Shepherds of Christ  
       Daily Writing        

November 5, 2010

November 6th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 6 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for November 6th are Glorious.

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Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson
Guiding Light - Cycle A
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                Given November 4, 2010 

Joyful Mysteries

                The Annunciation

                (1) Isaiah 60: 1-6

Arise, shine out,
  for your light has come,
and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you.
Look! though night still covers the earth
and darkness the peoples,
on you Yahweh is rising
and over you his glory can be seen.
The nations will come to your light
and kings to your dawning brightness.
Lift up your eyes and look around:
all are assembling
  and coming towards you,
your sons coming from far away
and your daughters
  being carried on the hip.
At this sight you will grow radiant,
your heart will throb and dilate,
since the riches of the sea will flow to you,
the wealth of the nations come to you;
camels in throngs will fill your streets,
the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
everyone in Saba will come,
bringing gold and incense
and proclaiming Yahweh's praises.


                (2) Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

Feast of the Epiphany - January 6, 2008

INTRODUCTION – (Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6, Matthew 2:1-12) Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians 587 years before Christ. Fifty years later, the Persians (people living in modern day Iran) conquered the Babylonians, and they allowed the Jews to return home. Their city and their homeland were still in shambles. Rebuilding was extremely difficult. Today’s prophet, whom we hear in our first reading, tries to encourage the people and assure them Jerusalem would again be a great city. He sees Jerusalem becoming the center of spirituality and light for all the world. People would come from everywhere to visit Jerusalem and to be nourished by the spiritual light and life radiating from it. St. Matthew sees this vision fulfilled in the birth of Jesus and the coming of the magi. Through Jesus, the message of God’s love and salvation will radiate to all the world.


                (3) R. We have looked at the Old Testament Fathers in
                        this retreat —
                    The Kings before Jesus —
                    Now we meditate on the past and
                        the future —
                    The Old Testament prefigures the New Testament
                    Jesus is the King of Kings the Savior
                        of the world.


                (4) Ephesians 3: 2-6

    You have surely heard the way in which God entrusted me with the grace he gave me for your sake; he made known to me by a revelation the mystery I have just described briefly— a reading of it will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. This mystery, as it is now revealed in the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets, was unknown to humanity in previous generations: that the gentiles now have the same inheritance and form the same Body and enjoy the same promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.


                (5) R. David was from the house of Jesse
                    of Bethlehem —

                (6) R. Jesus was to come from the house
                    of David — 


Matthew 2: 1-12

After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, suddenly some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east asking, ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

And you, Bethlehem,
    in the land of Judah,
you are by no means the least
    among the leaders of Judah
for from you will come a leader
who will shepherd my people Israel.’

Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, ‘Go and find out all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.’ Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.


Feast of the Epiphany - January 6, 2008

HOMILY – Among the many gods the Romans honored, there was one named Janus. Janus was the god who guarded gates, doors, doorways and hallways. Because doorways are both entry ways and exits, Janus was also considered the god of change and transition, beginnings and endings. He was pictured in art and sculpture as having two heads or two faces, front and back. That was so he could look in two directions, to the past and to the future. The month of January takes its name from Janus as it is the ending of one year and the beginning of a new one. The word janitor also comes from Janus, because janitors have responsibility for locking and unlocking doors and keeping hallways clean.

    The feast of the Epiphany comes along at a most fitting time, as it looks back to the past when the prophets tell us that the glory of God shining on Jerusalem would shine out to all the world and would draw people from all nations to walk by its light. It looks to the future when the walls of separation that marked the Jews as God’s chosen people and distinct from other nations would tumble, and all people would be invited to be part of and to share in the blessings of God’s chosen people.


                (7) Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

Feast of the Epiphany - January 6, 2008 - continues

    The coming of the magi symbolizes God’s opening a door for all nations, a door that would eventually lead to kings and emperors adoring Jesus as Son of God. This child, who was born in an insignificant part of the Roman Empire, who spent only three years teaching and healing, who died as a condemned criminal, who died with only a handful of followers, in just 300 years would claim three to four million followers and in another 100 years, half the Roman Empire was Christian and Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

    St. Luke told us about the poor, the lowest class of society, shepherds, who initially came to honor the Christ child. St. Matthew tells us of those who were among the elite members of society and their reaction to the birth of Jesus. It is such a contrast in Matthew that those who came to honor the new born Christ were intellectuals, counselors of kings, magi, astrologers and yet they were pagans, while those who had the true faith, King Herod and the religious leaders of the Jews, reacted with paranoia or indifference.

    St. Matthew’s point is that Christ can now be found by anyone who seeks him with sincerity and perseverance. The word “Epiphany” comes from a Greek word which means to show, to become apparent, to make an appearance, to illuminate. God has appeared to us in Jesus, or as Jesus says so clearly at the Last Supper, “whoever sees me, sees also the Father.” To make himself known, he had to take on human flesh. He did so, so we could know him. The story of the magi shows us that although he has come to us, we have to go part of the way to find him. That is why he gave us prayer and the sacraments. That is why we’re here today. May God’s Spirit continue to fill us with light so we can continually find him in new and deeper ways.


                (8) R. Blessed are You, our beloved God —

                    Let us see more and more the Plan of the
                    Father — how He has a Plan for each
                    one of us and He wants us to know,
                    love and serve Him —
                    God picked the prophets of the Old Testament
                        to deliver messages —
                    The King at the time of Jeremiah —
                    persecuted Jeremiah and listened to the
                    false prophet —
                    because of his disobedience to Jeremiah
                    there was the Babylonian exile —

                    An angel appeared to Mary —
                    Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God —
                    Mary did the will of the Father —
                    Mary, the perfect handmaid of the Lord —
                    Mary conceived without sin —


                (9) Luke 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ Mary said, ‘You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.’ And the angel left her.


                (10)  Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

                        Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8, 2007 

The feast today is about Mary’s conception, that from the instant she began to exist on this earth, indeed from her very conception, she was holy, without sin and filled with God's grace. The gospel today can confuse us somewhat because it tells us about Jesus’ conception.  It was read, however, because of the greeting the angel used in appearing to her: “Hail, full of grace.”  Our feast celebrates that there was no moment in Mary’s life when there was sin, no moment when God’s grace did not fill her. 


As we listen in on this conversation between Mary and the Angel, we learn both about Mary and about the child she will give birth to.  Mary’s child would be Son of the Most High and king forever.  He will be called “holy, the Son of God.” 


This is why Mary was “full of grace,” so she could give birth to God’s own Son, who would be the source of all holiness.  We need to know this, not so that we can put Jesus and Mary on a pedestal and admire them from afar.  Jesus, the holy one of God came to us so that we too can become holy.  This is what St. Paul tells us in today’s second reading: “God chose us in him to be holy and blameless in his sight.” 


Most of us do not think of our vocation as a call to holiness.  We all want to get to heaven, but most of us think of holiness as reserved for other people, like St. Francis or Mother Teresa.  Most of us are content to leave holiness for someone else.  We just want to get through heaven’s doors.  But no one will get to heaven unless they are holy, for holiness means being close to God and sharing God’s life.  And that’s what God’s grace does for us: it unites us with God and allows us to share in God’s life.  If we are in God’s grace, then, we are holy people.


Two stories we heard today tell us of our vocation to be holy:

The story in our first reading is about Adam and Eve, our first parents, who originally were very close to God and in their union with God, they were very happy.  That was the symbol of the Garden of Eden.  But they got greedy!  They wanted to be equal to God.  The evil one knew how to manipulate them and lead them to ignore God’s command.  As a result they lost all they had. 


The second story in the gospel illustrates Mary’s constant attitude of being willing to say “yes” to God, an openness that prepared the way for the Son of God to come to us. 


