Courage Reparational Group: 21st Anniversary
The 21st Anniversary of the Courage Reparational Group
On November 21, 2013 we will be celebrating the 21st anniversary of our "Call to Reparation" within the Courage Apostolate. I recall fondly the events that took place in 1992 which started with an inspiration as I took part with Fr. Harvey in the first anniversary of the Courage Philadelphia group in 1989. One of the members read some verses written by St. Agnes in which she pledged her devotion to Jesus as her only lover. I realized that Jesus was pursuing us and inviting us as Courage members to a deeper union with Him in a vocational call into the interior life. I myself was going through spiritual formation in a lay Catholic community to which I belonged called the Anawim Community. Here I was first introduced to what I have come to term as the Spirituality of Weakness (originated of course by Jesus and Mary; developed by St. Paul; realized by all the saints and mystics; and promoted by St. Therese of Lisieux in her Little Way). Mary was forming me through the Anawim founder and mystic Fr. Francis Marino, a Marist priest, who helped me understand how God works in our struggles and transforms us through them -- even the homo-emotional struggle.
Mary is the founder of this Courage "Call to Reparation," and she was the first human person to consecrate this Spirituality of Weakness through Her Magnificat and her Fiat, and through the Passion of Jesus, her Son! Jesus is calling us to a deeper love, a love that can win back souls. He is asking us to offer ourselves in our homo-emotional experience in this most crucial time in our history. For the past 20 plus years we have been a formidable prayer group. Three years ago Mary showed us God's favor and blessed us with our CRG Online connection, facilitated by one of our London Courage members. CRG went global with CRO! This has assisted our mission and blessed it on so many levels. Mary responded with a companion to assist in this work of the heart, and he has been a great blessing in the promotion of this cause.
I felt from the very beginning of this vision that God intended more from us and for us, and I shared this with Fr. Harvey and Cardinal O'Connor. I have always envisioned a Courage Community as part of this "Call to Reparation," a call to give witness to a life of chastity and to a total giving of self in some consecrated manner for the salvation of souls. We are living in dark and dangerous times spiritually in regards to the issue of homosexuality, and we are at the point of no return with the present homosexual agenda and political force within our culture. One of my clients recently said that there seems to be no argument in this fight. The Church needs to make the argument, which it does by its teachings, but we need to embody this argument with our lives and give witness to God's love and mercy and grace. We, as Courage members, need to give voice and sacrifice to this mission! We need to unite daily our pain and struggle with the Passion of Jesus to bring healing and conversion to our brothers and sisters in the "gay" lifestyle. They have been deceived by a culture of death, and through prayer, we strive to bring them into God's culture of life.
God has called those of us in Courage to be on equal footing with all His consecrated elect. It was no coincidence that CRG was founded on Nov. 21st, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple (Mary's consecration to the Father). I have no blueprint in regards to the development of this Courage Community. Such development may not happen even in my lifetime, as I am getting older, but I know these past 21 years have been an important part of its process and development. We have remained faithful to its commitment and have survived through its trials and obstacles, including many of my personal sufferings and contradictions. I know things move slowly in the spiritual life, not on our timing but God's timing, and many founders of Orders have waited many years and suffered much contradiction. (St. Peter Julien Eymard and St. Paul of the Cross waited and endured much desolation before their Orders were formed). It is all part of God's process! What is most important to Him is our salvation. It takes time for us to become humble and lowly. There are many CRG Sundays when just two members are present, but I know God is not impressed by numbers but rather, by our sincerity of heart and our faithfulness!
I feel called at this time to challenge Courage members to ponder this message. I myself in the last five years have gone through great spiritual challenges to bring me closer to the reality of this "call." Please search your heart and ask Jesus if He is inviting you to respond to this "call." Jesus is our only true lover! St. Agnes knew this. Only He can satisfy our hearts, and when we respond to Him, we are responding to a real person, not just a doctrine. It is a well known spiritual principal that no human person can fully satisfy the human heart, since we were made for God! Jesus asks us to live a chaste life so we can feed our souls and connect with Him more deeply -- with our true selves.
For a better understanding of the experience of this Courage vocational "call," I invite any Courage member to contact me at my e-mail address: email@example.com. I am available to speak or meet with you personally.
We are invited to fill up in our flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ (Col.1 24).
Passion of Jesus, Comfort Us,