|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 11p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.
We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages
October 17th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 4 Period I.
The Novena Rosary Mysteries for October 17th are the Glorious.
There will be a special
live from Texas on Saturday,
October 18, 2003 at 6:20 p.m. Cincinnati time.
if all goes well - if not sometime this weekend
We are in desperate need of funds.
Could anyone please help us?
Schedule for October 17, 2003
4:00 a.m. - Mass
4:37 a.m. - Mysteries of Light July 10, 2003 #1
5:10 a.m. - Children's Joyful Rosary
December 34, 1994
5:45 a.m. - Morning Offering and prayers
5:56 a.m. - Songs from Jesus
6:20 a.m. - 6:20 prayers led by Father Carter
Holy Spirit Novena
Shepherds of Christ Prayer Manual
7:24 a.m. - Newsletter 2000 Issue 2
(Suffering: A Source of Life)
9:00 a.m. - Nursing Home May 5, 2003
9:28 a.m. - Joyful Rosary Aves
9:58 a.m. - Sorrowful Rosary March 17, 1995
10:50 a.m. - Seven Sorrows
11:04 a.m. - Songs from Jesus -
sung by Rita Ring
11:56 a.m. - Spanish Children's Rosary
April 25, 1996
12:38 p.m. - Songs in Spanish - sung by Fernando
1:14 p.m. - Choose Life
2:16 p.m. - Nursing Home #15
2:54 p.m. - The Stations of the Cross
3:15 p.m. - Spirituality of Fatima read by
Father Carter & Rita Ring
3:58 p.m. - A Prayer Before the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
4:00 p.m. - Mass
4:37 p.m. - Sorrowful Rosary January 26, 1996
5:55 p.m. - Songs from Jesus - sung by Joe Lee
6:20 p.m. - 6:20 prayers led by Father Carter
Holy Spirit Novena
Shepherds of Christ Prayer Manual
7:24 p.m. - Mary's Message
7:30 p.m. - Soothing Mary Songs
7:57 p.m. - Songs from Jesus
9:41 p.m. - Tell My People read by Fr Carter
11:13 p.m. - Glorious Rosary April 26, 1995
11:56 p.m. - Morning Offering
12:00 a.m. - Mary's Message
12:06 a.m. - Instrumental Songs
12:58 a.m. - Mass celebrated by Father Carter
July 5, 2000
1:47 a.m. - December 12, 2002 - feast of Our
Our Lady of Guadalupe
2:35 a.m. - Songs: Mary, Peace, The Two Hearts
4:00 a.m. - Mass
A Prayer for Intimacy with the Lamb
the Bridegroom of the soul
Oh Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, come and act on my soul most intimately. I surrender myself, as I ask for the grace to let go, to just be as I exist in You and You act most intimately on my soul. You are the Initiator. I am the soul waiting Your favors as You act in me. I love You. I adore You. I worship You. Come and possess my soul with Your Divine Grace, as I experience You most intimately.
October 16, 2003
October 16, 2003 message continues
Jesus speaks: I have called you the Apostles of
My Sacred Heart for the
Shepherds of Christ Movement.
Will you serve Me?
Will you control yourselves and not
give into satan to try to
Excerpt from January 24, 1999 message
On the last Tuesday of August, 1994, there took place our first Shepherds of Christ meeting. While at mass at the Cathedral, I saw a vision of St. Margaret Mary reading from a white book. This happened right before the meeting. When I drove into the driveway of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, I heard Our Lord speak, "These are My apostles of My Sacred Heart.", or something to that effect.
End of excerpt from January 24, 1999 message
Excerpt from January 16, 1999 message
Messenger: Before the 17th meeting in January of 1995, I had received the following vision when at Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Chains. It was either late December, 1994 or early January, 1995. I drew the picture in the notebook.
It looks as follows:
The face was a flesh colored, but I could not see the features. The gown was white with a square neck.
The next day Jesus told me it was Father Carter. This vision along with another vision I had received about the same time appeared on the 17th book in January 1995.
End of excerpt from January 16, 1999 message
October 16, 2003 message continues
Jesus speaks: I have given you these prayers to spread
to the world in all languages
to help bring about the Reign
of My Sacred Heart.
You know not when you will be called
from your place.
You must live to do My will.
October 13, 2002
October 16, 2003 message continues
Messenger: I just want to be with you Jesus —
to experience the white heat of Your love.
Jesus I love you so much.
Songs 2: 8-10, 14, 16
I hear my love.
See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My love is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.
See where he stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
he peers through the opening.
My love lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
‘Come then, my beloved,
my lovely one, come.
‘My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock,
in the coverts of the cliff,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet
and your face is lovely.’
My love is mine and I am his.
