1 Must "put on the whole armour of God". (Eph 6:11)
In Ephesians 6 we read about what constitutes the armor of God - truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the Spirit, and the word of God. By putting on this armor, we are transformed into Christ, and it's as if it is Christ himself who is working through us. In our work, we do not rely on our own strength or our own experience, but rather, on God's power and mercy. In my personal prayer, I always ask for the grace to be God's instrument in touching the lives of people I encounter, and to be able to radiate Christ out to them.
2 Must be "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God . . . not conformed to this world." (Rom 12:1-2);
3 Must not turn from "toil and hardship."(2 Cor 11:27)
Speaking of "comfort zones",I realized how much I had been living within my comfort zone of *good* (i.e. viceless, responsible, mostly Catholic) friends when I was invited to a friend's birthday party last week. Upon entering their house, I was face to face with a catered bar complete with bartenders who never ran out of potent cocktails, a living room turned "den of vices", boisterous laughter from smokers and hard drinkers barely out of school, stories of former classmates getting pregnant/married. It was impossible to refuse drinks, with the host even personally insisting that I try out the so-called "flamer" - a shot of vodka set aflame in your mouth. I have to admit, it was an eye-opener for me to be exposed to the subterranean youth culture for the first time that night. But this is reality - most young people succumb to materialism and vices, and there is a need for us to bring God back into their lives.
It is for man to start, but for saints to finish. I think it was St. Josemaria Escriva who said or wrote that line in one of his books. It tells us to be faithful to the task at hand, to not lose hope and abandon the work halfway because we do not see any fruits from our labor. There have been many instances in the Legion where our activities do not go as well as we wanted them to, but we don't allow these to get in the way of our enthusiasm. We learn from failures and improve each time. We recognize that as long as we put in the best of our efforts and make God the center of our work, there will always be fruit.
While it is true that Legionaries have to follow a seemingly lofty set of ideals, countless members worldwide have shown that it is possible. Just look at the indomitable Venerable Edel Quinn, or Servants of God Alfie Lambe and Frank Duff, our founder. Support from the members of the praesidium is indispensable for a Legionary to persevere through challenges and downfalls and live according to the Legion's standards. That is why it is important to foster close friendships within one's praesidium. It is comforting to know that one is never alone in the battlefield; a Legionary is always united with other Legionaries and with Mary our Queen in work and in spirit.