Legionario de Cristo Enfermo Mental, segun sus superiores

¡Tú eres un Enfermo Mental! – le dijeron sus Superiores Legionarios

Un Sacerdote Legionario describe como fue diagnosticado por sus superiores como Enfermo Mental, internado con engaño en un hospital psiquiátrico y tratado con medicinas psicotrópicas peligrosas; su instinto de auto-conservación, la amabilidad de un compañero y la ayuda de seglares y gente humilde le salvaron.
Este sacerdote, al escribir, quiso mantener el anonimato al máximo y por tanto no da nombres de personas o lugares. Usa con frecuencia “N” en vez del nombre del Legionario en cuestión.
Sólo se sabe que fue un sacerdote Legionario que salió de la congregación hace anios y ahora ejerce su ministerio en una diócesis.

Testimonio:

“Esto que comento pasó muy rápido y no tuve tiempo de reaccionar; casi como que no me di cuenta. Se acercaban las vacaciones. Nuestra comunidad ese año iba a ir a tal lugar a la casa de la familia X como el año antepasado, pues el mar era muy agradable y familiar.

Dos semanas o poco menos -no recuerdo bien- antes de las vacaciones, vino de visita a nuestra comunidad el Padre Asistente de la Vida Religiosa pues iba de vacaciones con las comunidades X e Y…que estaban en Z lugar y pasó por nuestra comunidad. Comió con los sacerdotes y religiosos y al final, delante de todos, me invitó a acompañarle a vacaciones. Ya no tenía mucho qué hacer y no me venían mal unos días extras de vacaciones; además decían que con el Padre N. te la pasas muy bien. Acepté inmediatamente.

En ese momento no me di cuenta de que el superior de la casa me apuró para que terminara rápido la maleta. ¡Por Dios, me acababan de invitar! Después me di cuenta que el superior me estaba “apurando” también. Me subí al coche y salí con el Padre. N.; pero no fuimos al lugar de vacaciones, sino que nos dirigimos a una cierta ciudad. El Padre me dijo que le tocaba chequeo médico y que pasaríamos al hospital. Me preguntó mi edad y me dijo que si ya me habían hecho la revisión. Le dije que no. Entonces me ofreció que me hicieran la revisión médica. Pensé que lo que decían del Padre N sí era verdad porque hasta revisión médica iba a tener sin tener que insistir al superior.

Llegamos al hospital X pero no nos dirigimos a la sección de medicina preventiva. Yo acompañaba al padre. Me dijo que esperara en una salita. Fue todo muy chocante. Yo estaba esperando y el Padre N. salió hablando con un psiquiatra. Después el psiquiatra habló conmigo. Seguramente en esa conversación, el Padre N. le había dicho que yo presentaba con síntomas de una persona enferma. Por ello cuando yo pasé al consultorio el diagnóstico ya estaba hecho. Cuando pregunté al psiquiatra cómo sabía que yo tenía esa enfermedad, me dijo que yo presentaba ciertos síntomas muy extraños. Entonces yo dije que no me parecía que yo tuviera esos síntomas. Ahí fue cuando el psiquiatra dijo que si no me daba cuenta de mis síntomas sería necesario internarme en la clínica porque eso sería una señal de que mi enfermedad estaba en un estado muy avanzado. ¿Cuál enfermedad? Entonces con calma preferí aceptar todo lo que él me dijo para resolver el problema fuera del consultorio conversando con mis Superiores. No me pareció que tuviera sentido argumentar con el psiquiatra sobre mi salud mental después de que un Superior lo había convencido de que yo hacía cosas raras.
(Comentario: el superior en cuestión aprovechó su investidura sacerdotal para convencer al psiquiatra del deterioro mental de su súbdito.)

Nunca obtuve un documento de mi internación en la clínica. No sé cuántos días estuve allí; no sabía si era de día o de noche. Pudo ser dos días, pudo ser un mes, no sé; me metían algo y ni hablar podía. Cuando salí me llevaron a la casa donde vivían los Padres N., N. y N. Me aislaron en un cuarto aparte y el Padre N. me cuidaba. Fue muy caritativo conmigo.

Cuando salí del hospital vino el Director Territorial, Padre N. y el Padre N., Asistente de la Vida Religiosa, que me había engañado con lo de las vacaciones. Hablamos los tres y me dijeron que mi tratamiento no había terminado. Les pregunté por qué razón querían hacerme pasar por ese tratamiento y les pedí que por caridad no siguieran adelante porque eran drogas muy fuertes y estaba teniendo consecuencias en mi salud. El Padre Director Territorial respondió que no dependía de ellos; me dijo que estaban siguiendo instrucciones de “Nuestro Padre” y que ellos sólo estaban obedeciendo.