When we were baptized we were filled with God’s life, we were born again in God’s grace.  The very same grace that filled Mary at the moment of her conception, filled us when we were baptized.  None of us will ever be as holy as Mary was.  She got a head start on all of us.  But if we follow the example of Mary, always ready to say “yes” to God, that will lead us to holiness and to the joy and peace and love that comes with it. 


                The Visitation

                (1) R. We see the barren women in the scripture —
                    The barrenness of Sarai
                    The barrenness of Rachel —

                    The barrenness of Rebekah wife of Isaac —
                        then she prayed and she had two sons
                        Jacob and Esau —

                    We see the barrenness of Elizabeth and
                        then we know that when one conceives
                        who was thought barren — 'nothing is
                        impossible with God'

                    We don't want to lose this focus —

                    The messenger from God — the angel — told
                    Mary — Elizabeth has conceived a son
                    in her old age —


Luke 1: 36-37

And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.'


                    R. Elizabeth said to Mary
                        "Blessed are you among women
                        and blessed is the fruit of your womb" —
                        Elizabeth said, the child in her womb leapt
                        for joy.

                (2) R. We all say foolish things at times — we
                    need to pray for clear speech and the
                    right vision and pure hearts so when
                    we speak we speak with the tongue
                    of life God desires for us to say —

                (3) Luke 1: 46-55

And Mary said:

My soul proclaims
    the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices
    in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon
    the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards
    all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty
    has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his faithful love extends age after age
    to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm,
he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes
    from their thrones
        and raised high the lowly.
He has filled the starving with good things,
    sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help
    of Israel his servant,
        mindful of his faithful love
—according to the promise
    he made to our ancestors—
of his mercy to Abraham
    and to his descendants for ever.


                (4) R. Mary told Joseph
                    John the Baptist's conception was a
                    John was a great prophet —


Matthew 1: 20

He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. 


                (5) R. God's will be done.


Micah 5: 1-4

But you (Bethlehem) Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
from you will come for me
a future ruler of Israel
whose origins go back to the distant past,
to the days of old.
Hence Yahweh will abandon them
only until she who is in labour gives birth,
and then those who survive of his race
will be reunited to the Israelites.
He will take his stand
    and he will shepherd them
with the power of Yahweh,
with the majesty of the name of his God,
and they will be secure,
    for his greatness will extend
henceforth to the most distant parts
    of the country.

He himself will be peace!


                (6) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

4th Sunday of Advent - December 24, 2006 

INTRODUCTION: The capital of Assyria was in what is today, northern Iraq.  The Assyrian army was powerful and was famous for its savagery.  They had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel and did considerable damage to the southern kingdom.  They surrounded Jerusalem and were calling for its surrender.  Naturally the citizens of Jerusalem were terrified.  We hear in today’s first reading words of hope spoken to God's people by the prophet Micah.  The book of the prophet Micah is very short and this is the only time in three years we hear from him.  He promises salvation would come out of an unimportant little village about seven miles south of Jerusalem, the birthplace of King David: Bethlehem.  This savior would rescue God's people and lead them to peace.


                (7) Guiding Light - Cycle C - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

4th Sunday of Advent - December 24, 2006 

HOMILY: Soon we will begin our celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  The liturgy today invites us to set aside for an hour from all our busyness and to experience with Mary the wonder of God's coming to us. 

Today’s gospel of the visitation is preceded by the story of the annunciation.  The angel Gabriel who asked Mary if she would be the mother of our Savior also informed her that her aged cousin Elizabeth, after years of wanting to have a child, was finally going to have one.  “In haste” Mary left Nazareth and made the trip of about 65 or 70 miles (probably a four day trip for her) to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah near Jerusalem.  No doubt the youthful Mary was a big help to her cousin in the three months she stayed with her.   

To any observer, here was a young girl coming to help out her relative who was six months pregnant.  But the Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth what was unable to be seen: Mary was carrying within herself the long awaited savior of God's people.  God comes to us in simple, ordinary ways, ways our eyes cannot see but in ways that can be seen through faith and the Holy Spirit.  Elizabeth wonders how she should be so honored with a visit from Mary and Jesus.  We must ask the same question.  How is it we should be so honored that Christ has come into our lives, that he speaks to us through the Scriptures, that he feeds us with his own flesh and blood in the Eucharist, that he hears us when we pray (even if he doesn’t always do what we want), that the touches us through the kindness of another.   

Sometimes I hear the argument from those who support abortion that we don’t know when the human soul comes into a fetus.  Jesus could have been only a few days old, for the gospel tells us Mary went to Elizabeth “with haste” after the annunciation.  John the Baptist, still unborn, and Elizabeth recognized Mary was carrying within herself something infinitely more than just a blob of tissue.  They recognized the wonderful presence of the Son of God and they were filled with joy.  

The whole passage is bursting with joy.  Elizabeth was excited by Mary’s visit.  John the Baptist, three months from being born was jumping for joy.  The Church has taught that at that moment John was set free from original sin and filled with God's grace.  Christ came to him before he was born, he was as it were, baptized or christened. Generally the Church celebrates the feast day of a saint only on their date of death, because that’s the day they are born into eternal life. But there are only three holy people whose birthday the Church celebrates, Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist, because they were already in God's grace when they were born.  But as Christ came to John before his birth, Christ came to each of us on the day we were reborn through the sacrament of baptism.  That should cause all of us to jump for joy, knowing that Christ has come to us, that he has given us his grace and has chosen us to be children of God.  

Elizabeth said to Mary “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  The Greek word used here for “blessed” also means “happy.”  Mary was happy because she truly believed what the Lord had spoken to her and if you get out your bibles and read what follows today’s gospel passage, you will see how truly happy she was.  She sang a beautiful hymn of praise to God, a hymn known as the Magnificat.  It is this song of praise that we will use for our offertory hymn.  Do we really want to be happy?  This is the key, do not doubt God, do not doubt his love, do not doubt his presence, do not doubt his teachings.  He doesn’t always do things the way we think he should, and we don’t always know what he thinking.  That’s why we just have to trust him.  Mary didn’t always know either what he was up to, but she trusted him always and was always ready to say as her son would in his own life “Behold, I come to do your will, O God.” 

In a short time we will celebrate the birth of Mary’s son.  May we always feel the joy that his birth can give us, the assurance that in Jesus God is with us and God loves us. Amen.  


                (8) Sing: Holy Is His Name

                (9) Song: A Song from Jesus

                (10) Song: Hail Mary Gentle Woman     


                The Birth of Jesus

                (1) Zephaniah 3: 14-18

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, 
Israel, shout aloud! 
Rejoice, exult with all your heart, 
daughter of Jerusalem! 
Yahweh has repealed your sentence; 
he has turned your enemy away. 
Yahweh is king among you, Israel, 
you have nothing more to fear. 

When that Day comes, 
    the message for Jerusalem will be: 
Zion, have no fear, 
do not let your hands fall limp. 
Yahweh your God is there with you, 
the warrior–Saviour. 
He will rejoice over you with happy song, 
he will renew you by his love, 
he will dance with shouts of joy for you, 
as on a day of festival.

                (2) Psalm 34: 1-10, 17-18

I will bless Yahweh at all times,
his praise continually on my lips.
I will praise Yahweh from my heart;
let the humble hear and rejoice.

Proclaim with me the greatness of Yahweh,
let us acclaim his name together.
I seek Yahweh and he answers me,
frees me from all my fears.

Fix your gaze on Yahweh and your face will grow bright,
you will never hang your head in shame.
A pauper calls out and Yahweh hears,
saves him from all his troubles.

The angel of Yahweh encamps
around those who fear him, and rescues them.
Taste and see that Yahweh is good.
How blessed are those who take refuge in him.

