Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Weekly Digest of the Regnum Christi Daily Meditations: September 12-19, 2021

Sunday, September 12, 2021 – Getting to Know the Lord

Monday, September 13, 2021 – Lord, Say the Word…

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – God So Loves Me

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 – Taking Mary into My Home

Thursday, September 16, 2021 – The Healing Power of Love

Friday, September 17, 2021 – Love Is Not Snobbish

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – Treat Me Like Dirt!

Sunday, September 19, 2021 – Childlike Trust

 


September 12, 2021 – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Getting to Know the Lord

Father Robert Presutti, LC

Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to know you and to follow closely after you.

  1. A Pop Quiz: Jesus asks his disciples a question completely out of the blue: “Who do people say that I am?” Christ really wants to know who his disciples thought he was. Yet he leads them by degree to the tougher and more committing questions. The first question—who do people say I am—provokes thought and is easy to answer; all the disciples participate in the answer. The second question requires something more. It involves that introspection and self-examination that closeness to Christ always provokes. Only Peter had the courage to respond. Like the disciples in the Gospel, throughout our own spiritual journey Christ will give us surprise examinations and pop quizzes—moments when we, too, will be asked to evaluate who Jesus really is for each of us.
  2. Judging by God’s Standards: Like the disciples in the Gospel, the closer we draw to Christ, the more he reveals himself. Once the disciples know and accept Jesus as the Messiah, it is important they know the type of Messiah he is. Many misconceptions abound, and all conceive of the Messiah in terms that are all too human. He is not the political liberator who will cast off the Roman dominion and make life “easy.” Rather, he is the Redeemer of the human person. In no uncertain terms, Jesus makes it clear to Peter and the disciples that the Messiah is the Suffering Servant of Yahweh, who must suffer greatly and be rejected.
  3. Bound to Christ by the Cross: Peter thought he was doing Christ a favor by trying to dissuade him from the suffering he predicted would be coming. Yet Peter received the surprise of his life. His well-intentioned but completely misinformed attempt got him the worst possible rebuke from Christ, “Get behind me, Satan.” Christ makes it clear that his disciples must be ready to follow in his footsteps. The path to salvation necessarily leads through the sorrow and joy of the cross.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, conform my heart to yours. Help me to value events and things the way you do. Help me love you above all things and be especially ready to follow you when it means a personal sacrifice or discomfort for me. Sustain me, Lord, in my efforts to follow in your footsteps.

Resolution: Today I will accept difficulties with joy.


September 13, 2021 – Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church 

Lord, Say the Word…

 

Father David Daly, LC

Luke 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come here, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me the gift of a deeper faith.

  1. The Centurion: Frequently the people to whom God has given the most recognize him the least. For that reason, he extends the gift of faith to other men and women, especially the simple and humble of heart. The centurion exemplifies this dynamic of God’s grace in our lives. We should strive to be like him: simple, humble, and confident in the powerful action of Jesus in our daily lives.
  2. Lord, I Am Not Worthy That You Should Enter Under My Roof: These words manifest the centurion’s humility. They should also manifest our humility and faith in Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, since they are the words we pray at every Mass just before receiving our Lord in Holy Communion. When we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we truly receive Christ—body, blood, soul and divinity. Our faith is the key to opening up our hearts to Christ’s healing grace.
  3. Not Even in Israel Have I Found Such Faith: Don’t we want Jesus to say these words to us? Isn’t it much better than hearing those other words of Christ: “When the Son of Man returns will there be any faith on earth?” (see Luke 18:8). Christ calls us to be a fresh well of faith, hope and love so that even if he does not find it anywhere else, he can always be consoled by our undying faith.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I want to repeat these words of the centurion. I do believe in you and in your Real Presence in the Eucharist. In my times of doubt or weakness of faith, I will call out to you, “Only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

Resolution: I resolve to pray these words with all my heart today at Mass, in a visit to the Eucharist or in a spiritual communion.


