| Shepherds of Christ
January 5, 2010
January 6th Holy
The Novena Rosary
1:30pm & 6:20pm
Please come and pray
Please pray for a special intention.
January 5, 2010
Excerpt from St. Thomas - My Way of Life - The Sacramental System p. 509
BY HIS PASSION, Christ has merited for men the grace which leads to salvation in the vision of God. But this grace must be given to men if they are to be saved. It is Christ Who distributes God's grace to men. He does this through His Church, the Holy, Roman Catholic Church. The Church is, as it were, the continuation of Christ on earth. He has won all graces for men. He distributes all graces to men. But He Himself has ascended into heaven. Nevertheless, from heaven, He distributes grace to men through His Church. He does this through His Church, which is His Mystical Body. How does He do this? Because His love for men is infinite, He is prepared always to give grace from heaven to those who will sincerely repent of their sins and come to Him in faith and love. In fact, Christ, through the Holy Spirit, is always inviting men to repentance, to faith and to love.
John 20: 19-23
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you.
'As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.'
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone's sins,
they are forgiven;
if you retain anyone's sins,
they are retained.
(1) Priestly Newsletter Book I - March/April 1996
Jesus in His Paschal Mystery
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who 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 and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep. This is 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 10:11-15) (1).
1. Scriptural quotations are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday & Co.
(2) Priestly Newsletter Book I - March/April 1996 - Jesus in His Paschal Mystery - continues
He hung upon a cross on a hill called Calvary. Death was near. How much Jesus had already suffered! He had been brutally scourged. Much of His sacred body was a bloody, open wound. He had been derisively crowned with thorns. In a terribly weakened condition, He carried the heavy cross to the hill of Golgotha. There He was stripped of His garments and mercilessly nailed to the cross. After all this brutal and agonizing suffering, Jesus finally died.
(3) Priestly Newsletter Book I - March/April 1996 - Jesus in His Paschal Mystery - continues
Truly the Good Shepherd had laid down His life for His sheep. That magnificent Heart, overflowing with love for His Father and all of us, had beat its last.
On the third day, Jesus rose: "Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up! The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary: are you going to raise it up in three days?' But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said." (Jn 2:19-22).
Yes, the Good Shepherd died and rose for our salvation. Behold, the paschal mystery of Jesus!
(4) We have numerous opportunities to help
others properly cope with suffering.
The more we ourselves are united with
the Christ Who suffered such a brutal
death, the more we can help others see
God's plan for suffering — that it is
meant to lead to greater life.
(5) Let us recall the words of St. Paul:
1 Corinthians 1: 17-24
After all, Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel; and not by means of wisdom of language, wise words which would make the cross of Christ pointless. The message of the cross is folly for those who are on the way to ruin, but for those of us who are on the road to salvation it is the power of God. As scripture says: I am going to destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of any who understand. Where are the philosophers? Where are the experts? And where are the debaters of this age? Do you not see how God has shown up human wisdom as folly? Since in the wisdom of God the world was unable to recognise God through wisdom, it was God's own pleasure to save believers through the folly of the gospel. While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(6) Acts 2: 14, 36-41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice:
‘Men of Judaea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, make no mistake about this, but listen carefully to what I say.
‘For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.’
Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, brothers?’ ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God is calling to himself.’ He spoke to them for a long time using many other arguments, and he urged them, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation.’ They accepted what he said and were baptised. That very day about three thousand were added to their number.
(7) Rejoice oh Jerusalem — your light
has come —
You have been given gifts from God —
1 Peter 2: 20-25
but what glory is there in putting up with a beating after you have done something wrong? The merit in the sight of God is in putting up with it patiently when you are punished for doing your duty.
This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow in his steps. He had done nothing wrong, and had spoken no deceit. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was suffering he made no threats but put his trust in the upright judge. He was bearing our sins in his own body on the cross, so that we might die to our sins and live for uprightness; through his bruises you have been healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
(8) Luke 24: 13-25
The road to Emmaus
Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but their eyes were prevented from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What are all these things that you are discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ He asked, ‘What things?’ They answered, ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth, who showed himself a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have now gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they could not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said!
(9) Oh God You have given to us Your only begotten
Son as a model for our lives —
You have given us the Catholic Church —
Oh my God, thank You for the sacraments —
Oh my beloved Jesus, I thirst to receive
You in Your Sacrament of Greatest
Love — I love You so
(10) From the Mass Book
December 27, 1995
LET US LOVE THE TWO HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY
HE GAVE HIMSELF TO US ON THE CROSS. HE GIVES HIMSELF TO US IN THE EUCHARIST.
How great was the act of love, God gave to this world, when He gave Himself and died on the cross. He gives Himself to us this day in the Holy Eucharist.
The greatest commandment is that we must love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole being. This is a commandment. If we are to enter heaven, we must follow the commandments. They are commands given by God for us to follow.
The greatest act we can do on this earth is an act of loving God. The reason for our existence is to love God. In the sacrament of His greatest love, He gives Himself to us. This is an act of love on His part. We are called to respond by giving ourselves in love to Him.
This is the purpose of the Holy Eucharist: to unite in such oneness with our Holy, Loving God. Our all consuming passion should be that of loving God. How many go to the Eucharist with the sole purpose of giving great love to God? He wants us to love Him. He wants souls to tell Him how much they truly love Him. This is the most intimate act of love when Jesus gives Himself-Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to man. If it is such an act of love, how are we receiving Him in Communion? We should beg God, in this most intimate union with Him, to help us to love Him with greatest love.
Jesus is a Person. He wants our love. The Holy Spirit wants such intimacy with us. Our Father wants us to love Him. In the Eucharist, we unite with God. In this intimate act of uniting with our beloved God, with Divinity, we must pour out our love to God. We must pour out our heart to the most adorable Heart of Jesus. Jesus is so unjustly treated by many of His beloved souls He loves so much. Let us help make reparation to the Almighty God by loving God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole being in the sacrament of His greatest love. This is the Gift of Himself.
Think of how it is to love someone and give your all for that person, to pour out your heart to him or her and then be treated with coldness and neglect. It hurts our heart so much more when we deeply love someone to be rejected by that person. Jesus loves us with the deepest love. We cannot fully comprehend this love. Let us love Him with the deepest love. Let us love Mary and her Immaculate Heart. Let us love her as the Mother of God. Let us love her as the virgin who bore the Son of God. May we, in the reception of the Eucharist pour out our love to Him, to this adorable Heart. May we pour out our love to His Holy Mother.
Mary said at Fatima that Jesus wants His Heart venerated next to the heart of His Mother. Let us love these two Hearts as we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Then we are so deeply united with God. We see Their two Hearts surrounded with thorns for the injustices against Their Hearts. Let us help make reparation daily as we receive Him in the Eucharist. This is a special time to help make reparation to Their wounded Hearts.
Let us remember how He poured His love out to us on the cross and how He pours out His love to us now when He gives us Himself in the Eucharist, the Eucharist which contains His Heart of burning love. His Heart was pierced with a lance. Her heart was invisibly pierced with a sword. As the wounds in Their Hearts are deep, so too is Their love so deep.
He does not want "surface love". He wants hearts filled with deep burning love.
end of December 27, 1995
A Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Let me be a holy sacrifice and unite with God in the sacrament of His greatest love.
