Regnum Christi

February 6, 2024

Love and Lent

Love and Lent

Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day this year. While many couples have decided to celebrate their love by going out for a romantic dinner earlier, over the past weekend, or on Mardi Gras, there is another solution sweeping social media:



love and lent



For those who are more inclined to ‘marry’ the two events which share the calendar, and are willing to look a little more deeply at what our human love relationships and the beginning of lent have in common, the vistas are broader than it first seems.


Marriage, and other relationships based on real love are made of more than just candlelight, gourmet dinners, and chocolate.  Lent is about more than fasting.  Both are rooted in a love that is willing, in fact, committed, to self-sacrifice for the beloved.


No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

– John 13:15

What if, this Valentine’s Day, and this Lent, we looked past what we are giving up by fasting and abstinence, and instead, took the plunge to love our beloved as Christ loves us.  A little less steak and chocolate, a lot more patience and forgiveness.  Less presents, more presence.  Giving less jewels but more joy.


“There is no greater love within a marriage and a family than for the spouses and children to lay down their lives for one another. This is the heart of the vocation of marriage, the heart of the call to become holy”  -USCCB, Pastoral letter: Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

40 days of laying down our lives in love for Christ and for our beloved here on earth… 40 days of learning to love like God desires us to.


“If a person really loves another, that is, really desires the total good of the other person, then such a person is committed by the very nature of love to give of himself or of herself for the sake, the good, of that other person. Giving of oneself involves sacrifice; it means that I make the other person a priority; it demands dying to self in order to live for the other.” -Bishop of Arlington, Paul Loverde

What if we took this lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday/Valentines’ Day to recommit to our vocation- our path to holiness, our marriages, and relationships, in seeking the good of others with love, even when it costs us?


What if, by bringing the two days together, God is asking us to love more, and to love more like He does?  If part of the lay vocation is to sanctify the secular world, then this only makes sense. We have a magnificent opportunity this Wednesday- to reclaim human love to be in the image and likeness of God’s love for us.  It’s a chance to reset our selfish fantasies about love and reorder our expectations and commitments to be what they should be, a free and joyful self-giving for the good of the other.


“What some people love is not a person but the experience of being in love. The first is irreplaceable; the second is not.”  ― Fulton J. SheenThree to Get Married

What if we really took this radical plunge during Lent?  Perhaps we would understand better the depth of Christ’s love as the bridegroom for us as his bride?  Perhaps we would see God, the often overlooked “3rd person” in our marriages, more clearly?


“How can one love self without being selfish? How can one love others without losing self? The answer is: By loving both self and neighbor in God. It is His Love that makes us love both self and neighbor rightly.” ― Fulton J. SheenThree to Get Married

Perhaps our relationships would become richer and more precious to us, celebrated more deeply by loving sacrifice than by sharing steak and chocolates…


Speaking of chocolate (which is another of my loves) I recently had the double surprise of indulging not only in a delicious treat but in the strikingly wise poetry on the back of the wrapper… God is awesome in his generosity that way.


The full poem is:


Oh, No – Not E’en When First We Loved.

by Thomas Moore


Oh! no — not e’en when first we loved,
Wert thou as dear as now thou art;
Thy beauty then my senses moved,
But now thy virtues bind my heart.


What was but Passion’s sigh before,
Has since been turned to Reason’s vow;
And, though I then might love thee more,
Trust me, I love thee better now.


Although my heart in earlier youth
Might kindle with more wild desire,
Believe me, it has gained in truth
Much more than it has lost in fire.


The flame now warms my inmost core,
That then but sparkled o’er my brow;
And, though I seem’d to love thee more,
Yet, oh! I love thee better now.


This Ash Wednesday, and this whole Lent, let’s let God lead us and our marriages in a deeper and stronger love that discovers its true worth, and the depth of its fire and joy, in self-giving.  And, 40 days later, may we rejoice in the triumph of resurrection of Christ over death, and in our relationships as well.

Love and Lent Read More »

February 6, 2024 – True Worship






Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs


Mark 7:1-13


When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.) So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”


Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Gospel and for all the truth it teaches me. Thank you for warning me of attitudes and dispositions that could become temptations for me. I love you for your goodness and mercy, and I entrust myself into your loving hands.


Petition: Lord, help me to serve you sincerely, in truth and in love.


  1. “This People Honors Me with Their Lips, But Their Hearts Are Far from Me”: Jesus calls his disciples to authenticity. Too often so-called disciples give the impression of following him, while at the same time accepting sensual loves and lusts in their heart. Although the Pharisees display the outward trappings of holiness, the way they treat Jesus and others betrays their true character. Jesus would call them “whitewashed tombs” (Mt 15:27): clean and bright on the outside, but full of dead men’s bones within. Self-righteousness would be their downfall. Such dispositions may lend the proud man certain short-term security, but it will always be illusory since it is not rooted in the truth. Is there any way in which I also pay tribute to God with my lips but say something else in my heart, or behave contrariwise in my actions?


  1. “In Vain Do They Worship Me”: True worship begins with humility, when the soul recognizes that it possesses no good in and of itself, but that all of its goodness comes from God. The Pharisees offered no real worship to God since, in effect, they worshipped only themselves by relying more on their talents and goodness than on the goodness that comes from God. It is not insignificant that when Jesus describes a Pharisee’s prayer in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, he says, “The Pharisee prayed this prayer to himself” (Lk 18:11). How can I make sure that my prayer is truly devoted, meaning that I am addressing Our Lord with the words of my heart?


  1. “You Make God’s Word Null and Void”: The Pharisees used the talents and gifts God had given them not for God’s glory, but for their own personal gain, whether that gain consisted of praise and admiration or personal comfort and ease. True worship of God, truly placing God above all else, involves using the things God created as means to reaching him. As number 226 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:

            My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.

            My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.

            My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.”


Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for my life and all the good things you have given me. Help me to realize that you have created everything and that all I have is from you. May I use all I have to serve others and as a means to come closer to you, the source of all good.


Resolution: I will examine my conscience to see if I am using any of my gifts and talents to glorify or serve only myself. If so, I’ll strive to put these same gifts at the service of God.


February 6, 2024 – True Worship Read More »

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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!