The Call to Holiness

“We have not only become other Christs, but Christ himself.”

(St. Augustine)

The Legion’s mission is to promote holiness in its members and all those with whom they come in contact. It seeks to do this by teaching them how to live out their Christian vocation to the full and supporting them in their efforts.

This “Christian vocation” has its source in baptism. In fact, when you were baptized, you became another Christ!

“Incorporated into Christ at baptism, every member of his Church shares his role as Priest, Prophet and King.

We share in Christ’s priestly mission by worship, private and public. The highest form of worship is sacrifice. By spiritual sacrifice we offer ourselves and all our activities to our Father God. Speaking of the lay faithful, Vatican Council II says: “For all their works, prayers and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit – indeed even the hardships of life if patiently borne – all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (cf. Pet 2:5) In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord and so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God.” (LG 34)

We share in Christ’s prophetic (teaching) mission. He “proclaimed the kingdom of his Father both by the testimony of his life and by the power of his word” (LG 35). As lay faithful, we are given the ability and responsibility to accept the gospel in faith and proclaim it in word and deed. The greatest service we can render to people is to speak the truths of faith – to tell, for example, what God is, what the human soul is, what the purpose of life is and what follows death. Above all, about Christ Our Lord who contains all truth. It is not necessary to be able to argue and give proofs for what we say, but to know and live these truths and to be aware of the difference they make, and to talk about them intelligently, conveying enough of their meaning to arouse interest and possibly make the person willing to seek fuller information.

Legion membership helps to improve one’s knowledge of the faith and how to live it. It helps also by strong motivation and experience to speak about religion to strangers. But people who have the greatest claim on our apostolic charity are those we meet habitually at home, school, trade, profession, social and leisure activities. These will not normally be part of our Legion assignment, but they are committed to our care all the same.

We share in Christ’s kingly mission by overcoming in ourselves the kingdom of sin and by the service of our fellowmen, for to rule is to serve. Christ said that he came to serve, not to be served. (Mt 20:28) We share, above all, in this mission of Christ by doing our work well, whatever it is, in the home and outside it, out of love for God and as a service to others. By work well done we continue the work of creation and help make the world a better and more pleasant place to live in. It is the privileged task of lay Christians to permeate and perfect the temporal order, that is, all earthly affairs, with the spirit of the Gospel.

We pray in the Legion Promise that we may become instruments of the Holy Spirit’s mighty purposes. Certainly our actions should always be supernaturally motivated, but our nature also must provide the Holy Spirit with as perfect an instrument as possible.

Christ is a Divine Person, but his human nature played a part in his actions, his human intelligence, his voice, his glance, his manner of behaviour. People, including children, the most discerning of all, liked to be in his company. He was a welcome guest at everyone’s table.

St. Francis de Sales was a man whose conduct and manners were not the least of the means by which he brought many souls to God. It was he who recommended that everyone who wished to practice charity should cultivate what he called “the little virtues”: friendliness, courtesy, good manners, consideration, patience and understanding, especially with the difficult.

From the Handbook (note: “LG” references the Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium)

Of course, the call to holiness from God is not limited to the Legionary. In fact, it’s not even limited to Catholics, to Christians, or even to some other limited portion of humanity — God’s call to holiness is for everyone!