Right now an important aspect of my life here in the studies stage at MEC in the formation center is Lent. Yes, I know, it is October, almost November. Advent is about to begin, not Lent. But, the studies stage here is conscious that the interior journey of conversion we are on cannot be walked alone. We don’t want to walk it alone, even if we could. We are united in each one’s personal conversion to Jesus and in our conversion as the spiritual family of Regnum Christi.
This past May, the general directors of Regnum Christi sent a letter to all of us in this spiritual family encouraging us to live these last months before our general assemblies/chapter as a period of preparation for Easter that reaches its fullness in Pentecost. So, my sisters and I talked about how we wanted to live this “Lent” as a community.
There was a consensus in the conviction that “we must renew and strengthen our union of hearts, living a profound communion that imitates the first Christian communities…” (Letter from general directors to all members of Regnum Christi and Legionaries, May 28, 2013) And so we decided on three ways to help us live this.
First, we proposed to make concrete acts of gratitude every day, write them down and put them in a basket in the back of the chapel. Through these acts of gratitude we seek to live more in the truth of God’s love and presence. We seek to purify our memory by recognizing the beauty and gifts that are there no matter what happened or didn’t happen that day. God is present in this house and his transforming love and action in our lives will not be ignored.
Second, we decided to give up watching movies until after the general assembly. We wanted to make some sort of sacrifice together that would be more than an act of self-denial. We wanted something that we could offer up but also something that would lend itself to helping build our fraternal life. Not watching a movie has been helping us consciously look for ways to enrich our time together as a family.
Lastly, we want to renew the way we live our Eucharistic Celebration. It is through this perfect prayer we find our place before God as a benevolent Father. We praise and thank our God who has given us many gifts. We are reminded of the “spirit of adoption” Jesus has won for us through his sacrifice that we are united to and celebrate and that makes us family.
This Lent I am living with my sisters here in the studies stage has been a source of renewal for me. The conversion we seek, the purification we desire, is well worth sacrificing and fighting for. It has reminded me I don’t have to walk this journey of conversion alone, but am accompanied in the prayer, sacrifice and fraternal charity of my sisters. It has brought me reflect on what I do impacts those around me and also what we do impacts those around us. The hard work Regnum Christi members, consecrated, and Legionaries have done these past years in this process of revision of the statutes and constitutions will not result in mere words on paper but in a profound communion.