Thursday, October 15, 2009

Frank Duff was once asked how to be a good Legionary. His reply was: first study the Handbook of the Legion. If you want to do good through the Legion, you must first know it. You cannot work the system unless you understand it. The Handbook is a short document. You could get through it quickly. Imagine any student being told that he can learn all the essentials of his science in about 300 pages. In one week he would have it off by heart.

Imbibe not only the doctrine but the mentality of the Legion” He frequently spoke of Veronica O’Brien, Secretary to Archbishop Suenens, who was given a copy of the Handbook. She took it with her to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and sat before the Blessed Sacrament and read it from beginning to end.

Secondly, Frank said: “Concentrate on a faithful service to your praesidium. Make the work assigned to you a further means of understanding the doctrine. The doctrine is the root the work is the flower. They cannot be separated. The doing of the work must be a deliberate practice of the doctrine.

When you have become a faithful member do something, that may seem to be really drastic. Go on the Peregrinatio pro Christo. Give up a holiday and your holiday-money to a Legionary enterprise. When you have been through one such venture as that you are a changed person. You will have learned the grave need there is for people to do apostolic work and you will have learned your own power. You will realise your capacity.”

With regard to officership in the Legion, Frank has very strong words. “They should get their priorities right and enquire if the things which prevent their becoming officers are so important that they should be given precedence. They should make the time for what is notable and important.

How often one hears it said: If you want a job done, ask a busy person. Becoming an officer however, is more than a matter of taking on a job. It is a vocation -- a distinct call from above. It is at once a privilege and a response to God. One should respond to it as Mary did, saying: Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word. And one can expect the answer from above: Well done good and faithful servant. Because you have been faithful in small things, I will set you over greater things. Enter into the joy of your Master.