Después de haber llegado a la casa, a los pocos días el psiquiatra dijo que yo estaba teniendo una recuperación maravillosa. Días después dijo que yo no tenía ninguna enfermedad y delante del Padre N. dijo que había que retirar los medicamentos inmediatamente. Pero el Padre N. me dijo luego que yo continuaba enfermo y me mandó tomar los medicamentos. Aquí puedo decir que estuve al menos tres meses en “tratamiento” encerrado en esa casa que muchos Legionarios conocen pero que no se imaginan.

Pero le voy a contar como me curé milagrosamente de un día para otro.
Tenía ya mucho tiempo sin comunicarme con mi familia y era el día de mi cumpleaños. No sé cómo pero mi mamá consiguió el teléfono y habló a la casa donde yo residía. Yo no recibía ninguna llamada y nadie sabía que estaba yo allí -al menos eso creía. Pero era el día de mi cumpleaños y la señora que cocinaba contestó el teléfono y me pasó la llamada. Pero el efecto de la medicina de las 8:00 no se me había pasado así que no podía hablar bien porque no controlaba bien los músculos faciales; no hablaba como borracho sino como mongolito porque era como si las palabras se me escurrían de la boca. Yo le dije a mi mamá que no me pasaba nada pero ella se puso a llorar y yo me angustié y más se me complicó más la lengua. Entonces ella cortó la llamada.

A los pocos minutos habló por teléfono mi papá y yo seguía sin poder hablar, entonces le arrebató el teléfono mi hermano mayor y me dijo que venían a visitarme que dónde estaba. Yo no sabía el domicilio de la casa pero dije tal ciudad y como está cerca de esa ciudad dijeron que tomaban el primer autobús hacia acá. Venían mi papá y mi hermano.

A la hora de almorzar fui al comedor de los padres y le dije al Padre N. con mucha satisfacción que como era mi cumpleaños me venían a visitar. Se paró inmediatamente y le habló por teléfono al superior local que vino al final de la tarde (el tiempo que le llevó llegar desde su residencia). Me dijo que les dijera a mis familiares que no podían visitarme; que les hablara para que no vinieran. Me molesté y le dije que ellos no tenían voto de obediencia y que además seguramente ya venían en camino. Entonces cambió de tono y me dijo que les dijera que no vinieran porque “Nuestro Padre” me había cambiado al territorio de X y que mi avión salía pronto y cuando llegaran yo ya no iba a estar. Le dije al superior que me habían dicho que yo estaba enfermo pero él respondió que ya me había curado y que preparara mis cosas.

Cuando el superior local se fue, fui a hablar con el Padre N. que me había cuidado tan caritativamente Me dijo que debía darle gracias a Dios por haber recuperado la salud. Ahí yo respondí que yo no creía haber estado enfermo nunca. A ese punto, abriendo unos ojos grandes, me miro directamente a los ojos y enfatizando sus palabras me dijo: “Yo tampoco pienso que en realidad usted haya estado enfermo, pero no lo diga… ¿Qué no se da cuenta en que si Usted insiste en que nunca estuvo enfermo, los superiores lo van a dejar más tiempo aquí? Usted tiene que ir con sus Superiores y agradecerles todo lo que han hecho por usted para curarle, solo así lo van a dejar en paz”.

Fui al lugar a donde me destinaron. Y así se deshicieron de mí borrando el rastro.
Ahí comenzó para mí un calvario distinto; había suspendido las medicinas de golpe y mi cuerpo ya era adicto a ellas. Sufrí unas crisis de ansiedad espantosas, dolores de cabeza terribles, insomnios…

Los superiores en ese lugar se portaron de una forma opuesta a los anteriores. Pedí ir al doctor porque necesitaba algún medicamento para calmar la ansiedad que estaba experimentando al no tener la dosis diaria, pero el superior me dijo que era porque yo no sabía trabajar con pobres. Entonces a escondidas pedí limosna a la gente para poder ir al doctor. Pagué el pasaje y gracias a Dios el doctor no quiso cobrarme. Le expliqué mi situación y me analizó. Me hizo análisis de sangre.
Después me consiguió cita con un especialista; a todas estas citas acudí con dinero que pedía de limosna. El especialista en tal ciudad me dijo que desde el punto de vista médico era imposible que yo hubiera padecido una (nombre de enfermedad) y que antes de un año estuviera completamente curado; es decir, que nunca tuve esa enfermedad. También me explicó que la medicina que tomaba no debía suspenderse repentinamente porque desequilibra los niveles de… en el cuerpo y de allí mi ansiedad y la falta de sueño. Me prescribió varias medicinas. Pero como yo dudaba ya bastante de los doctores, aprovechando el viaje de ejercicios espirituales, fui a ver al Dr. X. en quien confiaba; básicamente me dijo lo mismo –que yo estaba bien- Así que comencé a tomar medicinas para recuperarme.

Les cuento que la Legión no me dio ni un centavo para las medicinas porque eran carísimas. Yo andaba pidiendo limosnas y haciendo colectas para mi medicina. No le contaré pero hablé con el Padre Y y con el Padre Z. sobre la necesidad que tenía de esas medicinas. El Padre Y me dijo que el seguro no las cubría.

