Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

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"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!"

-Pope Benedict XVI

Pray for Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for this month. Find out more here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Would you say Yes as Mary did?

As I was browsing some Legion websites today (and I didn't realize there were so many!), I stumbled into a forum thread. There was one post from a girl who is entering university and is considering joining the Legion. I presume she's going to NUS since she posted a link to our blog. She wanted to hear about personal experiences from the members and I really wanted to reply, but alas, I'm too lazy to register for an account.

So I'll just post this here instead, in the off chance that she'll visit our blog again. It is also for those who might accidentally be led to our humble musings and find themselves wanting to know more about the Legion of Mary.

Dear reader, the following is a short sharing that Bro. Paul Wong gave during the recruitment drive at Holy Spirit Church last May 17. When he was in NUS, he was a member of Regina Coeli, one of the two praesidia in NUS now. This sharing will probably not completely answer the questions that you have, but it is a good place to start. Afterwards, if you are so inclined, you can find another link at the sidebar under 'Testimonies' to read another sharing from Sr. Angie.

Enjoy. :)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


My name is Paul and I am from Our Lady of Victories Praesidium, a Legion of Mary group, based in Risen Christ Church.


The Legion of Mary is not only found in most of the parishes in Singapore but also in various institutions, like the schools. Indeed, it is one of the largest lay apostolate group in the world today. 


The Legion of Mary models after the Roman army in terms of its discipline and structure. The Legionary strives to sanctify ourselves both in prayer and work and we take Mary as our role model. We do many many things in the Legion. :)


Well... to counter some popular beliefs that the legion is made up of mostly old people saying the rosary day in day out, I stand here as an example that the Legion has its fair share of active youth as well.


Do you often feel an urging inside you to want to do something a little more for God than just coming for weekly Sunday Mass? But at the same time, you find that you have (1) no time (or so you think so), (2) are too busy with work, (3) that being active is maybe too big a step to take at one go, or all of the above?


Then … The Legion is for You!


Why? 2 Points -


Point 1:

Well, being an Active Legionary just requires you to attend weekly meetings that are very short, compact and fruitful. Being in the Legion makes you see that you can serve God in small ways and many ways, so much so that even when you are so busy, it's still so easy to serve Him. And being in the Legion helps you grow at your own pace with the help of many people who also began being small, inexperienced and almost unwilling.


Point 2:

If your work commitments (like shift work or being overseas very often) does not allow you to be an active member, we have auxiliary membership that requires you to pray the rosary daily (of which some of you are already doing tirelessly). An auxiliary Legionary is equally as important as any active legionary as they act as spiritual support our warfare for salvation.


I have been in the legion for about 13 years and attribute my growth in faith to the system. The legion has given me many opportunities to learn about my faith and has exposed me to many areas where I can serve our Lord in our people. The reason why I still am in the legion and advocate others to join me is because the system truly works! It nudges when I feel a little too lazy to something; it supports when I go through my dry spells in my spiritual life; it gives me the space to grow in my strengths to better serve others.


At the end of the day, the Legion simply teaches me how to be a good Catholic.


Now is a chance for you to find out what the Legion has in store for you.  So do come to our booth outside to find out more on what exactly we do.


Would you say Yes as Mary did?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Allocutio for 21 May 2009, on the Feast of the Ascension

Let’s take sometime to imagine that we are on the scene of today’s Gospel (Mark 16: 15-20), and we hear Jesus said these words:

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

I guess, most probably like the Apostles, we remain partly perplexed and partly saddened at his departure. We saw Him withdrew from our sight little by little until a cloud took him out of our sight, showing us that He has entered Heaven. We feel certain taste of sadness in our souls. It has been 3 years since we always together. We miss his human speech, his gesture, his smile, sitting together with us after a long journey or when we pray together. Yes, it is not easy in fact, to get accustomed to the physical absence of Jesus.

But, in spite of everything we feel, which may be the Apostles do feel, let us follow what the Apostles did. They returned to Jerusalem, and the prayed with one mind, together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Jesus’ life on earth finished not with his death on the Cross, but with his Ascension into Heaven. It is the last of the mysteries of His life here on earth, a redemptive mystery which together with his Passion, Death, and Resurrection makes up the Paschal mystery. If people saw him being insulted, mocked, and crucified on the Cross, it is now fitting for them to see the Son of God being glorified, ascended into Heaven. Indeed, He wins over darkness and death and certainly all the more it should strengthen and nourish our hope of attaining Heaven.