Fear Yahweh, you his holy ones;
those who fear him lack for nothing.
Young lions may go needy and hungry,
but those who seek Yahweh lack nothing good.

        They cry in anguish and Yahweh hears,
        and rescues them from all their troubles.
        Yahweh is near to the broken–hearted,
        he helps those whose spirit is crushed.


                (3) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

3rd Sunday of Advent - December 17, 2006

INTRODUCTION:  Our theme for today, as it often is, is summed up in the Psalm Refrain: “Cry out with joy and gladness, for among you is the great and holy one of Israel.”  Our first reading from the prophet Zephaniah goes back about 700 years before Christ.  The Assyrians were the dominant force in the Middle East and were an unusually warlike, brutal people.  Their capital city was in northern Iraq near modern day Mosul.  Our first reading comes from a time shortly after the Assyrians wiped out the northern part of Israel.  They brought severe suffering upon the southern part of Israel too, the area around Jerusalem, but they did not conquer it.  Jerusalem would still stand for another 130 years until the Babylonians conquered it.  The Babylonian empire, as you might remember, was centered around Baghdad and it was after they destroyed the Assyrian empire that they moved on to conquer many other nations in the Middle East which included Judah and Jerusalem.   (It sounds very much like what’s going on over there today, doesn’t it?)  Meanwhile back to Zephaniah 700 years before Christ after the northern part of Israel had been devastated.  Jerusalem was struggling to recover from the near destruction they had suffered, but they didn’t learn their lesson.  Idolatry and immorality were rampant among the Jews.  The king of Judah himself offered his own son as a human sacrifice to the pagan gods.  Most of Zephaniah’s book records his efforts to correct abuses among God’s people.  His book ends on a note of hope, however, as he addresses those who are faithful to God.  He tells them to rejoice and assures them God will rejoice and sing too because of his love for them and for all the blessings that will be theirs.  Can any of us begin to imagine what it would sound like to hear God singing?   

There is something we should be aware of when we hear the second reading too.  St. Paul is sitting in prison somewhere when he wrote this, and prisons in those days were really bad.  Today’s prisons would look like a luxury hotel by comparison.  Yet Paul can be joyful and he is able to encourage the Philippians to have no anxiety and to rejoice always.   


                (4) R. Joseph told Anna he had to
                    go to Bethlehem for the
                    Census —

                    The prophesy


Matthew 2: 5-6

They told him, ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

And you, Bethlehem,
    in the land of Judah,
you are by no means the least
    among the leaders of Judah
for from you will come a leader
who will shepherd my people Israel.’


Micah 5: 2

Hence Yahweh will abandon them
only until she who is in labour gives birth,
and then those who survive of his race
will be reunited to the Israelites.


                (5) R. For the birth of Jesus everything
                    would be as God wanted —
                    Mary traveled on a donkey in this
                        state to Bethlehem —
                    Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem —
                    Bethlehem means — 'house of bread'

                (6) R. What love is that, that Jesus the Son of God
                    took flesh in the womb of a human person,
                    in the womb of Mary —
                    What love of God is this indeed —
                    meditate on this —
                    That Jesus, the King of Kings, out of
                        love of us took flesh and was
                        born in a stable —

                    How great God's love for us —


                (7) Isaiah 52: 7-10

How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of the messenger
   announcing peace,
of the messenger of good news,
who proclaims salvation
and says to Zion,
   ‘Your God is king!’
The voices of your watchmen!
Now they raise their voices,
shouting for joy together,
for with their own eyes they have seen
Yahweh returning to Zion.
Break into shouts together,
shouts of joy, you ruins of Jerusalem;
for Yahweh has consoled his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
Yahweh has bared his holy arm
for all the nations to see,
and all the ends of the earth
have seen the salvation of our God.


                (8) Psalm 72: 1-17

God, endow the king with your own fair judgement,
  the son of the king with your own saving justice,
that he may rule your people with justice,
  and your poor with fair judgement.

Mountains and hills,
    bring peace to the people!
With justice he will judge the poor of the people,
he will save the children of the needy
    and crush their oppressors.

In the sight of the sun and the moon he will endure,
    age after age.
He will come down like rain on mown grass,
like showers moistening the land.

In his days uprightness shall flourish,
  and peace in plenty till the moon is no more.
His empire shall stretch from sea to sea,
  from the river to the limits of the earth.

The Beast will cower before him,
    his enemies lick the dust;
the kings of Tarshish and the islands
  will pay him tribute.

The kings of Sheba and Saba
  will offer gifts;
all kings will do him homage,
  all nations become his servants.

For he rescues the needy who calls to him,
  and the poor who has no one to help.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
  and saves the needy from death.

From oppression and violence he redeems their lives,
    their blood is precious in his sight.
(Long may he live; may the gold of Sheba be given him!)
Prayer will be offered for him constantly,
    and blessings invoked on him all day.

May wheat abound in the land,
    waving on the heights of the hills,
like Lebanon with its fruits and flowers at their best,
    like the grasses of the earth.

May his name be blessed for ever,
    and endure in the sight of the sun.
In him shall be blessed every race in the world,
   and all nations call him blessed.

                (9)    R. A baby is so precious, so sweet —
                        Does God give us such gifts in
                        children, to remind us how beautiful
                        Jesus was — oh such a gift
                        a baby — so beautiful —
                        Such a gift each one of us —
                        Such a gift the Son of God came a
                            baby into our midst —
                        Oh God, I love You so much for
                            coming to us —
                        Oh God, I love You so much —
                            You remain with us now —
                            truly present in the Eucharist —

                        Oh God, You give us Your Word —
                        Oh God, Your truth!!
                        Oh God, Your love!!
                        Oh God let us not be selfish —
                        A star shown over His bed — in Bethlehem —


                (10) Sing: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem


Micah 5: 2-5

Hence Yahweh will abandon them
only until she who is in labour gives birth,
and then those who survive of his race
will be reunited to the Israelites.
He will take his stand
    and he will shepherd them
with the power of Yahweh,
with the majesty of the name of his God,
and they will be secure,
    for his greatness will extend
henceforth to the most distant parts
    of the country.

He himself will be peace!
Should the Assyrian invade our country,
should he set foot in our land,
we shall raise seven shepherds
    against him,
eight leaders of men;
they will shepherd Assyria with the sword,
the country of Nimrod with naked blade.
He will save us from the Assyrian,
should he invade our country,
should he set foot inside our frontiers.


Genesis 3: 15

    I shall put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
    it will bruise your head
    and you will strike its heel.'


Genesis 12: 3

   I shall bless those who bless you,
   and shall curse those who curse you,
   and all clans on earth
   will bless themselves by you.’


Genesis 18: 18

as Abraham will become a great and powerful nation and all nations on earth will bless themselves by him?


Genesis 49: 10

The sceptre shall not pass from Judah, 
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 
until tribute be brought him 
and the peoples render him obedience.


Deuteronomy 18: 15-19

Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; you will listen to him. This is exactly what you asked Yahweh your God to do—at Horeb, on the day of the Assembly, when you said, "Never let me hear the voice of Yahweh my God or see this great fire again, or I shall die." Then Yahweh said to me, "What they have said is well said. From their own brothers I shall raise up a prophet like yourself; I shall put my words into his mouth and he will tell them everything I command him. Anyone who refuses to listen to my words, spoken by him in my name, will have to render an account to me.


Psalm 2: 7

I will proclaim the decree of Yahweh:
He said to me, ‘You are my son,
today have I fathered you.


                    R. The Old Testament gives many
                        prophesies of Jesus' birth


Isaiah 7: 14

The Lord will give you a sign in any case: 
    It is this: the young woman is with child 
    and will give birth to a son 
    whom she will call Immanuel.


