Last Sunday I found myself standing at a podium in front of a crowded room of parents, speaking into the microphone, and trying to lock eyes with every person in the room. You see, we have a pastoral problem right now at my parish…our young families aren’t going to Sunday Mass.
As I was speaking, concentrating on not forgetting my second point, telling myself to speak slowly and to smile, something occurred to me that had never occurred to me before. It was one of those thoughts that the Holy Spirit floats into your mind while you are busy doing something else.
“This charism – Regnum Christi -- is a gift for every person in this room. Don’t you see it? Look at their faces.”
I had to brush that inspiration aside so I could finish my thoughts and pass the microphone to two of our RC Mission Corps volunteers who were going to hit home the message by their personal testimonies.
Later, when I had time to be alone with those thoughts that had just passed through my mind, I realized a very important lesson that has been growing in me since I started this job as Pastoral Assistant last September. We’ve been told by the Holy Father and by our Delegate that our charism is a gift for the Church, and I guess what happened to me last Sunday was that I saw it. There was a tangible expression of it in the room…it was passing through minds and into hearts, and it was changing people. I’ve worked in other cities with RC members, Challenge, ECYD, Mission Youth etc. but those weren’t the people in front of me last Sunday. Not one person in the room knows what Regnum Christi is…and I don’t feel the need to explain anything, at least not right now.
What I realized was that our charism is a gift not only for those who also have this same charism inside of them and are yet to discover it…it is a gift for the whole Church. And what is the Church? Is it a building? Is it a cathedral? Is it Rome? Is the great Archdiocese of Chicago? No, the Church is each of those people that scripture describes as living stones that are holy and precious to God, those stones that God wants to build up into a spiritual house. (c.f. 1 Pet. 2:4-5)
Last Sunday, I came to a greater awareness that whether or not ONE PERSON is called to Regnum Christi from this parish, my charism, the passion I have inside of me to evangelize and to form and launch apostles, is touching hearts. It’s making people love Jesus Christ more; it’s bringing them back to Mass; it’s drawing them to Him. I’m convinced that some people will come forward; they will begin to ask more questions, they will start to want what I have. But this is secondary. I think the Holy Spirit planted an important seed in my heart that needs to keep growing as I continue to learn the ropes of parish life. “Be confident in the charism you carry within your heart. Give it purely without expecting anything in return. And trust in the primacy of grace that will never stop until all of God’s people are built up as a living Church, holy and precious in the sight of God.”