Un psiquiatra que me revisó siete años después me volvió a repetir que era imposible que yo hubiera tenido (nombre enfermedad). Él me dio de alta. Ahí dejé de tomar medicinas -siete años después de lo que la Legión me hizo. Casi todo fue pagado (las medicinas, porque las consultas no me las cobraban) por seglares y gente pobre. Si Ud. quiere más datos puedo referirle a los Dres. X, Y y Z, pues esos tres médicos me diagnosticaron y tienen registros médicos míos.”

Part 3: The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary

Part 3: THE FORGOTTEN LEGION OF CHRIST MISSIONARY

Visit to Bishop Emeritus Jorge Bernal-Vargas, LC,
Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón, Chetumal, Q. Roo, México
January 30, 2015

By John Lloyd Stephens,
Author of Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

My mission had been simplified: to find an outlet for Father Ray’s writings. So as soon as I returned to the comfort of Merida’s hotel zone I searched for a place where I could copy his writings. Not such an easy task. There seemed to be some difficulty here. I could not count on your normal American efficiency; no Kinko’s available. A few stores offered copying and other delivery. Copies were relatively expensive by US standards but I was determined to do Ray right. Chosing one that looked most professional I immediately requested my copies. The store accepted my request for three bound copies but I had a feeling it would take almost a whole day.  I asked for them to be ready next morning. The employee asked for my phone number so she could call me when the copies and the bill were complete.
Anyhow the next day, after some delay and complications, they were ready and I was able to pick them up. Called Ray but got no answer. I set off for his place now knowing his proper address. Got there. Nobody there. Stretching my arm I pitched his copy through the wrought iron gate and made my way back.
I wanted to show the second copy to Monsignor Bernal his LC superior in Chetumal if I could meet him. I would keep another copy for myself in case Mons. Bernal did nothing with the copy I would deliver to him.
We drove back to Chetumal in our rented Renault. Victoria B wanted to hand a little present to Srta. Lilí Conde who had been so kind to us on our arrival to Chetumal two weeks previously. We were able to do so.
But John Lloyd still had to finish is mission. At around 8:00 pm he sought out Mons. Bernal near the Church of the Sacred Heart, Parque de los Caimanes. He knew the priests’ residence was nearby. Friendly neighbors pointed the way: “The big patio around the corner.” Walked in. To his left a young Legionary was teaching about 30 people in one of the classrooms. Kept going toward the main two-storey building. “I want to see Mons. Bernal!” he called out loudly. A face peeked out through a curtain upstairs.
After a while Mon. Bernal came down the stairs wearing his usual attire, pants and a white guayabera. He had aged and the gaps in his front teeth were more pronounced. “Did he have good dental care here on the missions?” Lloyd did not ask. Monsignor remarked that Fr. Patrick was not around; he was giving talks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

[From beginning of meeting Monsignor seemed to be in a hurry. He did not invite Lloyd inside to visit with the other members of the Legion community. The conversation took place strolling around the patio. Was he some kind of persona non grata?, ran through Lloyd’s subconscious]
The usual pleasantries. Decades had passed since Mons. Bernal had sent his last report to Fr. Maciel regarding Lloyd’s behavior on the missions, since the day Lloyd had confronted Monsignor about him retaining some of Lloyd’s personal and confidential correspondence from the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico. But all this was behind them. Safer for both to reminisce about the good times. The man of the cloth recalled those companions who had “gone before us in the sign of peace.

“How are you, Monsignor?”

-“Really nobody now. Just getting old. I’m emeritus now.
“And what about Raymond, Monsignor? I visited him in Merida and he is very ill.”
-“I know. Bishop Elizondo has been to see him.”
“I understand he is receiving financial aid from the Legion. I was wondering where that was coming from. I mean…”
-“Where from do you think?” –a little testily. (Meaning from local funds and not from Legion of Christ central administration.)
“Monsignor, you know he was written some stuff, homilies, etc. and I have a copy here with me in case someone would like to publish.”
-“Ah-a” –otherwise no reaction…
“He is in pretty bad shape and being taken care of by his former secretary.”
-“You know he never took good care of his health. And he is stubborn. He prefers it that way.”
“Even so; he was a close friend of mine.”
-“Bishop Elizondo goes to visit him. He is taking care of him and handling it.”

Monsignor Bernal seemed to become aware it was getting late and Lloyd perceived his desire to terminate the meeting.
“Well, Monsignor, thank you very much for your time. Please give my regards to Fr. Patrick and all the other members of the community. Let us stay in touch.”
-“Thank you for your visit, Lloyd, and may God Bless you.”

John Lloyd Stephens, author of Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan, walked out of the concrete patio with a heavy heart at the emotional distance he has sensed during his interview and chilled by Monsignor’ coldness towards his childhood friend cum Legionary. He tied to conjure up ways that retired missionary Raymond Cumiskey, officially registered as a member of the Legion of Christ Cancun religious community, would be better taken care of physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during the remainder of his days.