I want to be one in Him in this act of love, where He gives Himself to me and I give myself as a sacrifice to Him. Let me be a holy sacrifice as I become one with Him in this my act of greatest love to Him.
Let me unite with Him more, that I may more deeply love Him. May I help make reparation to His adorable Heart and the heart of His Mother, Mary. With greatest love, I offer myself to You and pray that You will accept my sacrifice of greatest love. I give myself to You and unite in Your gift of Yourself to me. Come and possess my soul.
Cleanse me, strengthen me, heal me. Dear Holy Spirit act in the heart of Mary to make me more and more like Jesus.
Father, I offer this my sacrifice, myself united to Jesus in the Holy Spirit to You. Help me to love God more deeply in this act of my greatest love.
Give me the grace to grow in my knowledge, love and service of You and for this to be my greatest participation in the Mass. Give me the greatest graces to love You so deeply in this Mass, You who are so worthy of my love.
-Mass Book, December 27, 1995
(1) Matthew 28: 16-20
Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
(2) Our work is to die to those ways not likened
to Christ — to live more the resurrected life
in Him —
We are commissioned in baptism to spread
the Good News
(3) Ephesians 1: 17-23
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people, and how extraordinarily great is the power that he has exercised for us believers; this accords with the strength of his power at work in Christ, the power which he exercised in raising him from the dead and enthroning him at his right hand, in heaven, far above every principality, ruling force, power or sovereignty, or any other name that can be named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet, and made him, as he is above all things, the head of the Church; which is his Body, the fullness of him who is filled, all in all.
(4) Acts 1: 1-11
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’, he had said, ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but, not many days from now, you are going to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end.’
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky as he went, when suddenly two men in white were standing beside them, and they said, ‘Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.’
(5) Let us sing - with joy to the Lord
Psalm 47: 2-3, 6-7, 8-9
For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious,
the great king over all the earth.
He brings peoples under our yoke
and nations under our feet.
Let the music sound for our God, let it sound,
let the music sound for our king, let it sound.
For he is king of the whole world;
learn the music, let it sound for God!
God reigns over the nations,
seated on his holy throne.
The leaders of the nations rally
to the people of the God of Abraham.
The shields of the earth belong to God,
who is exalted on high.
(6) Jesus ascended into heaven.
We are to go out and to be witnesses of hope —
spreading the Good News —
They were afraid and first locked in a room —
but they had to be fearless and do the work
of the Lord
Jesus came to show us the way — we have
work to do —
"Why do you stand looking up at the skies?
What can we do there —
Jesus came and He ascended into heaven —
our mission is just beginning —
"Go therefore" — we are to go and work in
the Name of Jesus —
Jesus came and He did what He was
supposed to —
we must follow in His footsteps —
Matthew 28: 19-20
Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
(7) Acts 1: 12-14
So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
(8) Believe in the power of the Lord
The Lord is Light
The Lord is with us in the Eucharist —
The Lord loves us so very much —
(9) 1 Peter 4: 13-16
but in so far as you share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, so that you may enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for bearing Christ’s name, blessed are you, for on you rests the Spirit of God, the Spirit of glory. None of you should ever deserve to suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer; but if any one of you should suffer for being a Christian, then there must be no shame but thanksgiving to God for bearing this name.
(10) Jesus always did the will of His Father —
We too are to have this relationship with
Our Father — to love Him — to want
to serve Him as His little child —
Jesus even going off to His bitter passion
prayed this prayer to the Father
because His thoughts were on His
Jesus prays for strength for them
Jesus prays for unity for them
Jesus prays for oneness with Him and the Father
Jesus wants us to be witnesses of hope —
Filled with the Spirit we can do the
work of transforming the world
in great love —
John 17: 21-23
May they all be one,
just as, Father, you are in me
and I am in you,
so that they also may be in us,
so that the world may believe
it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory
you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so perfected in unity
that the world will recognise
that it was you who sent me
and that you have loved them
as you have loved me.
Descent of the Holy Spirit
(1) Acts 2: 1-4
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves.
(2) Ezekiel 37: 1-14
The hand of Yahweh was on me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of Yahweh, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, behold, they were very dry. He said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? I answered, Lord Yahweh, you know. Again he said to me, Prophesy over these bones, and tell them, you dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh. Thus says the Lord Yahweh to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will bring up flesh on you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and, behold, an earthquake; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I saw, and, behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them. Then said he to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man, and tell the wind, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceeding great army.
Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. So, prophesy. Say to them, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to open your graves; I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people, and put my spirit in you, and you revive, and I resettle you on your own soil. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken and done this–declares the Lord Yahweh." ’
(3) Exodus 19: 3-8, 16-20
Moses then went up to God, and Yahweh called to him from the mountain, saying, 'Say this to the House of Jacob! Tell the Israelites, "You have seen for yourselves what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you away on eagle's wings and brought you to me. So now, if you are really prepared to obey me and keep my covenant, you, out of all peoples, shall be my personal possession, for the whole world is mine. For me you shall be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation." Those are the words you are to say to the Israelites.' So Moses went and summoned the people's elders and acquainted them with everything that Yahweh had bidden him, and the people all replied with one accord, 'Whatever Yahweh has said, we will do.'
Now at daybreak two days later, there were peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, dense cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast; and, in the camp, all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the bottom of the mountain. Mount Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because Yahweh had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke rose like smoke from a furnace and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the trumpeting. Moses spoke, and God answered him in the thunder. Yahweh descended on Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain, and Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain; and Moses went up.
(4) Joel 3: 1-5
I shall pour out my spirit on all humanity.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old people shall dream dreams,
and your young people see visions.
Even on the slaves, men and women,
shall I pour out my spirit in those days.
I shall show portents in the sky
and on earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.’
The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the Day comes,
that great and terrible Day.
All who call on the name of Yahweh
will be saved,
for on Mount Zion will be those
who have escaped,
as Yahweh has said,
and in Jerusalem a remnant
whom Yahweh is calling.
(5) Sing: If today you hear His Voice Harden not your Hearts —
(6) Sing: Come to the Water
(7) Sing: Veni Sanctus Spiritus
From the Lectionary
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine!
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our Labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill!
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away;
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sev'nfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
(8) Sing: Come Holy Ghost
(9) from Tell My People
Jesus: "My beloved friend, tell My people to pray daily to the Holy Spirit. They are to pray for an increase in His gifts. My people must realize that the Holy Spirit comes to transform them. The Spirit desires to transform you more and more according to My image. Those who are docile to His touch become increasingly shaped in My likeness. He performs this marvel within Mary's Immaculate Heart. The more one dwells in My Mother's Heart, the more active are the workings of the Spirit. The Spirit leads Mary to place you within My own Heart. In both Our Hearts, then, your transformation continues. The more you are formed after My own Heart, the more I lead you to the bosom of My Father. Tell My people all this. Tell them to pray daily for a greater appreciation of these wondrous gifts. I am Lord and Master. All who come to My Heart will be on fire to receive the gifts of the Spirit in ever greater measure! I love and bless My people!"
Reflection: The Holy Spirit is given to us to fashion us ever more according to the likeness of Jesus. And the more we are like Jesus, the more Jesus leads us to the Father. Do we, each day, pray to the Holy Spirit to be more open to His transforming influence? Do we strive each day to grow in union with Mary? The greater our union with our Mother, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the greater is the transforming action of the Holy Spirit within us.
