Shepherds of Christ  
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November 13, 2009

November 14th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 1 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for November 14th are Glorious.

  
    

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Please pray for an
urgent intention.

   

   

November 13, 2009

                    We choose sin — when we sin —

                    From the book My Way of Life

                "Many of our sins come as a pleasant
                surprise to the devil. Many of them are
                ushered into our lives by ourselves without
                the devil's being so much as an occasion
                of them. It is, in fact, only our sins that
                are wholly and exclusively our own. The
                angels take part in all our good works;
                behind and through them, as behind and
                through us, there is always the omnipotence
                of God giving the ultimate explanation of
                the mystery of goodness in our actions.
                We cannot approach God without His help,
                but we can very well fall into sin
                with no help at all."

                    "St. Chrysostom, pointing out the solid
                basis of our serenity in the face of the
                devil's consuming hatred says:
                'The devil does not tempt man for just
                as long as he likes, but for as long as
                God allows; for although He allows
                him to tempt for a short time, He
                orders Him off on account of our
                weakness.' The mercy of God and the
                strong help of the angels turn satanic
                temptations into moments of great
                significance for men: the blows
                struck for virtues against temptation
                build up the sinews of a man's soul,
                deepening the wellsprings of virtuous
                action, laying down valid claims
                for an increase in grace and a title
                to eternal glory, and welding that
                companionship of guarding angel and
                wayfaring man into a unity too strong
                to be broken by the assaults of evil."

                    The devil hates us —
                    We have a wounded human nature —
                    We must fight to be holy —

                    Living a virtuous life helps us
                to choose good —

                    Being so one with Jesus, the Eucharist,
                prayer, confession helps us to be good,
                but we have a free will —

                    Giving into bad habits of sin —
                vices, distort our vision more and
                more and rather seeing clearly the
                big plan of our heavenly Father —
                we see with greater and greater distorted
                vision through the habits, vices,
                we have acquired —

                    We have a free will to choose God's
                will — in which happiness — pleasing
                God is our goal —

                    Or choose against God's will —
                being selfish and making our
                decision as we see through eyes
                of jealousy, control, anger,
                punishing, seeking dominance
                for dominance sake, slothfulness,
                seeking vain affections, power, greed,
                lust, gluttony —

                    seeing through the eyes — so blinded
                because of our wounded human
                nature — we walk deeper and deeper
                into darkness as a man going deeper
                and deeper into an unfriendly dark
                forest — when the brightly lighted
                forest, sunlit and inviting of
                holiness is right beside the
                path of darkness and we choose
                to go to the darkness further
                wounding our soul —

                    Why do men kill with malice? — There
                must have been many journeys that led the
                man to such darkness — but as
                we choose more and more evil
                our vision becomes more and
                more distorted and we act in
                choosing evil rather than good —
                Our decisions are out of selfishness,
                seeking to hurt others, our vain
                glory, lack of love, wanting to
                hate, isolate, punish, be jealous
                as the veil of darkness covers
                our eyes — our goals can be determined
                more and more by our wounded human
                nature we give into

                Evil Goal

                 jealous eyes ————> evil goal
                 envy ————> evil goal
                 anger from the past ——> punishing
                                                        innocent
                                                        people now
                 pride ———————> evil goal
                 seeking dominance ———> evil goal
                   for selfish goal

 

 

                Virtue

                        First Principal and Foundation
                            Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God 
                        our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.
                                                                                     - St. Ignatius 

 

Purpose of the Spiritual Exercises
    Which have as their purpose the conquest of self
    and the regulation of one's life in such a way that
    no decision is made under the influence of any
    inordinate attachment
                                                            - St. Ignatius 

  

                Seeing the big picture of God —
                    walking in faith —

                Hope of helping souls —
                    ourselves going to heaven

                Virtuous living
                Choosing love
                Choosing goodness

                Having a good goal - to build
                    God's Kingdom

                Seeing through the eyes of love
                Seeing through the eyes of God

                Living according to the Father's will —

    

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The Father's Will for Us  - Our Source of Peace

  • Pope John Paul II instructs us: "The Church, as a reconciled and reconciling community, cannot forget that at the source of her gift and mission of reconciliation is the initiative, full of compassionate love and mercy, of that God who is love (see 1 John 4:8) and who out of love created human beings (see Wisdom 11:23-26; Genesis 1:27: Psalms 8:4-8)…He created them so that they might live in friendship with Him and in communion with one another.

"God is faithful to His eternal plan even when man, under the impulse of the evil one (see Wisdom 2:24) and carried away by his own pride, abuses the freedom given to him in order to love and generously seek what is good, and (instead) refuses to obey his Lord and Father. God is faithful even when man, instead of responding with love to God’s love, opposes Him and treats Him like a rival, deluding himself and relying on his own power, with the resulting break of relationship with the One who created him. In spite of this transgression on man’s part, God remains faithful in love.

"It is certainly true that the story of the Garden of Eden makes us think about the tragic consequences of rejecting the Father, which becomes evident in man’s inner disorder and in the breakdown of harmony between man and woman, brother and brother (see Genesis 3:12 ff; 4:1-16). Also significant is the Gospel parable of the two brothers (the parable of the ‘prodigal son’; see Luke 15:11-32) who, in different ways, distance themselves from their father and cause a rift between them. Refusal of God’s fatherly love and of His loving gifts is always at the root of humanity’s divisions.

