THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SURVIVING AND THRIVING - 9
Just when we thought our camino was done, there is
a postscript. We went to Finisterre, on the West-most
part of Galicia in Spain. The ancients thought this was the
end of the earth. This is where there is a kilometer zero
marker. So our lessons are not over. Here then are 7 more
principles of “Surviving as a Servant Leader, and Even
#57: Look to the tandem of Jesus and Mary in battling the
enemy. In many parts of Galicia they have the cruzeido,
a high stone cross, on one side with Jesus crucified and on
the other side Mary. They are back to back on the cross. Ever
see movies where the two heroes are surrounded by the enemy
and they are back-to-back facing them? In the fall described
in Genesis, God put enmity between the offsprings of the woman
and the serpent. The woman is Mary, the new Eve. Her offspring
will crush the head of the serpent. She as the Immaculate
Conception is depicted as stepping on the serpent. Then in
the heavenly war described in Revelation, the war is triggered
when the ancient serpent tried to devour the son born of the
woman, who was clothed with the sun. The serpent failed and
pursued the woman and her child. The woman is Mary. In the
ancient confrontation, as it still is today, the devil wars
against Jesus and Mary. You as servant leader, also engaged
in spiritual warfare, should have your life centered on Jesus,
but also look to Mary as your intercessor, mediatrix and protector.
Pray to Jesus, but also pray to Mary. March under the banner
of the Lord, but also under the banner of Our Lady.
#58: Be faithful to Peter and to the Church magisterium.
In the Portes de Galicia in Muros (a port town), we went to
the church of San Pedro. I went up to the church tower, which
had 56 steps. We have had 56 principles, right? So going upward
never ends, until we reach heaven! That is why we have 7 more
principles now. Anyway, Peter is the pope, the head of our
Roman Catholic Church, and the official teaching of the Church
is the magisterium. The recent popes (John Paul II
and Benedict XVI; Pope Francis is still on honeymoon with
the secular media and the liberal establishment) have been
the object of attacks by secular reproductive health forces,
because they are out to destroy the Church, which is the only
strong institution standing up for faith, family and life.
But there is also an enemy within, those bishops, priests,
nuns and laypeople who reject some key aspects of the authentic
teaching of the church, as on contraception. As a servant
leader, you must be faithful to the pope and to the Church
magisterium (one of our Core Values is being a servant
to the Church). You must defend them against attacks, coming
both from without and from within the Church.
#59: Never forget that the devil is a prowling lion waiting
for someone to devour, especially a servant leader such as
you, so always be on guard. We passed by the Carnota township,
where they have the longest beach in Galicia (7 km). A local
legend is that the devil walks the beach night and day. Well,
why not? The nice beaches, especially in Europe, are associated
with scantily-clad women, even nudity, with drinking and sex,
or just with secular recreation. On such beaches, many are
led to sin, or are just absorbed with worldly pleasure (not
necessarily sinful). The wily devil uses direct allure to
sin, such as lust and illicit sex, or distraction from spirituality
by leading people to human pleasures and pursuits. So always
be on guard. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, even when enjoying
time on the beach with your family.
#60: Know that your power comes from the Holy Spirit, who
provides richly for your needs. We passed by Ezaro village,
where there was a large waterfall with roaring waters (there
was a small hydro electric plant). Downstream were huge rocks,
and I clambered atop some of them. In your service you are
not left to your own devices. Rather, since your work is Jesus’
own work, you are empowered by his Spirit. The power of the
Spirit is like a roaring waterfall that generates electric
power. The Spirit is sent by Jesus, who is the Rock you stand
on, together with the earthly rock Jesus appoints, the pope,
on whom you also stand. That is indeed electrifying power.
#61: Your work does not end until you get to the end. Our
camino was ended yesterday when we reached the Cathedral
of Santiago de Compostela. But today there was more. Today
we reached Finisterre, with its marker at Kilometer 0. Your
work will not end until the end, since there will always be
those who need to be evangelized and transformed up to the
time of Jesus’ return. While you are strong and able,
you give your all. When you are old or infirm or already at
the departure lounge, you still give your all, serving in
whatever way you can, even just with interceding for the mission.
#62: You have been given the privilege to bring God’s
life to people. At Finisterre, the coast is called Costa da
Morte (Coast of Death). This was because there were many shipwrecks
and deaths there. The evil one brings death, spiritual death.
God’s work is to bring life, and we share in that work.
You should realize how important your service is, how you
can help spell the difference between death and life. Your
heart must bleed when you see a brother not living the fullness
of God’s life, or even teetering on spiritual death.
You must rejoice when someone repents and is restored to God
and is brought back to the Church. God’s work is salvation.
Such is your work as well.
#63: As part of CFC-FFL and its worldwide mission, your work
is to be Christ’s witness to the ends of the earth.
We reached Finisterre, which the ancients regarded as the
end of the earth. You too are to bring the good news of salvation
in Jesus Christ to all peoples and to all the lands. You might
do actual mission to foreign countries. You might be in touch
with relatives and friends in other nations by phone, email
or social networks. You might post spiritual matters in Facebook.
You pastor brethren who would also do these things. You intercede
for our worldwide work. There are many ways by which you are
able to actively be engaged in our worldwide mission. So go
into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.
You may not have thought of many of these principles when
you accepted being a servant leader. Perhaps that is why you
had such difficulties, and even thought at one point of giving
up. But now I hope your perspective has changed. There will
still be difficulties and challenges, but your greater understanding
will help you endure, to survive and even thrive. You have
been given a great privilege. How blessed you are, even as
you become an instrument of blessing for many others that
you care for.
on, till the end.