Jeremiah 23: 5

Look, the days are coming, 
    Yahweh declares, 
when I shall raise an upright Branch 
    for David; 
he will reign as king and be wise, 
doing what is just and upright 
    in the country. 


                    R. The star shown bright over
                        His stable in Bethlehem —
                        The Shepherds came
                        The 3 Kings came —

                    Jesus was born among the beasts
                        of the earth

                    Sing: We Three Kings 




                Presentation in the Temple

                (1) Isaiah 60: 2

Look! though night still covers the earth 
and darkness the peoples, 
on you Yahweh is rising 
and over you his glory can be seen. 


                (2) Luke 2: 22-40

And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord—observing what is written in the Law of the Lord: Every first–born male must be consecrated to the Lord—and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

    Now, Master, you are letting 
        your servant go in peace 
    as you promised; 
    for my eyes have seen the salvation 
    which you have made ready 
        in the sight of the nations; 
    a light of revelation for the gentiles 
    and glory for your people Israel.

As the child’s father and mother were wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed—and a sword will pierce your soul too—so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

There was a prophetess, too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty–four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. 

When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And as the child grew to maturity, he was filled with wisdom; and God's favour was with him.


                (3) R. The Feast February 2nd is when the Presentation
                    of the Temple is celebrated —
                    Our Archbishop told us to begin
                    the Exposed Eucharistic Adoration
                    that day.


                    R. Here is a picture of that day in our
                        church, St. Anthony's, in China,
                        Indiana —

                    Also Pope John Paul II connected the
                        feast day with the renewal of
                        religious vows —

                (4) R. Jesus loves us so much —
                        We do not know His tender love for us

                    Sing: Little Baby Hands and Feet

                (5) R. Here are the 7 Sorrows from the Red Rosary Book.


The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
February 22, 1995

1. The Prophecy of Simeon
Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus went to the temple. Simeon, the prophet, inspired by the Holy Spirit, met them and told Joseph and Mary of the great sufferings of Jesus and Mary. He told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart. From that point on, Mary ever remembered the prophecy of Simeon whenever she beheld her child. When she looked at His little body, even as an infant, she knew He would suffer. Every time she clothed Him and watched Him at play, her heart was torn in her chest as she knew what He would suffer. And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

2. The Flight into Egypt
Joseph was told by the angel to flee. Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus had to flee because of what might happen to Jesus. They had to pack for a long stay. The child Jesus was so small! They left on their journey, hearts full of fear, trying to protect Jesus. They were forced to flee into Egypt.

3. Jesus Is Lost, In the Temple
Imagine the sufferings in Mary's heart when she realized the child Jesus was not with them. Think of how it would be to lose your child and not know where he was or if anything happened to him. With sorrow in their hearts, Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem to look for the child Jesus. And a sword, too, shall pierce your heart, O Mary!

4. Jesus Carries His Cross
Song: See the eyes that look at Mary, her tender infant child. See the child's Heart beat so tenderly, the Savior of the world!
See the eyes of Jesus and Mary as they met on Calvary. Mary's Heart knew Jesus' Heart so well! From the first moment of conception and throughout His life, Mary was so connected with Jesus and now she peered into His eyes. The crown of thorns adorned His Head! Blood ran down His face! A heavy cross on His back! Wounded, His whole body covered with bleeding wounds! And her whole life flashed before her, the life that she had spent with Jesus. This was the beloved child that she had held in her arms when Simeon told Mary that 'a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!'

5. Jesus Dies on the Cross
Mary stood under Jesus' cross as He was put to death. The child that she had held in her arms as Simeon prophesied, And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary! Now Jesus is dead on the cross! He gave His flesh, He gave His blood so that we might be with Him forever in heaven. He held not back. He gave His all. He calls out to us this day to see through the eyes of His mother as she appears and calls out with a Heart of great love, "Return to the love of my Son! He is with you this day. He remains with you, no less present than the day that He hung on the cross, in the Eucharist. He longs for you to come and be with Him. He is in your brother. How can you not love your brother when Jesus died for your brother?"

Her Heart was pierced with a sword. His Heart was pierced with a lance. What came forth was blood and water, the sacramental life of the church. He lives with us this day in the Church. He gives to us His sacraments, the source of His life! He gives to us the Sacrament of Penance whereby any sin that we commit can be taken away through the priest. He wants us to be so close to Him! He gives us everything to be close to Him. But we see with such limited vision only those things that are right before our face, when the true reality is that which we don't see with our eyes, the reality of the invisible divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the consecrated Host! This is reality! This is our life! This is our power! This is God! And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

6. Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross
If we ever doubted for one second that we were loved, we could visualize the picture of Mary as she sat beneath the cross with the lifeless, battered, bruised and bloodied body of her Son in her arms, the same child that she held when Simeon prophesied her suffering. He gave His last breath. He gave the last beat of His Heart. He gave His all! This is the way He complied with the Will of the Father. He came to show us the way. He died in perfect peace. To His death He was in peace because He knew the Father's love. The Father loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for love of us! The Spirit descended upon the Virgin Mary and the Word was made flesh! The love of the Two Hearts! Such immense love beating for us!

In all love there is suffering. Her Heart was pierced with a sword. His Heart was pierced with a lance. And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

7. Jesus Is Locked in the Tomb
And now Jesus, His body lifeless, is locked in a tomb! What cold reality for Mary to realize that His body is now gone! A stone separated her from her Son!

He gave His last breath! He gave the last beat of His Heart for love of each one of us! And she comes to us this day with her sweet, beautiful voice and she asks us to go to her Son and love Him! How can we refuse Jesus who spread His arms and gave His life for each and every one of us? How can we not trust Him when He loved us so much that He allowed them to tear His flesh, to crown Him with piercing thorns and, lastly, to hang Him on a cross? He truly gave His life for us! He, truly God, is with us this day, the same as the day He died on the cross, in the tabernacle! And we take it so lightly! Death has no power over Him! Locked in the tomb for three days, He rose triumphant on the third day as He had foretold. He comes to give us life. He gives us the sacrament of Baptism that initiates us into His life, that makes us children of God and heirs of heaven if we remain in the state of grace. He asks two things: love of God and love of one another! He came to show us the way and His way is love. To His death on the cross He loved each one of us! He calls out to each one of us here today to be His soldiers, to march on a world that has forgotten God, that has forgotten what it is like to love! It is a battle to live in this world. But the battle is won with hearts that are filled with His love, empowered by the grace and might that He pours out in the Eucharist. He calls out for us to come to the Eucharist and to the tabernacle and be fed with His very flesh and blood. To feed on Divine Life, the greatest nourishment, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! This is the love He gives. This is the love He asks us to share.


                (6) R. Jesus wants hearts burning and on fire
                        for love of Him — He came as a baby —
                        because He loves us so much —

                    Jesus waits at the door of our hearts —
                    The Father has a Plan for us too —
                    We must seek the Father's will —
                    Jesus wants us to go to His burning
                    Heart on fire for love of us —
                    Jesus loves us with the deepest love

                (7) Song: I Love You Jesus

                (8) Song: See the Eyes that Look at Mary

                (9) Song: A Song from Jesus

                (10) Song: God's Love



All 5ths - Our Lady of Clearwater Florida

July 5, 2000

September 5, 2000

October 5, 2000

November 5, 2000

December 5, 2000

January 5, 2001

February 5, 2001

March 5, 2001

April 5, 2001

May 5, 2001

June 5, 2001

July 5, 2001

August 5, 2001

September 5, 2001

October 5, 2001

November 5, 2001

December 5, 2001

January 5, 2002

February 5, 2002

March 5, 2002

April 5, 2002

May 5, 2002

June 5, 2002

July 5, 2002

September 5, 2002

October 5, 2002

November 5, 2002

January 5, 2003

February 5, 2003

March 5, 2003

April 5, 2003

May 5, 2003

July 5, 2003

August 5, 2003

September 5, 2003

October 5, 2003 

November 5, 2003

December 5, 2003

January 5, 2004

                         February 5, 2004

March 5, 2004


                R. Jesus born in a stable —
                Not fancy like a King —
                    in Bethlehem
                Jesus — the King of Kings —

                Harod wanted to kill Jesus —
                Herod's days were numbered,
                so Mary and Jesus went to Egypt —
                Herod ordered the killing of all the
                    little baby boys —
                "The Slaughter of the Innocents"


Matthew 2: 16-18

    Herod was furious on realising that he had been fooled by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or less, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. Then were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 

    A voice is heard in Ramah, 
    lamenting and weeping bitterly: 
    it is Rachel weeping for her children, 
    refusing to be comforted 
    because they are no more.


