Thursday, February 12, 2009

Response to Opey's comment

In my post below about the Legion, Opey left a comment asking about the prayer the Legion members recited at the end of the Mass that Thomas Peters, the American Papist, blogged about. I did read his whole post about the Mass he attended.
Concerning the prayer, what struck me as strange was this line in particular: "Lord Jesus, you have entrusted to us the mission of furthering the Legion and Regnum Christi."

It seems strange to me because it identifies the mission as furthering the Legion and Regnum Christi, as if the institutes are an end in themselves. As a religious myself, I certainly love my own congregation, the Daughters of St. Paul. While I pray for my sisters and for vocations for our institute, I never have identified my mission as furthering the Daughters of St. Paul as an institution. Instead, our mission in the Church is specifically to use the media to bring the Word of God to everyone. That's what we pray for when we pray for our mission.I see my congregation as a means to a further end: to proclaim Christ to the world. I hope and pray we would never get to the point where we would identify our mission with keeping our institute going. Religious institutes come and go in the Church. Our deepest commitment is to Christ, through the Church. If in God's plan the time should come when God does not will our institute to continue, then so be it. Blessed be God for his inscrutable ways! He would continue our part in the Church's mission through some other means.

Here's more of the prayer from the Legion that Mr Peters reported:

"Since the Legion and the Movement will be vigorous and will flourish as long as the spirit of our founder is present and active in our lives and behavior, we ask you to open our eyes to the urgency of learning, assimilating and passing on the doctrine, spirit, apostolic methods, genuine traditions, discipline and lifestyle of the Legion and Regnum Christi, just as our founder has made them known to us, since this is our responsibility."

Just speaking for myself, and not intending this as a criticism but simply my own reaction, this strikes me as odd, too, since again it focuses on the particular practices of the Legion. Ultimately in religious life, it is not particular practices that are the most important, but the practice of the virtues and the three vows, while working for the mission. (I'm only giving my reaction here since Opey asked about it. I'm not trying to criticize the Legion.)

Most of the prayers we use in our private Pauline prayerbook were written by Bl. James Alberione, our Founder, and are permeated with his apostolic spirit. For example, here is a Marian prayer he wrote:
O Mary, you who gave birth to the Word made flesh,
be present among us:
assist, inspire and comfort
the ministers of the Word,

O Mary,
you who are the Queen of the Apostles,
intervene with your protection
that the light of the Gospel
may reach all peoples.

O Mary,
Mother of Jesus, Way, Truth and Life,
intercede for us,
so that heaven may be filled
with those who sing the hymn of glory
to the most Holy Trinity. Amen!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Sr. Lorraine. Never having been in or even associated with a religious group I didn't know, but it did seem odd to me.
We have friends who are in the RC and I dare say this whole scandal has stressed our relationship.
Thank you for putting things so well in words. (And for your prayers regarding our house)