(10) Priestly Newsletter Book I - March/April 1996 pp. 124-130
Thoughts on the Paschal Mystery
The Church in her Good Friday and Easter liturgies has just recently presented to us the paschal mystery of Jesus-His death and resurrection-in a very special way. In saying this we must remember that each Mass of every day makes sacramentally present the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Here are some thoughts concerning Jesus' paschal mystery and our participation in it:
St. Paul tells us: "All I want is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death. That is the way I can hope to take my place in the resurrection of the dead." (Phil 3:10-11).
When we are baptized we are incorporated into Christ's paschal mystery of death and resurrection. St. Paul speaks of this marvelous union with Jesus: "You have been taught that when we were baptized in Christ Jesus we were baptized in his death; in other words, when we were baptized we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life." (Rm 6:3-4).
Christ has structured the Christian life by the way He lived, died, and rose from the dead. It is obvious, then, as Paul tells us above, that the pattern of death-resurrection must be at the heart of the Church's life. Individually and collectively, we continually die with Christ so that we may continually rise with Him. Thus we pass over in a process of ongoing religious transition to a greater participation in Christ's resurrection. It is true that our participation in Christ's resurrection will reach its completion only in eternity. Nevertheless, we begin the life of resurrection here upon the earth, in the here and now of human life, in the midst of joy and pain; in the experience of success and failure, in the sweat of our brow, in the enjoyment of God's gifts. As Christians, we should have a sense of dynamic growth concerning our here and now life of resurrection.
We cannot maintain the life of resurrection or grow in it without a willingness to suffer. This does not mean that we need to feel overwhelmed and heavily burdened in our lives. The greater portion of suffering for most Christians seems to be an accumulation of ordinary hardships, difficulties, and pains. At times, however, deep suffering, even suffering of agonizing proportions, can enter into one's life. Whether the sufferings one encounters are of either the more ordinary variety or the more rare and extreme type, Christians must convince themselves that to relate properly to the cross is to grow in resurrection, and growth in resurrection means we will also have an increased capacity to help give resurrection to others.
Louis Evely observes: "The blessing of hospitals, of people condemned to death, of sanitariums, of all the places where one suffers, is that there people can be found who know that they need help, who no longer pretend to have no need of God or of anyone, who are freed from this exhausting comedy." (2)
Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., offers us these insightful words concerning the cross: "The cross, then, can have its degrees. God, by what He directly wills for us, or permits to happen to us, can give it a more intense form, in view of effecting in our souls a deeper purification and, in consequence, a closer contact with Himself. The more thorough the crucifixion that is willingly borne, the greater the degree of happiness, because the more perfectly will God be revealed to the soul." (3)
Fr. Peter van Breeman, S.J., succinctly observes: "We share the death of Christ. We empty ourselves. We enter the tomb, and in this way, we join Christ in his resurrection. We know the power of his resurrection and the peace that it brings with it. We experience the fruitfulness of a new life—new strength envelops us. Our baptism means that we open ourselves to Christ so that his life may continue through us." (4)
Caryll Houselander writes with great sensitivity regarding the second station of the Way of the Cross: "They put His own garments on Him again, and Jesus comes out from the judgment hall of Pilate to receive His cross.
"He comes to it gladly! This is a strange thing, for the cross is a symbol of shame, and it is to be His deathbed. Already He sees the very shape of His death in the widespread arms. From this moment He will be inseparable from it, until He dies on it. He will labor and struggle under the weight of it until the end comes. Yet Christ welcomes the cross, He embraces it. He takes it into His arms, as a man takes that which he loves into his arms. He lays His beautiful hands on it tenderly, those strong hands of a carpenter that are so familiar with the touch of wood." (5)
Bill Clarke, S.J., gives a concrete example of how joy and suffering are meant to coexist as he speaks of L'Arche, the community founded by Jean Vanier:
"L'Arche began in France in 1964 to give a permanent home to mentally handicapped adults. It seeks to unite the handicapped and those who assist them in a single community, inspired by a spirit of loving acceptance that will help all its members develop to their fullest potential as human beings...
"Almost everyone who comes to L'Arche is immediately impressed by the spirit of joy that prevails there. Yet anyone who comes to know the community more intimately cannot but be impressed, not to say overwhelmed, by the amount of suffering that is simply a part of its daily life.
"The living out in great intensity of these seemingly opposite experiences of joy and suffering, might be called the particular grace or vocation of L'Arche. Both the suffering and the joy are an integral part of the daily existence, but both have their moments of greater intensity and more external expression. There are the instances of crisis and there is death that crystallizes the suffering. The joy reaches its climax in moments of celebration. The one, however, is never entirely without the other, especially because both find their ultimate meaning in the single mystery-birth, death, and resurrection—the total mystery of life." (6)
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 follow Jesus, to spread His message, to help further the process of ongoing redemption, all this 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 peace and love 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).
St. Paul strikingly portrays the living of death-resurrection: "We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed; always, wherever we may be, we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may always be seen in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are consigned to our death every day, for the sake of Jesus, so that in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus, too, may be openly shown." (2 Cor 4:8-11).
St. John of the Cross wrote much about how the cross, properly encountered, always leads to greater life—to a greater share in Christ's resurrection here and hereafter. Here are some of his words regarding this fact:
"Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them.
"We must dig deeper in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides...
"The gate that gives entry into these riches of His wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it." (7)
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus Himself speaks to us about this paschal mystery, about the necessary connection between the cross and resurrection, between the cross and life: "Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?' Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself." (Lk 24:25-27).
His Death —
Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy on us!
O Lord Jesus Christ,
At prayer in the Garden of Olives,
Weeping with sadness and fear,
Comforted by an angel.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Betrayed by the kiss of Judas,
Abandoned by your apostles,
Delivered over to sinners.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Buffeted, covered with spittle,
Bruised by the blows of soldiers,
Condemned to die on the cross.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Scourged and crowned with thorns,
Clothed in a robe of purple,
Covered with scorn and shame.
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Burdened with your cross,
Mounting even to Calvary,
Bearing the weight of our sins,
O Lord Jesus Christ
Stripped of your garments,
Given gall in your thirst,
Crucified with thieves,
O Lord Jesus Christ
Forgiving your executioners,
Confiding your holy Mother
To your beloved disciple
O Lord Jesus Christ
Breathing forth your spirit
Into the hands of your Father,
Dying for all sinners. (8)
— and Resurrection!
The day of resurrection!
Earth spread the news abroad;
The Paschal feast of gladness,
The Paschal feast of God.
From death to life eternal,
From earth to heaven's height
Our Saviour Christ has brought us,
The glorious Lord of Light.
Our hearts be free from evil
That we may see aright
The Savior resurrected
In his eternal light;
And hear his message plainly,
Delivered calm and clear:
"Rejoice with me in triumph,
Be glad and do not fear."
Now let the heav'ns be joyful,
And with her song begin,
The whole world keep high triumph
And all that is therein,
Let all things in creation
Their notes of gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord has risen,
Our joy that has no end.
2. Luis Evely,
Suffering, Herder & Herder, p. 96.
3. Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., Why the Cross?, Sheed and Ward, pp. 95-96.