"But we know that God…like the father in the parable (of the prodigal son), does not close His heart to any of His children. He waits for them, looks for them, goes to meet them at the place where the refusal of communion imprisons them in isolation and division. He calls them to gather about His table in the joy of the feast of forgiveness and reconciliation.

"This initiative on God’s part is made concrete and manifest in the redemptive act of Christ, which radiates through the world by means of the ministry of the Church." 13

  • 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.’ (Jn 20:19-21).

The world needs peace. Individual nations need peace and families need peace. The Church needs peace. Each of us individually needs peace. We must work for peace through prayer, fasting, and other Christ-like activities.

And just what do we mean by peace? St. Augustine says peace is the tranquility of order. God has put order into His creation and this order must be respected and promoted if peace is to prevail. To the extent that the human family lives according to God’s will—lives according to the order or the plan God has established for creation—to that extent does peace exist in the various segments of human society. To the extent there are violations of God’s plan, of His will, to that extent peace is absent.

If we are to be instruments of peace, we ourselves must be at peace. Our personal peace is that tranquility of order which results from our doing God’s will. The more we are united through love with God in the doing of His will, the more we experience peace.

Sometimes the sense of peace we experience is so strong that we can "feel" it pulsating throughout our being. These are periods of what we may call the experience of extraordinary peace. This type of peace usually is not an everyday occurrence.

Most of the time we live immersed in a more subdued kind of peace which results from our daily attempts to do God’s will in love. It is that peace which is a welcome and sustaining companion as we walk the path of everyday life with its usual assortments of joys and disappointments, successes and failures, laughter and tears.

Occasionally, very deep suffering may enter our lives. It is during these times that we need special determination to preserve ourselves in a basic peace of spirit despite the very significant pain. One may wonder how a person can be at peace amidst the experience of great suffering. St. Francis de Sales in one of his writings—and I have not been able to locate the exact place—offers an analogy which I think is very helpful. He asks us to picture an ocean body of water at the time of a violent storm. The surface of the water becomes extremely turbulent. Francis asks us, as we use our imagination, to descend beneath the surface of the water into its depth. What do we find? The more deeply one descends away from the turbulent surface, the calmer the water becomes. Likewise, says the saint and doctor of the Church, should it be with us during times of profound suffering. Although the surface of the spirit may be very agitated, one can still maintain basic peace of spirit by going deep down to one’s center where God is more directly experienced. Here the person experiences a calm, a basic peace, although the suffering remains.

If we are trying to do God’s will in love, God intends us to be at peace. The more we conform to God’s will, the more we are living according to the order He intends for us. In turn, the more our lives are in harmony with the order established by God, the more we experience peace—peace being the tranquility of order. The more we ourselves live in this manner, the more fit instruments we become for promoting God’s order and consequent peace throughout the various segments of society.

  • St. Dominic was an outstanding witness to the peace of the Lord: "Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without doubt he proved to be a bearer of honor and grace. He was a man of great equanimity, except when moved to compassion and mercy. And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance."14

  • Shortly before he was to die from cancer, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin left us these inspiring words about peace: "It is the first day of November, and fall is giving way to winter. Soon the trees will lose the vibrant colors of their leaves and snow will cover the ground. The earth will shut down, and people will race to and from their destinations bundled up for warmth. Chicago winters are harsh. It is a time of dying.

"But we know that spring will soon come with all its new life and wonder.

"It is quite clear that I will not be alive in the spring. But I will soon experience new life in a different way…

"What I would like to leave behind is a simple prayer that each of you may find what I have found—God’s special gift to us all: the gift of peace. When we are at peace, we find the freedom to be most fully who we are, even in the worst of times. We let go of what is non-essential and embrace what is essential. We empty ourselves so that God may more fully work within us. And we become instruments in the hands of the Lord."15

  • St. Teresa of Avila, one of the three women doctors of the Church, tells us how the spiritual life is summed up in loving conformity to the Father’s will:

"All that the beginner in prayer has to do -- and you must not forget this, for it is very important -- is to labor and to be resolute and prepare himself with all possible diligence to bring his will in conformity with the will of God. As I shall say later, you may be quite sure that this comprises the very greatest perfection which can be attained on the spiritual road."16

Again she states: "...love consists ... in the firmness of our determination to try to please God in everything." 17

___________________

  1. 13. Pope John Paul II, as in Celebrate 2000!, Servant Publications, pp. 140-141.

  2. 14. "From the Various Writings of the History of the Order of Preachers," as in The Liturgy of the Hours, Catholic Book Publishing Co., Vol lV, p. 1302.

  3. 15. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, The Gift of Peace, Loyola University Press, pp. 151-153.

  4. 16. St Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, translated by E. Allison Peers, Doubleday and Co., "Second Mansions", p. 51.

  5. 17. Ibid., "Fourth Mansions", p. 76.

 

 

Prayer to St. Michael

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

 

 Prayer to our Guardian Angel

"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."

 

Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock, I consecrate myself to Your most Sacred Heart. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your companion in this most important work. Help me to always love You in return. Help me to give myself entirely to You. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor! Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!  

"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a movement created by your Son as a powerful instrument for the renewal of the Church and the world. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."

 

 

 

    

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July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

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