Something happened on the way to the Regnum Christi Formators’ Convention.
Not on the trip to Mundelein Seminary, but in the weeks and months of preparation for the event.
Quietly. Unknown to all of us.
This convention had been conceptualized two-and-a-half years ago as the ceremony to celebrate the work of God in the lay RC members through the renewal of their statutes.
Two years of prayer, discussion, deliberation and articulation produced a ‘word-portrait’ of the vocation to Regnum Christi- a statute. One section of these statutes outlined the five dimensions of the life of a lay RC member: the spiritual life, formation, team life, mission and personal accompaniment. This convention was meant to be an exposition of the depth of those themes and the new clarity we have in concretely living them.
Our speakers worked for months. Praying, writing, composing, and editing their talks. Each speaker was asked to present on one of the dimensions based on the way they concretely lived it themselves. Week by week they would add the points God showed them in prayer, take out other ideas, refine their delivery and add visuals to communicate their points.
But something else happened too. Silently, and in every speaker’s heart. The Sacred Heart stepped in.
Fr. Bruce Wren, LC was asked to open the convention with a meditation on the charism of Regnum Christi. He chose to focus on the Sacred Heart as the Movement’s foundation. And then talk after talk, homily after homily, the Sacred Heart emerged as a golden thread woven through the entire convention. In each subsequent presentation, another facet of Christ’s heart, and our call to live union with it in our own hearts, emerged. (Father’s talk)
Was this planned? No. Was it breathtaking? Absolutely. As if to drive the point home, each day the participants crossed a courtyard between the residents’ hall they were staying in and the conference hall where our meetings were. Multiple times a day, they passed this statute:
Our Lord was there, with his robe pulled away to reveal his Sacred Heart, and His hand outstretched as if to say “I have given you My Heart, now give me yours. Your wounds are in My Wounds, I am your Savior and your Heart is Mine.” His Sacred Heart- the wounds still present but triumphant and glorified, gave our speakers courage to address our own wounds and hearts- as individuals and as an institution, and like Mary Magdalene, speak of the One who took our wounds and has made them pathways to holiness. He gave us the courage and deep joy to pronounce with the Church ‘O felix culpa!’ O Happy Fault that gained for us so great a Redeemer.
We saw that the years of our renewal have been a walk on the road to Emmaus. That Christ revealed his thoughts to us, that he had made somethings so clear, and had given us a deeper reverence for the mystery of the things we still had no answers to, or needed to reflect more deeply on. That just like in the Gospel, our hearts were burning within us… and in a deeply unexpected, powerful way, we discovered His own Heart burning within us as well.