4. Fr. Peter van Breeman, S.J., As Bread That is Broken, Dimension, p. 95.
5. Caryll Houselander, The Way of the Cross, Sheed and Ward, p. 21.
6. Bill Clarke, S.J., Enough Room for Joy, Paulist Press, pp 13 and 71.
7. St. John of the Cross, as in The Liturgy of the Hours, Catholic Book Publishing Co., Vol I, pp. 1246-1247.
8. The Liturgy of the Hours, op. cit., Vol II, p. 403.
9. Ibid., p. 543.
(1) Mary is our spiritual Mother.
John 19: 25-27
Jesus and his mother
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
(2) Priestly Newsletter Book I - March/April 1996 pp. 133-134
About Children and All of Us
The children of the world are among our most precious treasures. The Holy Father speaks insightfully about children and all of us.
"Little children very soon learn about life. They watch and imitate the behavior of adults. They rapidly learn love and respect for others, but they also quickly absorb the poison of violence and hatred. Family experiences strongly condition the attitudes which children will assume as adults. Consequently, if the family is the place where children first encounter the world, the family must be for children the first school of peace.
"Parents have an extraordinary opportunity to help their sons and daughters to become aware of this great treasure: the witness of their mutual love. It is by loving each other that they enable the child, from the very first moment of its existence, to grow up in peaceful surroundings, imbued with the positive values which make up the family's true heritage: mutual respect and acceptance, listening, sharing, generosity, forgiveness. Thanks to the sense of working together which these values foster, they provide a true education for peace and make the child, from its earliest years, an active builder of peace.
"Children share with their parents and brothers and sisters the experience of life and hope. They see how life's inevitable trials are met with humility and courage, and they grow up in an atmosphere of esteem for others and respect for opinions different from their own.
"It is above all in the home that, before even a word is spoken, children should experience God's love in the love which surrounds them. In the family they learn that God wants peace and mutual understanding among all human beings, who are called to be one great family.
"Children are not a burden of society; they are not a means of profit or people without rights. Children are precious members of the human family, for they embody its hopes, its expectations and its potential.
"Peace is a gift of God; but man and woman must first accept this gift in order to build a peaceful world. People can do this only if they have a childlike simplicity of heart. This is one of the most profound and paradoxical aspects of the Christian message: to become childlike is more than just a moral requirement but a dimension of the mystery of the Incarnation itself.
"The Son of God did not come in power and glory, as he will at the end of the world, but as a child, needy and poor. Fully sharing our human condition in all things but sin (cf. Heb 4:15), he also took on the frailty and hope for the future which are part of being a child. After that decisive moment for the history of humanity, to despise childhood means to despise the One who showed the greatness of his love by humbling himself and forsaking all glory in order to redeem mankind...
"Jesus asked the disciples to become 'children' again (Mk 10:14-15). Jesus thus turned around our way of thinking. Adults need to learn from children the ways of God: seeing children's capacity for complete trust, adults can learn to cry out with true confidence, 'Abba, Father!'
"To become like a little child—with a complete trust in the Father and with the meekness taught by the Gospel—is not only an ethical imperative: it is a reason for hope. Even where the difficulties are so great as to lead to discouragement and the power of evil so overwhelming as to dishearten, those who can rediscover the simplicity of a child can begin to hope anew. This is possible above all for those who know they can trust in a God who desires harmony among all persons in the peaceful communion of his kingdom. It is also possible for those who, though not sharing the gift of faith, believe in the values of forgiveness and solidarity and see in them—not without the hidden action of the Spirit—the possibility of renewing the face of the earth.
"It is therefore to men and women of good will that I address this confident appeal. Let us all unite to fight every kind of violence and to conquer war! Let us create the conditions which will ensure that children can receive as the legacy of our generation a more united and fraternal world!"
14. Pope John Paul II, "Let us Give Children a Future of Peace," Dec. 8, 1995, as in Inside the Vatican, February, 1996.
(3) The Rosary tells us about the Mysteries
of the lives of Jesus and Mary —
It is a help for us to have greater
knowledge of our faith.
Sing: The Rosary Song - entirety
(4) Sing Song: See the Eyes that Look at Mary
(5) From Blue Book 4 - July 14, 1994
R. The rosary tells us much about Christ and Mary.
How can I be Christ-like if I do not meditate on His Life? My life is to be a model after Christ's life. How can I model myself after how He loved if I am not intimately involved in a love relationship with Him?
Christ shows us the way. Jesus went through His Passion and death for our salvation and for love of us.
The more I meditate on the rosary, the more I see the oneness of Christ and His Mother. They are one in Their Hearts. They shared each Other's pains, sorrows, joys, suffering. They were so connected to each Other.
This is shown all through the Passion, her sorrows, presentation in the temple, finding in the temple, her journey into Egypt, her watching during the scourging, her journey during the Passion when Their eyes met, (this alone could be meditated on to tell Their union and suffering) putting the nails in His hands, standing under the cross, beholding His lifeless body under the cross, and after His death, laying Him in the tomb.
Their Hearts beat as one, as she suffered so silently with Him, always by His side. No mother was ever so connected with her Son.
Sorrow increases intimacy. When I suffer and give it to Christ, I am admitting how much He is truly a Person I depend on. I want to depend on Him, to be so intimate that it is He to Whom I run when my heart is torn.
He loves us so, He knows our every thought and feeling. He loves us with such attentiveness and care, and He waits for us to run to His arms and share ourselves with Him.
He longs for our love, He longs for our time. He wants us to go to Him as our best Friend, a real Person, but what a Person and what He can do for us!
You are my Savior Lord, You saved me from my sins by Your brutal death. You give me life in Your Resurrection. I am born into Your life in Baptism and You live in my heart. God lives within me. Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell within my breast in a most special way when I am in the state of grace. Mary is one with Jesus.
Oh, God, I love You so. I want to know You and love You and serve You.
Spirit, open me to know my precious Lord. I am Yours to possess and I live to do Your holy will.
Father, fashion me, mold me more into the image of Jesus, Your precious Son. "...yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me...(Ga 2:20). I want to be one in You, so that You live and dwell in my heart.
Meditating on the rosary is meditating on much of Christ's Life. How can I be molded more into His image if I do not meditate on Him and His Life?
The First Commandment commands that I love God above all things. What is love? Is it lip service or is it a fire that burns within the soul?
May my love of God be this flame that burns for love of each Person in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and for Mary also. May I grow in intimacy with each Person and Mary, and may Joseph be close by her side as he stood close to Jesus and guarded Him.
(6) The Red Rosary Book is centered
in the intimacy between Jesus and Mary
and the deep love for us of these 2 Hearts —
I experienced some of Mary's sufferings and
was given insight into her deep
connection with her Son. From
conception to His Ascension, such
oneness in Their lives together!
The rosary is from her young life to
her old life. I saw the faces:
young faces, old faces, joyful faces,
sorrowful faces. I experienced
some suffering of Mary holding the
Child Jesus and holding His lifeless
body under the cross. The intimacy
between Jesus and Mary is felt
so deeply in Their peering
eyes on the way to Calvary —
(7) From Blue Book 4 - July 15, 1994
Mary was taken up into heaven. My beautiful Mother lived many years after My death. She complied, always, willingly to My Father.
You wander this barren desert in search of water to quench your thirst, but you find none to suffice.
Your strength is found in the interior union you have with God in your soul.
You search in vain, you wander. My child, you were created for the love of God and your neighbor.
You seek, you wander, you roam, but only this interior flame burning within your breast gives you the glow you wear on your face.
