Mary has requested that the daily message be given each day to the world. It is read nightly at the prayer service from her Image Building in Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. This is according to her request. All attempts will be made to publish this daily message to the world at 11 p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.
We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages rests with the Holy See of Rome.
October 30, 2004
October 31st Holy Spirit Novena
The Novena Rosary Mysteries
Pray for Newsletter
NOW - fervently.
Pray for another urgent intention.
April 13, 2004
It snowed the morning after Fr. Carter died.
A new priest with a doctors in theology and
ability to teach in the Gregorian College and
Pontifical Colleges has edited the newsletter.
From China, Indiana
Sending out the newsletter from China, Indiana
The Eucharistic Center of the World
On the Way to China
Prayer for the spiritual and financial success of the priestly newsletter. "Father, we ask Your special blessings upon the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ. We ask that You open the priest-readers to the graces You wish to give them through this chosen instrument of Your Son. We also ask that You provide for the financial needs of the newsletter and the Shepherds of Christ Associates. We make our prayer through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary at our side. Amen"
Prayer for Priests. "Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart You attend to all the needs of Your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that You draw back to Your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from Your path, that You rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that You continue to give Your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary's Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen"
We need $4,800 for postage for the
foreign bishops mailing.
Will you please help us.
October 18, 2004
We need funds to protect the face of Jesus.
April 5, 2004
Please can anyone help
with funds? We really
need help with funds.
We accept credit card donations.
Shepherds of Christ
P. O. Box 193
Morrow, OH 45152
October 30, 2004
Jesus speaks: I am the head.
They crucified Me.
This Newsletter will effect
Billions of Souls.
A business must operate with
This information of this Movement
has been under the direction
of a holy priest.
You do not recognize all that
Fr. Carter did for this
He was the founder --
he worked with Rita Ring
4 days before he died
October 30, 2004 message continues
Mary appeared for 7 years on
shipped from the printers
October 30, 2004 message continues
Here are everyday pictures
taken from the live
camera from Mary.
Mary by day
October 30, 2004 message continues
Jesus speaks: I am the head of the Church.
Many today do what they did
years ago. They deny
that I am God.
They use My name in
I was crucified -- I was
beaten, I was crowned with
September 4, 2004
February 22, 1995
Stations of the Cross
1. Jesus Is Condemned to Death
Jesus speaks: My dear child, with angry hearts and hatred on their faces, they poked at Me and condemned Me to death. I stood so silent, My hands tied, in perfect peace, because I knew the Father's love. I knew the Father's Will. You too will stand your trials in perfect peace, the more you realize the immense love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for you. Pray to the Spirit to transform you more and more into My image and, through this transformation, you will be led ever closer to the Father. Oh, how I love you!
2. They Give Jesus the Cross
Jesus speaks: They gave Me a heavy cross, laden with the sins of the world. They placed it on My shoulder. It was so heavy I felt as if My shoulder would break. I ask you to carry little crosses, to experience little pains. I could not remove this cross from My shoulder. The weight was unbearable. It is through My suffering and death that you receive new life. It is through your sufferings this day that you will grow in your life with Me. Oh, child, I loved you so much that I took up the cross of salvation. I love you. Please realize that I am talking to you here. To My death I loved you. Oh, how I love you!
3. Jesus Falls the First Time
Jesus speaks: The cross was so heavy I could hardly walk. I held on to My cross for greatest love of you and in compliance with the Will of My Father. It became so hard to walk! The cross was so heavy! I fell. I fell and the cross fell on Me. They poked at Me, they struck Me, they demanded I get up. The pain from the instruments they used to poke Me and strike Me was so great! I somehow managed to get up.
When you fall under the weight of your cross, come to My Eucharistic Heart. I am no less present in the tabernacle and in the Eucharist than on the day I carried My cross. I wait with the same love that I had for you when I carried this cross and suffered such agony. Oh, how I love you!
4. Jesus and Mary Meet
Jesus speaks: I saw the face of My beautiful Mother. She was weak, her face reddened and full of tears. I saw her tender heart, her love, her anguish, her pain. I saw My dear Mother Mary. My Heart was comforted by the sight of her, but torn by her suffering.
Mary speaks: As I looked into the eyes of my beloved Son, I saw His love. His head, bleeding and wounded. His body weak. His clothes covered with blood. I looked into His eyes and I saw His love for you. I call out to you today. I appear today with a face full of anguish and tears. I appear to call you back to the love of my Son. See through my eyes, as I peer into His eyes, the love He has for you this day to give of Himself for you. Oh, He loves you so much, my little children. See through my eyes the love of my Son. Oh, how He loves you!
5. Simon of Cyrene Is Forced to Help Jesus Carry His Cross
Jesus speaks: The cross was so heavy I could not move. My persecutors became angry and forced a man to help Me. The cross was so heavy the two of us could barely move it. How is your cross today? Does it seem so heavy you cannot go on? I am forever watching you. When you are suffering the greatest, I am very close to you. It is in immense suffering that you realize My great love for you. Pray for grace to do always the Father's Will. Pray for grace to grow in your knowledge and love of Me.
6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
Jesus speaks: My face was covered with blood. From the crowd Veronica came forward with a cloth to wipe My face. On the cloth I gave to you an imprint of My bloodied face. This, My children, remains with you this day as a sign of My immense love for you. But more than any cloth, look beyond the visible consecrated host. I, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, remain with you, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Eucharist this day, waiting and longing to be with you. Oh, how I love you!
7. Jesus Falls the Second Time
Jesus speaks: Oh, dear ones, the road became harder and harder to walk. The cross was becoming heavier, My body weaker and weaker. My shoulders and arms hurt so much! My head throbbed as I walked. The blood came from My body, from My head to My feet. I was covered with open wounds. I could not go any farther. I stumbled and fell. Again they poked at Me, only harder, and with such hatred they kicked Me. Such vileness in the hearts of men! My greatest agony was not the agonies of My body, but the agonies of My heart for the love I have for all My precious souls. I loved them so dearly. I loved those who persecuted Me. Oh, how I love you!
8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Jesus speaks: The women came to Me with their children, their tender hearts crying and wanting to comfort Me. I saw their love, their care. I saw the coldness of men's hearts for all time, the hatred, the anger, the sins, all the souls that, despite all of My sufferings and death, would be condemned to eternal damnation. I told the women to weep not for Me, but for themselves and their children. My greatest agonies were the agonies of My Most Sacred Heart. Oh, how I love you!
9. Jesus Falls the Third Time
Jesus speaks: I fell hard the third time. I was so weakened I could not go on. My body collapsed under the cross from such exhaustion! My child, My child, My greatest agonies were not the wounds to the body. They were the wounds I experienced to My heart. Do you know a little more now how I love you? It is in meditating on My Passion and death that you will realize My immense love for you. When you fall, when you struggle, I give you the grace to get up. I never give you more than you can handle. Your strength will come from Me. Come to My Eucharistic Heart. I am waiting for you this day. Oh, how I love you!
10. Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
Jesus speaks: They took Me to the hill to crucify Me. They angrily stripped Me of My garments. They took off My clothes to whip Me. They had covered My bloody wounds with a dirty purple robe. Now, total surrender-they took off My clothes. I showed you the way to surrender, always complying with the Will of the Father. It is in living in His Will that you will have peace and joy, and life eternal some day. Oh, how I love you!
11. They Nail Him to the Cross
Messenger: See Mary as she holds the little Baby Jesus. See her as she washes His tender hands and feet. See her now as she watches as they pound into those same hands and feet the gigantic nails that fix Jesus to the cross.
Mary speaks: Oh, my dear ones, my heart was torn in my chest as they nailed His hands and feet to the cross. I ask you this day to walk the Passion with me and see through my eyes the love He has for you. He truly was nailed to the cross.
Jesus speaks: They pounded the nails into My first hand, then they stretched My body and nailed My other hand. The blood poured from these wounds that went totally through My hands. My pain was so immense, but then they nailed My feet! You do not know what pain I suffered, My child. My children, My children, for each one of you I suffered this pain. Oh, how I loved you!
12. Jesus Dies on the Cross
Messenger: He hung for three agonizing hours on the cross against the darkened sky. His greatest agonies were not the agonies of His body, but those of His Heart for the great love He has for each and every soul.
Jesus speaks: I gave Myself to you, My dear ones. I gave My all. I hung with My arms spread in total surrender. My head was punctured; My hands and feet were nailed to the cross. I gave Myself to you. I give Myself to you this day in the Eucharist. I give Myself to you. I, God, give you Myself! What more do you want?
Song: Oh, burning Heart, oh, Love divine, etc.
Messenger: They pierced His Heart with a lance and what flowed forth was blood and water, the sacramental life of the Church, water for Baptism and blood for the Eucharist. His life, death and resurrection live on in the Church this day.
13. Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross
Placed in the Arms of His Mother
Messenger: His totally lifeless body was placed in the arms of His most loving Mother. As she had held the little baby body in her arms, she now received His bloodied, bruised body in her arms. This is how He obeyed the Father's Will. Jesus gave His life for us. The Father gave His only Son because He loves us so much. Mary, His Mother, our Mother and the Mother of the Church, is forever by His side. See Jesus in the arms of His loving Mother under the cross. This is love.
Mary speaks: I held His lifeless body in my arms. See through my eyes the love He has for you this day. He gives Himself to you today in the Eucharist. He loves you so much!
14. Jesus Is Locked in the Tomb
Messenger: His enemies rolled the stone up to the tomb and were pleased to have buried Jesus. Mary, outside the tomb, wept bitterly. The cold reality that He was dead! But death has no power over Jesus for on the third day He rose, triumphant, from the tomb! We are partakers in His divine life. Death has no power over Jesus. He is with us this day. He comes to bring us life to the full. He loves us so much!
end of stations
from the Rosary of August 27, 1996
Mary speaks: I stood beneath the cross of my Son, and my Heart was in such pain for I saw Him before my eyes. I saw Him covered with blood. I saw Him die. My Heart, my children, my Heart to watch my Son, but my Heart, my Heart, how I suffered for my little children of the world that give in to this world and give up the love of my Son. O my little children of light, I give you this message. Carry this light into the darkness for your Mother Mary, for I stood beneath the cross and I cried. I cried for the little ones. I cried for the young ones, the ones that do not care and will lose their souls. How do I make you see for you will not listen to me? What can I do? I come. I appear. I beg. I plead. I give you these gifts from my Son, and you reject me. I do not deliver messages very often anymore for I have been ignored. The message is the same. You do not read the messages I have given to you. Please help me. Help the little children. I appear. I appear. I appear, and I am ignored. I stood beneath the cross, and I cried. I cried, and my Heart was in such anguish for my little children, for I am searching for them this day as I searched for the Child Jesus. Please, please help me. I cannot hold back the hand of my Son any longer. I am Mary, your Mother. I ask you to help my children. You are my children of light.
end of Mary's Message, August 27, 1996
"MASS IN CHINA WITH FATHER CARTER"
end of Mass with Fr. Carter
October 30, 2004 message continues
Satan wants everyone to
do what they want and
not obey God's will.
Children are rising above
People in the Church above
Talk by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.
given to the Apostles in the
Shepherds of Christ Movement
February 1, 1998
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen all of you at once in the same place. It’s a tremendous treat for me. So praise be the Lord. Let’s start with the Holy Spirit Prayer.
Come, Holy Spirit, almighty Sanctifier, God of love, who filled the Virgin Mary with grace, who wonderfully changed the hearts of the apostles, who endowed all Your martyrs with miraculous courage, come and sanctify us. Enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgment, set our hearts on fire, and preserve us from the misfortunes of resisting Your inspirations. Amen.
...So after I talk here I will have to depart and leave the praying to you at this place. I’ll be praying with you as I drive away...
...I’m spending much more time on the newsletter now. Our Lord had been calling me to do that for months but it was when I was fully active it was very, very hard to get the time to really spread it around the world like He wanted to, although we had been working with the English edition trying to get that in more and more countries. We are in about eighty or more countries with the English edition...
And in cases where it needs translation, for instance, the Spanish edition we translate that up here, we print it up here and we bulk mail it.
[Note: He talks about the spread of the Newsletter to priests and bishops in Central, South America in Spanish, Africa, India, French speaking, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia]
...It is Our Lord’s wish along with the prayer chapters that this be considered our primary ministry, the Newsletter. So please, please, please, please pray for it’s continued success and expansion. It is so extremely important because as you know, if you can change the heart of one priest, he is in a position to do so, so much good with even thousands of people. And we have received extremely encouraging letters over the years that the newsletters been published from priests, how it’s helped them out on their own spiritual life but in their ministries, giving them homilies and so forth. And from bishops which are highly encouraging commending us on the quality and the worthwhileness of the newsletter.
- Dear Father Carter,
For years I have received Shepherds of Christ Newsletter; I do not know who put me on your mailing list, but I’m grateful to you both. Since I first began to receive the newsletter I have been assigned as the Director of Formation Advising for the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
I would like to know if it would be possible to make a bulk order so that our seminarians could benefit from the newsletter as well. I will make sure they are distributed to our seminarians. At present we have about 200 seminarians and student priests on our campus, all eager for good spiritual reading!
Please let me know if we can make an arrangement for the delivery of the newsletter here at the college.
Please keep our faculty and seminarians in your prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. J. Mark Williams
Director of Formation Advising
Pontifical North American College
00120 Vatican City State
[He then talks about funds for the Newsletter.]
I think I came to speak to you today because I think we’re at a very, very significant point of the Shepherds of Christ Movement as it marches into the new era of which was promised by Our Lady of Fatima. And I think the Movement is basically strong, basically healthy but I think we need a recommitment of ourselves to the Movement precisely because much more is being asked of us. We have three centers to staff not only with people but with materials.
So as we go on in what Our Lord wants us to do, we just need a deeper commitment to the Movement just like the spiritual life in general. You never stand still on the spiritual journey. I mean spiritual masters have always told us this, you either go back or you go forward.
And so it is with the Movement, we just don’t stand still. We have to keep on deepening our commitment to the Movement individually and collectively or it’s not going to move forward obviously. So I guess you can say that’s the main reason I thought it was very important that I come here today to speak to you to ask you to renew your commitment to Our Lord in the Movement. And to put some thoughts before (you) which hopefully will help you to renew your commitment.
I’ll begin by reminding all of us of the great, great privilege it is to have been called to this Movement. I’ve said this before, I say it now even with deeper conviction, I really believe that this will go down in history as one of the great Movements in the history of the Church. And if you reflect upon what we’ve been called to do, I don’t think it’s hard to come to that conclusion. I don’t know of any just taking our ministry to the priests with the newsletter and with the prayer chapters whose primary duty is to pray for the priests as well as the whole human race. But I am unaware of any other Movement in the history of the Church which has tried to reach all priests the world over with the newsletter and the prayer chapters to the extent that we are trying to do so. So just those two ministries in themselves I think point to the greatness of this Movement. Then our many other ministries: the rosaries, the consecration of the schools, the nursing home, prison ministries are all our various publications. So much wonderful literature, rosary in the homes, one of our newest ministries, the couples rosary and the spirituality which comes out of that and we hope to work more and more nationally to strengthen marriage and family life through working with couples as couples.
So if you look at what we are doing with the tremendous amount of materials which are being distributed from the Florida site and through orders from this site and through other sites.
So again I think this is one of the great, great Movements in the history of the Church. And we have to pinch ourselves every once in awhile and nudge ourselves and realize the great calling we have been given to work in this Movement. I think there has been a certain, despite all the great work which is being done, I think there is a certain stagnation which has set in to a certain degree and we have to jolt ourselves out of that and recommit ourselves.
St. John of the Cross in one of his writings says—of course he is one of the greatest mystical theologians in the history of the Church and in one of his writings he says, “What does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.”
Let’s read that again together “What does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.”
[Father Carter is speaking to Servants and Handmaids of the Good Shepherd—]
[Apostles who dedicate themselves completely to the Shepherds of Christ Ministries—]
Applying that to our calling to Shepherds of Christ—there’s more work to this Movement than any of us, individually or all put together can ever attend to properly. What I am getting at, if you really feel you’ve been called to this Movement and especially to the apostle's level, I am suggesting to you very fervently and hopefully, persuasively, the Shepherds of Christ Ministries can use all the spare time, all the ministerial time you have to give to the work of the Kingdom. You don’t have to go around looking for other ministries to contribute your time to. You are free to do that, you are free to leave the Movement at any time. We are not forcing anyone to stay, we hope everybody stays but we have had people leave.
So there should always be that, that sense of freedom if you want to lessen off your commitment or hopefully it would never happen, but if you would chose to leave the commitment, Jesus respects your freewill.
But looking at it again positively I’m suggesting to you—there is so much work to be done in the Movement. So this first day of February which happened to be the month of the feast of St. Claude de la Columbiere, February the 15th, who has been one of the greatest apostles to the devotion to the Heart of Jesus in the history of the Church, so in a certain sense it’s a type of month of the Sacred Heart because of his feast, so I ask that all of us renew our commitment to the Movement. And again realize the great privilege, that’s one of the first ways to persevere in the Movement and to grow in the Movement, everyday to thank God for the great graces He has given you in the Movement.