September 14, 2021 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

God So Loves Me

Father Patrick Butler, LC

John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Introductory Prayer: Your word in the Gospel reveals to me the beauty of the mystery of the Cross. I open myself now to you with a believing heart. Your love for humanity is so present in what you say. You give me hope that the world can be changed by your message of love. I want to be more like you, a lover of the Father, a lover of my brothers and sisters to the point of giving my life for them.

Petition: Lord, exalt the cross in my mind and my heart, that I might see it as an instrument of love.

  1. Jesus’ Identity: Nicodemus comes to Jesus to find out who this miracle worker is. Jesus tells him that he is the Son of Man and God’s Son. He has come down from heaven and will return there. Now that he has identified himself, he has gotten Nicodemus’ attention and mine. His answer to the first question does not satisfy us because it has brought up several other questions. How can he claim to be the Son of God when there is but one God? If he is truly God’s Son, why has he come down to earth? What does he want or expect from me?
  2. A Savior Greater Than Moses: Moses had, at God’s command, led Israel out of slavery in Egypt. When the people rebelled in the desert, they were punished by fiery serpents that bit them with poisonous venom. Moses intervened on their behalf, making a bronze image of a serpent, placed on a post; those who looked at it were saved. Jesus saves humanity from its rebellion, not by a symbol raised on a stick, but by sacrificing himself as he was raised on a cross. He saves me not from temporal death, but from eternal death. He is indeed a Savior greater than Moses.
  3. The Degree of God’s Love: How much does the Father love me? If we could measure love on a thermometer, God’s infinite love would send the mercury out the end. His love is boundless. What would he withhold from me if he has already given his son to save me? My sentiments upon contemplating the immensity of God’s love for me should be gratitude, praise and a reciprocating love towards him.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I am moved when I discover how much you love me. You came down from heaven, becoming the Son of Man so that I could know, love and imitate you. You loved me to the extreme of offering yourself up on the cross to save me from sin and death. I want to love you in return to the point of giving my life for you.

Resolution: I will contemplate the cross as a symbol of love, making it a symbol that says something to me whenever I see it. I will try to bear my cross today with love.


September 15, 2021  – Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Taking Mary into My Home

 

Father Patrick Butler, LC

John 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Introductory Prayer: You are true goodness and life, Lord. Closeness to you brings peace and joy. You deserve all of my trust and my love. Thank you for the gift of life, my family and above all of my faith. Thank you as well for giving us your Mother at the foot of the cross.

Petition: Lord, help me to grow in my filial love for Mary, your Mother and mine!

  1. Standing: Today is a Marian feast: “Our Lady of Sorrows.” Mary, like me, had no particular love of pain and sorrow. The first announcement of her vocation by the Archangel Gabriel mentioned nothing about it, being filled only with messianic promises. However, soon after Jesus’ birth, Simeon completed the dimensions that were to enlighten her vocation: “…and a sword will pierce your heart that the thoughts of many might be revealed.” Recognizing the fulfillment of her calling in the accompanying of her Son during his crucifixion, she does so with a desire to fulfill God’s mysterious plan, not reluctantly, but standing closely to Jesus with all the sorrow that this implied for her.
  2. Last Will and Testament: The words Jesus speaks to his mother and his beloved disciple are equivalent to his last will and testament. He bequeaths what is most precious to him to a beloved person. To Mary, he gives the friend that he loves so much, who will also need her help in the difficulties he will face. To John, he gives his greatest human comfort, his mother who is his best disciple. He knows that she needs him, an adopted son, to comfort and accompany her.
  3. Mary Makes My Home Sweet: John took his responsibility for Mary seriously, taking her into his own home. Home for John was nothing less than the Church that Jesus founded. Mary was to have the pride of place there, as Jesus’ mother, and as she who knew, loved and served him best. She also took her role seriously, so seriously that she immediately perceived that all those she encountered were her adoptive sons and daughters. In this house that is the Church, Mary is the sweetness of the traditional saying, “Home, sweet home.”