Today’s feast also reminds us that our concern for souls is a response to a command of love given to us, all of us, by our Lord. As he goes up to Heaven, Jesus sends us out as his witnesses throughout the whole world. Our responsibility is great because to be Christ’s witness implies first of all that we should try to behave according to his doctrine, that we should struggle to make our actions remind others of Jesus and his lovable personality. All the more for us, Legionaries, whose objective is the Glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayers and active cooperation, under ecclesiastical guidance, in Mary’s and the Church’s work of crushing the head of the serpent and advancing the reign of Christ. Nothing better to be done to advance the reign of Christ than to share the Good News to all creatures. Ascension closes Christ’s earthly mission and begins ours, the disciples’ mission!

Such a big responsibility! But let us again, imitate, what the Apostles did. They returned to Jerusalem, and the prayed with one mind, together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I find this is very suitable for us as Legionaries. After all the struggles, we will return to the meetings, pray together with our fellow legionaries and together with Mary, our Mother. After that, the Apostles did not suddenly become sort of like, superman, or suddenly having a magical power, etc.. but they remain in the world with all their naturalness, spreading the love of Christ and the Good News to everyone around them.

So do we as Legionaries! Ours is to sanctify the world from within, the spirit of the lay apostolate. It is good that today we hear Jesus intercedes for us before his Father: I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. There is no room in the modern apostolic field for stiff, stuffy piosity. The spirit of the Legion should always be one of enterprising, efficient, optimistic, enthusiastic, and peaceful joy (all the more during vacation!). We are all trying to be united with the Mother who is the ‘Cause of our Joy’. There are bound to be obstacles, frustrations, and discouragement, but these should all be overcome by our joyful enthusiasm and enterprising optimism. Sometimes we allow ourselves to become bogged down with problems instead of simply going ahead by concentrating on whatever action is possible. Often we blame our non-responding, lukewarm, lazy, cold, ignorant, friends for they are not convinced of the good in the Legion of Mary. But convinced friends are made by convinced Legionaries. Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm.

Fr. Ripley wrote that, if the Legion in any place is not appealing to enthusiastic youth, there is something wrong with it. We need to remember that people, especially the young people, are attracted in the first place by people, and not merely theories and systems. It is later that they appreciate the value of these other things. Young people want thrilling, adventurous, enterprising work. They are naturally enthusiastic and when they find their elders lacking in enthusiasm, they are disappointed and, so far as the legion is concerned, may not persevere as members. He continues, young people must be attracted to Our Lady’s army and every obstacle in the way must be surmounted.

And our pioneers Legionaries had proven that it is possible! Suppose we were those first Legionaries in Dublin all over again, have we ever thought to ask ourselves, what would be our aims? What would we try to do? Are we less enthusiastic than the pioneers? Are we less convinced? Is there any reason on earth why we in the Legion should be less courageous, less enthusiastic, less enterprising, less optimistic than any political, social, or religious movement in the world?

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Our hope and source of strength is the same, my dear brothers and sisters. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Let us take this feast of Ascension to renew our zeal and hope, placing ourselves in the disposal of the Virgin Most Powerful. We should be what we are preaching, we should be the good news! Let our friends, family, colleagues, teachers, everyone, see in us smiling, happy, optimistic, enthusiastic workers, relaxed, ready to tackle very problem, anxious to explore every possibility, searching for every opportunity of helping people as the beloved children of Mary and brothers of Jesus that they are. Let us be fountains of cheerfulness and happy social life. Let us not go round worrying about the events of tomorrow which may never happen. This is the spirit that will attract others, for this is the spirit of the most attractive purely human being who has ever lived, of her who is the Mother and the Queen of her Legion!

Jubilee Talks to Legionaries, chapter Enterprising Optimism (Very Rev. Francis J. Canon Ripley)

Conversation with God, Sixth week of Easter, Ascension Sunday (Francis Fernandez)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Short Catholic Reflection by the late Archbishop Romero

A wonderful reflection, which, I think, is very apt for what we Legionaries are called to do and what we are called to surrender:

"It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a small fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection. No pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about: We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own."

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (1917-1980)

Our Lady of Fatima

Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima
O Most Holy Virgin Mary,  Queen of the most holy Rosary,  you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima  and reveal a glorious message.  We implore you,  inspire in our hearts a fervent love  for the recitation of the Rosary.  By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption  that are recalled therein may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,  through the merits of Jesus Christ,  our Lord and Redeemer.