“Ask a Priest: How can I fulfill my vocation while being homebound?”

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Q: I am an older member of [the ecclesial movement] Regnum Christi, and due to physical limitations I am unable to participate in an apostolate or attend monthly and yearly retreats that are suggested for Regnum Christi members. RCSpirituality.org is a helpful resource, although I miss the interaction with other members as well as the team life. Given my limitations, how can I best fulfill my vocation to Regnum Christi and still serve Christ in a positive way? -C.W., New England

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: Your desire to serve Christ, even with your physical limitations, is already a beautiful sign of how deeply you live the Regnum Christi spirit.

First, rest assured that you have a lot to offer to Our Lord. By your prayers you can help the Church and the Movement and your loved ones. By your patient endurance of physical limitations you can unite the cross of your suffering with the cross of Christ. With St. Paul you can say, “In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24).

Second, learn to see your limitations in a supernatural way. If they limit your movements, they might actually help you to live a more intense prayer life. Physical ailments help us to focus on what is most important in life. We see things differently through the lens of suffering. The passing things of this world lose their appeal. Things eternal move to center stage in our life.

Your prayer can be an apostolate. So many projects need the fuel of prayer to be fruitful. Likewise, your prayers can help keep your family and countless other families together.

Be realistic about retreats. If you can attend them, that is fine. If not, there are resources available online to help you have personal retreats at home. The important thing is to spend good-quality time with Our Lord and to let his grace work its wonder in your heart.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the prayer of petition. Ask God to send you all that you need — faith-based friendships, companionship, opportunities for apostolate, consolations. He will surely answer your prayer (“Ask, and it will be given you” [Matthew 7:7]), helping you find, even in the midst of your limitations, all that you need to grow in intimacy with him and to help build up his eternal Kingdom from right where you are.

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