Regnum Christi

September 13, 2023

La Pieta Mother holding Jesus with Mercy

Meeting Mary through Mercy

I had a fairly unusual conversion as a university student. When I started to learn my Catholic faith in my early twenties, I loved the discoveries I made, the intellectual and experiential truths I learned, and every way I was getting to know Jesus better.  There was just one little nagging problem in the background of my mind. I saw the importance and reverence given to Mary, and it made me uneasy.  I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me, she seemed pretty unapproachable, and I had this weird feeling that she probably wouldn’t like me very much.  She was sinless and immaculate, and I wasn’t.


Looking at Jesus, sitting before him in prayer, I came to know him as Mercy who knows me, who sees me deeply, and who loves me.


But somehow before Mary, all I felt was the weight of my imperfections. Searching for a way to know her in statues and paintings of her at Church, I couldn’t find my own experience or anything that connected us.  I didn’t know how to relate to Mary or how to approach her. She was perfect, almost stone-cold perfect. 


I still desired to know her, and to love her, because she is Christ’s mother. I remember looking at the statue of Our Lady of Victory in church and whispering awkwardly to Jesus that if he wanted me to get to know his mom, he should really introduce us.


As I spent more time meditating on Christ’s life, I began to see that Mary was more than stoically perfect, she was God’s own comforter.  She kept him warm as a child, found him when he went missing and encouraged him as he began his public life. She consoled him in the Via Crucis, and she stayed fully present with him at the cross.  I started to see that in his humility, God decided to allow himself to ‘need’ the comfort and strength of a mother and that Mary was truly that for him. Knowing Christ more deeply, the image I had of Mary changed from a person made of stone to a woman of soft strength. Mercy himself needed tenderness and love, and Mary was that for Jesus.


I began to see that she was present in my own life in the same way, with the same silent, tender presence.  She was there, gently present in Schubert’s Ave Maria at my grandmother’s funeral.  When my husband and I got married on August 15th (the Feast of the Assumption), I walked up the aisle to the same Ave Maria as my wedding march.  She was there when my mom died, and we gave her to God’s arms in her funeral mass, accompanied again by the same hymn.  She was there faithfully, in the pillar moments of my own life. To comfort, to celebrate, to accompany, to love.


But I still felt it really difficult to get to know her.  She was like a benevolent guest, often present, and warm, but slightly distant. Until I became a mother myself.  Experiencing my own imperfect but incredibly powerful love for my child made me see into Mary’s heart for the first time. We finally had something in common. I knew now the incredible joy she felt when she looked at her Son. I knew the exhaustion that she experienced in raising a toddler, perfect or not. I knew what it was like to live with the questions without answers that a mother faces, like she did, and how necessary it was to ‘ponder these things in my heart.’


I knew that she, like me, was a married woman and a mother.  She shared her life and her love with Joseph and with Jesus.  Mercy himself grew up in her home, in her arms, guided by her heart.


When I became a mother I finally realized why it was so hard to get to know Mary.  Mary is not about herself. Her life wasn’t full of her own accomplishments, desires and talents.  There is nothing in her that sets her apart as a unique individual except for how she fully gave herself to God and how fully she loved. That is how she is remembered in the Gospels, and that is the only way we can come to know her, by seeing who she was for Christ himself.  Her life was about him.  In looking at Jesus’ life, all the detail that is missing in her own becomes present.  She is the strong, gentle, kind, purposeful presence in his life. And at the cross Mercy gave his mother to us, to be present in the same way.


December 24, 2004, as we were sitting down to Christmas Eve dinner after Mass, something went really wrong.  I was 3 months pregnant with my 5th child and knew immediately that I needed to get to the hospital.


After 4 easy, uncomplicated pregnancies, I couldn’t understand what was happening. In the emergency room, it became clear. I was losing my child.  All of a sudden, the world made no sense.  One minute we were celebrating the birth of Christ and the next minute the baby in my womb was dying.  I was confused and felt very alone. The answer to my scared, wordless cry to God was an image.


The image that came into my head was the Pieta.  In an instant, I was no longer alone. Mercy gave me his mother at my cross. Mary was there. Mary understood. Mary had experienced this. And she was my strength that night.  In my valley of tears, Our Lady of Sorrows held me and she grieved with me. She shared my experience and she gave me hope. There was no more stone, no more distance left in my relationship with her.  She knew me, and finally, I knew her.


Mercy gave me his Mother when I needed her most.  He helped me know her heart when mine was broken. Since then, I have recognized her more in the quiet events of my days as well as in the important moments.


Having known her in tragedy, I feel like I know her better in the day-to-day.  I know she loves me. I know she is there and she ‘gets me.’ And even in my imperfections, I feel like I understand her heart a little bit.  I know I need her strong, quiet comfort on a daily basis the same way Jesus did.  I turn to her often now, in happy moments, in the daily hidden life of a family, and in the problems I face.


September 13, 2023 – Leap for Joy for Heaven






Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church


Luke 6:20-26


Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”


Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.


Petition: Father, help me to seek the things that are above.


  1. Because You Say It, Lord: In this passage, I can picture Jesus raising his eyes to look into the faces of his followers. Today, he looks into my eyes and engages my attention with his loving gaze. I accept what he tells me because it is he who speaks. I believe that he has the words of eternal life. Naturally, poverty, hunger, sorrow and being excluded do not appeal to me, but they are the values of my beloved Lord, and that is enough for me.


  1. Seek First the Kingdom: Jesus encourages me to strive for the values of his Kingdom, to be forgetful of myself and my well-being. He will take care of me and give me recompense. Heaven awaits me—laughter and joy, a fullness that is unfathomable. It is arduous not to seek “heaven on earth” in riches and pleasure and in fitting in with the crowd. It takes a vision of faith and a spirit of perseverance.


  1. Warning Signs: St. Luke transmits to us not only the Beatitudes, but also their opposites. These are like warning signs. If my path is aligned with these opposites, I had better be attentive—where does that road lead me in the long run? Where my heart is, there also is my treasure. Is heavenly, eternal happiness my heart’s desire or are earthly, temporal delights?


Conversation with Christ: Lord, give me the joy of experiencing some of the heavenly joy of being united to you here on earth. Help me to find my fulfillment in loving you, in giving my life to you.


Resolution: I will examine what motivates me in my daily duty, striving to purify my intention. I will act out of love of God and not out of self-love.

Scroll to Top

Alex Kucera


Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!