Glory, child, the glory of the God who dwells within your very soul! His fire is a burning ember, burning deeply in your breast. Your union is constant. You never go from the flame. It is the source of His love, deep within your soul.
Oh, what you feel when you know Our love! It truly is life that radiates from your being, a burning endless flame that goes on despite anything that surrounds you in this world.
I am the Alpha. I am the Omega. I am your all, My beautiful one. I burn for love of you, in all your precious uniqueness.
My Mother was taken up to heaven in such happiness. Her days were completed. She lived here to accomplish the work of the Father. Now she lives in your hearts as your beloved Mother.
She did not leave you, she forever is your loving Mother Mary! Oh, child, if you knew her motherly, undying love for you! You have the ardent love of the sweetest Mother. She is always with you. She was taken into heaven, but remains forever with you as your Mother. Sweet one, you are so loved. One of your greatest glories is the love your great mother has for you. She was assumed into heaven to be with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What joy for her to see the face of God.
(8) From Blue Book 4 - July 16, 1994
Live Our Lives In the Rosary
Mary: My blessed daughter, I do not ever abandon you. I am your loving Mother, your other mother is in heaven with me. Come and know I mother you constantly, my child. No one will give you the motherly love you crave but me. Your mother in all her holiness could not mother you this day as I mother you.
Come to me, my child and know I am truly by your side. I love you so, my dear, sweet one.
Jesus: Live to love Me. I know how far you are from being perfect and I love you anyway.
When you see your faults beg to be given the graces to overcome them.
R. When I speak of my love for You Lord, let me come from a place of love and not pride, ever, ever.
Teach me Your ways.
Jesus: Strive to be Christ-like My child. All your actions should be rooted in love.
R. The bare skin, being beaten, the bare skin when He was stripped, the bare skin on the cross and taken down in His Mother's arms.
He comes to us as He was born, no coverings, He comes and gives us His all, they beat His precious skin, they pierced His tender skull, they pounded nails through His body. They tore His flesh and it hung.
He gave the last beat of His Heart, He gave the last drop of His Blood, no coverings, He gave Himself.
Jesus gives us Himself in the Eucharist, He gives Himself to you, His Body, His Blood.
What more do we want from this beautiful God to give His all for love of us.
Yet we do not even know what He is giving us, we are so blind, we run after foolish things and He, the Son of God, waits for us to be with Him, out of deepest love for us.
His head was pierced, His back was torn, He was beaten down to His ribs, His flesh hung from His body.
Jesus: I GIVE you My BODY and BLOOD for love of you and you cry for love.
God gives His very own Body and Blood to you.
I am the Savior of this world, I come to save you from your sins the price I paid is My life, given for each of you. I held nothing back.
Will you love your brothers this way for Me?
I am the Alpha, I am the Omega, I am God, yet I give you Myself because I love you.
Do not ever go from My love.
R. How can I be likened to Christ and model myself after His actions, if I do not pray the rosary. This is Christ and Mary's life from His beginning to end and the Ascension into heaven. It is her life from the Annunciation to her crowning in heaven.
The love They had for us, the love we need to have for one another. We are truly brothers in Christ.
Jesus: I am the Way, I am the Truth, I am the Life. I am Jesus come to love you this day with My ardent love.
(9) From Blue Book 4 - July 26, 1994
Believe that My Mother Mary and I Love You!
Jesus: My dear sweet one, I am the Son of God. You know I am longing for your time spent with Me. You awake and you wish to continue sleeping. Do you ever want to get up? You need to go to bed at night, do not get on the phone, do not talk to people - just come to Me and be with Me.
I am the Alpha and the Omega. Satan is trying to block your union with Me with many distractions.
R. I can't believe Mary or Jesus would love me.
I can't believe that Jesus truly loves me so much that He died for me. I can't believe that the same Mary that bore Christ and stood beneath the cross at His death is ever by my side and loving me as such a loving mother!
Mary: My dear child, I have come to you with such tenderness and love this morning to tell you of my great love as your loving mother. Believe all I say to you. I love you as the most dear mother.
Love can only exist if you trust. You must realize your own preciousness and know I never leave you. I am guarding your very way. Trust in my Son Jesus. He truly laid down His life for love of you and would die for you this very day.
Love is given to you, my child. Look to the uniqueness of this love poured out to you. Pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of understanding to understand all I am teaching you here.
In your heart, you will know a new love of Jesus and myself as you let yourself experience Our love, given to you.
Center on the uniqueness of this love. It is in realizing this personal love you will be able to give His love to others.
He loves you, so dearly. He would suffer every beating, every thorn, every laceration, every ugly word, His most bitter death, this very day for you and you alone.
Meditate on His passion and know this is the love He has for you.
My precious little one, thank you for responding to this call. I am calling you to wrap yourselves in the arms of my beloved Son and experience His love - His life, His flesh, His blood, given for you.
I am your most loving mother, Mary.
Jesus: My dear child, do you realize how much you must ponder My love for you? My passion is the key for you to understanding this love. Pray for the gift to realize this love. I would die for you this very day. For you, My sweet one! Think: Jesus loves ME this much! This will increase your closeness to Me. It is in this personal love I pour out to you that we will be ever closer. My Heart is ever beating for you in such oneness. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am your Jesus. I love you with this love. Meditate on My passion and see how I loved you.
I am your most loving Jesus, tenderest of all hearts and I am in your midst this very day.
(10) August 9, 2000
Oh, there is not one so fair as thee, my beloved Mother Mary.
Of all the maidens that God could have chosen it was you, oh shining Star of Heaven.
Oh Mary, Mother of us all.
She doth appear as a wonder so fair indeed,
A permanent sign of God's love.
A Woman clothed in gold.
One that glistens with the radiance of a golden tone,
Her beauty dancing in the sunlit hours of every day.
In morning splendor, in dancing light at noon day as the sun glistens on her rainbow glow and at night she has appeared on special dates in golden splendor and light.
Would you quote the Scripture for Mary so fair.
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth." (Revelation 12: 1-2)
Would you see her as she appeared in little villages in the 20th century, tucked in hills and out of the way places.
If you missed these enormous signs from heaven, of one so fair, she appears there clothed in the golden sun of the day, reflecting her radiant beauty painted by the hand of the Father. She is His chosen maiden so fair.
She appears daily, she is there by day and beneath the black shadows of night, she does not slumber, but calls to her children of light to come through her golden doorway and let the light of Christ shine in their souls.
She appears one so fair, by day and sometimes by night clothed in radiance and golden, her garment hemmed with glistening sunlight. She once appeared to a few and her visits fleeting in remotest places, she remains a Woman Clothed with the Sun, the sun dancing on her garments of rainbow color on a busy, busy corner for all to see, in the state of the sun, sunny Florida. She is a Woman painted by the brush of God.
And do you know the wonder of one who calls the children far and wide, to hear the voice of her Son, Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock.
Mary, the heavenly maiden, to call them home to His Heart.
Oh, of one so fair, do we not boast and praise our God and thank Him for such a wonder.
Oh, to Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, we cry, help us to do what you asked for at Fatima and help us in our mission of telling the world of your Son's desire to spread His Movement so men will be Shepherds of Christ.
Excerpt from the August 11, 2000
Walk in the TRUTH
The blue of the sky we cannot capture exactly.
The white of the snow.
The color of the smoke of the geyser.
Do we not see the fire of the stars, the light of the sun, the denseness of the black night. It is the creation of God and we cannot describe it exactly as it is.
