Guidelines for Amici Christi MDM

The following are some basic guidelines for the Amici Christi MDM [AC], the lay branch of the MDM.  It is not a definitive statement, but just a beginning, a “work in progress.”

What is important is the spirit.  The guidelines are purposely simple and flexible, so that they can fit the many different circumstances in which the AC find themselves.

The Preamble concerns the whole MDM.  It is also for the AC, with appropriate adaptations for their state in life.

In the title we can distinguish two parts: 1. Amici Christi, Latin for “Friends of Christ” which is in common with all who are truly Christian and 2.MDM, which is specific to our community.

1)      Amici Christi MDM

a)      Part of this commitment they share with all Christians, all those who believe in Jesus and are trying to respond to His call, who truly want to be His friends.  Thus, they are called to live fully the greatness of their baptismal call to consecration to God.  They want to personally renew this consecration.

b)     They are called to the vocation of the Christian laity, distinct from that of religious or priests.  In the words of the Compendium of the Catechism: “The lay faithful have as their own vocation to seek the Kingdom of God by illuminating and ordering temporal affairs according to the plan of God. They carry out in this way their call to holiness and to the apostolate, a call given to all the baptized.”  The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II CHRISTI FIDELES LAICIon the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World is especially helpful for understanding this.  Its study is recommended.

c)      The Amici Christi should strive to fulfill in a Christian spirit the duties of their state in life concerning Church, family, work, their country etc.  Their commitment of Amici Christi should not be an obstacle to these, but rather a help.

d)      Here we will not include all the classic elements of Christian spiritual life, as taught by Church.  These are important for AC, but it would be beyond the scope of these guidelines to develop them here.

2)     Amici Christi MDM

a)      But the AC also become part of a branch of the MDM.  So they have a special bond to the MDM.  Let us consider 3 aspects, following indications of Pope John Paul II in his CHRISTI FIDELES LAICI document for the laity:

i)       Mystery: relationship with the Lord

ii)     Communion: relationship with other members of the MDM

iii)   Mission: relationship to all others

b)     Mystery: A special commitment to seeking union with God.  This also involves a special commitment to prayer.  The AC will try to observe the following:

i)       Divine Mercy Devotions

(a)   Chaplet daily if possible

(b)  Divine Mercy Hour:  honored in some form each day, if possible.  The can be done very simply, according to the different situations.  For instance, during work, it might be just a moment of turning our attention to His redemptive sacrifice on the Cross.

(c)   Image of Divine Mercy honored in our homes.

(d)  Frequently praying “Jesus, I trust in You.”

(e)   Novena of Divine Mercy at least from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday.

(f)    Observing the Feast of Divine Mercy

ii)     Daily prayer:

(a)   Taking each day an extended time for quiet prayer in union with the Holy Eucharist.  It can be in a chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is, or simply turning our heart in adoration to Him, wherever we are.

iii)   Weekly: a special time of more intense prayer, like a Holy Hour.

c)      Communion: in this case, communion with the other members of the MDM.  The way this is lived will vary according to the situation of each person.  For instance those with less family commitments may be freer to participate in more activities.

i)       But all should seek concrete ways living this communion, especially:

(1)   Monthly formation session.  It will consist of teaching, prayer and fellowship.  All should attend these sessions, if possible.  They are a special occasion to strengthen our bonds.

(2)  Participating, to the extent that they can in the other activities of the MDM like Masses and times of adoration, retreats, etc.

(3)   Helping the MDM by their prayers and sacrifices, by their work and other forms of support.

ii)     For those living far away this aspect of communion is a special issue.  We need to see how it can be lived out.

d)     Mission. A very important part of their role is to help extend God’s Mercy throughout the world by accepting the opportunity the Lord gives them in the particular circumstances of their life.  They will try to be instruments of HisMercy for our world today.  They can also help in the different apostolates organized by the MDM.

3)      Formation

a)      INITIAL STAGE.  An initial stage will begin in September till Divine Mercy Sunday [the first Sunday after Easter] a year and a half later.  The goal of this stage is to give people a basic idea of what it means to be a member of the Amici Christ MDM. Lent would be a time of more intense formation.

b)     NOVITIATE.  On Divine Mercy Sunday, those who request it and are approved would begin 2 years of novitiate.  These years would be a time for them to actually live the different aspects of the commitment and deepen the sense of what it means.  The purpose is for people to be able to experience living the requirements before committing to them.  Here again, Lent will be a time of special preparation.

i)       Requirements:

(1)   Be at least 17 years old.  Younger persons can still participate in certain formation activities.

(2)  Be or be planning to become a practicing Catholic.  Parts of the formation are also open to non-Catholics.

(3)   Listen to all the teachings.  The recording can be listened to when one was not able to make the meeting.

(4)  Participate in a minimum of 2/3 of the meetings and designated events.

(5)  Request approved by MDM.

c)      COMMITMENT as an AC.  After the years of novitiate, those who request to do so and are accepted can make the commitment and become members of the AC.  The commitment is usually made in the presence of the MDM community.

i)       Requirements:

(1)   Be at least 18 years old.

(2)  Be a practicing Catholic.

(3)   Listened to all the teachings.

(4)  Participate in a minimum of 2/3 of the meetings and designated events.

(5)  Request approved by MDM.

(6)  Have read diary of St. Faustina.

(7)   Have made an Encounter with Jesus.

d)     Ongoingformation.  The formation will continue in different ways after the commitment.

4)     Renewal of the commitment

a)      Renewed each year at the feast of Divine Mercy

b)     From wherever a person is.  It is not necessary to come to the Mission.

c)      They are always free not to renew it.

d)     MDM reserves the right to terminate someone’s membership in the AC, for reasons of public scandal or other reasons.

5)     Distinctive sign to be worn: a medal with the MDM insignia and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

6)     Other gatherings/ retreats to be announced.

7)      Organization: Deacon Bob Gorman has been designated to be the coordinator for the Amici Christi, MDM.