Jeremiah 31: 15

Yahweh says this:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamenting and weeping bitterly:
it is Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.


                R. We see this slaughter of weeping
                    for children —

                The children today being aborted —
                    like a slaughter house —
                    "What you do to the least of
                        My children you do to Me" —

                    Mary and Joseph had to flee
                        to Egypt with Jesus to
                        avoid the slaughter
                        of the innocent by Herod —

                Is there no mercy for babies today —
                    innocent who are slaughtered
                    in the womb of their mother —

                Was Herod's crime so different
                    than a mother killing her
                    own baby —

                The slaughter inside the person —
                    like a cracked jar —
                    the execution chamber of
                        a baby — a creation of
                        God the Father —

                    Is there not safety for the
                        unborn child created
                        by God the Father


Isaiah 49: 15

Can a woman forget her baby at the breast,
feel no pity for the child she has borne?
Even if these were to forget,
I shall not forget you.


                The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

                (1) Isaiah 49: 15

Can a woman forget her baby at the breast,
feel no pity for the child she has borne?
Even if these were to forget,
I shall not forget you.


                    R. The children of Mary —
                    I saw Mary cry and cry out every
                        time she appeared and I meditated
                        on this mystery of the rosary —
                        for her little lost children —
                        as I do this rosary I smell roses —
                        What about the mothers of these
                        babies aborting babies, the others
                        doing it —
                        the slaughter of the innocent —

                        Oh God help us —
                        that their blood be on the human
                        for the crimes of abortions
                            Jesus sweat His Blood
                            Jesus gave His Blood

                Through His pierced Heart the Church
                    was born —
                    help me spread the devotion
                    to Jesus' Heart and Mary's Heart —
                    Mary's children murdered in abortions —
                    I smell roses —


                (2) R. Help me reach the priests with these
                    writings so the hungry will
                    be fed with the Bread of Life —
                    the Eucharist and the Word —

                (3) R. Let's seek the truth —
                    Jesus says —
                    "I am the way, the truth and the life"


                (4) Luke 2: 41-50

Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. 

    It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he meant.


                (5) Do not be afraid, Jesus says, I am
                        with you — My Mother is
                        with you — She walks by your



From the Priestly Newsletter January/February 1996 by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. Founder

Mother of Our Christ-Life

Mary is the Mother of our Christ-life, this life which flows to us from the bosom of the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit. Pope John Paul II beautifully links Mary’s spiritual motherhood toward us with her being Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, and Model of the Church. “Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as the Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church. In this sense, Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Church’s model. Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks: the Church must draw ‘from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ.’”9

9. Pope John Paul II, The Mother of the Redeemer, United States Catholic Conference, No. 38.


                (7) Excerpt from Tell My People by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. Founder

Mother of Our Christian Virtues

Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I wish all my children to come to my Immaculate Heart each day. I cooperate with the Holy Spirit in helping all my little ones to grow in the life of the Christian virtues. As my children dwell within my maternal Heart, the Holy Spirit leads them along the path of the virtues. Faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, humility, chastity, and the other virtues take deeper root in the hearts of my children. Above all, the queen of the virtues, love, increasingly rules the lives of my little ones.

"I am ever at the side of my children to help them grow in the life of the virtues. As I do so, I place them more deeply within the Heart of Jesus, the source of growth in all the virtues. The Holy Spirit, then, desires that my children dwell both within my Heart and Jesus' Heart. Within Our Hearts He clothes you with growth in the life of the virtues. The more you dwell in my Heart, the more ready you are for my placing you deeply within the Heart of Jesus where the Holy Spirit clothes you more and more with the splendor of all the virtues. Thus you grow in the likeness of Christ, and Jesus unites you more closely to the Father."

Reflection: Since Mary is our spiritual Mother, she has a special God-given role in helping us grow in the life of the Christian virtues. As she tenderly and lovingly leads us in the life of the virtues, she is our great model in how to follow Christ. She lived the Christian virtues perfectly. She is so eager to help us increasingly put on Christ through a more dynamic living of the Christian virtues, especially the virtue of love.


                (8) Excerpt from Tell My People by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. Founder

Spiritual Childhood

Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how I love to enfold you in my arms as my little child! Enfolded in my arms in my maternal embrace, I press you against my Immaculate Heart. I draw you within my Heart. There, through my maternal intercession, I clothe you with Jesus' graces. As you dwell in my Heart, I place you ever more deeply within Jesus' Heart and there the Holy Spirit fashions you increasingly in the image of my Son. As you grow in the likeness of Jesus, He takes you ever closer to the Father.

"Thus, as you grow in the sense of your helplessness without God, the stronger you become in Jesus. Childlike thus becomes strength. The smaller you become in living out spiritual childhood, the taller you stand beside Jesus. Weakness becomes strength, your sense of helplessness becomes spiritual maturity!

"Tell all my children about the wonders of spiritual childhood! Tell them to come to me and I will school them in its ways. How I love all my children! Oh, how I love to exercise my motherhood toward them all!"

Reflection: In the Gospel, Jesus speaks emphatically to us about spiritual childhood: "At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, 'I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'" (Matthew 18:1-4).


                (9) Excerpt from Tell My People by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. Founder

Children of Mary

Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how often I have embraced you! How often I have told you how much I love you! How often, at your request, I have held you in my arms as my child. You have told me you realize how helpless you are of yourself, but how strong and secure you feel dwelling in my heart and Jesus' Heart. Your sense of your littleness and helplessness endears you to me all the more. I take you ever more securely to my maternal and Immaculate Heart. Tell all my people of the riches you have found within my heart. Tell them how I place you within my Son's Heart. Tell them that, because of my motherly action, you are now more closely united with Jesus than ever before. Tell my people to come to my heart and draw forth similar riches. Tell all my little ones that Jesus, Who is Lord and Master, bids me to lead all to His Sacred Heart. The more my little ones dwell within my Immaculate Heart, the more I place them within Jesus' Heart. Oh, how I love all my little ones! How I love to bring them to the Heart of Jesus!"

Reflection: Again, let us remind ourselves that we live in the Age of the Two Hearts. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparable. The more we dwell in Mary's heart, the more she places us within Jesus' Heart. Within these Two Hearts, the Holy Spirit fashions us more and more in the likeness of Christ, and the more we become like Christ, the more closely He unites us to the Father.

end of excerpts from Tell My People


                (10) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J., Founder pp. 12-14

God's Will—Our Guiding Principle

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. (Lk. 2:48-50).

The above scene describes how Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple after having been separated from Him. As they were returning home after the Passover celebration, they realized Jesus was not with them, and returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. The scene has various lessons for us concerning God's will.

