The Spirit of the Congregation

From the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, Chapter 2, 8-17

The evangelical basis of consecrated life is to be sought in the special relationship which Jesus, in his earthly life, established with some of his disciples. He called them not only to welcome the Kingdom of God into their own lives, but also to put their lives at its service, leaving everything behind and closely imitating his own way of life. … This special way of “following Christ,” at the origin of which is always the initiative of the Father, has an essential Christological and pneumatological meaning. — VC 14

Christ-centeredness

8 Christ-centeredness constitutes the fundamental and specific characteristic of the Legionary spirit. Therefore, aid- ed by God’s grace, Legionaries should strive to make Christ Jesus the center, standard and example of their lives as religious, priests and apostles. They should seek to know, love and experience him intimately, above all in the Gospel, the Eucharist and the Cross, and strive to imitate him in a special way through self-giving to their neighbor.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart

9 In the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Legionary has a privileged path to form a meek and humble priestly heart and to spread Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world (see Matthew 11:28-30). In the Christ’s Heart, he en- counters God’s merciful love which moves him to embrace the cross in his own life, make reparation for sins and give himself in service to others.

Charity, the heart of the Legion’s spirit

10 The heart of the Legion’s spirit is charity, which en- tails universal and considerate self-giving to one’s neighbor. Therefore, Legionaries should foster a creative and self-sacrificing attitude of service, treat others with goodness and simplicity, learn to be merciful with their neighbor’s weakness, praise what is good, reject envy and avoid backbiting and gossip.

The Kingdom of Christ

11 Building up the Kingdom of Christ is the ideal that inspires and directs the Congregation. Its motto “Thy Kingdom Come!” (Matthew 6:10) expresses this longing.

Therefore,
1° In their personal lives, Legionaries should delve into the richness of their baptismal consecration so that Christ may reign in their lives through their progressive transformation into him;
2° They should allow Christ’s love for mankind to im- bue their very selves and seek to have him reign in the hearts of all people;
3° In light of eternity and reflecting on the brevity of life, they should ponder the value of each soul and the urgency of the mission.

Contemplative and evangelizing

12 The spirit of a Legionary is contemplative and evangelizing:

1° By their contemplative nature, Legionaries seek prayer, union with God, silence and reflection, and give preeminence to God’s action in their sanctification and in their apostolate;

2° By their evangelizing nature, they give themselves with passionate love and zeal to the task of announcing the Kingdom and bringing the light of the Gospel to the whole world.

Love and docility to the Holy Spirit

13 The Holy Spirit, consoler and delightful guest of the soul, is the craftsman of our transformation into Christ and sustains us in the mission of building up the Kingdom. Therefore, Legionaries should foster an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit; they should pray for his gifts and for an increase in the theological virtues. They should be docile to his inspirations in order to walk the path of God’s will faithfully.

Love for the Church and the Pope

14 Since the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and the presence of his Kingdom in the world, the Legion of Christ has meaning only within the Church, for the sake of the Church and by reason of the human and supernatural mission of the Church.

Therefore,
1° Legionaries should love the Church passionately, identify with her joys and sufferings, give themselves to the Church in an attitude of service and live deeply aware of their mission within her;
2° They should adhere to the Roman Pontiff with filial love, study and spread his teachings, put into practice not only his commands but also his directives, promote his initiatives and courageously defend the charism of his primacy and magisterium;
3° In a spirit of faith, they should respect the bishops as successors of the Apostles and collaborate with them, and live in fraternal communion with the presbyterate.

Love for Mary

15 Mary is the consummate example and most eloquent witness of the new creature arising from the redemptive power of Christ and was given to us as our mother while she stood by the cross (see John 19: 25–27).16

Therefore,
1° Legionaries should love her tenderly as sons and grow in devotion to her, which is expressed especially by imitating her virtues;
2° They should entrust their apostolic life to her because, as Mother and Queen of the Apostles, she took part in a unique way in the Savior’s work and is an example of the maternal love which should animate all those in the Church who cooperate in the redemption of mankind.

Love for one’s vocation

16 Aware that Christ has loved them first and called them to follow him, Legionaries should hold their vocation in the highest regard. They should grow in love for it and, to live it to the full, they should affectively and effectively embrace the Legion [and the Regnum Christi Movement], its spirit, its discipline and its specific apostolate. A Legionary should consider himself a living and active part of this large family, contributing his particular gifts to the mission entrusted to it.

Esprit de corps and communion

17 Gathered into one large family by Christ and united by a common vocation, Legionaries should foster esprit de corps and oneness of heart. They should promote communion and cooperation among the various branches of the Regnum Christi Movement.