Part 2, The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary

Part 2, The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary

R-C, Apostle of today’s Maya in the Yucatan

by John Lloyd Stephens, author of Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan

===========================

Historical background:                     CASTE WAR 1848-1901, YUCATAN, MEXICO

Chan Santa Cruz Maya.
Mayan territory, circa 1870.
Date 1847-1901 (skirmishes continued until 1933)
Location Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Result 1847–1883:
Maya victory, Mayas achieve an independent state.
1884–1901:
Mexican victory, Mexico recaptures the Yucatan.
Belligerents: Maya Mexico, Flag of the Republic of Yucatan, Republic of Yucatan (1847-1848)

The war was declared over several times though hostile conflict between the Mexicans and Mayans continued until 1933

See article with map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_War_of_Yucat%C3%A1n

=============

RC remembered very fondly his long stint in the town now called Felipe Carrillo Puerto, after the Mexican politician who favored Maya autonomy, once the Mayan Chan Santa Cruz, where he worked for about 15 years.. The author recalls how Fr. Raymond threw himself into that work with so much enthusiasm, “zeal for souls”, call it what you may. RC was always very passionate about what he did, whether that was playing the piano or the organ, organizing a singing group or a choir, strenuously exhorting his parishioners in the stark vaulted church or catechizing the Maya in the surrounding towns. Carrillo Puerto, a Maya stronghold during the Caste War which erupted in the Yucatan Peninsula, was in Ray’s time just another large unattractive town on the road from Chetumal to Cancun. But for him it was his portion and all the people his pastoral responsibility, “saving their souls from eternal damnation” in the face of ignorance, neglect and the Evangelical onslaught.

Ray took his work among the Maya so seriously that he learned Yucatan Maya to be able to celebrate the sacraments in their language. When he went to the pueblos he could baptize and perform marriages in the native language. For teaching and preaching his homilies during Mass he had the help of two great native-Maya-speaking “catechists”: Romulo Esquivel and Audomaro Xix, both of whom had been trained by the Maryknoll Missionaries who came before the Legionaries. Ray remembered them very fondly, together with “Las Madres de la Luz,” bilingual nuns founded by Fr. Góngora, a priest from the diocese of Merida whom early Legionaries had the privilege of knowing. He was the antithesis to Fr. Maciel, being a very quiet and self-effacing man. Ray also named some of the remote towns he had visited with his team, such as Dzulá and Chanca Veracruz where he would drive in his VW jeep.
Our conversation was loose. I gave him rein to reminisce and allow the time for our friendship bond to re-gel. Ray remembered joining the Legion in Ireland in November, 1961. He placed our recruiters and trainers in Bundoran: Frs. Coindreau, Yépez, Angel Saenz, Ramiro Fernandez and our first Legion confessor, Neftalí Sánchez-Tinoco who soon after his stint in Ireland disappeared from the Legion map as happened to many. His fragmented memory recalled my “angel” from that time, Bro. James Whiston, who became a kind of hero to me, being one of the very first Irish recruits. For Ray and me another fond memory that faded into oblivion by means of the Legion’s “selective memory.” Patrick and Willam Duffy came to his mind but not to mine. We both registered lively Noel Slater from that first group. He had lost track.

As I put on my reporter’s hat I found it very difficult to pin down Ray on his recent history. He could not piece together where he had been before coming to live in Merida at his friend’s house. I assumed he had been in Cancun. Perhaps his fire and brimstone homily’s had not been to the liking of his confreres and Bishop Pedro Pablo Elizondo. Ray was not the kind of person suitable for cozying up on Sundays to rich American Catholics at the Camino Real and other luxury hotels. And maybe I would have another opportunity to pick his tired brain.
Before leaving I was able to score another point. He disclosed he had written some materials that he was rather proud of and wanted to have published. It touched me knowing how isolated he was, how out of the Legion mainstream, how out of touch with the world outside, how dependent on his female friend and her daughter at whose house he was living. I showed interest in his writings. He showed them to me and I promised to do something about them.
We called our not too efficient taxi man and made our way back to the hotel zone and our comfortable Wyndham….

Fr. Maciel Poet & Plagiarist

This article was written many years ago  to undermine the blind devotion that Legion, and especially Regnum Christi, members had for this sample of much admired Fr. Maciel’s Lyrical Mysticism. A few years ago Legion/Regnum Christi leadership fessed up that he had plagiarized it from a Spanish patriot. It could still be of some interest; hopefully as a little warning sign to those who blindly believe what their LC/RC superiors and spiritual directors tell them is Gospel truth.

The following article has not been updated and stands as it was written and published about 15 years ago: a tribute to the writer’s prophetic gifts (as recognized for all Christians in the Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium).