He pastures his flock among the lilies.
Songs 8: 6-7
Set me like a seal on your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death,
passion as relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of Yahweh himself.
Love no flood can quench,
no torrents drown.
Were a man to offer all his family wealth
to buy love,
contempt is all that he would gain.
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
‘Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh declares. No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when those days have come, Yahweh declares. Within them I shall plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I shall be their God and they will be my people. There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbour or brother, saying, "Learn to know Yahweh!" No, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, Yahweh declares, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind.’
1 Corinthians 12: 31 - 13: 8
Set your mind on the higher gifts. And now I am going to put before you the best way of all.
Though I command languages both human and angelic—if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains—if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned—if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.
October 16, 2003 message continues
Jesus speaks: The foolish one speaks with tongues of
argumentation and pride. Like a sword
in their tongue their flip-ways cause
division and heartache.
I want My servants and handmaids pure.
Do not lend to the one with smart remarks
mocking others in their deceitful ways —
the prideful man boasts of himself,
mocks others and constantly tries in
this manner to raise himself above
My ways are gentle and loving. My communities
must reflect this gentleness and love.
I am love.
I am the One Who died for you.
When people come to Florida, I want
I appear and My Mother appears on the
Many people come to make a deeper connection
I have chosen this place from all the places
of this earth and from all times. We have
appeared to tell the people of Our love.
Excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. pp. 141-146
313. RULES FOR DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
Rules for understanding to some extent the different movements produced in the soul and for recognizing those that are good to admit them, and those that are bad, to reject them. These rules are more suited to the first week
314. I. In the case of those who go from one mortal sin to another, the enemy is ordinarily accustomed to propose apparent pleasures. He fills their imagination with sensual delights and gratifications, the more readily to keep them in their vices and increase the number of their sins.
With such persons the good spirit uses a method which is the reverse of the above. Making use of the light of reason, he will rouse the sting of conscience and fill them with remorse.
315. 2. In the case of those who go on earnestly striving to cleanse their souls from sin and who seek to rise in the service of God our Lord to greater perfection, the method pursued is the opposite of that mentioned in the first rule.
Then it is characteristic of the evil spirit to harass with anxiety, to afflict with sadness, to raise obstacles backed by fallacious reasonings that disturb the soul. Thus he seeks to prevent the soul from advancing.
It is characteristic of the good spirit, however, to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations, and peace. This He does by making all easy, by removing all obstacles so that the soul goes forward in doing good.
316. 3. SPIRITUAL CONSOLATION. I call it consolation when an interior movement is aroused in the soul, by which it is inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord, and as a consequence, can love no creature on the face of the earth for its own sake, but only in the Creator of them all. It is likewise consolation when one sheds tears that move to the love of God, whether it be because of sorrow for sins, or because of the sufferings of Christ our Lord, or for any other reason that is immediately directed to the praise and service of God. Finally, I call consolation every increase of faith, hope, and love, and all interior joy that invites and attracts to what is heavenly and to the salvation of one's soul by filling it with peace and quiet in its Creator and Lord.
317. 4. SPIRITUAL DESOLATION. I call desolation what is entirely the opposite of what is described in the third rule, as darkness of soul, turmoil of spirit, inclination to what is low and earthly, restlessness rising from many disturbances and temptations which lead to want of faith, want of hope, want of love. The soul is wholly slothful, tepid, sad, and separated, as it were, from its Creator and Lord. For just as consolation is the opposite of desolation, so the thoughts that spring from consolation are the opposite of those that spring from desolation.
318. 5. In time of desolation we should never make any change, but remain firm and constant in the resolution and decision which guided us the day before the desolation, or in the decision to which we adhered in the preceding consolation. For just as in consolation the good spirit guides and counsels us, so in desolation the evil spirit guides and counsels. Following his counsels we can never find the way to a right decision.
319. 6. Though in desolation we must never change our former resolutions, it will be very advantageous to intensify our activity against the desolation. We can insist more upon prayer, upon meditation, and on much examination of ourselves. We can make an effort in a suitable way to do some penance.
320. 7. When one is in desolation, he should be mindful that God has left him to his natural powers to resist the different agitations and temptations of the enemy in order to try him. He can resist with the help of God, which always remains, though he may not clearly perceive it. For though God has taken from him the abundance of fervor and overflowing love and the intensity of His favors, nevertheless, he has sufficient grace for eternal salvation.
321. 8. When one is in desolation, he should strive to persevere in patience. This reacts against the vexations that have overtaken him. Let him consider, too, that consolation will soon return, and in the meantime, he must diligently use the means against desolation which have been given in the sixth rule.
