Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Test everything, hold fast to what is good!

I had decided not to make any remarks about the trouble that the Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi have been facing, but now it seems to me that perhaps a comment may be in order.

I cannot believe that a charism should have to depend upon the moral consistency of the one who receives it. If this were so, we would all be doomed! A charism is a gift from the Holy Spirit (who is anything but tame!) for the Church, for us. Who knows why the Holy Spirit chose to use this particularly fallible priest in order to bestow a charism?

That last question isn't meant to be purely rhetorical. Fr. Maciel was indeed chosen for a reason, one that is for the good of the whole Church. Rather than ditching him, or dissolving their Movement, those who follow his charism ought to ask this question of themselves -- they should ask what this means for them, for their lives. I have no doubt that this charism is a legitimate work of the Holy Spirit.

Those who would suggest that the Legionaries ought to be dissolved, or who would demand that they distance themselves from their founder are (I'm really going to say this!) faithless, utterly faithless. These people should pray for God to increase their faith.

If instead, the Legionaries were to look unflinchingly and with intelligence at all the events of their history and recognize to what extent they have been complicit in the sinfulness of their founder (I am not alluding only to those who might have aided him in sin, nor only to those who covered it up and misled others concerning the truth, but to all those in the Movement who have allowed arrogance, dishonesty, and disobedience to the local authority overtake their judgment), then something truly beautiful will surely blossom from their current suffering.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).

7 comments:

Alex Vitus said...

You've said what I have been thinking about quite succinctly.

Suzanne said...

I needed this feedback, Alex. Thanks.

Fred said...

You have expressed succinctly the correct attitude, although I confess I wasn't sure at first.

Rachel said...

You thoughts expressed in this post are very well said. I am one (though not a member of RC) who, along with others both in an out of RC, is thinking maybe they should be dissolved (or most definitely reformed). But I still agree with you that, no matter what happens, the charism is good. And I, too, love the scripture you quoted from Phillipians.

I know people who are in RC, just joined RC, and have left RC, personally. Those who left, still active Catholics, said overtime a very cultic effect takes over and one former RC said the years she spent with them plunged her into depression. They expect ALOT of zealous activity and purity (ironically) from their members. This scandal is a slap in the face to these people. I think it's a bit harsh to call them faithless. But I do see where you are coming from.

Another good friend of mine (who just incorporated in RC last November) was talking with me yesterday and we were discussing all of this. With a complete cleaning of the 'movement' and possible reformation, who knows what will happen. Christ knows everything. Nothing happens by accident, because He is in charge and IS the creator of all things. If all look to Him, instead of the very fallible Maciel, then...overtime, God WILL work this all out for the good of those who love Him. Thanks again for your wonderful words.

Suzanne said...

Rachel, thank you so much for visiting. I was actually thinking only of those people outside of RC who are calling for its dissolution. I wasn't aware that there are those within the movement who want it dissolved?

I used that strong word, "faithless," because either we believe in charisms or we don't. If we believe in charisms, then certainly this one is real (it has been declared so by the Church -- and it is evident that people have met Christ through it; it is evident!) -- in which case, we need to find it amid all the other garbage that obscures it -- and we need to treasure it. If we think that sin can somehow "kill" a charism -- or disqualify it, then what do we really believe? Who is the victor?

It seems to me a problem of faith.

Justine said...

I agree with you, Suzanne. :)

Paul said...

Dear Friends,

The original post was very eloquente and well said. HOWEVER,
it is assuming that there is some kind of charism in the Legion and the Regnum -besides recruiting, retaining, secretly letting members go, and fundraising. We cannot assume a charism exists and is valid until it is tested, as the Pauline quote states. The present Vatican investigation, euphemistically called "visitation" is all about examining the charism to see whether it exists or not.

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."