Reclaiming the culture for Christ
Legates are shaped by their faith and their desire to be leaders of the Church Militant . . .
There’s a war going on, and you’re in the thick of it. Not figuratively. Literally. It’s a spiritual battle, a battle for souls that’s been going on since the Garden of Eden. It began long before today, of course, when Lucifer famously defied his Creator by saying, “I will not serve.”
Troubled though he is, Mel Gibson knows this war better than most. While he was promoting The Passion of the Christ in 2004, Dianne Sawyer asked Gibson about the “dark force” that didn’t want him to make the film. “What does the evil side want?” she asked. Gibson rightly answered, “It wants you.”
Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the battle for souls last month when he said that the light of Easter proclaims forever that “life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies.” Christ, of course, is the answer to a world in love with the dark. “Faith, then, which reveals God’s light to us, is the true enlightenment, enabling God’s light to break into our world.”
It was that light — the light of Truth — that broke through to Tom Monaghan in the 1980s when he was reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. The chapter on pride, he says, hit him “like a two-by four right between the eyes.” It was his Saul-Paul moment. Ever since then, Monaghan has been one of America’s best-known culture warriors. He founded Legatus, his first apostolate, after a private Mass and audience with Blessed John Paul II on May 7, 1987. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Monaghan realized that there should be an organization to help Catholic business leaders go deeper in their faith.
Now, 25 years later, Legatus is one of the most influential lay organizations in the world. More than 2,100 Catholic CEOs and their spouses — over 4,000 total members — are changing the culture for Christ. These captains of industry, together with their spouses, are leaders in their homes, workplaces, dioceses and communities. As this magazine regularly documents, many are influential at the national and international level.
Legates’ influence, shaped by their faith and their desire to be leaders of the Church Militant, is having a significant impact on the culture. And in these days when the Church is under attack from without and within, it’s heartening to know that there are men and women who put their allegiance to Christ before all else. As the battle for souls heats up, more Legates will be called to step into the battle knowing, of course, that we have already won the victory in Christ.
Patrick Novecosky is Legatus magazine’s editor.