And I ask you just briefly to look back over your lives, now compared to when you joined the Movement. Has not Our Lord through Our Lady drawn you so, so, so much closer to Them. And He in turn has led you so much closer to the Father and the Spirit. The chairman of our theology department, the first departmental meeting when he took over, he said Xavier has been very good to me, now I feel it’s payback time and I think I should serve the University being chair of the Theology department. Being chair of a department, it’s really a pain of any department. But those words stick in my mind, he says now it is payback time. I should payback Xavier for all the good Xavier has done to me. I suggest we keep that in mind in reference to Jesus in His Movement. It’s always payback time. He does not give us graces and gifts in the Movement just for ourselves. Every gift of Jesus has a social dimension, it’s meant not only for my own spiritual growth, but for growth of the Kingdom. And so if we find ourselves becoming somewhat complacent in our gifts received through the Movement and not properly using them at least to the full extent that we could and helping to spread the Movement, helping to spread the Kingdom, then let us resolve here and now to do better.
Perseverance in the Movement—all vocations, all callings need perseverance. I pray for perseverance as a Jesuit every day of my life. I pray for perseverance. I’m suggesting to all of us that we pray for perseverance in the Movement and not just a status quo type of perseverance, but pray for a perseverance which will allow us to dynamically grow and be greater apostles in the Movement. And we have to take the means to persevere.
First of all, of course, is Mass and communion, then our visit to the Blessed Sacrament, saying the rosary and listening to at least five minutes a day to a live rosary which Rita receives, praying the hourly prayers without feeling overburdened. If you begin to feel overburdened by the hourly novena just make a 30 second prayer, say Jesus, say the three invocations, “Lord ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, through the intercession of Mary, thy most holy mother I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted” and just say we pray for all needs of the Shepherds of Christ Movement and the other two invocations. You can do that in about 30 seconds. And then at times of course when you have the time and you feel moved bring in the specific intentions. But that hourly prayer has great power to keep our motivation up but it should not on the other hand feel burdensome to you. If it feels burdensome to you for any length of time, just use the short form for quite a while.
[Note: servants and handmaids and apostles of the Good Shepherd of the Shepherds of Christ Movement go to daily Mass and spend one hour before the tabernacle and pray hourly for the priests, the Church and the world.]
Reading the Blue Book messages, at least just a few minutes a day, can do wonders to help us persevere in the Movement. Renew your love and commitment to the Movement. Included in that renewed love and commitment I think should be a resolution that we don’t bad mouth the Movement, certainly not to those outside the Movement, certainly not even to those within the Movement. We have problems, we always have had some, we always will, the universal Church has monumental problems. But we have to learn how to handle the problems responsibly. If you have a significant problem please contact John or Rita, talk it over with them, with me if you feel so called. They usually report problems to me. I’m in constant contact with them. Currently I talk to them each day about the Movement, what’s going on, strong points, weak points and so forth. If you have problems with the Movement, don’t spread your problem with the problems to somebody else who starts to think negatively also.
I mean go to Jesus, of course, first of all, but then bring your problem to somebody who has the authority in the Movement to handle it. That’s very, very important, 'cause our loyalty and love for the Movement, I think are significantly harmed when we don’t take that approach. Obedience in the Movement is going to become more and more important as the Movement grows. Any organization needs a certain structure, a hierarchy of command, obedience to legitimate authority. When John asks you to do something, please try to answer his request. If you can’t, just tell him I can’t do it now. When he directs you to do something, which is stronger than a request, don’t give him a hard time. Jesus wants obedience in the Movement. No Movement can survive or progress without obedience, without a structure of command. John has a terrifically difficult job. Don’t make it more difficult for him by, as I say, giving him a hard time or by never answering his request for help.
I understand that the level of volunteerism here at the center has gradually slackened off over recent months, and it is very difficult to get people together to do our mailings. We can’t keep depending on just a few people all the time. Here again it’s payback time. I mean everyday is payback time. You can never fully repay Jesus for what He has done for us or what He continues to do for us. Now we have to use Christian prudence in all this, we’ve got family duties; we’ve got other duties that’s God’s will for us. We have to take care of those. But granting all those other calls on our time and our energy, if Jesus has called you to this Movement, He’s called each and every one of you, then He expects you to live up to your commitment. And if it’s always looked upon, if you feel it’s always more of a burden than a privilege, then I think a person has to consider, 'Shall I stay in the Movement?' Jesus loves a cheerful giver. Suffering is involved, is it not? Any following of Christ involves suffering. Any non following of Christ brings suffering, and a greater suffering—those who don’t believe, who don’t have any religious faith or conviction. They end up suffering much more than we who suffer in the following of Christ.
I would like to read you something that I’ve written on suffering that will appear in the next newsletter—
FATHER CARTER'S VOICE WAS VERY SAD
and VERY LOVING.
Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter 1998 Issue 1
To follow Jesus entails a willingness to suffer for Him and His cause. The furthering of any worthwhile cause demands a spirit of sacrifice, a willingness to endure a variety of hardships and difficulties. We cannot expect it to be otherwise regarding the cause of Christ. To help further the process of ongoing redemption demands a price.
There is an almost endless variety of pains, sufferings, and difficulties which can arise in following Jesus and promoting His cause. At times seeing few, if any, visible results of our labors, feeling unappreciated, experiencing opposition, sometimes comprehending that we are being hated precisely by some of those whom we are striving to help, at times being laughed at and ridiculed—these are some of the ways we experience the sufferings of an apostle.
The suffering involved in contributing to the process of ongoing redemption is not, however, the complete picture. The happiness resulting from commitment to Christ and His mission far outweighs the hardships. To be aware that one is so intimately loved by Jesus, to experience the satisfaction that one is contributing to a cause that cannot fail, to play a role in helping to bring to others the love and peace of Jesus—all of this makes for a life that has no equal. The committed follower of Christ, experiencing what it means to be closely associated with Jesus, realizes why St. Peter said, Lord,…it is wonderful for us to be here. (Mt. 17:4).
Father Carter's talk continues
So in God’s plan in the following of Christ, suffering is always meant to lead to greater life here and hereafter, not only greater life for us as we grow in Jesus through the proper handling of suffering, but also greater life in the sense that we become more apt instruments for channeling His life to others, as we are purified by His suffering, so that we may more and more allow Him to live in and through and for us. One of the greatest Apostles of all times of suffering showing us the place of suffering in the Christian dispensation is St. Paul. He brings out this theme of death-resurrection of Jesus and our participation in it in various places in his writing. I think one of the most dramatic of those places is in
2 Corinthians 4: 7-11
The hardships and hopes of the apostolate
But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.
Father Carter's talk continues
So we suffer with Jesus, so that here below and in eternity, so that we may live more with Him, and that we may become more fit instruments for helping to channel His life to others. We have a particular way of doing that, a magnificent way within the Shepherds of Christ Movement. He hung upon a cross on a hill called Calvary. He had already suffered so much, had He not? He had been brutally scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, laughed at, ridiculed, without sleep. He had to carry the heavy cross up the hill, upon reaching the hill He was mercilessly nailed to the cross. He hung there in that agonizing suffering until death came. His side was pierced and from His pierced Heart flowed blood and water, symbols of sacramental life in the Church, Baptism and the Eucharist. And as He hung on that cross nearing death in that brutalized suffering, St. Francis de Sales, who was a Doctor of the Church—a Doctor of the Church means that the Church recognizes not only the great holiness of the person, but the great learning, the great wisdom—in one of his classic works, St. Francis de Sales, his work Treatise on God's Divine Love, he says, “As Jesus hung upon the cross there in that brutal suffering each of us was present to Him. He knew each of us intimately and the perfect one gave His last drop of blood for you and for me.” So if we ever have problems with our motivation in the Movement, I suggest that we come to the foot of the cross and we realize what Jesus has done for me and continues to do. It is payback time. St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, has left us this beautiful prayer, “Lord teach me to be generous, teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing that I do your will.”
Now I will give the blessing. May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.
end of Father Carter's talk February 1, 1998
CAN YOU HELP US?
As you know, we distribute the Newsletter free of charge. We have been publishing the Newsletter for six years. Although the fine print on the last page of each Newsletter says that donations are always welcome, we have, to this date, only made one major appeal for donations.
Now we come to you again and ask for your financial assistance. It is considerably expensive to print the Newsletter and to mail it here in the U.S.A. and to other countries around the world. With our English and Spanish editions, we send the Newsletter to readers in about 90 countries. We soon hope to add a French edition.
With the help of God’s grace, the Newsletter seems to be accomplishing much good. The numerous letters we receive from around the world regarding the Newsletter’s helpfulness are one indication of this.
If you share with us our belief that the Newsletter is a very worthwhile ministry, we urgently ask you to seriously consider sending us a donation. We are always struggling to obtain the funds to continue publication of the Newsletter.
If you are financially able, we would be extremely grateful to receive your donation -- whether it is small, large, or medium-sized! We thank all of you who have previously sent donations.
Some of you may know of possible benefactors who would be interested in helping a worthy cause. And we firmly believe that a ministry which offers an aid for spiritual growth to priests especially, but to others also, is a most worthy endeavor.
For your convenience, we have enclosed a self-addressed donation envelope.
