FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE TIDE HAS TURNED
October 10, 2013
Over the past few years, after the euphoria of the restoration of 2007, I have been disappointed and frustrated with our community life and work. Evangelization had bogged down, there were conflicts among leaders in the different countries, and there was no clear path forward. This is even as the Lord was speaking strongly about our emerging direction as we came to the crossroad in 2011.
Now, on my second pilgrimage here in Lourdes, I am convinced the tide has turned, the wind has shifted, the darkness is being dispelled by the light. The way forward is clear. It is back to massive evangelization, much more massive than what we in CFC experienced in the heady years of the 1990s. Our community has also evolved, from a transparochial community as an outreach of a covenant community (stage 1 from 1981), to a parallel community as a new ecclesial movement (stage 2 from 1993), to active parish involvement as a servant to the Church (stage 3 from 2007), and now to stage 4, our kenosis or self-emptying as we respond to the call to the New Evangelization.
The foundation has already been laid for massive evangelization. This will be through three movements–the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) movement, the Live Pure (LP) movement, and our work with the poor (WWP). These correspond to the priorities of the Catholic Church, especially in the Philippines, that of reaching out to and serving lapsed Catholics, the youth and the poor. In addition, as a fourth priority, there is the missio ad gentes. We look to recovering the missionary spirit that is part of our charism and call, being an evangelistic and missionary community. We will look to our worldwide family to support mission work throughout the world.
CFC-FFL will function as backbone for this massive work. This happens, among others, by fidelity in three major areas:
* Family renewal. Our CFC-FFL evangelization is founded on family renewal. We continue to help renew the family and to defend life. One indication of the fruit of this work is every one of our members at some point looking to three generations being involved in community life and mission. Scripture refers to the blessing of our children and our children’s children. We pass on the legacy from generation to generation, until the Lord returns once again.
* Servant leadership. This is rare even in Church organizations. But it cannot be otherwise. We either come not to be served but to serve, in the mind and heart of Jesus, or we will lack the grace and power to succeed in our work.
* Servant to the Catholic Church. Evangelization is not necessarily for recruitment into our community, but is basically for the purpose of bringing people back to God and back to the Church. We serve without any personal or corporate agenda, but simply expend ourselves for the sake of Christ and his body on earth.
I first went on pilgrimage last month to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, going on the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James). The Lord confirmed three basic things:
* Our work is to be rapid, massive and worldwide. This is as I went to Finisterre, what was considered to be the end of the earth during those times. There I recommitted our community to its life and mission. We are to be empowered witnesses to the ends of the earth.
* We are called to servant leadership. The Lord led me to share with you 70 principles of servant leadership (How to Survive as a Servant Leader, and Even Thrive), 7 principles over each of 10 days of my pilgrimage. If we strive to live out these principles, we will be on our way to be true servants whom the Lord can truly use.
* There will be hardships and suffering. In the letter of James (is he James the apostle or James the “brother of the Lord” and the leader of the Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem?), he starts with an exhortation to perseverance in trial. This is our privilege to participate, in a very small way, in the cross of Christ.
Now I am on pilgrimage in Lourdes, France. Here the Lord impresses on us the necessary tandem in spiritual warfare of Jesus and his mother Mary. I have re-consecrated ourselves to Mary. In the intense spiritual war that we will be entering into, we go under the banner of Mary.
Later this month I go on pilgrimage to Rome, Italy. This completes the trilogy of pilgrimages, to seek the Lord’s confirmation of what He wants us to become and where and how He wants to send us. In Santiago de Compostela the Lord emphasized our call to servant leadership. Here in Lourdes, we are to be servants to Jesus and to our mother Mary. In Rome we look to affirm our servanthood to our holy Mother Church, as we meet with Peter (Pope Francis).
Since 1981 God has done His part (as He always does). The problem has always been us. I urge you, brethren, to re-commit yourselves to our CFC-FFL covenant, and to decide to truly serve the Lord. Our direction is clear to me; I hope it would be clear to you as well. Now I need you to close ranks with me, and we can all move forward in the power of the Spirit, to do a massive work of evangelization to the ends of the earth.
Onward to the New Evangelization!
God bless you all.
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