With the Holy Family traveling in two separate groups (Mary with one, Joseph with the other, and Jesus with either from time to time), we understand how Mary and Joseph could have received conflicting stories regarding their Son's whereabouts. The Father's will may have been made known to Jesus in such a way that the timing of His response precluded alerting His parents to the change in His plan. Whatever the details were, we can be assured that there was no error made on the parts of Jesus, Mary, or Joseph. We can base our trust in this on what we know through faith—that Jesus would never have been disobedient or thoughtless toward His parents, and that Mary and Joseph could not possibly have been inept parents.

Even so, as people who expect certain behaviors of children and parents, we can be unsettled by some unanswered questions presented. Yet, since this event is included in Sacred Scripture, we know it has tremendous value for us as the Word of God. We also know that obedience to God's will always works in the best interests of everyone concerned, even when it is not obvious, even for quite some time.

The scene reminds us of the guiding principle of Jesus' life—loving conformity to His Father's will. Although Mary and Joseph were returning home, in some way Jesus knew He was supposed to remain in the temple at this particular time. His course of action was no different in this instance than it had been in the past and would be in the future. His Father's will was made manifest, and He obeyed; His Father showed the way, and He followed. The Father's will was always Jesus' way, every day, in all matters. As followers of Jesus, His guiding principle must also be ours.

This event in Christ's life also demonstrates that conformity to God's will sometimes brings hurt or sorrow to loved ones. Jesus knew that His remaining behind would cause suffering for Mary and Joseph—we can well imagine their anxiety. Jesus was sorry this had to be. He certainly was not insensitive to His parent's feelings, yet He had to do what He did. There can be similar situations in our own lives. Precisely because we are striving to seek out and do God's will, we may be causing hurt to loved ones. We know, however, there is no other course of action if we are to be open to God's designs for us.

The finding of the child Jesus in the temple illustrates still a further point regarding conformity to God's will. Mary and Joseph knew that somehow it was God's will that Jesus remain in Jerusalem as they themselves headed back to Nazareth. Yet they did not comprehend why all this happened. They recognized God's will, but they did not understand it. They accepted this will, however, along with the pain it produced in their lives.

The application of this lesson to our own Christian lives is vividly manifest. At times there occurs an incident we do not understand. We realize that somehow this is God's will, at least His permissive will, yet we do not understand why, and our unknowing is part of our pain.

Mary always perfectly conformed herself in love to God's will. It was her joy to so act. Sometimes the doing of God's will caused her considerable suffering, as we see from the above Gospel scene. Later on, the sword of suffering would pierce her even more deeply.

In summary, we can say that Mary always reached out and embraced God's will with the deepest love, whether this was easy or very difficult. Mary has left us these famous words: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Lk. 1:38). Let us ask our mother to obtain for us the grace to grow in our own conformity to the will of God.



                Mysteries of Light

                R. And so Mary and Jesus and Joseph
                    lived as the Holy Family.

                Mary was conceived without sin —
                Jesus, the Son of God, the Light of
                    the World

                Mary endured the sufferings —
                    Jesus was born in a stable —
                    Mary and Jesus had to flee
                        to Egypt —
                    Jesus was lost in the temple —

                Jesus lived a private life for
                    30 years —

                It was God's will —

                Jesus grew as a little boy of
                    Mary and Joseph —

                God-Made-Man, was watched
                    as a child by a human mother
                    and foster father —

                Jesus endured all for love of
                    us —


Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

    'Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh. You must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Let the words I enjoin on you today stay in your heart. Have I not told you: Be strong and stand firm? Be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, Yahweh your God is with you.' you must fasten them on your hand as a sign and on your forehead as a headband; you must write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.


Deuteronomy 31: 6

Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.’


 Joshua 1: 9

Have I not told you: Be strong and stand firm? Be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, Yahweh your God is with you.'


                R. We cry out how long must we wait,
                Oh Lord, and do not thank Him for
                His gifts to us and here He is
                with us today —

                    As I have written these rosaries,
                I have smelt roses so strong —
                all over.

                    God is with us this day, truly
                present in the Eucharist in His
                Divinity and humanity and yet we ignore
                this precious gift for all it is and seek
                our answers from men, not rooted
                in the Word, not rooted in Him —

                    God gives us His answers
                this day —


Mysteries of Light


1 Kings 3: 10-15

It pleased Yahweh that Solomon should have asked for this. 'Since you have asked for this,' God said, 'and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and no one will have after you. What you have not asked I shall give you too: such riches and glory as no other king can match. And I shall give you a long life, if you follow my ways, keeping my laws and commandments, as your father David followed them.' Then Solomon woke up; it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh; he presented burnt offerings and communion sacrifices and held a banquet for all those in his service.


                Baptism of Jesus

                (1) Malachi 3: 1-24

‘Look, I shall send my messenger to clear a way before me. And suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his Temple; yes, the angel of the covenant, for whom you long, is on his way, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be acceptable to Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old. I am coming to put you on trial and I shall be a ready witness against sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and against those who oppress the wage-earner, the widow and the orphan, and who rob the foreigner of his rights and do not respect me, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

'No; I, Yahweh, do not change; and you have not ceased to be children of Jacob! Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have evaded my statutes and not observed them. Return to me and I will return to you, says Yahweh Sabaoth. You ask, "How are we to return? Can a human being cheat God?" Yet you try to cheat me! You ask, "How do we try to cheat you?" Over tithes and contributions. A curse lies on you because you, this whole nation, try to cheat me. Bring the tithes in full to the treasury, so that there is food in my house; put me to the test now like this, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you and pour out an abundant blessing for you. For your sakes, I shall forbid the locust to destroy the produce of your soil or prevent the vine from bearing fruit in your field, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and all the nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delights, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

'You have said harsh things about me, says Yahweh. And yet you say, "What have we said against you?" You have said, "It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before Yahweh Sabaoth? In fact, we now call the proud the happy ones; the evil-doers are the ones who prosper; they put God to the test, yet come to no harm!" '

    Then those who feared Yahweh talked to one another about this, and Yahweh took note and listened; and a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who feared him and kept his name in mind. 'On the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth, they will be my most prized possession, and I shall spare them in the way a man spares the son who serves him. Then once again you will see the difference between the upright person and the wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.

    ‘For look, the Day is coming, glowing like a furnace. All the proud and all the evil–doers will be the stubble, and the Day, when it comes, will set them ablaze, says Yahweh Sabaoth, leaving them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the Sun of justice will rise with healing in his rays, and you will come out leaping like calves from the stall, and trample on the wicked, who will be like ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

‘Remember the Law of my servant Moses to whom at Horeb I prescribed decrees and rulings for all Israel. 

    ‘Look, I shall send you the prophet Elijah before the great and awesome Day of Yahweh comes. He will reconcile parents to their children and children to their parents, to forestall my putting the country under the curse of destruction.’


                (2) R. John the Baptist preached conversion —
                    "Repent" he said "Repent"
                    change your hearts, John said —

                (3) Sing: A Voice Cries Out in the Wilderness (refrain only)

                    R. John was warning them —

                (4) R. John the Baptist says
                    repent —
                    change your hearts —

                    Some did not like his preaching
                    Many were baptized with
                        water by John —


Luke 3: 15-16

    A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to wonder whether John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.


                (5) R. John told them to do God's will —
                    to open their hearts —
                    to repent —


                (6) Luke 3: 21-22

Now it happened that when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in a physical form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son; today have I fathered you.’


                (7) R. This was the beginning of Jesus'
                    public ministry —


                (8) Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one
   in whom my soul delights.
I have sent my spirit upon him,
he will bring fair judgement to the nations.
He does not cry out or raise his voice,
his voice is not heard in the street;
he does not break the crushed reed
or snuff the faltering wick.
Faithfully he presents fair judgement;
he will not grow faint,
   he will not be crushed 
until he has established
   fair judgement on earth,
and the coasts and islands
   are waiting for his instruction.