Oh, open your eyes, men, and see the softness of the skin of the baby, the intricacies of a human ear, the complexities of a human eye and the master mind of the Creator in the function of a human heart.
Oh, blind men, those who are so prideful, bow to God your Creator. See with the eyes of faith.
It is I who paint the hills with My mystical wand. It is reality. So, too, the things you do not see, they are real. It is your perception that is off. God Is and He is Divine and you cannot create as I do.
Get off your pedestals and live in reality. I am Supreme, you are under Me, but I elevate you to such heights.
Oh, men of the earth, worship God your Creator, be humble, live in the truth. If you are intelligent it is because of My grace and My goodness.
Huffy little men. Let Me see you produce the beauty of a sunlit field, from sun to flower. My men, you are limited, you are human, you are My creatures and I am your God. Recognize Me and live in the truth. Be docile to the hand of God in your life.
Oh, children of the light, hear Me, I am God.
I am the Light of the World.
In Me you live in the light.
My eyes beheld the beauty of the night, the stars, the moon.
My eyes beheld the sunlit day and the wonders of the lake and heard the trickle of the falls. First, faintly, and then as I approached, the sound of roaring water.
Why do men not comprehend the goodness of God? Why do they abuse Him with slang and slanting remarks?
The forest can burst into flame in the heat of the day and what was once a beauteous field, a garden of fruit, a forest of fir trees, can become lands of waste at the hands of the elements or what have you.
A home of lustrous beauty, ravaged by a violent wind of enormous proportion and you cry and then when the reality sets in you say, "Oh, but I have my life and the life of my children."
Oh, what is it that man can be so blind and then when health is taken away from a man, he sees those things that are transcendent, he sees the glory of God and the promise of everlasting life to those who love and serve the Lord.
We do not see and we do not understand the ways of God and yet in it all, He is attempting to lead us to Him, and He gives us the gifts of the universe. He gives us love.
end of August 11, 2000
Transcribed from a tape entitled
The Blessed Mother
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Conference given for priests - Conference 18
Ministr-o media, Inc. 1974
Lovely Lady dressed in blue,
teach me how to pray.
God was just your little Boy,
tell me what to say.
Did you lift Him up sometimes,
gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
mother does to me?
Did you ever try telling Him
stories of the world?
And oh, did He cry?
Do you think He cares
if I tell Him things?
Just little things that happen.
And do angels wings make a noise?
Can He hear me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me for you know.
Lovely Lady dressed in blue,
teach me how to pray.
God was just your little boy
and you know the way.”
Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth
(1) From Blue Book 4 - August 5, 1994
As Mary Appeared
As Mary appeared, she delivered this message to Father Cather
Mary: Every thing you do will be by the hand of God. You will be given all that you need to write all of my Son's messages. You will speak from Him, you have been chosen to do this very special work which will bring the priests back to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and I am Mary, I am your Mother, you will be given the graces needed to accomplish each task, you should never worry for you are escorted by a band of angels. I am constantly by your side, you are my beloved chosen one, I will see to the accomplishment of this task and all tasks you are called to.
I am Mary your mother and thank you for being my beloved priest-son. I love you, your loving Mother.
R. She is still appearing to me.
August 5, 1994
Mary appeared as I received this message from Jesus
R. It is no longer I who live, but He who lives in me.
Jesus: Make yourselves likened to Me in all your ways.
Do not follow after the things of the world, focus on the Spirit as the Spirit is alive within your soul. I am the Lord, thy God and I am ever present and dwell in your hearts. Come to Me. Let My life live in you. I am the Way, I am the Truth, I am the Life. Come and abide in Me that you might live in Me and I in you. I am Jesus, your precious Savior come to prepare you for your home in heaven.
(2) From Blue Book 4 - September 2, 1994 - After Communion
Promote My Rosary
R. Such emotion I feel, looking at Mary's statues. I can hardly take it in. I feel so close to Christ in my heart and have an intense longing for Him. I felt a burning in my chest, wanting more. I felt such sorrow around Mary, I couldn't bear to look at the statue and wanted to cry.
Mary: My little girl, I am Mary, your beloved mother. As I have told you, you will suffer. My heart is so sad for all those who do not know the love of my Son. You know some of His intense love for all the beloved souls. I give you some of my emotions to allow you to experience my suffering, to know all those who reject the love of my precious Son. Sweet child of mine, you know how He loves all. I tell you to pray, pray for each other.
Promote the rosary. I am showing you how to make the rosary alive in your life. The rosary is such a powerful prayer against Satan. Satan is running rampant. He will be squelched by the praying of the rosary. Promote the rosary. I appear to you as the Lady of Light. My rosary will light up the world! I am the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Who will hear if you are not speaking? Constantly be about the work of promoting Our Two Hearts and praying the rosary. I show myself to you to comfort you and to lead others to my rosary. I am sorrowful to know the hearts of men. They have turned so cold, when Jesus has a burning fire waiting to warm them.
Jesus: I am Jesus. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My Heart burns for love of My beloved children. It is through My Mother's Heart and My Heart that so many will turn their cold hearts and lukewarm hearts to hearts ablaze with the fire of My love.
Promote My Heart through My Mother's Heart. You will continue to experience such emotions! My Mother is so closely united to Me! To know her is to know her suffering for the sinners that will be lost in eternal damnation. She appears to you in such light! You must preach the contents of these letters. Your words will be a light to the dark world. I speak through you. You are delivering My messages to those I love. Your tongue should forever declare My intense, burning love for all. This world will shine with the love of My Sacred Heart. These words will illuminate their hearts. You hold words given to My loved ones from Me. Do not take this job lightly. You need to get my messages out. Souls will be lost forever because they did not know My burning love. This is the medicine for the sick world. They need these messages.
I am Jesus. I speak here to the world. These are My intense love letters to all. They need to hear these words. They are given from Me to each precious soul. This is an urgent message. Time is so short! You will know soon that the time delayed will hurt many souls.
Souls will not know of My love. They need these messages. I speak so tenderly to My beloved ones here! Please, I beg you to spread these words to My hurting children.
Mary is appearing as a Lady of Light. These letters will light men's hearts with My intense love for them. The world will shine with My love. Circulate the messages. This is an urgent message.
(3) From Blue Book 4 - September 10, 1994
The Two Hearts - the Sacred Heart - the Immaculate Heart.
Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Can you imagine Mary's great joy to be crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth?
Can you imagine her immense joy to be in heaven?
Can we imagine her joy to see the angels and saints praising God?
Mary is my most beloved mother and now she reigns in the courts of heaven.
* She who carried the baby Jesus in her womb, who held Him in her arms, who walked by Him during the passion, who stood under His cross, who held His lifeless body and watched Him, locked in the tomb...Now is taken up to heaven and crowned Queen of Heaven, forever to reign in the courts of heaven with her Beloved Son!
Mary, my mother, is crowned Queen.
She forever intercedes for us, her beloved children, and cares for our every need as a loving mother.
Jesus gave to us His mother and she is the Queen of Heaven.
Mary appearing in priest residents chapel.
Note: I see the same beautiful face of Mary on the Sorrowful Mother statue, I am seeing it now.
God lives in us.