Very importantly, we also ask for your prayers that we may obtain the funds necessary to continue publication of the Newsletter and that the Newsletter will be spiritually beneficial to its readers. We hope to continue to publish it four to six times a year. The number of issues will depend upon various factors. Thank you very much for your attention to our urgent plea.
WE ARE EXPANDING OUR READERSHIP!
We are expanding our circulation by explicitly inviting to our readership those who are not priests, but who are interested in the spiritual life.
The Newsletter will still be written for priests in a special way. Yet we feel much of the material will also be of interest to those who are not priests.
- The Value of Work
- The Father's Love for Us
- Devotion to the Holy Spirit
- The Eucharist
- Henri Nouwen on Prayer
- Words from Mother Teresa
- Avery Dulles and the Theological Thought of John Paul II
- The Christian and the World
- Act of Consecration
- Prayer for Priests
Chief Shepherd of the Flock
The Value of Work
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. (Jn 10:11-151)
In his encyclical, On Human Work, Pope John Paul II observes: "The Church is convinced that work is a fundamental dimension of man’s existence on earth. She is confirmed in this conviction by considering the whole heritage of the many sciences devoted to man: anthropology, paleontology, history, sociology, psychology, and so on; they all seem to bear witness to this reality in an irrefutable way. But the source of the Church’s conviction is above all the revealed word of God, and therefore what is a conviction of the intellect is also a conviction of faith. The reason is that the Church -- and it is worthwhile stating it at this point -- believes in man: she thinks of man and addresses herself to him not only in the light of scientific knowledge, but in the first place in the light of the revealed word of the living God. Relating herself to man, she seeks to express the eternal designs and transcendent destiny which the living God, the creator and redeemer, has linked with him.
"The Church finds in the very first pages of the Book of Genesis the source of her conviction that work is a fundamental dimension of human existence on earth..."2
Again, let us listen to the words of Pope John Paul II: "The Church considers it her duty to speak out on work from the viewpoint of its human value and of the moral order to which it belongs, and she sees this as one of her important tasks within the service that she renders to the evangelical message as a whole.
"At the same time she sees it as her particular duty to form a spirituality of work which will help all people to come closer, through work, to God, the creator and redeemer, to participate in his salvific plan for man and the world and to deepen their friendship with Christ in their lives by accepting, through faith, a living participation in his threefold mission as priest, prophet and king, as the Second Vatican Council so eloquently teaches."3
Vatican II also speaks to us about human labor: "Human labor which is expended in the production and exchange of goods or in the performance of economic services is superior to the other elements of economic life. For the latter have only the nature of tools.
"Whether it is engaged in independently or paid for by someone else, this labor comes immediately from the person. In a sense, the person stamps the things of nature with his seal and subdues them to his will. It is ordinarily by his labor that a man supports himself and his family, is joined to his fellow men and serves them, and is enabled to exercise genuine charity and be a partner in the work of bringing God’s creation to perfection. Indeed, we hold that by offering his labor to God a man becomes associated with the redemptive work itself of Jesus Christ, who conferred an eminent dignity on labor when at Nazareth He worked with His own hands.
"From all these considerations there arise every man’s duty to labor faithfully and also his right to work. It is the duty of society, moreover, according to the circumstances prevailing in it, and in keeping with its proper role, to help its citizens find opportunities for adequate employment. Finally, payment for labor must be such as to furnish a man with the means to cultivate his own material, social, cultural, and spiritual life worthily, and that of his dependents. What this payment should be will vary according to each man’s assignment and productivity, the conditions of his place of employment, and the common good."4
Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., speaks to us about Jesus and His work as a carpenter at Nazareth: "Not even after Joseph’s death did the existence of Our Lord undergo much change, unless that it became more laborious. For the support of the family and its care of the poor devolved, then, entirely on His shoulders. He had to work hard in order to keep Himself and His Mother and to have something to give to others less favoured than themselves. Unremitting toil became His lot, and the soft hands of the boy became roughened and hardened with the constant pressure of the tools of His trade. Work could not have been plentiful in the confines of that narrow village and it is likely that He had, often, to go abroad to look for employment. He had to face rebuffs from those who needed not His services, and discourtesy and rudeness from those who employed Him. The Nazarenes were not a polite people. As He handed over to His grumbling clients the accomplished tasks, He had to hold forth His hand to receive His wages...There is something inexpressibly touching in this picture of God receiving from His creatures the wages He earned in their employment!...
"A monotonous life, one would say, but this would be a very superficial judgment; monotony consists in the dull repetition of acts, uninteresting, devoid of significance and all stamped with the character of sameness. But there is no monotony in the soul’s relations with God. Each act in which it expresses its love for its Creator is fresh with the freshness of novelty; each communication of the love of the Creator to the creature comes with all the charm of a new revelation. Each step forward in the knowledge of God makes it seem to us as if we had never known Him before. And the external material acts which proceed from the soul enjoying this intimacy with the Lord partake of this quality of freshness and novelty. Although to the senses each little task of the day resembles in all respects that of the day before, yet, in reality, these tasks that recur are not the same. The newness and freshness given by a greater love in the doing far surpasses the newness given by a material change in the occupation. The love of God is never stationary. It grows with each act done in the fullness of actual charity possessed by the soul. Hence for the saint the task of today, which materially resembles the task of yesterday, is clothed with all the charm of novelty, for it is transmuted and transfigured by a greater love. All men naturally desire to be great. To achieve greatness it is not necessary to seek it afar or to ascend into the heights in its pursuit. It lies at our door and is within the reach of all. It is found by bringing a great love of God to bear on the doing of the most ordinary of life’s tasks. Our Lord in His hidden life has shown how we may attain to greatness and perfection in the accomplishment of the humblest of life’s duties."5
As important as work is, it still is just a means to an end. In the Christian perspective, it is an expression of our love of God and neighbor.
Upon reflection, we can see the consequences of this. When work, for whatever reason, is interfering with our relationship with God and others, something is obviously wrong. For example, an upward-moving professional becomes so absorbed in his work, so taken with the idea of promotion and salary increase, that he becomes extremely narrow-minded. Concern for God and others is relegated to the far recesses of consciousness where it has little effect upon the person’s thoughts and activities.
Even though we claim such an extreme situation does not describe our own, we nevertheless can fall prey to lesser faults. For instance, we diminish the time we should rightfully be spending with family members and friends. Perhaps we become so absorbed with our work that we claim we have little time for prayer. If we find ourselves in such circumstances, we must make an effort to confront ourselves with this question, "What is the God-given purpose of work?" Surely, if we are honest, we must say that our work should first be done for the love of God. If we work from this proper motive, we are acting for our own benefit also, for what is done for God and others promotes our own good also. And work done for God must be accomplished according to His will.
Much of our contemporary society places great emphasis on external success, the recognition of one’s work, and the earning of more and more money -- and all of this, in a very secularistic manner with little regard for God and neighbor. In such an atmosphere, it is not easy to maintain the Christian perspective of work. In many ways we must go counter-culture. If we do so, we will be following One Who Himself was not afraid to go against certain cultural aspects of His own times. His name is Jesus.
Thomas Merton observes: "All Christian life is meant to be at the same time profoundly contemplative and rich in active work. This must not be mistaken for a kind of semipelagian productivism which is obsessed with visible results and enamoured of technological prowess. It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more exalted task: that of creating our own lives. In doing this, we act as co-workers with God. We take our place in the great work of mankind, since in effect the creation of our own destiny, in God, is impossible in pure isolation. Each one of us works out his own destiny in inseparable union with all those others with whom God has willed us to live. We share with one another the creative work of living in the world. And it is through our struggle with material reality, with nature, that we help one another create at the same time our own destiny and a new world for our descendants. This work of man, which is his peculiar and inescapable vocation, is a prolongation of the creative work of God Himself. Failure to measure up to this challenge and to meet this creative responsibility is to fail in that response to life which is required of us by the will of our Father and Creator."6
His answer to them was, ‘My Father still goes on working, and I am at work, too.’ (Jn 5: 17)
Here are words of St. Paul: We urged you when we were with you not to let anyone eat who refused to work. Now we hear that there are some of you who are living lives without any discipline, doing no work themselves but interfering with other people’s. In the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge and call on people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat. (2 Th. 3: 10-11)
- St. Paul himself was no stranger to hard work: You remember, brothers, with what unsparing energy we used to work, slaving night and day so as not to be a burden on any one of you while we were proclaiming the gospel of God to you. (1 Th 2: 9)
Cardinal Newman tells us: "Christ Himself vouchsafes to repeat in each of us in figure and mystery all that He did and suffered in the flesh. He is formed in us, born in us, suffers in us, rises again in us, lives in us; and this not by a succession of events, but all at once."7
The following words emphasize the profound union that is meant to exist between Jesus and the Christian: "The mysteries of the life of Jesus are not dead, static, historical happenings that have been. They are living and dynamic. They have been lived for the members of Christ. All the states that the Saviour traversed, all the human experiences that He willed to go through, have for their purpose the sanctification of all that enters into a man’s deliberate life. These mysteries of His have accumulated vast reservoirs of merit in order to communicate this human-divine quality to the Christian’s doings and sufferings...The events of the New Testament give us life. Into these latter has passed the vitality of the Incarnation. That vitality is ever ready to communicate itself to all parts of the Mystical Body, vivifying them with the divine life of Christ.