I, Yahweh, have called you
   in saving justice,
I have grasped you by the hand
   and shaped you;
I have made you a covenant of the people
and light to the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness
    from the dungeon.


From Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

Baptism of the Lord - January 13, 2008

INTRODUCTION: The words of the prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading go back 500 years before Christ.  This passage was intended for the Jews who were in exile in Babylon.  God is, through the prophet, introducing a person referred to only as God’s servant to his people.  God is quite pleased with his servant. In a non-violent way, God's servant will establish justice in the world, be a light to the nations and liberation for captives.  Scholars debate who this servant might have been 500 years before Christ, but with the coming of Christ, there is no doubt who is God's perfect servant.  At Jesus’ baptism, God introduces Jesus to the world, not just as his servant, but as his beloved Son with whom he is well-pleased.


                (9) From Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

Baptism of the Lord - January 13, 2008


HOMILY: If you struggle to understand the baptism of Jesus, you’re not alone.  Even John the Baptist had difficulty understanding why Jesus came to him for baptism.  As John said “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 


The baptism of Jesus is a mystery worthy of our contemplation.  Certainly Pope John Paul considered it as something worth meditating on when he made it one of the mysteries in the new set of mysteries he created for the rosary: the luminous mysteries or the mysteries of light. 


Our business manager, Carol Roosa, is taking a course at the Athenaeum to become a parish administrator.  She had to present a paper last week and the topic was baptism.  The professor was quite impressed with it and so she volunteered to preach this Sunday.  I said “no.”  She said it would only take an hour and fifteen minutes.  You would be happy to know I stood my ground.  Besides, only priests and deacons are allowed to do a homily.  I say all of this to illustrate there is so much that could be said about baptism.  I’m not going to say it all.  My few words today will, I hope, throw a little light on the sacrament of baptism and might help make the baptism of Jesus a little more understandable. 


First I want to point out one way in which the baptism of Jesus by John was totally different from our sacrament of baptism.  Then I want to mention one way in which they are similar. 


                (10) Baptism of the Lord - January 13, 2008 - homily continues

If I were to ask the average Catholic what do you think of when you hear the word baptism, most would answer, “Baptism takes away original sin.” That’s true but there is a better answer.  Let me illustrate.  (show wallet)  Now many of you know what this is: a wallet.  And it’s empty, and some of you might relate to that too.  That’s basically what original sin is.  It is emptiness, like this wallet.  It’s a big nothing.  We are empty of God’s grace and life.  Suppose, for example, by some unbelievable odds, I would win a million dollars in the lottery.  I would get that big check (less taxes) and put it in the wallet.  If someone were to ask me, “what’s in your wallet?,”  I don’t know what I would tell them, but I don’t think I would answer “the emptiness in my wallet is gone.”  But that’s what we say when we define baptism as the sacrament that takes away original sin.  That definition only emphasizes the emptiness and not the fullness.  It doesn’t reflect the blessings that suddenly fill us at baptism: the blessings of God’s life, of being children of God, the blessings of the Holy Spirit, the blessing of belonging to the family of God, the blessing and hope of sharing in eternal happiness with God.  In Jesus there was no emptiness.  In him dwells the fullness of the divinity (Col. 2,9) as St. Paul tells us.  He was, from all eternity, God’s beloved Son.  Jesus had no need of baptism in any form. In this respect Jesus’ baptism by John made no change in him as the sacrament of baptism did for us.  Jesus baptism by John provides an occasion for us to reflect on our own baptism and the grace that it brought us. 


Now I want to describe one way in which Jesus’ baptism by John and the sacrament of baptism we received are similar.  They are similar in that they are both a commitment.  John’s baptism was a public commitment people made to live holy lives and to prepare for the coming of God’s kingdom.  Jesus, in being baptized, was publicly committing himself to do God’s will and to preach and build the kingdom of God.  Baptism is that for us too.  We are committed in a public event to belong to God, to be God’s obedient child, God’s lover, God’s representative.  It’s something like declaring one’s candidacy, not for public office, but for the office of Christian in the world.  Most likely someone made that commitment for us, most probably our parents.  They made that commitment for us with the intention of directing us in God’s ways.  Eventually, we have to make that commitment our own if our baptism is going to mean anything at all.  On this feast of the baptism of Jesus, we have a good opportunity to recommit ourselves to Jesus. The effects and blessings of baptism remain with us as long as we do not turn our hearts away from the Father who long ago chose us to be his son or daughter in the sacrament.  In this way Jesus’ baptism by John is very much like our own, not a private, secret event but a public, open declaration of our commitment to love and serve God and others as Jesus, the perfect Son of God did.  Amen.  



                Marriage at Cana

                (1) Isaiah 61: 1-3

The spirit of Lord Yahweh 
    is on me 
for Yahweh has anointed me. 
He has sent me to bring the news 
    to the afflicted, 
to soothe the broken–hearted, 
to proclaim liberty to captives, 
release to those in prison, 
to proclaim a year of favour from Yahweh 
and a day of vengeance for our God, 
to comfort all who mourn 
(to give to Zion’s mourners), 
to give them for ashes a garland, 
for mourning–dress, the oil of gladness, 
for despondency, festal attire; 
and they will be called 
    ‘terebinths of saving justice’, 
planted by Yahweh to glorify him.


                (2) John 2: 1-11

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’  There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim. Then he said to them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the president of the feast.’ They did this; the president tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew—the president of the feast called the bridegroom and said, ‘Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined; but you have kept the best wine till now.’ This was the first of Jesus’ signs: it was at Cana in Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. 


                (3) R. A prophet is not accepted in
                    his own town —
                    They rejected Jesus —
                    Despite His miracles they wanted
                        to kill Him —

                (4) R. The first miracle was at
                    a marriage feast —

                    Mary said to Jesus
                        "They have no wine"

                (5) R. Mary tells the servant to
                        do whatever He tells you —
                    Jesus changed water into
                        wine —

                (6) R. Jesus performed many miracles —
                    Some: Jesus calmed the storm —
                            Jesus walked on the waters —
                            Jesus cast out demons —
                            Jesus healed the sick —
                            Jesus cured the lepers —
                            Jesus cured the blind —
                            Jesus fed the hungry —
                            Jesus raised Jarius' daughter
                                from the dead

Window at St. Boniface

                            R. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead —

                (7) R. Jesus came to set us free —
                    Jesus is the Savior of the
                        world —

                (8) Sing: A Song from Jesus

                (9) R. Jesus, Jesus, the Light of the World —
                    Jesus is the Son of God —
                    Jesus loves us —

                (10) R. Mary has powerful intercession —


                Kingdom of God

                (1) R. Jesus, I love You —
                    Come and live in me —


Song: Prayer for Union with Jesus

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart.

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart. (refrain)

    I am Yours to possess. I am Yours to use. I want to be selfless and only exist in You. Help me to spoon out all that is me and be an empty vessel ready to be filled by You. Help me to die to myself and live only for You. Use me as You will. Let me never draw my attention back to myself. I only want to operate as You do, dwelling within me.

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart. (refrain)

    I am Yours, Lord. I want to have my life in You. I want to do the will of the Father. Give me the strength to put aside the world and let You operate my very being. Help me to act as You desire. Strengthen me against the distractions of the devil to take me from Your work.

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart. (refrain)

    When I worry, I have taken my focus off of You and placed it on myself. Help me not to give in to the promptings of others to change what in my heart You are making very clear to me. I worship You, I adore You and I love You. Come and dwell in me now.