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I can’t thank you enough for entrusting your mother to me and me to her. I want to take care of her by being an attentive, faithful son who imitates you. That’s what will console her and make her heart rejoice. Mary, be always at my side and intercede for me before God, in order that I persevere in following your Son.

Resolution: I will make my devotion to Mary very personal, whether it be in spontaneous conversation with her or contemplating the mysteries of Christ’s life while praying the Rosary.


 

September 16, 2021 – Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

The Healing Power of Love

 

Father Robert Presutti, LC

Luke 7:36-50

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Introductory Prayer: Holy Trinity, I cannot see you, but you are with me. I cannot touch you, but I am in your hands. I cannot fully comprehend you, but I love you with all my heart.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to be humble and open to interior growth.

  1. Ostensible Openness and Spiritual Pride: Simon the Pharisee has an apparent openness to the Lord. He invites him to dine. He observes him. And he engages him in cordial dialogue. Nonetheless, we see that Simon interiorly judges the Lord, dismisses him as a farce, and ultimately rejects him. The Pharisaical attitude consists essentially in trying to force God into our own preconceived notions of how he should operate. The Pharisees had the correct view of moral precepts (both Simon and Jesus agree that this woman is a sinner). But they fail in recognizing their own sins, which are rooted in pride. This pride manifested itself in that unspoken attitude that God must adjust himself to our way of being and acting.
  2. Redemption: The Pharisee thinks he is sinless and does not admit that he needs a savior. His prideful attitude of “assessing” the Lord proceeds from a deeper pride that blinds him to who he really is before God: a simple creature in need of divine help and grace. Simon wants God to conform to his preconceptions, and winds up rejecting Christ. This is the paradigm of pride. It distorts reality and forges its own self-centered world that Christ cannot penetrate. The woman knows she is a sinner and recognizes the path to her salvation in the words and example of Jesus. She painfully realizes who she is and keenly longs for salvation. The words and example of mercy of Christ resonate deeply in her heart and invite her to repentance. This is the paradigm of humility. Its strength lies in a knowledge and serene acceptance of the truth and makes redemption possible.
  3. Christ’s Goodness: Our Lord’s loving treatment of both the woman and Simon displays a remarkable balance of kindness. He carefully avoids the opposite extremes of condemnation and indifference to others’ sins. The reason Our Lord is able to offer hope and consolation to the repentant sinner as well as to invite the proud with a gentle call to repentance is that Christ will die for both. In this we see Christ’s goodness. He comes to save us all, but we must choose to accept his goodness.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to realize who I am and who you are. Teach me gratitude for your goodness and hope in your mercy. Help me to recognize my pride and strive to overcome it so that you can fill my life with your goodness.

Resolution: I will avoid judging others today.


September 17, 2021 – Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time 

Love Is Not Snobbish

Father David Daly, LC

Luke 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Jesus, teach me to live universal charity.

  1. “Accompanying Him Were the Twelve”: In this rather commonplace phrase from the Gospel, we perceive Jesus’ universal charity. He chose his twelve Apostles from many different backgrounds. Most of them probably would not have been friends were it not for Christ. Matthew was a tax collector; Peter, James and John, fishermen. Judas was more “sophisticated” than the rest. Yet, Jesus called them all to be his closest collaborators. As a result, they would come to cooperate with and appreciate each other. When Christ is at the center of any relationship, differences can not only be overcome, they can become points of strength as well.
  2. Mary, Called Magdalene: Not only did he choose men to be his close collaborators, but as the Gospel says there were also “women who provided for him out of their resources.” Jesus assigned them different roles, but he saved and transformed their lives all the same. We think of Mary Magdalene as a close friend of Christ, but we should also remember that he transformed her, with the power of God’s grace, by expelling seven demons from her.
  3. The Wife of Herod’s Steward: Another of the women following Jesus was “Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward.” It is amazing to realize that the Gospel took root even in the midst of the fiefdom of Herod, a man who had absolutely no esteem for our Lord. We, then, should never “write someone off”. Prayer, sacrifice, and charity can be effective means for the worst sinner’s conversion. Jesus’ message was capable of inspiring followers in all societal conditions and groupings. Similarly, we are called to build the Kingdom at all levels of our secularized world.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, you give us the example of unconditional love for each and every person. You do not care what our background is or how many sins we have committed. Your mercy is infinite and everlasting! Thank you for your love. I beg you to teach me to love without limits.