"That this divinizing process take place, there is required a willed contact between the individual and Christ. This contact is effected by the activity of the virtue of faith. It is perfected by sympathy and love. The Christian who wills to have the life of Christ develop in himself, must consent to ‘steep’ mind, imagination and heart in the earthly career of Jesus. He must aim at a sympathy with the Saviour in all that He went through. He must strive to identify himself with the Divine Master, to think with Him, to feel with Him, to judge with Him, to see with His eyes and to speak with His tongue. He must will to be as the Saviour was in all these incidents."8
Romano Guardini speaks about Jesus. "Love proceeded from Him everywhere. We encounter love all about Him. But we want to seek it out in the flaming, radiant center. Love is what He shows toward the delicate blossoming of His Father’s creation, when He speaks of the lilies of the field, and how God has clothed them more magnificently than Solomon in all his glory. He shows love toward all things...
"...Love is what seizes Our Lord when He sees the obscure, abandoned masses of the people, and takes pity on them...There is something heroic, strong, in this love for people forsaken, in distress... It is love again when He receives the sick; when He lets that great sea of misery wash up to Him; when He lifts up, strengthens, heals... Oh, this tremendous Lover and the might and majesty of His heart taking up arms against the massive world-force of sorrow, magnificently sure of His inexhaustible power to comfort, to strengthen, to bless!"9
The Father's Love for Us
St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church, speaks to us concerning the Father’s love for us manifested in the gift of His Son to us: "All holiness and perfection of soul lies in our love for Jesus Christ our God, who is our redeemer and our supreme good. It is part of the love of God to acquire and to nurture all the virtues which make a man perfect.
"Has not God in fact won for himself a claim on all of our love? From all eternity he has loved us. And it is in this vein that he speaks to us: ‘Oh man, consider carefully that I first loved you. You had not yet appeared in the light of day, nor did the world yet exist, but already I loved you. From all eternity I have loved you.’
"Since God knew that man is enticed by favors, he wished to bind him to his love by means of his gifts: ‘I want to catch men with the snares, those chains of love in which they allow themselves to be entrapped, so that they will love me.’ And all the gifts which he bestowed on man were given to this end. He gave him a soul, made in his likeness, and endowed with memory, intellect and will; he gave him a body equipped with the senses; it was for him that he created heaven and earth and such an abundance of things. He made all these things out of love for man, so that all creation might serve man, and man in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts.
"But he did not wish to give us only beautiful creatures; the truth is that to win for himself our love, he went so far as to bestow upon us the fullness of himself. The eternal Father went so far as to give us his only Son. When he saw that we were all dead through sin and deprived of his grace, what did he do? Compelled, as the apostle says, by the superabundance of his love for us, he sent his beloved Son to make reparation for us and to call us back to a sinless life.
"By giving us his Son, whom he did not spare precisely so that he might spare us, he bestowed on us at once every good..."10
Devotion to the Holy Spirit
Archbishop Luis M. Martinez instructs us: "Consecration to the Holy Spirit must be total: nothing must draw us away from His loving possession. Undoubtedly vacillations and deficiencies are part of our imperfection, but even so, our love must not be extinguished. Rather, it must lift its divine flame toward infinite love in the midst of all human vicissitudes.
"True devotion to the Holy Spirit, therefore, is not something superficial and intermittent, but something profound and constant, like Christian life itself; it is the love of the soul that corresponds to the love of God, the gift of the creature who tries to be grateful for the divine Gift, the human cooperation that receives the loving and efficacious action of God. As divine love is eternal, its gift without repentance and its action constant, it is our part to have our heart always open to love, ready to receive the unspeakable gift, and to keep all our powers docile to the divine movement."11
Here are inspiring words concerning Mary from Fr. Joseph Dean, SCJ:
Blessed Virgin Mary,
by faith and the power of the Spirit,
you bore God for our salvation.
In your days on earth,
you pointed to Jesus, your Son, and said:
"Do whatever he tells you."
With your Son’s beloved disciple,
you stood at the foot of the cross.
You believed in the midst of the night.
You loved with a pierced soul.
Mary, my mother,
pray for me today.
May I follow Jesus as you did,
welcoming the Holy Spirit,
responding to your Son’s love,
living in communion with his love for the Father,
cooperating with his work of redemption in the
midst of the world.
In this way, may my heart be joined with yours.
May I follow your example of faith and love
bringing the Heart of your Son to the
heart of the world.
At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us. (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 17) 12
The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a proper appreciation of the rites and prayers they should participate knowingly, devoutly, and actively. They should be instructed by God’s word and be refreshed at the table of the Lord’s body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn to offer themselves too. Through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever closer union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 48) 13
Through the Eucharistic Sacrifice Christ the Lord desired to set before us in a very special way this remarkable union whereby we are united one with another and with our divine Head, a union that no word of praise can ever sufficiently express. For in this sacrifice the sacred ministers act not only as the representative of our Saviour, but as the representative of the whole Mystical Body and of each one of the faithful. Again, in this act of sacrifice, the faithful of Christ, united by the common bond of devotion and prayer, offer to the eternal Father through the hands of the priest, whose prayer alone has made it present on the altar, the Immaculate Lamb, the most acceptable victim of praise and propitiation for the Church’s universal need. Moreover, just as the divine Redeemer, while dying on the Cross, offered Himself to the eternal Father as Head of the whole human race, so now, ‘in this clean oblation’ He not only offers Himself as Head of the Church to His heavenly Father but in Himself His mystical members as well. He embraces them all, yes, even the weaker and more ailing members, with the deepest love of His Heart. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis AAS. XXXV, 232-233) 14
The Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present in the Mass. When we pray the Morning Offering Prayer, united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we act as intercessors, pleading to God that great graces be released all day through our prayerful actions as we act in love according to the Father’s will. Whether we are eating, taking care of a sick parent, enjoying time spent with a friend, working at our job, we can help bring down great graces for the world.
When we pray the Morning Offering Prayer we offer our lives to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, with the prayerful assistance of Mary, our Mother. Let us pray together united in our hearts in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There follows a Morning Offering Prayer.
"My dear Father, I offer You this day all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings in union with Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Holy Spirit.
"I unite with our Mother, Mary, all the angels and saints, and all the souls in purgatory to pray to the Father for myself, for each member of my family, for my friends, for all the people throughout the world, for all the souls in purgatory, and for all other intentions of the Sacred Heart.
"I love You, Jesus, and I give You my heart. I love you, Mary, and I give you my heart. Amen."
From a spiritual journal we are given these words: "When a priest is filled with the love of Jesus, he unites more deeply with Christ in the great sacrifice being offered to the Father. The faithful more easily see Jesus, through the priest, offering sacrifice to the Father. They more easily experience, at this great sacrifice, the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"At the Mass we unite in offering sacrifice to the Father. We all unite as one and give ourselves in such oneness with Jesus, in such love to the Father, in the Holy Spirit. We desire to die to all the things that are not of God and join in the great miracle taking place. The Father looks down and He sees the sacrifice of His Son being offered through His priest. Heaven unites to earth. Earth cries out in such jubilation at the great gift of the Almighty God, and we unite as creatures giving ourselves as a sacrifice to our beloved Creator. Do we experience the presence of God as His power flows through His priest, who takes bread and wine, and changes them into the Body and Blood of our Lord? Do we hear Jesus speak, as He did at the Last Supper, with the intensity in His voice reflecting the knowledge of the upcoming events of His passion and death?
"Do we hear the priest say the words of consecration with the emotion of Jesus about to give His life for His beloved ones? And the earth stands still. There is, at that moment, the sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally made present through the words of the priest. Oh, that God so loved the world to give His only Son as a sacrifice, and that God wants us in this deep oneness with Him! I give You myself, my Savior, my beloved Jesus, as You so willingly gave Yourself to me on Calvary. I want to die and rise more and more with You in the deepest possible love for You and for those for whom You died a brutal, bloody death on the cross, and for whom You rose gloriously from the dead!"
The Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests tells us: "The command of the Lord: go to all the nations (Mt 28: 18-20) definitively expresses the place of the priest in front of the Church. Sent -- missus -- by the Father by means of Christ, the priest pertains in ‘an immediate’ way to the universal Church...
