Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It was in 1984... Blessed Isidore had been beatified on the Sunday and I landed in Rome on the 3rd of October. Passionists from all over the world had gathered at the Generalate in Rome for the beatification. One of the first Passionists I dared to talk to, was from Australia. He was a Passionist Brother and none other than the personal secretary of the Most Rev. Father General ! The Successor of St. Paul of the Cross. Who would have thought that the General would have become a Bishop some day in the Caribbean, and I, back then a 1st year theology student would have been his Vicar General. Furthermore, I was far from dreaming that this General would found a Society of Missionaries of which I would be elected Superior ! God's ways are astounding.
At any rate, during that first year in theology, at meals we read the life of this extraordinary brother. I even learned a few "cooking tips" from him.
Isisdore was a HUMBLE man. Quiet, dedicated and in love with the Crucified Jesus.
This evening I was reading a blog linked to the tragedy of the Legionaries of Christ. As I read it, I found the EXACT same terminology a persons shared with me that was proper of the thinking of some persons in a certain movement in Canada. Here is the quote from the Blog "Life-after-RC":
Membership in the Movement was hermetically sealed to our baptismal call, and God ordained it;
Leaving the Movement was a betrayal of Christ Himself (like cutting off an arm, according to Marciel Maciel)
The overall good of the Church depended on our fidelity to the charism of the Movement;
Our souls (and those souls contingent on us) actually hinged on our generosity to the Movement;
Outsiders could not understand this elite vocation and couldn't be trusted to help guide members.
Obviously, this type of mentality is pervasive in all movements that are not authentic. But what is the antidote ? One has to think that underlying all this is this spiritual elitism which is very very seductive because it answers the deep beckoning of our hearts that we are made for greatness. So, people enter a movement. They hear that it is of mystical origin that they were "called" because they are "little" or "simple" of heart. As we read above, "God ordained it"... Then, of course, come the clutches. Since now you know the "secrets" revealed to the elect, then if you leave the Movement, you are betraying the Lord. The Founder of the Legionnaires said, according to the above-quote, that it is like "Cutting off an arm". The Founder of another movement I know speaks that "Grace passes only once". So, if you don't cling to the grace [which means following blindly what is said without asking yourself if it is really what the Church teaches] then you sin against FIDELITY. This engenders a fear. I remember a certain woman whose family was in a movement, as she was. Every day she prayed "for the grace of Fidelity". Obviously, it was not about FIDELITY TO GOD, to His Church or commandments, but FIDELITY to the Founder of a movement. I asked that so gracious lady what she meant, what fidelity was for her. She did not know what to answer. The ugly demon of elitism always succeeds in disguising himself. Finally, as the author above writes concerning the Legion, "Outsiders cannot understand this special vocation". Elitism once again. Those who are not in the Movement (or worse still have left it) are blinded, they "cannot see" because they "do not have the grace to understand anymore". Lies, lies, lies. All and straight from the Devil.
Isidore de Loor, this blessed Brother of the Passionist Congregation represents an antidote to any kind of elitism. His humility, his joyful service to his fellow brothers without fear, all his life centered on the Passion of Jesus is a lesson of how to live for the Lord, safe from spiritual elitism.
Are you in the RC or a movement that has the above ? Do you think you belong to a "special" movement that has a "special grace for our times" to save the world, or save the Church or "Renew the Church" etc... If you belong to any such movement, KNOW that it is not the path laid out by our God. It does not correspond to the Gospel. Have recourse to Blessed Isidore to open your eyes and bring you back to the Fold.
Lord God, in Blessed Isidore’s spirit of humility and work you have given us an example of a life hidden in the shadow of the Cross. Grant that our daily work will be a praise to you and a loving service of our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.