Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Time and prayers. Lots of prayers


It is a fact that the Legion of Christ is in the process of revision or reform. Whether it will be a reform or a revision is yet to be seen. The Congregation Apostolic Delegate, Cardinal Velasio de Paulis, has convoked an extraordinary General Chapter to begin in January 2014. 

While many have blogged their ideas about the reform, and others have blogged their experiences of life in the Legion of Christ or the Regnum Christi Movement, it is also a fact that little is known about what has been done to reform the Legion in the last three years. 

Now it is time to wait and see what comes of this revision/reform. It is a matter of time, and prayers: lots of prayers, because of no real reform takes place, there will be another wave of priests and religious who will leave. Many are just waiting to see what happens. Pray for them. Leaving is not easy.

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An update to this post 11/7/2013
The news of Fr Deomar de Guedes departure from the Congregation is all the more reason to pray for those who are still in the Legion and possibly contemplating their exit. I sincerely ask you to pray for them. Pray that their faith in the Lord may not fail, and they will be warmly accepted in the dioceses they choose.  The decompression process is painful and at time confusing. They need our support and prayers. 

7 comments:

  1. Hi, Fr. John. I was recently ejected from the Legion, and am seeking outside connections to former Legionaries.

    I just want to communicate a thought about this blog. I'm sure you, as I, had a great love for your mission, as well as many brothers and friends in the Legion.

    To be honest, I still believe I am called and hope to be re-admitted in the near future. While it would be very easy to slip into an attitude of bitterness toward this congregation, I know that beyond all appearances, each one of us is actually in the hands of God, and we must consider all of life's decisions in that context.

    That said, I wonder about this blog, which is about a journey of transition. You say you're happy to be out, yet continue to follow the internal affairs of the congregation. Maybe you have a good reason for that. I am afraid that it may be an unhealthy obsession or a hind-glance at what you have left.

    Neither is part of your current ministry.

    Just in reference to another post, I don't know if your formation had any secrets to it about how to make a schedule, but what I learned there helped me to make myself more effectively available for people while carrying out my responsibilities in the community and to my formation.

    Let's imagine that your implied opinion that there's a fundamental flaw in the congregation is right. The leadership fails to make authentic reform. Then those who seek the reform and are disappointed, leave. Those who seek God and not his things are not disappointed because they have no expectations. They continue on unaffected because an inept leadership cannot separate them from the true source of holiness and fruitfulness - God.

    I see that you have much to thank God for - you have had this experience, you have found God's will somewhere else, and you have persisted in his service in the priesthood. He has trusted you to see some pretty stiff action and you have not lost faith. I hope no bitterness will take you from behind.

    I am sincerely jealous since the decision was freely yours and you have already reached the priesthood. I am in total vocational limbo and what I think now is that while the situation may be unfair, the process in need of reform, that God runs the show. Even negative experiences are part of God's lifelong love letter to each one of us. Let's not disappoint him with spectatorship and reminiscences that detract from his image which we strive to make present in this world at each moment.

    Thank you for your generosity and service, for your courage in discerning God's will. Be assured of my prayers for you and the souls entrusted to you in Brasilia.

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  2. Dear Anon,

    "I am afraid that it may be an unhealthy obsession or a hind-glance at what you have left." "Let's not disappoint him with spectatorship and reminiscences that detract from his image which we strive to make present in this world at each moment."

    This is some very strange passive-aggressive language you are using. "unhealthy obsession", "hindglance", "spectatorship"... There's no need to ascribe bad intentions to Fr John, especially when the most obvious reason to start this blog of his would be to *help* ex-members, which now apparently includes you as well.

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    1. Maybe you're right; it's just so much easier to put it out there with that anonymous option!


      Let's put it this way. I've seen the full range of reactions inside and outside of the congregation. I don't know what anyone has suffered, not well. I believe that I have received much good, and the only recovery I'm undergoing is due to a condition that existed before I joined. Now, your last sentence was well placed and I'm still pulling the knife out of my heart, but I do see a need to move on from the past. In that light, my message was directed to Fr. John. Since I wasn't contacting directly, I hoped he would simply see the message(not public until approved by site administrator, right?), and delete the message because it isn't really for others to see. I apologize if anything I said reflected poorly on Fr., who I only know through two articles, and for my inept language, and for that comment going public if he didn't see and approve it first. Thanks for balancing my comment and sticking up for him.

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  3. @Anonymous - I know I am a little late to jump into this discussion, but I'd like to comment anyway.

    First, Fr John has helped me. Believe me, the Legion and RC shattered a lot in my family. Strange how no one in this holy group wants to own that though.

    Second, it is my opinion that, until you have spent some time OUTSIDE the Legion, it's difficult to objectively see what was dysfunctional IN the Legion. For example, I suspect you hd no idea of the passive aggressive tone in your message to Fr John, yet I see it as a typical LC-style method of silencing criticism. If you spend enough time away, hopefully you will come to recognize that, in yourself, and in your fellow LCs. But when your IN the Legion, it FEELS right, good, holy, like well-chosen and even charitable words. It's not.

    Finally, the very fact that you thought Fr John would censor your criticism speaks volumes about the environment you've been living in. You see, Fr John is free to have an open discussion, an exchange of opinions. And I may be wrong, but it seems a wee bit passive aggressive as well, blaming Fr John for your comment because, well, he's the guy that allowed it to stand, uncensored, right?
    No Name

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    1. Seconding everything Anon Nov30 "just" said, IMHO the original pass/aggr critique is what drives many formers to post anonymously. It's hard to have a discussion when your interlocutor has so little respect.

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    2. Okay, if it's to be interpreted that way, I'll just throw out 'passive'. Who likes to revisit memories of an abuser? Who would make a blog about him? Now bring that to the level of an organization.

      But if he feels he has to speak out about it, I'm not denying his right.

      You are suggesting by your words to me that it's healthy to mull over something negative that you can't fix. I would like to mention it to the good father that it's a possible motivation here, and it may hurt him as a person.

      By the way, I didn't learn well how to speak from the congregation. My lack of goodness in speech, I claim as my own because my big mouth has always gotten me into trouble. Partly because nobody could reign in my independent thinking and vocabulary. If there is any passive aggression, it's all my own. I spoke in the way that seemed best to me, and I really meant it when I wished him the best.

      But thanks for putting this out there - I was always trying to recognize patterns in the way I was spoken to while I was in, and I consider your opinions valuable.

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    3. Dear Anonymous,
      Rejoice in hope!
      Rejoice in the Lord!

      I will pray that your transition grants you meaning, mercy, and light.
      Peace, and prayers,
      S

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