"The spiritual gift received by priests in Ordination prepares them for a wide and universal mission of salvation. In fact, through Orders and the ministry received, all priests are associated with the Episcopal Body and, in hierarchical communion with it, according to their vocation and grace, they serve the good of the entire Church. Therefore, the membership to a particular church, through incardination, must not enclose the priest in a restricted and particularistic mentality, but rather should open him to the service of other churches, because each church is the particular realization of the only Church of Jesus Christ, such that the universal Church lives and fulfills her mission in and from the particular churches in effective communion with her. Thus, all the priests must have a missionary heart and mind and be open to the needs of the Church and the world."15
Pope John Paul II speaks to his brother priests: "The priest always, and in an unchangeable way, finds the source of his identity in Christ the Priest. It is not the world which determines his status, as though it depended on changing needs or ideas about social roles. The priest is marked with the seal of the Priesthood of Christ, in order to share in his function as the one Mediator and Redeemer.
"So, because of this fundamental bond, there opens before the priest the immense field of the service of souls, for their salvation in Christ and in the Church.
"This service must be completely inspired by love of souls in imitation of Christ who gives his life for them. It is God’s wish that all people should be saved, and that none of the little ones should be lost...
"The priest is for the laity: he animates them and supports them in the exercise of the common Priesthood of the baptized -- so well illustrated by the Second Vatican Council -- which consists in their making their lives a spiritual offering, in witnessing to the Christian spirit in the family, in taking charge of the temporal sphere and sharing in the evangelization of their brethren. But the service of the priest belongs to another order. He is ordained to act in the name of Christ the Head, to bring people into the new life made accessible by Christ, to dispense to them -- the Word, forgiveness, the Bread of Life -- to gather them into his Body, to help them to form themselves from within, to live and to act according to the saving plan of God. In a word, our identity as priests is manifested in the ‘creative’ exercise of the love for souls communicated by Christ Jesus.
"Attempts to make the priest more like the laity are damaging to the Church. This does not mean in any way that the priest can remain remote from the human concerns of the laity: he must be very near to them, as John Mary Vianney was, but as a priest, always in a perspective which is that of their salvation and of the progress of the Kingdom of God. He is the witness and dispenser of a life other than earthly life. It is essential to the Church that the identity of the priest be safeguarded, with its vertical dimension. The life and personality of the Curé of Ars are a particularly enlightening and vigorous illustration of this."16
Fr. Jean Galot, S.J., gives us these words: "By tracing our steps back to the origin of the priestly ministry, we can find in the very words of Christ a principle of unity by reference to which all the priestly functions can be grasped as a unity. This is the quality of the shepherd. Jesus defines himself as a shepherd, thus suggesting what constitutes the ministry of his own priesthood. Since his priesthood is a new and original creation, and loftier than the Jewish priesthood, it is the shepherd’s quality that best epitomizes the priestly functions.
"Christ the shepherd leads the flock by the word he speaks and guarantees the truth of his teaching by the supreme testimony which is the gift of his own self. He offers himself in sacrifice in order to impart to his sheep a bountiful life, especially through the Eucharist. By leading the flock, he makes it one. The three functions -- preaching, worship, and leadership -- become the expression of the shepherd’s love, and from that love they draw their inspiration."17
Henri Nouwen on Prayer
Henri Nouwen, one of the most popular spiritual writers of our times, observes: "Prayer is often considered a weakness, a support system, which is used when we can no longer help ourselves. But this is only true when the God of our prayers is created in our image and adapted to our own needs and concerns. When, however, prayer makes us reach out to God, not on our own but on his terms, then prayer pulls us away from self-preoccupation, encourages us to enter into a new world which cannot be contained within the narrow boundaries of our mind and heart. Prayer, therefore, is a great adventure because the God with whom we enter into a new relationship is greater than we are and defies all our calculations and predictions. The movement from illusion to prayer is hard to make since it leads from false certainties to true uncertainties, from an easy support system to ... surrender, and from the many ‘safe’ gods to the God whose love has no limits."18
Nouwen spent a number of months in a Trappist monastery. During his stay in the monastery, he derived this insight concerning the life of contemplation, a life all are called to share according to their state of life and particular occupation: "Contemplative life is a human response to the fundamental fact that the central things in life, although spiritually perceptible, remain invisible in large measure and can easily be overlooked by the inattentive, busy, distracted person that each of us can so readily become. The contemplative looks, not so much around things, but through them into their center."19
Words from Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa tells us a story which warms the heart: "One day a young couple came to our house and asked for me. They gave me a large amount of money.
"I asked them, ‘Where did you get so much money?’
"They answered, ‘We got married two days ago. Before we got married we had decided not to celebrate the wedding, not to buy wedding clothes, not to have a reception or a honeymoon. We wanted to give you the money we saved.’
"I know what such a decision meant, especially for a Hindu family.
"That is why I asked them, ‘But how did you think of such a thing?’
" ‘We love each other so much,’ they answered, ‘that we wanted to share the joy of our love with those you serve.’
"To share: what a beautiful thing!"20
And here are further words from Mother Teresa: "To die in peace with God is the culmination of any human life.
"Of those who have died in our houses, I have never seen anyone die in despair or cursing. They have all died serenely.
"I took a man I had picked up from the street to our House for the Dying in Calcutta.
"When I was leaving, he told me, ‘I have lived like an animal on the streets, but I am going to die like an angel. I will die smiling.’
"He did die smiling, because he felt loved and surrounded by care.
"That is the greatness of our poor!"21
Avery Dulles and the Theological Thought of John Paul II
The well-known and respected theologian, Avery Dulles, S.J., has rendered a distinct service to us all in summarizing much of Pope John Paul II’s theological thought in his book, The Splendor of Faith: The Theological Vision of Pope John Paul II. Dulles points out the great importance for our times of John Paul II as theologian: "Among the Catholic theologians of the second half of this century, John Paul II holds a place of special eminence. Perhaps more than any other single individual he has succeeded in comprehensively restating the contours of Catholic faith in the light of Vatican II and in relation to post-conciliar developments in the Church and in the world. With his keen interest in contemporary culture, philosophy, economics, and international affairs, he has been able to give fresh relevance to the Catholic tradition. Avoiding the pitfalls of compromise and polemics, he has offered a serene and balanced presentation of what Catholics may and should believe on a multitude of questions. No private theologian, however brilliant, speaks with comparable authority."22
In his concluding words to the book, Dulles says: "This final summary, which restates themes more fully explained in the preceding chapters, may be warranted because of the breadth and complexity of the teaching of John Paul II. He has written so voluminously on so many topics that it is easy to lose sight of the unity and coherence of his thought. His theological vision reaches back to the origins of revealed religion and outward to the furthest reaches of human communication. While making himself the faithful guardian of the deposit of faith, this pope shows an astonishing openness to dialogue with other churches, other religions, and the secular worlds of science and technology. Guided by his philosophical studies and his experience of the Second Vatican Council, he has forged a Christocentric humanism and a dynamic personalism capable of encountering and respectfully challenging all opposing ideologies and spiritual movements. The Catholic Church and, I submit, the world at large have been greatly blessed by the intellectual leadership of this brilliant, energetic, and prayerful successor of Peter."23
The Christian and the World
Pope John Paul II tells us: "Love for others, and in the first place love for the poor, in whom the Church sees Christ himself, is made concrete in the promotion of justice. Justice will never be fully attained unless people see in the poor person, who is asking for help in order to survive, not an annoyance or a burden, but an opportunity for showing kindness and a chance for greater enrichment. Only such an awareness can give the courage needed to face the risk and the change involved in every authentic attempt to come to the aid of another. It is not merely a matter of ‘giving from one’s surplus,’ but of helping entire peoples which are presently excluded or marginalized to enter into the sphere of economic and human development. For this to happen, it is not enough to draw on the surplus goods which in fact our world abundantly produces; it requires above all a change of lifestyles, of models of production and consumption, and of the established structures of power which today govern societies. Nor is it a matter of eliminating instruments of social organization which have proved useful, but rather of orienting them according to an adequate notion of the common good in relation to the whole human family."24
Act of Consecration (new)
"Jesus, You show us Your Heart as symbol of Your life of love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for each of us as unique individuals. Out of Your great love for us, You died a brutal death, nailed to the wood of the cross. Out of Your great love for us, You rose gloriously from the dead.
"From Your pierced Heart the Church with her life-giving Sacraments was born. In the Eucharist, Crown and Center of the Church’s life, You continue to give Yourself to us with the deepest, most tender, most on-fire, most complete love.
"Jesus, since in Your great love You give Yourself so completely to us, it is only fitting that we make a gift to You in return. It is entirely fitting that we give ourselves completely to You. Yes, we consecrate ourselves to Your most loving Heart. Each of us says to You, O Lord, our Savior and our Friend: ‘Jesus, take me wholly, take me completely to Your magnificent Heart. Out of love I give myself to You. Live in and through me. In love You give Yourself completely to me. In love and in a spirit of reparation, I want to give myself, with the help of Your grace, entirely to You. Take me, Jesus, to an ever closer union with the Father, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary my Mother at my side. Pierced, Glorified, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus I place my trust in You.’ "
"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love, including your most special love for me as this unique individual. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the Pierced, Glorified, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."