322. 9. The principal reasons why we suffer from desolation are three:
The first is because we have been tepid and slothful or negligent in our exercises of piety, and so through our own fault spiritual consolation has been taken away from us.
The second reason is because God wishes to try us, to see how much we are worth, and how much we will advance in His service and praise when left without the generous reward of consolations and signal favors.
The third reason is because God wishes to give us a true knowledge and understanding of ourselves, so that we may have an intimate perception of the fact that it is not within our power to acquire and attain great devotion, intense love, tears, or any other spiritual consolation; but that all this is the gift and grace of God our Lord. God does not wish us to build on the property of another, to rise up in spirit in a certain pride and vainglory and attribute to ourselves the devotion and other effects of spiritual consolation.
323. 10. When one enjoys consolation, let him consider how he will conduct himself during the time of ensuing desolation, and store up a supply of strength as defense against that day.
324. 11. He who enjoys consolation should take care to humble himself and lower himself as much as possible. Let him recall how little he is able to do in time of desolation, when he is left without such grace or consolation.
On the other hand, one who suffers desolation should remember that by making use of the sufficient grace offered him, he can do much to withstand all his enemies. Let him find his strength in his Creator and Lord.
325. 12. The enemy conducts himself as a woman. He is a weakling before a show of strength, and a tyrant if he has his will. It is characteristic of a woman in a quarrel with a man to lose courage and take to flight if the man shows that he is determined and fearless. However, if the man loses courage and begins to flee, the anger, vindictiveness, and rage of the woman surge up and know no bounds. In the same way, the enemy becomes weak, loses courage, and turns to flight with his seductions as soon as one leading a spiritual life faces his temptations boldly, and does exactly the opposite of what he suggests. However, if one begins to be afraid and to lose courage in temptations, no wild animal on earth can be more fierce than the enemy of our human nature. He will carry out his perverse intentions with consummate malice.
326. 13. Our enemy may also be compared in his manner of acting to a false lover. He seeks to remain hidden and does not want to be discovered. If such a lover speaks with evil intention to the daughter of a good father, or to the wife of a good husband, and seeks to seduce them, he wants his words and solicitations kept secret. He is greatly displeased if his evil suggestions and depraved intentions are revealed by the daughter to her father, or by the wife to her husband. Then he readily sees he will not succeed in what he has begun. In the same way, when the enemy of our human nature tempts a just soul with his wiles and seductions, he earnestly desires that they be received secretly and kept secret. But if one manifests them to a confessor, or to some other spiritual person who understands his deceits and malicious designs, the evil one is very much vexed. For he knows that he cannot succeed in his evil undertaking, once his evident deceits have been revealed.
327. 14. The conduct of our enemy may also be compared to the tactics of a leader intent upon seizing and plundering a position he desires. A commander and leader of an army will encamp, explore the fortifications and defenses of the stronghold, and attack at the weakest point. In the same way, the enemy of our human nature investigates from every side all our virtues, theological, cardinal, and moral. Where he finds the defenses of eternal salvation weakest and most deficient, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm.
end of excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
October 16, 2003 message continues
Jesus speaks: Gentle is My touch.
Loving My ways.
I was silent when they whipped Me.
They tore My flesh for your sins.
You do not fool Me.
The heart tells the tale.
I look at the gentleness and love in
Your actions are not determined by the
flippant speech of others.
There is no contest of tongues.
It is simple.
The situation in the world is so serious
because souls are sinning and
going to hell for all eternity.
I have given the world — Mary's image building
to teach My people about My love.
This is the purpose of the building to tell
the people about My love, to give
them My love letters in God's Blue Book.
Your attitude as one receiving pilgrims should
be to spread this Good News.
I want a holy atmosphere at My Centers.
I want people to come and feel the unity
of your hearts united in My Heart.
Division is from satan.
Because one is quick and wanting recognition
through offensive demeaning speech,
another should not in any way condone
that in holy institutions. That is from
Come with a heart to serve your God —
Come with the attitude to promote what
I want accomplished at My Centers.
I love My souls so tenderly.
Pray to be holy in your hearts.
Pray to be unified.
Pray to spread this oneness to the world.
I am a God of justice — To one much is
given, much will be expected.
Oh My people live to love. Help Me,
why when I ask you, you will not respond.
Satan will work in one who gives into temptation.
You cannot change yourselves because another
is not acting properly.
It is Me you want to please. You must ask
yourself how does Jesus want me to behave.
Your attitude must be set by God's guidelines.
One person who is troubled can come and satan
can work through them to disrupt the whole
loving attitude of loving respect for one
another. Joking names for one another that
demean another to make yourself higher than
another displeases Me.
I want peace, love, joy, obedience,
respect and all of this focused on spreading My
Kingdom. Fr. Carter obeyed his superiors. Fr.