FR. MACIEL’S PSALTER OF MY DAYS
Premier Spirituality of Legion and Regnum Christi
Analysis y Commentary

By 1961 LC Co-founder

<There are blows in life so violent –I don’t understand!
Blows as if from the hatred of God; as if before them
The silt of all sufferings
Backs up into the soul… I don’t understand!
Not many; but they exist…they open dark furrows
In the most ferocious face and in the most bull-like back.
Perhaps they are the horses of that heathen Attila,
Or the black heralds sent to us by Death.>

(B.V.)

INTRODUCTION

With great expectations did I approach my mailbox to pick up the copy of El Salterio de Mis Días furtively sent by a friend. I had not seen this text, attributed to Father Maciel, for over twenty years. I opened it reverently on the plane on my way to Mexico: “this edition January 3, 1991, 50th anniversary of the Foundation of the Legion; Ediciones CES [LC Center for Higher Studies, Rome]”, printed in Italy; a slim, cream hardcover enclosing 145 pages of expensive paper. The Psalter itself is shorter, as the book contains some ‘padding’ before and after the actual text. I approach it with an open, respectful and questioning mind:
I have a relationship with this small book. The Psalter of Father Maciel, El Salterio de Mis Días, has been venerated in Legionary communities since at least the early 60s, being considered a special text, for the exclusive use of Legionaries, and later, RC members. Mine were perhaps the first non-Hispanic eyes privileged to read and meditate these personal prayers of Nuestro Padre. Originally, they circulated as a collection of stapled Xeroxed type-written or offset pages, without any introduction or biblical references. As a Legionary Theology Student at the Collegio Massimo 1968-9 on Via Aurelia 677, the writer was also a devout biblical student. In the Psalter he treasured, the content layout was not as tidy or as clear as the present edition, divided now into psalms I to XIV, and each psalm subdivided into sections with Arabic numerals. What better way to familiarize myself with the Bible and show my devotion for Nuestro Padre than to research the biblical references present in the Psalter. With great enthusiasm I set about the task.
The present edition contains a prologue, Latin numerals lower-case vii-xiv, attributed to B.S., who, I assume is Fr. Bernardo Skertchly. I can only imagine what an honor it must have been for him to craft this presentation and thus be so closely associated with The Founder, and having his words in the same publication. The prologue is written in a simple, evocative, and devout style, with ample citations from the Psalter itself, referred to as Smd, an acronym that would seem to confer official status to the Psalter alongside the CLC [Constitutions of the Legion of Christ] and the CNP [Cartas de Nuestro Padre, Letters of Father Maciel]. It is sprinkled with quotations from the New Testament, the Letters of Father Maciel, and contains one citation from Pope Paul VI. Fr. BS tells us that the Smd is a window into the soul of Father Maciel: a landscape of tears, fatigue, suffering and Calvary.

THE PSALTER’S LYRICISM
Fr. Maciel’s Psalter starts off sprightly with:
“I know, Lord, that without You I can do nothing,
But I also know that with You I can do all.
I know, Lord, that having elected me
You will always be my strength,
Because you are the One who comforts me.”
Let us pause for a note on the Psalter’s ‘poetic’ style which may very favorably impress the English-speaking first-time-reader, especially the RC Consecrated female, who delves into the Spanish text. The literary poetic value of the Smd cannot be calibrated from the perspective of Spanish 101, i.e. from a rudimentary knowledge of the language of Cervantes. The reader must be mindful of the innate lyricism of the Spanish language in and of itself, which can even overcome a poor English translation. Just think of
“Last night as I lay a-sleeping,
I dreamed –oh blessed hope!–
There was a fountain flowing;
Deep down in my soul.
From what hidden source,
Tell me, water, you come to me?
I never drank before
From a spring as sweet as thee.”

So speaks Antonio Machado, the great modern Spanish poet; with the same powerful metaphors and pathos speaks the Peruvian, César Vallejo, quoted as a preface to this essay [excerpt from Los Heraldos Negros, 1918]. And we all are familiar with the passion and simplicity of Pablo Neruda’s “Twenty love poems and a sad song.” All this without mentioning the Spanish Golden Age of poetry with the likes of Lope De Vega, St. John of the Cross, Luis de León and others who excelled in religious, Christ-centered poetry. So the Psalter needs to be examined against that impressive backdrop.

Remember also that the Psalter, as a collection of poetic prayers, is by its very genre lyrical, emotional, evocative, and metaphorical. Everyday Spanish, with its idioms and saying, can easily conjure a certain poetic, even exotic, feeling. When reading these common metaphors for the first time the non-native Spanish reader may be struck by their force. But one has to distinguish the common from the uncommon. For these reasons readers should not gullibly admire the surface lyricism of the Fr. Maciel’s Psalter. Rather should they ask themselves to what extent does Fr. Maciel rise above common Spanish language clichés when describing his experiences and his relationship with the Lord. And, what would be left of the content and style if the already powerful Biblical images were also stripped away? As an example of the latter let us examine a brief passage in an English that does the original more than justice.