(4) From Blue Book 4 - September 11, 1994
R. It is through Mary's heart I know the Heart of Jesus more. She carried Him in her womb. She took Him to the temple. She fled with Him into Egypt. She lost Him for a brief time. She cared for Him all through His young life. She watched Him heal the sick and preach the love of God. She watched the gentle ways of God. She knew His joy and suffering. She knew His Heart. She walked next to Him on Calvary and peered into His eyes. She stood under His cross and watched Him die. She held His lifeless body. She cried outside of His tomb and she saw His beautiful body after the Resurrection. She saw Him ascend into heaven.
How well does the heart of Mary know and love the Heart of Jesus! She is closer to Him than is any other human person. The Father and Holy Spirit are one with Him. It is through this knowing of His most tender Heart that she wants to place us so tenderly into Jesus' Heart. She, who knows His Heart so well, she who is without sin, she who is close to Him, she who loved Jesus and knew Him so dearly, she is the way to reach the deepest part of His Heart. She is the door to Jesus. It is through her heart that I am most closely united in deepest love with my Jesus.
Mary knows the Father's love. It was He Who created her sinless and chose her to be the Mother of His Son. She knew well the love of her Spouse, the Holy Spirit. She was filled with the Holy Spirit when Jesus was conceived. She was filled with the Holy Spirit at Elizabeth's house. She was filled all through her life. She was filled on Pentecost. She knew the love of the Holy Spirit. She is the human person closest to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is through her most knowing and loving heart that we will reach the deepest intimacy with God.
Prayer: Mary, through your Immaculate Heart, place us in the deepest part of Jesus' Heart so we can more deeply love Him. It is through your heart and Jesus' Heart we want to have a deeper union with the Father.
Dear Holy Spirit, impart to us Your gifts to lead us to such love, to union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Lead us in Your ways to know God and love Him more fully. Give us all Your seven gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord, Understanding, Fortitude, Counsel. Lead us to greater union with God. Impart to us the fire of Your love. Where we were once blind, let us see. Fill us with Your love, Oh, Holy Spirit, through Mary's Immaculate Heart, we pray. Amen.
(5) From Blue Book 4 - September 13, 1994 - 5:30 a.m.
Mary Saw It All
R. Mary saw it all. She lived it all. She carried Him, she held Him, she fed Him. If I am to know Christ, I must go through His Mother's heart because she knew Him best. Her heart was filled with joy. Her heart was pierced with a sword. She saw, she felt, she lived her life with His. He was formed in the womb of the Blessed Mother by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us His gifts to know God more.
Oh, Lord, how I thirst to know You more! How I long for Your life. The Holy Spirit is God. He is a Spirit. He is on fire. He is love.
Spirit of God, pour Yourself out on me, release Your grace to me. Make me full of this fire for love of God. Let me know Your presence, God alive in my heart.
I love You so, God. I love you, Mary. Please work in me. I long for closer union with God: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through Mary's Immaculate Heart.
Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am Jesus, your precious Savior. My life is a vibrant force that can be actively alive in your heart. Your heart is the center of your life. Constantly be aware of its existence within you. I communicate to you in your heart. You know Me in your heart. I am alive and burning in your heart. I am God and I come and dwell within your heart. I want to have My life in you. Let go, My precious ones. I love you so very much. I want to be one in you. Pray the Prayer for Union with Me.
It is in this union you will experience such peace. The more you unite with God, the more you live your life as God the Father intended. Pray for this union. Ask Mary to place you tenderly in My Heart. The Holy Spirit is her Spouse. She will deeply place you in My Heart.
(6) From Blue Book 4 - September 18, 1994
Mother Teresa's Prayer:
Mary, Mother of Jesus, give me your heart, so beautiful, so pure, so Immaculate, so full of love and humility, that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life, love Him as you loved Him and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the Poorest of the Poor.
Excerpts from The Spirituality of Fatima
by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
May 13, 1917
"Do not be afraid, I will do you no harm..... I am from Heaven.
"I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at the same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want
"Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?
"Pray the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war." (8)
June 13, 1917
"God wishes you to remain in the world for some time because He wants to use you to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by myself to adorn His throne." (10)
July 13, 1917
"During her appearance in July, Our Lady, in answer to Lucia's plea, promised that in October she would work a great miracle so that all might believe and know who she was. Again, the Mother of God told the children to sacrifice themselves for sinners and to say many times, especially when making a sacrifice, this prayer: "O my Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of poor sinners, and in reparation for all the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." (11)
"During this same July apparition, Mary showed the three children a vision of Hell. She told them:
"You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish, in the world, devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If people do what I tell you, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.
"The war (World War I, then raging) is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI. When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light [January 2, 1938], know that this is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its many crimes by means of war, hunger, and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father. (12)
"To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the five first Saturdays. If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, she will scatter her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be destroyed....
"But in the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, Russia will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world." (13)
August 19, 1917
She told them she was greatly displeased by the action of the mayor. As a result, the miracle promised for October would not be as impressive as originally planned. (15)
September 13, 1917
More than 30,000 people were present in September, and saw a shower of mysterious white petals fall to within 10 feet of the ground before dissolving into the air. Many also saw the globe of light bearing the Lady come to rest atop the tree, and the branches bend as though someone were standing on them. Later, they saw the cloud depart into the east, from whence it had come.(16)
October 13, 1917
I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more, for He is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day.(17)
While the people in attendance were beholding the great Miracle of the Sun, the three young visionaries, and they alone, were privileged to see striking visions in the heavens:
As Our Lady had promised, St. Joseph had come with the Holy Family and had blessed the world. Then, Our Lady appeared as the Mother of Sorrows, accompanied by her Divine Son, Who also blessed the world. Finally, Lucy had seen the Blessed Virgin, dressed in the brown robes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth, holding a brown Scapular in her hand, with her infant Son upon her knee. However, in none of these visions had any of the figures spoken to the children. (18)
8. Frere Michael de la Trinite', The Whole Truth about Fatima
(Buffalo: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1989), pp.112-114.
9. For background material on Fatima, I am particularly indebted to
Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven (Rockford: TAN
Books and Publishers, Inc., 1983). p.30.
10. Ibid., p.3.
11. Ibid., pp.3-4.
12. Ibid., pp.4-5.
13. Ibid., p.5.
14. Rev. Edward Carter, S.J., Mother at Our Side: Mary's Role in
the Spiritual Life (1993: Faith Publishing Co., Milford, Ohio), p.21.
15. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op cit., p.6.
16. Ibid., p.6.
17. Ibid., p.7.
18. Ibid., p.8.
(8) Priestly Newsletter Book II by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 201-203
Mary's PresenceFr. René Laurentin, one of the world's foremost Mariologists, speaks to us concerning Mary's presence to Christ: "Mary is present throughout the life of Christ...She introduced him into the human family, unfolded his humanity, accompanied him throughout his hidden life until he reached the age of thirty. She became involved in his ministry by suggesting to him the sign of Cana (John 2:1-22). During the three years of separation, her spiritual communion deepened further. She was one with him physically and morally during his suffering and death on Calvary, through compassion with his passion. She prepared for and accompanied, through her prayer, the birth of the Church (Acts 1:14). Finally, she rejoined her son in the glory of the Assumption."
Laurentin also speaks about the presence of Mary in the life of the Church: "Mary's discreet and universal presence continues throughout the life of the Church: visible and invisible, in history, its churches, its religious art. The call for her intercession appears throughout the dogmatic history of the Councils and the various complex struggles within the Church which, during the Carolingian era, inspired the famous anthiphon: 'You have conquered all heresies throughout the world.'
