Restoring our Strength

            FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

 

OUR THEME FOR 2011

(Part 36)

 

RESTORING OUR STRENGTH

 

May 15, 2011

Today’s reading: Psalm 23:1-6

Because CFC is God’s servant through whom He will show His glory (Is 49:3), CFC in its first 20-25 years soared in the strength of the Spirit. Its membership topped one million in 160 countries. This was a testimony to God’s work in and through His lowly instrument.

But infidelities came into the picture, from the very top. One IC (International Council) member veered away, removing Christ from CFC’s work with the poor, then 4 other IC members veered away, disobeying bishops and doing unchristian and unbiblical acts against their own brethren. Thus CFC started on a downward spiral, resulting in a crisis and split in 2007.

But God’s work and God’s plan continue. God then raised a remnant and restored it to CFC’s authentic charism. This is CFC-FFL. After formation through the years after the crisis, God is now ready to fully restore CFC-FFL and give it the fullness of His strength, in order to carry on His original intent. So we say to the God who called us, “you restore my strength.” (Ps 23:3a).

God’s part is to call, raise, restore, anoint, equip, strengthen. Our part is to say our “yes” to Him, be obedient, and be faithful to our covenant. God has His way, and it is not our way. We veer away when we follow our own agenda and human ways of doing things. Thus we need to look to the ways of God. We need to aver, “You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.” (Ps 23:3b).

What is the “right path”?

It is first of all the path of righteousness. We are made in the image and likeness of God. As such, we are called to be holy as God is holy, to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. We are to be faithful to the covenant God has given us in community, which covenant is the means by which we walk the path of righteousness.

Secondly, it is the path particularly cut out for us as CFC (now CFC-FFL). This is manifested by our vision and mission. We are an evangelistic and missionary community, doing the work of renewing the family and defending life. This is our charism. This is our reason for being.

Finally, it is the path Jesus himself trod. It is the path that leads to the cross. Thus in 2010 God emphasized to us the value of redemptive suffering. But this was after God stressed to us the virtues of joy (2008) and trust (2009), which virtues help keep us on the right path, no matter what challenges we are facing or what sufferings we are enduring. As Christ’s disciples, we are called to deny ourselves and take up our crosses. It is our privilege, just like Paul, to follow Jesus to the cross.

When we walk along the right path, then our strength that comes from God will be restored. When we become proper instruments, then God is able to use us in the fullness of His power. When we become faithful servants, then God is able to accomplish His will in and through us.

God this year reminds us: He formed us as His servant from the womb, He brought us back to Him, He intends to manifest His glory through us (Is 49:5). For our part, if we walk along the right path, then we can rightly claim, “my God is now my strength!”

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