‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives is me’ – Gal.2:20
Recently our LCM General Chapter was held in Knock, Ireland. All such gatherings are important, however, this one was a real landmark in LCM History, as it was the very first time we had worldwide live streaming, which enabled Sisters and Associates to view the Opening and Closing Liturgies.
Since the previous Chapter, 6 years earlier, 65 sisters have been called forth to their Eternal Home. Each one of these sisters was individually remembered in the Opening Liturgy; a candle was lit, photo and personal motto appeared on the screen, followed by brief, reflective time, between the focus on the next sister. I experienced this as a very sacred time; particularly seeing each sister’s face and below her chosen Motto.
In our LCM, each sister chooses her own Motto, prior to Final Profession. The Motto is engraved on the inside of her ring; Crucifix embossed on the outside, she receives her ring during her Final Profession Ceremony.
The Motto chosen by our Foundress: ‘It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.’
The above words fountained forth from Paul’s heart after his sudden fall and being struck by blindness (tradition says he was thrown from a horse, but this is not mentioned in the bible), Paul, all fired up by his self-righteous zeal was heading towards Damascus, his sole mission; to persecute the followers of Jesus.
After his fall, Paul distinctly heard the words; “Paul, Paul. Why are you persecuting me?”
Paul spent time in the desert reflecting upon this question.
Paul’s life took a boomerang turn!
I hand over the next section to Fr Michael Fallon msc.
“Paul takes us to the very heart of his faith when he states, ‘It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me’. It is the experience of union with the risen Jesus that underlies this letter (Galatians). It is central to Paul’s conversion experience.
It is possible to look at Jesus from the outside; to admire him and try to imitate him. Christian experience, however, is something else. We are called not to be like Christ, but to let Christ live in us. We are called not to love like Christ, but to let Christ love in and through us. We are called not to pray like Christ, but to make space for the Spirit of Christ to pray in us.
We are invited into a right relationship with God by the Risen Jesus who shares his Spirit with us and so draws us into the intimate communion with God which is his life. It is for us to believe, that is to say, to make room for him by letting go our own ego and welcoming his love.” (1)
Venerable Mary Potter echoes Paul’s conviction:
“Only let us put off self and we shall be happy as the day is long”. (Mary’s Conferences) (2)
“What then is it to be a saint? It is simply to let Jesus come and live in you”. (Spiritual Exercises) (3)
- Michael Fallon msc New Testament Letters, St Paul p.67
- Congregation of the Little Company of Mary Calendar August 19
- Congregation of the Little Company of Mary Calendar August 28
For personal reflection:
Do you have a word or phrase from scripture that enlivens your spirit?
If not, you may like to ponder discovering one that speaks to your heart.