Posts Tagged 'Duty'

Vexilla Regis Prodeunt

Once again, we had our annual Acies at the Church of St Peter & St Paul. As part of the procession into the church, all the praesidia and curiae had a representative to carry their vexillium during the procession. And as I carried the flag of our Junior Curia, the hymn for Passiontide came to my mind.

Vexilla Regis prodeunt;
fulget Crucis mysterium,
quo carne carnis conditor
suspensus est patibulo.

Abroad the regal banners fly,
now shines the Cross’s mystery:
upon it Life did death endure,
and yet by death did life procure.

You may listen to this hymn on Youtube here. No, we did not sing this hymn, although I wish we did. Incidentally it was also Palm Sunday, which we know as the beginning of Holy Week.

“Now shines the Cross’s mystery.” Together with Christ we are taking a slow walk to Jerusalem. Indeed this week we are all walking towards the Cross. From a triumphant entry on a colt into the city, to the Last Supper, to the agony in the garden, to a trudging walk towards Calvary. Towards death. This week we carry our Cross with Jesus.

At many times, the duty of being an office holder is very tiring. It feels as one is carrying a very heavy cross. One has to attend many meetings. One has to do much planning. One has to deal with pleasant and unpleasant people. Don’t forget that you have your own duties that your state of life commands.

You should never forget that you are first and foremost a child of God. Your first duty is to save your own soul. Our Lord has said, what good does it do if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul? The question in our context, as well as for all those who serve in the ministry or apostolate is, what good does it do if we gain the souls of others but we lose ours?

Burnout is a real danger. One can become cynical if not careful. We may even feel despair at times. We hurt others, and we too are hurt. Very often whether we question if all our work and efforts are in vain. We are in a very vulnerable state. How are we to help others if we cannot help ourselves?

In the Soul of the Apostolate, it recommends that we must develop a strong interior life. Not only will it serve as a protection to our soul, it will also enhance our efforts and undertakings. We must depend on God’s supernatural graces, which supports our human strength. Modern worldly feel good psychology will not suffice. Motivational posters will not suffice. The chain emails we often receive from well intentioned friends, these only offer a worldly hope. No, we must hope in God who is Eternal. Grace will sustain us.

But no doubt even if we are very holy, we still have to suffer. Let us follow Our Lord, who did not reject the Cross, but embraced it.  Sweetest Wood, sweetest Nails, sweetest weight is hung on Thee. Let us offer up our sufferings as mortification to the Crucified Christ. In the midst of my frustrations, a friend of mine advised recently, ‘Our office should not be the Cross. The Cross should our office.’

Yet not all is without hope. I see great potential in these young Legionaries. Many of them are hungry for the Word of God. They thirst for the truth. They have many failings, but they always try to be better people. They have the potential to be good Catholics. Some of them will become priests or religious.

But the turnover rate of our members is disturbing. Every praesidium has problems. Day and night I ponder on how to make things better. I cannot see any other way but to go back to basics. Indeed this is the theme set by Concilium.

When the doctrinal foundation of the Legion is obscured the Legion becomes weakened and vulnerable. We need to keep hammering at our call to complete union with Mary in order to be completely open to the Holy Spirit. Then the Legion becomes a school of holiness and the apostolate because that is how Jesus comes into our own lives and the life of the world.

We shall attempt to re-discover our foundation, or we will all fall down. And we must always, pray, pray, pray! O Lord make haste to help us.

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The Identity of a Legionary

Last week we had the handbook reading on ‘Material Relief Prohibited’. To summarize the reading talks about why the Legion does not give material relief in the form of money, clothes, food to those whom they visit. There are many reasons but I’m not going to talk about it. Today I am going to talk about our identity as legionaries.

The following passage from the handbook reading gave me food for thought.

Individual legionaries may plead the duty of giving charity according to one’s means, and may urge that they do not desire to give relief as legionaries, but in their private capacities. Analysis of this contention will indicate what complications must inevitably arise. Take the case – and it is the usual one – of someone who did not indulge in such personal relief-giving prior to joining the Legion. In his rounds, he comes across persons whom he deems to be in need in some way or another. He refrains from giving anything on the day of the official Legion visit, but goes some other day “as a private individual” and gives. Surely he is breaking the Legion rule as to the giving of material relief, and surely the double visitation only covers a quibble? He visited in the first instance as a legionary. The cases came to his knowledge as a legionary. The recipients know him as a legionary; and certainly they do not enter into the quibble. To them, the transaction is simply one of Legion relief-giving, and the Legion agrees that they judge rightly.

From this reading we can infer that a Legionary cannot divorce his personal capacity from his capacity as a legionary. Once we are identified by the world as Legionaries, that label will be stuck to us forever. All eyes are watching on us. Eyes are watching on good Catholics, more so for Legionaries. The chapter ‘To be in a sense always on duty’ is very good reading for all of us.

Duty means discipline. Being always on duty means unrelaxed discipline. Therefore, one’s speech, and dress, and manner, and conduct, however simple they may be, must never be such as to disedify. Persons will look for fault in those whom they observe to be active in the cause of religion. Failings, which in others would hardly attract notice, will in a legionary be considered disgraceful, and will largely spoil his efforts to do good to others. Nor is this unreasonable. Is it not just to require a goodly standard from those who are urging others on to higher things?

– Chapter 33, Basic Duties of Legionaries, To be in a sense always on duty.

Indeed, there are no off days for us. We are always at work. We must always be ready to perform our duty, regardless of the cost. All of us must inculcate the sense of duty in ourselves. In modern times, ‘duty’ is often scorned as a terrible burden that must be gotten rid of as soon as possible. As Christians we do not run away from duty, but embrace it. By doing so, we make the world a better place. The sense of duty is integral to the identity of the Legion.

Many times we are challenged to performed our duties, but we rather be else doing something more interesting. Our founder Frank Duff recognized this in his tract, ‘Can we be Saints?’

We are to do what it is our duty to do — and at the right time. Duty is not something which is to be thrown off with our working clothes, as so many people imagine. It is as strictly our duty to keep an appointment or a secret as it is to do our work. A duty goes before even “Devotions.” It is your duty to wash the dishes, do not run off to Benediction instead.

We must not be afraid to make sacrifices, whether it is an hour of entertainment, a date with our lover, or a few dollars from our wallet. But let us be realistic. Sacrifice cannot be forced upon us. Devotion cannot be forced upon us. As the love of God is made avail to us freely, so we also choose freely whether to make sacrifices or not. We should ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to make us ready for such a commitment.  Since we have freely chosen to be Legionaries, let us freely choose to be bonded to our duty.


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Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us

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