Carter was never disrespectful to those over him,
flippant with other priests in a demeaning
way to be "cute", Fr. Carter is your founder,
he was a holy priest. He took this mission
seriously. He supported My messenger. This
Movement has been formed on these messages.
You are to love My Movement, support it,
live by the structure in love-trying to accomplish
what I have asked for.
A bed of roses I give you and satan
comes and sticks you with thorns. He
talks in people's head.
I want My Centers to do the rosary of
August 20, 1996 from the Mass Book for the
A leader doesn't take their own problems
out on others. They do things in love even when
the job is difficult, they don't ignore problems
that hurt others.
A person under the leader does not try to get
ahead by being "smart" or "cute", talking
fast just to promote themselves. So much
time is lost because you do not act with
love to one another.
I send people to MY SITE to know
about MY LOVE, MY RULES (the 10
commandments). I give you the Holy
Scriptures to live by.
Galatians 2: 17-21
Now if we too are found to be sinners on the grounds that we seek our justification in Christ, it would surely follow that Christ was at the service of sin. Out of the question! If I now rebuild everything I once demolished, I prove that I was wrong before. In fact, through the Law I am dead to the Law so that I can be alive to God. I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The life that I am now living, subject to the limitation of human nature, I am living in faith, faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not setting aside God’s grace as of no value; it is merely that if saving justice comes through the Law, Christ died needlessly.
Ephesians 5: 21-33
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, since, as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church is subject to Christ, so should wives be to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy by washing her in cleansing water with a form of words, so that when he took the Church to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because we are parts of his Body. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh. This mystery has great significance, but I am applying it to Christ and the Church. To sum up: you also, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.
October 16, 2003 message continues
Jesus speaks: How is a man in his heart?
If he talks behind others' backs,
makes "smart" remarks,
looking down on others,
criticizing just to make himself
higher for the sake of towering
over — he will answer for his
misdeeds in spreading disharmony
for his own honor and glory.
Come with purity in your heart.
Seek the things of God.
Act for the honor and glory of God
not for your own self recognition.
Be a bridge builder,
You are preparing yourselves for
your heavenly reward.
A person who lies to themselves is not
learning to be more perfected.
They teach themselves bad habits, hurt
others and are doing things that block
their own spiritual growth.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and all
else will fall into line.
Ephesians 6: 10-20
Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. Put on the full armour of God so as to be able to resist the devil’s tactics. For it is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world, the spirits of evil in the heavens. That is why you must take up all God’s armour, or you will not be able to put up any resistance on the evil day, or stand your ground even though you exert yourselves to the full.
So stand your ground, with truth a belt round your waist, and uprightness a breastplate, wearing for shoes on your feet the eagerness to spread the gospel of peace and always carrying the shield of faith so that you can use it to quench the burning arrows of the Evil One. And then you must take salvation as your helmet and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.
In all your prayer and entreaty keep praying in the Spirit on every possible occasion. Never get tired of staying awake to pray for all God’s holy people, and pray for me to be given an opportunity to open my mouth and fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel of which I am an ambassador in chains; pray that in proclaiming it I may speak as fearlessly as I ought to.
Genesis 4: 1-7
The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of Yahweh,’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for Yahweh, while Abel for his part brought the first–born of his flock and some of their fat as well. Yahweh looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. Yahweh asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are doing right, surely you ought to hold your head high! But if you are not doing right, Sin is crouching at the door hungry to get you. You can still master him.’
October 16, 2003 message continues
Mary speaks: Oh Children
I am Mary your Mother. Jesus has given
you so many experiences on the 13ths and the
What a gift you have.
Do you thank your God or do you
give into satan?
My Son Jesus wants all apostles, servants
and handmaids that are able to come
to my image site December 17, 2003. It will
be 7 years since my first appearance there.
Prepare your hearts to rid yourselves of
jealousy and pride. Jesus came into the
world a little baby.
You are entirely dependent on Him.
Those who hurt others and cause disharmony
because of pride and jealousy will be
Be loving to those you live with.
I want my beloved members of Shepherds of
Christ to be instruments of holiness on the
17th of December.
You are given the mission to tell the world
about peace and love. You are
hypocrites if you speak of peace
and love and act selfishly and hatefully.
The seventeenth is only two months away.
My Son Jesus picked St. Margaret Mary
to be an apostle of His Sacred Heart.
Here are the promises He made to her.
Promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart
(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.
October 16, 2003 message continues
Mary speaks: You have been chosen for this special
mission, but you are to act in
You are to love My Son's Movement.
If you who He has called do not love the
Movement and give into satan
to tear it down, how will you
ever teach others to love the
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
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