Psalter of My Days, pages 19-20
” II- Psalm of Faith
2. I believe, like Job, when Your light goes out

I believe in Thee, Lord.
I wear my faith like armor to protect me
Against the loud clash of the world
Throughout my sleepless days and
My anxiety ridden nights.

I believe in Your word ineffable and serene,
For nothing will happen to me without your permission.

I believe, like Job, in richess and in poverty,
When Your light grows dim and I grope in the dark,
Looking for the old paths to guide me.
When this black river of doubt
Tries to break my dyke of hope…”

As the reader continues through this psalm he encounters one biblical reference after another in the following two paragraphs:
[…] When I cast my nets over and over again [reference to the miraculous draft of fishes, Luke, chapter 5, used repeatedly throughout this poem]
I believe you test your chosen ones [literally, Book of Wisdom. and how God purifies them like gold in a crucible, 8, 5-6]
Because when the seed falls in to the earth [literally, John, 12, 24]
I would like to surrender to You,
That You put me close to You,
Like a seal on Your heart [literally, Song of Songs, 8, 6]
Notice the plethora of literal biblical references above in two short paragraphs. So abundant are they that footnotes cannot keep up with them. The present version of the Psalter notes only the Song of Songs, 8, 6, omitting the other three which are –to use a cliché- as clear as daylight.

COMPARISON OF DAVID’S AND MARCIAL’S PSALTERS
By utilizing the psalm genre Fr. Maciel invites comparisons with the original Davidic Psalter. Exegetes have traditionally attributed the Psalter to King David, a deeply religious, passionate and sinful man living in the 10th century. David’s psalms number 150; Father Maciel’s are 15, a neat tenth of David’s number. The attentive reader might discover some artifice in Smd’s number of 15. Further scrutiny shows how only 14 psalms can really be attributed to Father Maciel. The #15 is not a psalm but an adaptation of the Divine Praises litany traditionally recited before the Blessed Sacrament. Despite this, such an ordinary text is given the title ‘Psalm of Blessing in My Exile’. Thus the last ‘psalm’ would intentionally make 15 and simultaneously, through its title, artificially tie the whole Smd to that painful period in The Founder’s life originally called ‘The War’ and later re-named ‘The Great Blessing’. The title of the last psalm would appear as an attempt to demonstrate how Fr. Maciel had overcome any bitterness he might have initially experienced during those harrowing times.
Another inevitable comparison is between the spirituality of David and Marcial. David committed murderous adultery in possessing Bathsheba, and after his conversion he openly admits his sinfulness and shortcomings and does public penance. Father Maciel’s confession of personal sin is very muted. Though he does ask God to forgive him, it is not clear of what concrete wrongs Fr. Maciel is conscious. Other readers can examine this aspect in further depth. The Psalter of My Days’ lacks David’s full orchestra of feelings returning often to a single note of lament. Moreover, at second glance its spirituality appears less like David’s ardent passion and more like that of the [Innocent] Suffering Servant of Yahweh described in the 2nd Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Fr. Maciel is more intent on expressing his forgiveness of those who gratuitously persecute him than in begging forgiveness of others and focusing on his own shortcomings.
Fr. Maciel’s psalms, nevertheless, do reflect the essential nature of this genre which is a direct and spontaneous crying out to the Lord. Whereas David cries out in his own words, influenced naturally by the Torah and his tradition, Father Maciel frequently resorts to the words of Jesus and St. Paul and to such an extent that often he would seem to simply paraphrase them. This writer was one of the privileged co-founders of the early 60s with access to the original version of the Fr. Maciel’s Psalter. As previously stated, the layout was not as clear. That XV psalm was certainly not present. The opus contained few if any biblical citations. Spurred by his devotion for Nuestro Padre and by his approaching priestly ordination, this writer devoted many hours to finding the Psalter’s biblical underpinnings. Some months before ordination he proudly presented his labor of love to his spiritual father.
I am personally convinced that Father Maciel, or the Psalter writer did not research the biblical references originally but quoted freely from the Scripture as was the custom in the 50’ and 60’ among Spanish speaking preachers. This consideration would not lead us to necessarily conclude that Fr. Maciel read the Bible or the New Testament during his exile. He could have written spontaneously, or dictated his thoughts to someone familiar with the New Testament and endowed with a poetic pen.

