I was in for 14 years and have been out for 3. I still have my spiritual journal that I kept during that time, but I haven't wanted to re-read it. I feel ashamed of myself, and embarrassed for having wanted so badly to belong, and to fit in, and for having handed over EVERYTHING I had and was.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
This afternoon, as we were finishing our last meditation and heading for Mass, it dawned on me that the spirit of charity among priests here is very different from what I had experienced in the Legion. Keep in mind that our spirit of silence is pretty relative. For the most part there was silence after the talks, some had a harder time than others, but there were moments when we got a chance to chat.
Among the clergy there are those who know each other very well, especially those who were ordained together. Others, like me, still feel a little like outsiders. But what was remarkable was the lack of leg pulling, cutting one another down because of weight, height, temperament or other physical or personal attributes. That struck me so much that I had to mention it to you. That was not my experience in the Legion.
I remember that Maciel had written a number of letters about fraternal charity, about not picking on one another's defects. But it didn't matter. That was a constant way of treating one another. Mostly because it was how we were treated by the superiors. Maciel himself did it. It was alright for a superior to cut his subjects down publicly, and therefore it was accepted among all legionaries.
In a nutshell, charity did not depend so much on what you said and did to one another, but the attitude of the one that was insulted. If someone easily shook it off and went on his way, the more he was teased. If someone got unnerved, well, he usually didn't make it in the Legion.
I'm not saying there weren't those who sincerely sought to live charity. There were. I'm saying there was a way of treating one another ingrained in the system that only sought to humiliate and destroy. Many of us carried the cross of humiliation silently, out of charity. That cross was heavy indeed.
Monday, June 25, 2012
I will be beginning my annual spiritual retreat tonight. Please don't think I gave up blogging already. I'll be back on Friday.
By the way, the diocesan clergy retreat is way different than the LC retreats: spiritual themes and not Maciel/vocation/kingdom/faithfulness themes, and silence is relative... really relative.
Pray for diocesan vocations.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I have been made Pastor of a Parish in Brazil, have worked to bring new life into the parish and do a lot of needed renovations. But must of all I have worked to get rid of a lot of excess baggage that I have been carrying from my legion years. It has not been easy, but has been bearing its fruits.
So it seems to me the time has come to start writing again. Why? because there is so much that I need to get out, and the shared experience helps others who have gone through the same or other nasty experiences.
I recently read Sheila's story and was moved to write.