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An Interview with Fr. John Pietropaoli: Weekly Message for 8-2-16
Dear Friends in Christ,
Earlier this summer we were excited to launch our latest Regnum Christi Essay, All Things Proceed written by Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC. To introduce Fr. John and to get to know more about this essay, I recently sat down with him to ask a few questions and share with you.
“The new movements in the Church help give flesh and blood to the Universal Call to Holiness. And holiness, union with God, is only in communion. As John Zizioulas puts it in Communion and Otherness, “When the Holy Spirit breathes He does not create good individual Christians, individual saints, but an event of communion which transforms everything the Spirit touches into a relational being.” We’re called to transcend the labels of secularism/ clericalism, right/left, conservative/liberal, and offer God’s vision of the human person, whose richness lies not in contrast but in complementarity. Living and evangelizing in true communion—as lay people, consecrated men and women, and priests—we show that, with God, this is possible. And since what we pray and think about shapes our actions, further reflection on communion is both relevant and enriching.”
– excerpt from All Things Proceed.
Q: Why did you write “All Things Proceed: A Regnum Christi Essay on Recognition and Communion”?
I’ve always been struck by Pope Benedict XVI’s emphasis on recognition. This includes 3 inseparable elements: God’s recognition of us, our recognition of the Lord’s face, and our recognition of each other. In Jesus of Nazareth he ties that in with communion in such a powerful way that I thought: “I have to write about this.”
Q: Why do you consider this theme to be such an important topic for us to reflect upon in this moment of the Church’s history?
Communion with the Blessed Trinity is at the center of our faith, and this communion is meant to heal all our relationships. St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict, and Pope Francis all highlighted that, and summon Catholics to a spirituality of communion. We’re all called to holiness; holiness is communion. And since the new movements have a special role in incarnating the universal call to holiness, this is a timely topic for us.
Q: What do you hope this book will help us to achieve?
Two things. First of all, I hope it will help us to reflect more deeply on our new life in Christ which gives us a new way of seeing the world, and especially, of seeing each other. Secondly, I hope such a reflection helps us to put on the mind – and the consequent words and actions – of Christ.
Q: How do you think this book should best be used?
For personal reflection and group discussion. I included several reflection questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate both of those dimensions.
Q: In Regnum Christi we emphasize team life, fraternity, and communion. So how does this reflection on Recognition and Communion help us to live this aspect of our charism?
Our actions flow from who we are. A deeper consideration of recognition and communion can, I hope, lead to a greater appreciation for the gift of our brothers and sisters in Regnum Christi, and to a renewed commitment to communion in evangelization with each other and with the entire Church.
Q: Who would you recommend this book for? Is is just for the lay members of the Church or would priests and consecrated members like this book too. Why?
In the First Letter to the Corinthians, St Paul observes: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord, and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” God has given each member of Regnum Christi certain gifts; those gifts are ordered towards communion. So there’s something for everyone here.
About Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC STL
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://rcspirituality.org/wp-content/uploads/pietropaoli-john-1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Fr. John Pietropaoli , LC was born in Malone, New York. He entered the Novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut, in September of 2000. He subsequently studied Classical Humanities in Cheshire, and completed his studies in Philosophy and Theology in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest on December 15, 2012, and completed a Licientiate Degree in Spiritual Theology in Rome in 2014. He is currently serving as the chaplain at Divine Mercy University in Arlington, Virginia. His online retreat “Dawn of Mercy: A Retreat Guide on Divine Mercy” is available at RCSpirituality.org. [/author_info] [/author]
You can find out more along with details for purchasing All Things Proceed at RCSpirituality.org.
It is our hope and prayer that these reflections continue to help us grow to the fullness of our Christian identity in a world so in need of authentic witnesses of the Gospel. Please do send any ideas and further feedback to us through the feedback button at RCSpirituality.org or contact us at email@example.com.
With the assurance of my continued prayers for all our ‘digital missionaries’.