"She was also the inspiration for the initiatives and victories of the Church. Many feasts were instituted in order to commemorate her efficacious assistance. From the earliest centuries, the most ancient churches were dedicated to her since she was the first temple of God and remains the model of all others. Mary, model of the Church, is also the model of the churches where the eucharistic presence of the Lord is renewed and where prayer takes place continuously."
Present to the universal Church, Mary is also present to the individual Christian. Laurentin quotes from the writings of numerous holy men and women who give witness concerning this personal presence of Mary. There follow some of Laurentin's quotations regarding this testimony.
He refers to St. Anthony of Padua: "And St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church, whose canonization broke all records, taking place less than two years after his death, concluded one of his principal homilies with this prayer: 'We beseech you, Our Lady, our hope, tossed about as we are by the storm. You, Star of the Sea, bright ray, direct us towards safe harbour, assist our arrival by the protection of your presence. (Sermon 3 in Praise of the Virgin, op. 1, p 163.)"
Laurentin also refers to Jean Jacques Olier, founder of the Sulpicians, and one of the most prominent figures of the French School of Spirituality. He quotes Olier: "One Saturday Mary became interiorly present to my soul...She recalled to me that her dear son had told me that he would only live in me through her...as if she were a sacrament by which he wished to communicate his life to me. (Brettonvillers, L'esprit de Monsieur Olier, t. 1, 1, 9 pp. 396-397)."
And it is not surprising that Laurentin, in his discussion of Mary's presence to us, refers to St. Louis de Montfort, one of the greatest apostles of devotion to Mary. Laurentin says: "Let us not pick any further from the petals of the dossier (Laurentin refers to the list of citations he has made concerning Mary's presence to us) which stretches over the centuries and which seems to justify de Montfort's prediction in his Treatise on True Devotion (no 46): 'At the end of the world, the greatest saints will be those who are most devoted to praying to the most Holy Virgin, and who have had her always present... in order... to have her as their powerful helper in their time of need '' " 12
Let us remind ourselves, regarding St. Louis de Montfort, that his Marian devotion is deeply Christocentric. J. Patrick Gaffney, S. S. M., tells us: "Montfort's intense devotion to Mary is clearly Christocentric. So strongly does the saint insist upon the point that he forcefully teaches that if devotion to Mary alienated us from Jesus it would have to be rejected as a diabolical temptation...with Mary we enter into a more intense and more immediate union with the Incarnate Wisdom. To wrench Mary from salvation history and therefore from Christian life is, for Montfort, to reject the plan of salvation as decreed by the Father." 13
12. Fr. René Laurentin, A Year of Grace with Mary, translated by Monsignor Michael J. Wrenn, Veritas, pp l13-l19.
13. God Alone, The Collected Works of St. Louis de Montfort, Montfort Publication, p. xv.
(9) Priestly Newsletter Book II by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J., pp. 179-181
Mother at Our Side
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who 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 and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is 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)1)
Yes, the Good Shepherd has laid down His life for us. As He was near death, an awesome episode in the work of redemption took place: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, this is your son". Then to the disciple he said, "This is your mother." And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home." (Jn 19:25-27).
Speaking of Mary, Vatican II tells us: "In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace." 2
Mary is the Mother of Jesus. She is also our Mother. The above words of Scripture and of the Second Vatican Council attest to this.
Yes, Jesus has given us Mary as our spiritual Mother. As He hung on the cross, Jesus told John to look upon Mary as his Mother, this John who represented all of us. In His moment of deepest anguish and suffering, Jesus was thinking of us. As the undescribable physical pain racked His body from head to toe, as the unfathomable spiritual anguish penetrated to the depths of His magnificent Heart, Jesus was thinking of us. If we allow this scene to penetrate into our hearts, if we take the time to contemplate the depth of Jesus' and Mary's love for us as their Hearts were pierced with grief, we are truly overwhelmed with the magnificent greatness, sorrow, and tenderness of the scene.
The fact that Mary is our Mother, the fact that she has such a powerful role to play in our salvation in no way detracts from the mediatorship of Christ. Vatican II states: "The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. For all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on men originate, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. They flow forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rest on His mediation, depend entirely on it, and draw all their power from it. In no way do they impede the immediate union of the faithful with Christ. Rather, they foster this union." 3
1. Scriptural quotations are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday & Co.
2. Documents of Vatican II, "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church", America Press edition, no. 61
3. Ibid., No. 45.
(10) Priestly Newsletter Book II by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J., Mother at Our Side - continues pp. 179-181
In her loving, maternal role, Mary cooperates with the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us. Pope John Paul II tells us: "The Church knows that 'all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on mankind originate... from the divine pleasure...' This saving influence is sustained by the Holy Spirit, Who, just as He overshadowed the Virgin Mary when he began in her the divine motherhood, in a similar way constantly sustains her solicitude for the brothers and sisters of her Son." 4
Mary, our Mother is ever with us, guiding us, teaching us, caring for us, protecting us, loving us. With her maternal assistance we go to the Father through and with Christ in the Holy Spirit.
Mary nourishes our growth in Christ with a very tender and specialized love for each of us. She regards each of us as a precious, unique individual. John Paul II again speaks to us: "Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. For each child is generated in a unique and unrepeatable way, and this is true both for the mother and for the child." 5
The Holy Father then applies these ideas to Mary and us: "It can be said that motherhood 'in the order of grace' preserves the analogy with what 'in the order of nature' characterizes the union between mother and child. In the light of this fact it becomes easier to understand why in Christ's testament on Golgotha His Mother's new motherhood is expressed in the singular, in reference to one man." 6
This is the awesome and consoling truth-you and I are very precious to Mary. She shows us her Heart as a symbol of her life of love, including her most special, unique love for each of us individually. Yes, she loves each of us much more than we can ever fathom. It is our great privilege and responsibility to love her in return. She asks for this love, she asks for our trust, she asks us to come to her maternal and Immaculate Heart, so that she can lead us ever closer to the Heart of her Son, Jesus.
Are we sorrowful, anxious, troubled? Let us go to Mary our Mother and ask her to console us. Let us ask her for the grace to handle our sorrow, our anxieties, our troubles properly-according to God's will. In this way our suffering will bring us closer to Christ as it simultaneously allows us to contribute to the ongoing Christianization of the world.
Are we especially joyful, happy, basking in the glow of a goal successfully accomplished? Let us go to Mary and ask her to help us handle our joy, our happiness, our success as God intends. Let us petition her not to allow our joy to make us forgetful of God, our God Who is the source of all true joy, success and happiness.
Yes, Mary invites us to come to her in all circumstances-whether it be in joy or sorrow, success or failure, laughter or tears. Mary wants us to share in her maternal wisdom so that we may understand how to use our various experiences to come closer to God in Christ. Sharing our lives with Mary in this fashion, and on a consistent basis, requires that we love her, that we trust her, that we surrender ourselves to her maternal love.
Help us, Mother Mary, to probe ever more deeply into the depths of your love for us. Help us to realize more and more that to be loved by you is to experience a sweetness, a warmth, a tenderness, a serenity, a security, which makes us cry out, "O Mother, how good and loving you are!"
4. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, The Mother of the Redeemer, United States Catholic Conference, No. 38.
5. Ibid., No. 45.
6. Ibid., No. 45.
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"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.
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