A Prayer for Priests
Many of the laity pray for us priests, and consistently so. Is it not also fitting that we priests pray for all our brothers in the priesthood, and consistently so? There follows a prayer that can aid us in this endeavor.
"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart that You attend to all the needs of Your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that You draw back to Your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from Your path, that You rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that You continue to give Your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary’s Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen".
The above prayer is taken from the prayer manual of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a facet of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. The associates are members of prayer groups which meet regularly to pray for all the needs of the entire human family, but most especially for priests. If you would like a copy, or copies, of this prayer manual, and further, if you would like information on how to begin a Shepherds of Christ prayer chapter, contact us at:
Shepherds of Christ
P.O. Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193 U.S.A.
Phone (toll free): 1-888-211-3041,
The latest special issue of Shepherds of Christ is very good (Issue 3, 2000). I like the idea that you are expanding it so that although aimed for the needs of priests it is an available resource for lay people as well. It will keep it more viable in the long run. But the choice of articles and topics in the issue are an excellent thematic list of the major spiritual topics of today.
Lawrence Boadt, CSP
Dear Father Carter,
Please let me tell you how much I am grateful for your "Shepherds of Christ" newsletter. I received the Issue 3, 2000, manual from a long-time family friend and monk who handed it along to my family. The articles are interesting and inspirational!
I am a 20-year old college student and I attend a private, secular school. The prayers and articles in "Shepherds of Christ" help me understand the Eucharist and live a life focused on Jesus. I especially like the Act of Consecration prayer. It is so beautiful! I say it daily.
Thank you again and may God bless all those involved in the "Shepherds of Christ" ministry.
Farmingdale, New Jersey
Dear Fr. Carter,
I just finished reading the Special Issue "Overview of the Spiritual Life" Excellent! Please send me the book form of the 1st 12 issues.
Fr. Gerald Sherer
Reverend and dear Fr. Ed,
Mabuhay! Greetings from the Philippines! Please allow me to congratulate you for the expansion of your readership. It is indeed true that even the laity would benefit from your spiritual publication. As for my case, I am not yet a priest yet I found your notes to be helpful in my personal spiritual journey. Thus, I am asking for a personal copy of Shepherds of Christ. The ones that I had been reading were given by a fellow seminarian. May I also request the audiocasette recording of your previous issues. Thank you very much for your dedication. May Mary’s protection never leave you in your life.
Sem. Nono Acompanado
Holy Rosary Major Seminary
Concepcion Heights, Naga City
Dear Father Carter,
Greetings in the name of the Risen Lord! I hope you had a good Lent and a joyful celebration of Easter. Here at St. Anne the Vigil and the Easter Sunday celebrations were memorable.
Father, since the time I started receiving these spiritual newsletters through my Vicar General Mons. Joseph Kimu of St. John the Baptist Major Seminary in the diocese of Mangochi here in Malawi, I feel my spiritual life has been enriched tremendously.
On the other side, I would like to welcome most gratefully the idea of extending the readership to the laity. I think there could be some food for them too. We as priests, and they as the flock need each other’s assistance.
Sincerely in the Risen Christ
Rev. Fr. Lucious Kamwana
St. Anne Catholic Parish
Balaka - Malawi - AFRICA
Dear Father Ed,
I have been receiving your newsletters for over a year now and have enjoyed it immensely. Every issue I read from front to back. I am now 48 years ordained and each newsletter renews me spiritually.
Enclosed is a little donation. I enjoy each issue very much.
Yours in Christ and Mary,
Father John Graham, C. SS. R
St. Cecilia’s Rectory
New York, NY
Scripture quotations are taken from The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday.
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter. On Human Work, United States Catholic Conference, No. 4.
Ibid., No. 24.
The Documents of Vatican II, "The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World", No. 68. America Press edition.
Edward Leen, C.S. Sp., In the Likeness of Christ, Sheed and Ward, pp. 126-128.
Thomas Merton, Love and Living, Harcourt Brace and Company, pp. 177-178.
John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Parochial and Plain Sermons", v, pp 139-40, as in The Heart of Newman, A Synthesis Arranged by Erich Przywara, S.J., Ignatius Press, pp. 171- 172.
Edward Leen, C. S. Sp., The True Vine and Its Branches, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, pp. 25-26.
Romano Guardini, Jesus Christ, Henry Regnery Publ., as in Daily Readings in Catholic Classics, edited by Rawley Myers, Ignatius Press, p. 85.
St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Tract, de praxi amanda Jesum Christum, edit. latina, Romae, 1909, pp. 9-14, as in the The Liturgy of the Hours, Catholic Book Publishing Co., Vol IV, pp. 1264-1265.
Archbishop Luis M. Martinez, The Sanctifier, Pauline Books & Media, p. 48
The Documents of Vatican II, "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy", America Press edition, No. 17.
Ibid., No. 48
Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, AAS, XXXV, 232-233.
Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, as in special supplement, Inside the Vatican, November 1994, No. 14.
Pope John Paul II, Holy Thursday Letters to My Brother Priests, edited by James P. Socias, Scepter Publishers and Midwest Theological Forum, pp. 147-148.
Jean Galot, S.J., Theology of the Priesthood, Ignatius Press, p. 137.
Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out, Doubleday, pp. 89-90.
Henri Nouwen, Genesee Diary, Doubleday, p. 361.
Mother Teresa, In My Own Words, Ligouri Publications, p. 19.
Ibid., p. 71.
Avery Dulles, S.J., The Splendor of Faith: The Theological Vision of Pope John Paul II, Crossroad Publishing Company, pp. 1-2.
Ibid., p. 196.
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum, St. Paul Books & Media, No. 58.
end of Priestly Newsletter 2000 - Issue 4
available in 6 languages
with the Imprimatur
© Copyright 2002 Shepherds of Christ Publications
Rights for non-commercial reproduction granted:
May be copied in its entirety, but neither re-typed nor edited.
The Shepherds of Christ Spirituality Handbook is available from
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
PO BOX 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (513) 932-4451
FAX: (513) 932-6791
First Printing, September 1994
Second Printing, November 1994
Third Printing, November 1995
Fourth Printing, March 1996
Chapter Meeting Prayer Format
The prayer format below should be followed at chapter meetings of Shepherds of Christ Associates. All prayers, not just those said specifically for priests, should include the intention of praying for all the needs of priests the world over.
1. Hymns. Hymns may be sung at any point of the prayer part of the meeting.
2. Holy Spirit Prayer. Come, Holy Spirit, almighty Sanctifier, God of love, who filled the Virgin Mary with grace, who wonderfully changed the hearts of the apostles, who endowed all Your martyrs with miraculous courage, come and sanctify us. Enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgment, set our hearts on fire, and preserve us from the misfortunes of resisting Your inspirations. Amen.
3. The Rosary.
4. Salve Regina. "Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, our mourning, our weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."
5. The Memorare. "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen."
6. Seven Hail Marys in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Mary has promised very special graces to those who do this on a daily basis. Included in the promises of Our Lady for those who practice this devotion is her pledge to give special assistance at the hour of death, including the sight of her face. The seven sorrows are:
(1) The first sorrow: the prophecy of Simeon (Hail Mary).
(2) The second sorrow: the flight into Egypt (Hail Mary).
(3) The third sorrow: the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple (Hail Mary).
(4) The fourth sorrow: Jesus and Mary meet on the way to the cross (Hail Mary).
(5) The fifth sorrow: Jesus dies on the cross (Hail Mary).
(6) The sixth sorrow: Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary's arms (Hail Mary).
(7) The seventh sorrow: the burial of Jesus (Hail Mary).
7. Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us (repeat after each invocation).
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech You, O Lord God, that we Your servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever virgin, be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
8. Prayer to St. Joseph. St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste spouse of Mary, you passed your life in perfect fulfillment of duty. You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly turn to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes; and they turn to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too have known trial, labor, and weariness. But, even amid the worries of material life, your soul was filled with deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with the Son of God entrusted to you, and with Mary, His tender Mother. Amen. --(Pope John XXIII)
9. Litany of the Sacred Heart, promises of the Sacred Heart.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us (repeat after each invocation).
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke You,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim of sin,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints,
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Yours.
Let us pray: O almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Your dearly beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers You in behalf of sinners and, being appeased, grant pardon to those who seek Your mercy, in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart(these should be read by the prayer leader):
(1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
(2) I will establish peace in their homes.
(3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
(4) I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
(5) I will bestow a large blessing on all their undertakings.