HISTORICAL QUESTIONS AND CONCLUSION
Historical testimonies confirm that Fr. Maciel has rarely been absolutely alone to fend for himself since the 50s. He has always had at least one religious or priest to accompany him and assist with his practical needs when leaving the community house, which is often. The companion’s duties include taking dictation, running errands, preparing meals, procuring medications, setting up appointments, traveling with him…Thus a series of historical questions arises at this stage. Who were the religious brothers or priests close to Fr. Maciel when the ‘Great Blessing’ broke out? Who was with Nuestro Padre during his exile, or when the Psalter of My Days started to come together? Did Fr. Maciel have any assistance with the writing or the research? How was this document conceived, originally written, and how did it develop? What are we to make of its authorship attributed to Fr. Maciel, and of its literary and spiritual value? The answers to these questions I will leave to my betters.
When in 1968-9 the devout Legionary biblical student had finished his labor of love, he awaited an opportunity to meet Fr. Maciel in the corridors of the college in Rome. When the big moment came, he shyly accosted The Founder and showed him the results of his efforts. The writer cannot remember whether he had found more citations than the present edition contains. Fr. Maciel took the work—painstakingly hand annotated—glimpsed at it, briefly thanked the young seminarian, and walked away. The seminarian never knew whether his ‘tireless efforts’ had pleased his father, spiritual director, superior, and mentor. He did not keep a copy of his annotations as Xerox was not readily available to him. Perhaps he was hoping it would be reviewed by those wiser and higher up, that a reaction or feedback would be forthcoming. There was none. Humility told him not to lend too much importance to his personal creations or wishes. He soon became busy preparing for his ordination to the deaconate and for his final S.T.L. exams. He did not dwell on his gift, for it was graciously given. Nevertheless, perhaps he secretly desired his efforts would lead others to the vibrant and mysterious Word of God lying under the Psalter of My Days.
Let us close our foray into Spanish religious poetry by returning to Antonio Machado [1875-1938], a member of Spain’s literary Generation of ’98. The apparently naive verses of Anoche cuando dormía, introduced earlier, continue and conclude:

Last night as I lay a sleeping,
I dreamed –oh blessed hope!—
There was a beehive growing,
Deep down in my soul.
And inside, the golden bees
Were making with a flurry,
From bits of old bitterness,
Soft wax and sweetening honey.

Last night as I lay a sleeping,
I dreamt, –oh blessed hope!–
A burning sun was glowing
Deep down in my soul.
It was burning because it produced
Warmth of fireside bright,
And it was sun because it flared
Bringing tears, blinding my sight.

Last night as I lay a sleeping,
I dreamed-oh blessed hope!—
It was God whom I was keeping
Deep down in my soul.”

Part 1, The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary (edited)

Part 1, The Forgotten Legion of Christ Missionary  

                                                                             

(Still on the Legion’s official books as a member of the Cancun Community)

By John Lloyd Stevens, special envoy

He was a boyhood friend, a fellow Dubliner and a member of the Legion of Mary -though he was more fervent than I.  He joined the Legion of Christ shortly after me and partially because of me; November 1961, as he reminded me when we met. My memory is not what it used to be so I had questions for RC (not the famous one in Chile). He is an ordained priest, still on the Legion’s books and still proudly signs LC after his name.
I was traveling back to Quintana Roo, Mexico, the Legion of Christ’s only Mission Territory-though they may tell you otherwise. The Legion does claim otherwise, with its Catholic World Missions organization, thus demonstrating its penchant for “playing loose with the truth” in order to deceive well-intentioned, generous and hopeful Catholics into donating (manipulative fundraising). See long footnote at end of article

When I visited the Yucatan Peninsula recently I wanted to see my old friend, RC. I was “touring” with my wife but the bonds of my teenage friendship with RC and our years in the Legion and on the missions spurred me to look for him. He was not easy to find.

RC, now in his 72nd year, was not living in a Legion of Christ religious community. I would have expected him to be in one of the two large communities in the Prelature, Chetumal’s Sacred Heart or Cancun’s expensive residence on Bonampak Avenue, but he was not there. I learned through the grapevine –official Legion sources would not mention this you can rest assured- that he was living in a private home in Merida, Yucatan. And that he was being taken care of by a female friend. Lest your suspicions be aroused, knowing RC I can set your mind to rest: he is the straightest arrow I have ever known. But I did not like the fact that he was not being taken care of by Legionaries in a Legion house or nursing home (It seems the Legion does not have money for that). If we calculate that RC began his assignment in 1973 and “retired” a few years ago because of illness we can conclude that he worked for the Legion of Christ and served the poor people of Quintana Roo for about forty years non-stop. I believe his trips to his native Ireland have been very very rare. I gathered from our chat that for the most part he had lost contact with his family of origin. (Another “Mission Impossible” for further down the line: making sure he and his family are in touch!)

RC developed diabetes and had the big toe of one foot and two small toes of the other removed. On January 28, 2015, arriving in Merida from Chichen-Itzá I began my quest for the elusive RC. My lady friend told me he was living in “the back of beyond” on the outskirts of Merida. But I was undeterred. And I blessed my wife for her solidarity. Sorting through old and new numbers I finally reached him. Hearing his voice on the phone after decades of silence and isolation was a real pleasure and well worth the effort. Unfortunately neither his voice nor his thinking were sharp and it was hard to get his exact address. That did not stop me. From our comfortable Wyndham hotel we jumped in a taxi and made for his home with the data we had. The driver knew Avenue 2000 but insisted in knowing the neighborhood name. “?Qué colonia?”, he insisted and I would call RC. My good friend could not tell me what neighborhood he was living in. (He hardly goes out and when he does so he is chauffeured by his friend, Ma del Socorro.) I continued to prod him. He told me he was in his wheelchair and would have to go outside to the street corner to see the name of his neighborhood on the sign. I was relentless. With that information the driver did an about turn and got near RC’s place. I stepped out and found his humble abode around the corner from where the taxi had stopped. The driver kindly gave us his number so we could call him at the end of our visit.

