
My friendship with Michelle is filled with story after story of accompaniment, times when we have walked together though hardship, prayed each other through our trials, and celebrated our joys. About six months after I joined the Movement, my husband and I found we were expecting our third child. Michelle and I had plans to attend a wrap up event after a big Pure Fashion Show. That day, I started experiencing some complications to my pregnancy. Michelle came over, loaded my children and me into her van with her 4 children and drove me to the hospital. She fed my children and led a rosary in the car while I had a sonogram. My personal chauffer not only cared for me when I was unwell, she comforted me and cheered me up when I was placed on bed rest for a week after miscarrying the baby. Michelle’s words of hope, caring actions, and love of Christ penetrated my sorrowful heart.
Why is accompaniment important to our life as Regnum Christi members? I think accompaniment is a characteristic of a Christian community. Regnum Christi members
understand and recognize that family is not limited to our biological family. Accompaniment flows from being a spiritual family.
Michelle is my sister in Christ. We have held hands through many stages of life. Together, we encourage each other to continue to fight for Christ and move forward in our missions. This reciprocity strengthens us to continue. Our friendship is the seed from which many fruits have blossomed. When carefully examined, the root of accompaniment–these special friendships–is love.
What is Regnum Christi? by Fr. John Bartunek, LC
For current Regnum Christi members in every state of life, as well for inquirers and future members, the Statutes of the Federation are a firm reference point as we journey forward together serving the Church. To that end, What Is Regnum Christi? is a short essay that explores the critical concepts found in the Statutes and, by the grace of God, will open new doors for living out the Regnum Christi vocation.
All Things Proceed: Recognition and Communion by Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC
The term communion has considerable currency both in the Church and in Regnum Christi’s renewal. We have a shared sense that God wants us to experience the gift of communion. But the term has a meaning far deeper than simply all getting along or treating each other in a civil fashion to get things done.
The new movements in the Church help give flesh and blood to the Universal Call to Holiness. And holiness, union with God, is only in communion. Living and evangelizing in true communion—as lay people, consecrated men and women, and priests—we show that, with God, this is possible. And since what we pray and think about shapes our actions, further reflection on communion is both relevant and enriching.