Monday, September 29, 2014

"The Amends Process", for my Legionary Brothers

Ever since the deceitful and harmful life of Fr. Maciel was revealed after his 2008 death, the Legion of Christ has struggled with the Fiasco of its Founder and the desperate search for a Charism. What do do about all the bad -some possibly evil, things Maciel and the Legion did to others? Besides making many excuses, side-stepping responsibility, there has also been some talk about "Making amends;" and I say "talk" advisedly.

Yesterday while browsing a book, I found some advice which I dedicate to my Legion confreres. (I will take it to heart too) and I wish they had put into practice. Without it asking forgiveness is shallow and self-serving (precisely what Maciel was!)

"The amends process, I believe, is a process of 
  • Claiming our own lives, 
  • relinquishing our defensiveness and 
  • doing what we need to do to become right within ourselves.
  • Making amends is a personal act. We make amends for ourselves. 
  • Amends are not made 
    • to make others feel better, 
    • to change others' attitudes toward us or 
    • to elicit forgiveness.
    • (or get ourselves off the hook)
  • We make amends because we need to. 
  • We make amends because we know that our recovery, our growth, our development cannot proceed unless we claim those things we have done of which we are not proud that have harmed others. 
  • We need to own that we have behaved in ways that have been alien to our beliefs, morality and spirituality."

Adapted from Anne Wilson Schaef, (1992) Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science, a New Model for Healing the Whole Person, Harper San Francisco, page 8

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spiritual triage: Help wounded, drop theoretical baggage, Pope Tells New Religious Movement (Focolarini)




Although the blogger has friends with serious reservations about this Italian Movement started by Chiara Lubich some decades ago, he posts note on a recent address from Pope Francis to them

 With so much spiritual, social and moral suffering in the world, the church has "no right" to stay locked up in an ivory tower, engaging in "byzantine" philosophical reflection, Pope Francis told members of the Focolare movement.

"We have to go out! So that -- I've said this before -- the church seems like a field hospital," where the first order of the day "is heal the wounds, not measure people's cholesterol. That comes later. Got it?" he said to applause.

The pope met at the Vatican with 500 people from 136 countries; they were attending the Focolare general assembly in Rome Sept. 1-28.

During the assembly, members re-elected Italian Maria Voce for a second six-year-term as president, and elected Spaniard Jesus Moran Cepedano as the new co-president.

In his audience with members of the movement Sept. 26, Pope Francis said the new evangelization must go out to everyone, "starting with the poorest and excluded," so they, too, may experience "hope, brotherhood and joy in humanity's journey toward unity."

Focolare members, like all Catholics, can contribute to "this new season of evangelization" by being creative in the ways it brings God's word to the world.

This work demands "contemplation, going out, and formation," he said.