Resolution: I promise to practice universal charity today by being kind to someone with whom I do not ordinarily associate.


 

September 18, 2021 – Saturday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Treat Me Like Dirt!

 

Father David Daly, LC

Luke 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand. This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for this precious time of meditation and dialogue with you. In meditating on the Parable of the Sower, help me to change so that I will not put any thorns, rocks or hardness of heart in the way of your plans for my life.

Petition: Lord, grant me docility to your will for me.

  1. Hard Ground: We act like hard ground when we hear the inspirations of the Holy Spirit to do what is right, but let them pass as if it were no big deal. We let the devil take away the grace Jesus offers us, and it does not sink into our hearts. Many times superficiality and a lack of faith prevent us from reflecting and taking advantage of the lights that God gives us. We should pray to be more spiritual.
  2. Rocky Ground: How many of us hear the Word of God with joy and follow Christ in the peaceful times, but fall away in the times of trial? We need to let our spiritual roots grow deeper; we need to let the roots of God’s word grow more profoundly into our hearts. The best way to do this is by reading and meditating on the Gospel and solidifying this faith through the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist.
  3. Thorny Ground: The thorny ground represents those of us who are slowed down in our spiritual life by the anxieties, riches and pleasures of life. When the ground of our hearts is thorny, we fail to produce the mature fruit that Christ expects. And we live in the midst of so many thorns… In order to let God’s grace grow in us, we have to sacrifice our own comfort and pleasure, because apart from the cross there is no growth in personal holiness.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, treat me like dirt… but good dirt. I don’t want to place thorns or rocks or hardness of heart in the way of your word. I want to be fertile soil for your word so that you can use me as an instrument to save souls and glorify you.

Resolution: I promise to pray these words many times today: “Not my will, but yours be done.”


 

September 19, 2021 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Childlike Trust

 

Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the author of life and the giver of all that is good. You are the Prince of Peace and my mainstay. You are my healer and the cure itself. I need you, and I need to give you. I love you and commit myself to you entirely, knowing you could never let me down or deceive me. Thank you for giving me your very self.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace of loving trust in you, like that of a little child.

  1. Who Is the Greatest? Just like the disciples, so many times we find ourselves looking to be the greatest. Society encourages us to do whatever it takes to be successful, to be “on top.” Frequently in our struggle to succeed we lose sight of Christ and end up relegating him to second place. If I strive for it, Christ can be of greatest importance in my life. He can be number one despite my weak tendencies.
  2. The Secret to Success: Our Lord gives the secret to success in today’s Gospel passage: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” This is often in contradiction with the ways of the world. The Gospel teaches us that we must humble ourselves like Jesus did in order to achieve true greatness. Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and the climax of this service was his death for us on Calvary.
  3. Childlike Trust: Success in the spiritual life begins with our childlike trust in God. Jesus places a child before the disciples and invites them to consider that child’s relationship of trust and simplicity before his parents. In the same way, we too must become like children before God, our heavenly Father. Do I turn to Our Lord when I’m troubled and when I wish to share something good with someone?

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, from now on I intend to entrust my anxieties and worries to you more readily. Help me to put all my cares in your most capable hands and trust in you like a little child. I know that you love me very much. Strengthen my confidence in you.

Resolution: I will entrust my day into God’s hands and live as a child alongside his father.

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