I pried open the iron gate that led to a front patio. I could finally glimpse him at the open front door with a smile on his face. We were shocked and saddened to see RC in a wheelchair. We asked him to show us how he got around and went into his room and the kitchen directly behind the small sitting room. And I could feel anger well up inside. “Why weren’t they taking proper care of my friend?” Being me I inquired about financial support from the Legion. He told us that the LC was sending him a sizable weekly(?) stipend which he used for groceries and medical expenses. He seemed to imply it was not enough but the amount he mentioned (correctly?) was sizeable by my rapid calculations. I tried to pry more exact information from him but his answers were not clear. During our conversation RC had several serious short term memory lapses, including him blurting out in the middle of our meeting, “Who are you?”; this, instead of making me angry, made me more sad as I realized that his mental health was not the best. (More anger wells up in me but I carry on as if nothing had happened).
-Oh, yes, you are my friend, John!
-Indeed, Ray, I am. Remember when you played the piano at our house?
-Yes, and we took part in a talent contest singing “Down by the riverside.”
He tried to remember the other song we performed at Phibsboro Parish Hall. I remembered the song but I kept the name to myself –for some strange reason.

(To be continued)

==============

See long footnote below

—————-

[Open Quote, Legion of Christ statement on their Missions:

“www.legionariesofchrist.org

Thursday, 19 february 2015 9:53 PM
What We do
Catholic World Mission

Catholic World Mission exists to bring education and the message of Christ to neighbors throughout the world. We bring faith, education and opportunity to people in the mission areas.
Together with some enterprising lay Catholics, Fr. Thomas Moylan, LC, a priest of the Legion of Christ, helped found Catholic World Mission in 1998 for the sake of supporting Catholic education and missionary activities around the world.

Our lay missionaries and teachers catechize, educate and serve the people in their native communities. Catholic World Mission enables poor families to experience the life-changing power of the Catholic Faith, helping them break out of poverty and ignorance and bringing them hope and spiritual renewal.

Fr. Thomas Moylan provides us with sound spiritual advice as well as his insights from 10 years as a missionary in the jungles of Latin America. The day to day operation of Catholic World Mission is handled by qualified lay people who share his vision and spirituality. We cooperate and receive counsel from many other Catholic lay men and women who are active in similar charitable work.

Catholic World Mission is a 501 c 3 religious non-profit listed in the 2001 Official Catholic Directory on page 847.

For more information about Catholic World Mission and our important and urgent mission please contact us at (203) 287-6314 or info@catholicworldmission.org.

http://www.legionariesofchrist.org/eng/articulos/imprimir.phtml?se=239&ca=&te=&id=1004&imprimir=1”

close quote]

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COMMENT
The writer bolded a phrase to illustrate the Legion’s “playing loosely with the truth” and also because such an inexact statement is a slap in the face for those Legionaries of Christ who really have been missionaries in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
• Fr. Thomas Moylan, another boyhood friend of mine, fellow student at St. Vincent’s CBS, Glasnevin, Dublin, has been “on the Missions” as the fundraising plug states. The writer has been a missionary too, with RC and with TM, but their service to the poor Maya people could not be more different. In other words, Fr. Moylan was in Quintana Roo for a few years.
• Parts of Quintana Roo could be described as “tropical rainforest” but it also contains the cities of Chetumal, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, the Riviera Maya and many other tourist destinations.
• When Frs. RC, Coady R.I.P., Quinn, Corrigan and Mexicans Valencia, Orozco, De la Torre, Penilla, et al. began their mission work Cancun was just being discovered. Fr. RC has been there since the beginning, 1973, and worked tirelessly until his “retirement” a few years ago forced by diabetes and its consequences.
• Among other assignments Fr. Moylan was the first principal of the Legion’s Instituto Cumbres in Chetumal in the mid-1970s. As far as I can recall he never drove a jeep to the remote villages to spread the Gospel and administer the sacraments to the Maya, “getting his hands dirty,” like the other Legionaries I mentioned.
• A knowledgeable reader has added the further information (loosely translated by the author): Fr. Moylan was principal of the Instituto Cumbres in Cozumel for four years (1981-85). He also spent one year as assistant pastor in Chetumal and about three years as pastor in Carrillo Puerto. So, if we exclude his years working in the Legion’s schools (for the middle and upper classes) we can count about four years of pastoral service in the Chetumal-Cancun Prelature (a prelature is a church jurisdiction which is not sufficiently mature to be considered a fully-fledged diocese)

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Religious Groups Awareness International Network

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