(6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
(7) Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
(8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
(9) I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
(10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
(11) Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
10. Prayer for Priests. "Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart You attend to all the needs of Your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that You draw back to Your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from Your path, that You rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that You continue to give Your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary's Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen"
11. Prayer for all members of the Shepherds of Christ Associates. "Dear Jesus, we ask Your special blessings on all members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. Continue to enlighten them regarding the very special privilege and responsibility you have given them as members of Your movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates. Draw them ever closer to Your Heart and to Your Mother's Heart. Allow them to more and more realize the great and special love of Your Hearts for each of them as unique individuals. Give them the grace to respond to Your love and Mary's love with an increased love of their own. As they dwell in Your Heart and Mary's Heart, abundantly care for all their needs and those of their loved ones. We make our prayer through You to the Father, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary our Mother at our side. Amen"
12. Prayer for the spiritual and financial success of the priestly newsletter. "Father, we ask Your special blessings upon the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ. We ask that You open the priest-readers to the graces You wish to give them through this chosen instrument of Your Son. We also ask that You provide for the financial needs of the newsletter and the Shepherds of Christ Associates. We make our prayer through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary at our side. Amen"
13. Prayer for all members of the human family. "Heavenly Father, we ask Your blessings on all Your children the world over. Attend to all their needs. We ask Your special assistance for all those marginalized people, all those who are so neglected and forgotten. United with our Mother Mary, we make this petition to You through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit."
14. Prayer to St. Michael and our Guardian Angels:
"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."
"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."
15. Pause for silent, personal prayer. This should last at least five minutes.
16. Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock, I consecrate myself to Your most Sacred Heart. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your companion in this most important work. Help me to always love You in return. Help me to give myself entirely to You. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor! Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!
"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a movement created by your Son as a powerful instrument for the renewal of the Church and the world. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."
17. Daily Prayers. All members should say the Holy Spirit prayer daily and make the act of consecration daily. They should also pray the rosary each day. They are encouraged to use the other above prayers as time allows.
end of prayer manual
Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
My dear fellow Associate Members,
Jesus is calling special apostles to join a new division of the Shepherds of Christ Movement. Here is a message from Jesus given to Father Carter:
My beloved priest-companion, I am requesting that a new prayer movement be started under the direction of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. I am asking for volunteers who are willing to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for one hour, twice-weekly. Members of the Shepherds of Christ prayer chapters, as well as others, are to be invited to join this movement.
These apostles are to pray for the intentions I am giving you. For part of the hour they are to use the prayers of the Shepherds of Christ Associates Handbook. They may spend the rest of the hour as they so choose.
I will use this new prayer movement within My Shepherds of Christ Ministries in a powerful way to help in the renewal of My Church and the world. I will give great graces to those who join this movement. The name, Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, is to be given to this movement.
I am inviting My beloved Rita Ring to be coordinator for this activity.
I pour out the great love of My Sacred Heart to all. I am Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock.
This is indeed a special calling for us to unite in one heart with His Eucharistic Heart and pray for the following intentions:
- For the spread of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary culminating in the reign of the Sacred Heart and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
- For the Pope.
- For all bishops of the world.
- For all priests.
- For all sisters and brothers in the religious life.
- For all members of the Shepherds of Christ Movement, and for the spread of this movement to the world.
- For all members of the Catholic Church.
- For all members of the human family.
- For all souls in purgatory.
end of Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart message
October 1, 2004
My dear friends,
I give my heart to Jesus and Mary with you
in love. In these troubled times of the election and war
and wonders of peace — we have suffered many hurricanes
since Mary's image head was knocked off.
Florida appeared to be squeezed like a wet wash cloth
August 13, 2004 a hurricane, September 5, 2004 another hurricane,
September 13, 2004 another hurricane. Jesus sent me to Florida last
Thursday to take the path across Florida, 60 and 70 to bless
the state before the hurricane. It was terrible — I was on
the west side all through it. On September 5th I was in the building
in Clearwater and on August 13, 2004 the hurricane was averted as
we prayed in China.
Mary's message of peace must be sent to the priests.
A Jesuit with the blessing of his provincial and his rector has
completed the Priestly Newsletter — he studied in Rome and can
teach in the Pontifical Colleges — The Newsletter is literally a
work of art dedicated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary based on
the Word and the writings of the Church. It will be a special
issue and surprise to you. It is ready to go to 75,000 priests.
We need at least $7,000 for the postage in the United States and
then the foreign mailing. It can really help the world in
these decisive times before the election.
October 13, 2004 is the 87th anniversary of Mary's last apparition
at Fatima. We need to make reparation to God for how Mary's
image was destroyed. We are about to put protection over Jesus'
face which is costly. Please we desperately need your help to do this.
MARY IS THE QUEEN OF PEACE — spreading the consecration
to the 2 Hearts to 75,000 priests can help the peace of this world.
LOVE in Their Hearts, Rita
October 1, 2004
We have had many trials in
Mary appeared 7 years every day before her image head was knocked off.
We pray from
and all our centers for the priests the Church and the world united on the internet and with many others. Clearwater
Fr. Carter our founder circulated the Priestly Newsletter for over 8 years.
A Jesuit of over 40 years and who can teach in the Gregorian colleges in
and all pontifical colleges has written the new Priestly Newsletter to continue the work Jesus gave to Fr. Carter 10 years ago. Fr. Carter died. Rome
The day he accepted was Pentecost Eve - here is the picture taken.
At our prayer time. He accepted with the blessing of his provincial and rector.
Here is a message from Jesus to Fr. Carter when Fr. Carter began the Newsletter that finally went to 85,000 priests.
July 31, 1994
Words of Jesus to Members of Shepherds of Christ Associates:
"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.
"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.
"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."
- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)
August 1, 1994
Pray For The Success Of The Priestly Newsletter - Shepherds of Christ
Messenger: The following is the first official message I received before the statue of Mary at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center. It is a personal message for Father Carter.
Mary speaks: (in front of the glowing statue of Our Lady of Sorrows) I am the Immaculate Heart. My Heart is glowing for love of all my beloved children. I am your most loving Mother. I am with you this day. Pray for the success of the priestly newsletter Shepherds of Christ. I am guarding your way. You will receive such graces to accomplish this task! Grace from God is so abundantly bestowed on you and will lead to the success of this endeavor! Pray for this cause at the Center. The priests will lead the people to the love of My beloved Son. This is no little task. It will take many prayers and graces. Pray hard, little one. Your prayers will change many hearts.
I am Mary, your Immaculate Mother. I bring this message to My beloved priest-son.
August 1, 1994message
The New Priestly Newsletter will be ready to mail in about one week. It is so very awesome. The new Jesuit edited it and quotes from scripture and the writings of the Church.
For the 87th anniversary of the last Apparition at
Fatima October 13, 2004we ask if you can help with the postage.
April 5, 2004
Also we must spend thousands and thousands of dollars to protect Jesus’ face with the proper structure. We are presently repairing the sink hole under Mary's image and Jesus’ face and then we will put up the bullet proof glass for protection from vandals and hurricanes.
Here are some of our ministries -
1) Supply priestly Newsletter to 75,000 priests centered
in Consecration to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart.
2) Send about 50,000 homemade rosaries to
the schools twice a year with
consecration cards to the 2 Hearts and meditations.
3) Prayer Chapters to pray for the priests, the
Church and the world - all over the
world in 6 languages.
4) Monthly retreats before the exposed Eucharist
in our Church from the diocese for
for 4 days, with Masses from priests
who support the ministry daily -
praying for the priests, the Church and the world.
5) People praying in
, China before the Indiana
tabernacle for the priests, the Church and
the world - 24 hours a day, live on TV web camera.
6) Live radio - 24 hours praying for the
priests, the Church and the world.
7) Prayer daily at all centers at daily
8) Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus - all over
the world praying before Blessed Sacrament.
9) Nursing Home Ministry
10) Prison Ministry
11) 10 years of service in all of our ministries-
including supplying 75,000 priests regularly
6 times a year with the priestly Newsletter.
Florida October 5, 2004for a special prayer service praying and singing for special grace to be outpoured on the priests, the Church and the world.
October 1, 2004message
God the Father speaks:
I sent Mary as a messenger to
You ignored her
You defaced the rainbow image
Remember Noah's arch --
Remember the sign of the rainbow
Genesis 9: 12-15
And this’, God said, ‘is the sign of the covenant which I now make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I now set my bow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature, in a word all living things, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all living things.
God the Father speaks:
I sent the rainbow 1996.
has had to deal Florida
with many hurricanes
I am God the Father -- you refuse to
listen to Mary. …
This is My sign sent to you --
the sign of the rainbow
You will not listen --
peace is found in
listening to Mary
Mary's Peace Plan
Consecration to the Hearts of Jesus
and Mary ––
until a sufficient number of people make and live the
consecration, we will not have peace in the world.
Praying the rosary.
Observing the First Saturday Devotion.
4. Making reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
God the Father speaks:
I want the Newsletter
Please help Me.
This, Shepherds of Christ, is My Son's
I am God the Father.
end of excerpt from
October 1, 2004message
We have DVDs available of
Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries
of the Rosary with short mediations
especially for schools.
These DVDs can be shown on
a projector for classrooms.
It is really wonderful!
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Main Shepherds of Christ Page
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
PO Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (513) 932-4451
FAX: (513) 932-6791