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart. (refrain)

    Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart. (refrain)


                (2) Excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. p.60-61



The one of Christ, our supreme leader and lord,
the other of Lucifer, the deadly enemy of our
human nature

PRAYER.   The usual preparatory prayer.

window at a former Jesuit Seminary

137. FIRST PRELUDE.   This is the history. Here it will be that Christ calls and wants all beneath His standard, and Lucifer, on the other hand, wants all under his.

138. SECOND PRELUDE.   This is a mental representation of the place. It will be here to see a great plain, comprising the whole region about Jerusalem, where the sovereign Commander-in-Chief of all the good is Christ our Lord; and another plain about the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.

139. THIRD PRELUDE.   This is to ask for what I desire. Here it will be to ask for a knowledge of the deceits of the rebel chief and help to guard myself against them; and also to ask for a knowledge of the true life exemplified in the sovereign and true Commander, and the grace to imitate Him.



140. FIRST POINT.   Imagine you see the chief of all the enemy in the vast plain about Babylon, seated on a great throne of fire and smoke, his appearance inspiring horror and terror.

141. SECOND POINT.   Consider how he summons innumerable demons, and scatters them, some to one city and some to another, throughout the whole world, so that no province, no place, no state of life, no individual is overlooked.

142. THIRD POINT.   Consider the address he makes to them, how he goads them on to lay snares for men and bind them with chains. First they are to tempt them to covet riches (as Satan himself is accustomed to do in most cases) that they may the more easily attain the empty honors of this world, and then come to overweening pride.

   The first step, then, will be riches, the second honor, the third pride. From these three steps the evil one leads to all other vices.



143.   In a similar way, we are to picture to ourselves the sovereign and true Commander, Christ our Lord.

144. FIRST POINT.   Consider Christ our Lord, standing in a lowly place in a great plain about the region of Jerusalem, His appearance beautiful and attractive.

145. SECOND POINT.   Consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many persons, apostles, disciples, etc., and sends them throughout the whole world to spread His sacred doctrine among all men, no matter what their state or condition.

146. THIRD POINT.   . . .

end of excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


Window at St. Joseph - Cincinnati

Matthew 5: 3-10

How blessed are the poor in spirit:
the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle:
they shall have the earth as inheritance.
Blessed are those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those
   who hunger and thirst for uprightness:
they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
they shall be recognised
   as children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
   in the cause of uprightness:
the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.


                (4) Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus

My dear fellow Associate Members,

Jesus is calling special apostles to join a new division of the Shepherds of Christ Movement. Here is a message from Jesus given to Father Carter:

    My beloved priest-companion, I am requesting that a new prayer movement be started under the direction of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. I am asking for volunteers who are willing to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for one hour, twice-weekly. Members of the Shepherds of Christ prayer chapters, as well as others, are to be invited to join this movement.

    These apostles are to pray for the intentions I am giving you. For part of the hour they are to use the prayers of the Shepherds of Christ Associates Handbook. They may spend the rest of the hour as they so choose.

    I will use this new prayer movement within My Shepherds of Christ Ministries in a powerful way to help in the renewal of My Church and the world. I will give great graces to those who join this movement. The name, Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, is to be given to this movement.

    I am inviting My beloved Rita Ring to be coordinator for this activity.

    I pour out the great love of My Sacred Heart to all. I am Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock.

    This is indeed a special calling for us to unite in one heart with His Eucharistic Heart and pray for the following intentions:

    1. For the spread of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary culminating in the reign of the Sacred Heart and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
    2. For the Pope.
    3. For all bishops of the world.
    4. For all priests.
    5. For all sisters and brothers in the religious life.
    6. For all members of the Shepherds of Christ Movement, and for the spread of this movement to the world.
    7. For all members of the Catholic Church.
    8. For all members of the human family.
    9. For all souls in purgatory.

end of Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart


                (5) 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)


                (6) October 13, 1994 - The Birth of the Full Ministries of the Shepherds of Christ

    "I wish to share with you part of a message which Jesus gave us on October 13, 1994. The message tells us about the expansion of the Shepherds of Christ movement:

    'My beloved priest-companion, today I come to you with another mission. I am asking you to establish Shepherds of Christ Ministries. At My request you have already begun the priestly newsletter, "Shepherds of Christ", and the prayer chapters, Shepherds of Christ Associates...

    'I am giving you this message on this day, the 77th Anniversary of the Great Apparition at Fatima, because of the close connection between the Shepherds of Christ movement and the Fatima message. The Fatima message is centered in devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart, especially in consecration to Our Hearts. Shepherds of Christ Ministries is also centered in devotion to Our Hearts. I will use Shepherds of Christ Ministries as a great instrument in helping to bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. When this occurs, My Church and the world will be experiencing the great era of peace promised by My Mother at Fatima.

    'Today, then, October 13, 1994, the 77th Anniversary of the Great Apparition at Fatima, marks the birth of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. I pour forth the great love of My Sacred Heart to all. I am Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock.'

    "Jesus has told us that Shepherds of Christ Ministries includes: the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, Shepherds of Christ Associates prayer chapters, various publications, including books, whatever else Our Lord directs us to undertake.

    "As members of Shepherds of Christ Associates, you are an extremely important part of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. You have given great joy to the Heart of Jesus by responding to His invitation to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. As He draws you closer to His Heart and to His Mother's Heart as Associates members, He will fill you with an ever-increasing experience of His love, peace, and joy."

- From In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Newsletter of Shepherds of Christ Associates
by Fr. Edward J. Carter S.J., Volume 1, No. 1, 1995. p. 2.

                (7) From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J.


    This will help us to contemplate the life of the
    eternal king

Prayer. The preparatory prayer will be as usual.

First Prelude.  This is a mental representation of the
place. Here it will be to see in imagination the
synagogues, villages, and towns where Christ our
Lord preached.

Second Prelude.  I will ask for the grace I desire.
Here it will be to ask of our Lord the grace not to be
deaf to His call, but prompt and diligent to accomplish
His most holy will.

                            FIRST PART

92. First Point.  This will be to place before my mind
a human king, chosen by God our Lord Himself, to
whom all Christian princes and people pay homage
and obedience.

93. Second Point.  This will be to consider the address
this king makes to all his subjects, with the words: "It
is my will to conquer all the lands of the infidel. There-
fore, whoever wishes to join with me in this enterprise
must be content with the same food, drink, clothing,
etc. as mine. So, too, he must work with me by day,
and watch with me by night, etc., that as he has had a
share in the toil with me, afterwards, he may share in
the victory with me."

94. Third Point.  Consider what the answer of good
subjects ought to be to a king so generous and noble-
minded, and consequently, if anyone would refuse the
invitation of such a king, how justly he would deserve
to be condemned by the whole world, and looked upon
as a ignoble knight.

                            SECOND PART

95. The second part of this exercise will consist in applying
the example of the earthly king mentioned above
to Christ our Lord according to the following points:

First Point.  If such a summons of an earthly king to
his subjects deserves our attention, how much more
worthy of consideration is Christ our Lord, the Eternal
King, before whom is assembled the whole world. To
all His summons goes forth, and to each one in
particular He addresses the words: "It is my will to
conquer the whole world and all my enemies, and thus to
enter into the glory of my Father. Therefore, whoever
wishes to join me in this enterprise must be willing to
labor with me, that by following me in suffering, he
may follow me in glory."

96.  Second Point.  Consider that all persons who have
judgment and reason will offer themselves entirely for
this work.

97.  Third Point.  Those who wish to give greater
proof of their love, and to distinguish themselves in
whatever concerns the service of the eternal King and
the Lord of all, will not only offer themselves entirely
for the work, but will act against their sensuality and
carnal and worldly love, and make offerings of greater
value and of more importance in words such as these:


    Eternal Lord of all things, in the presence of Thy
    infinite goodness, and of Thy glorious mother, and
    of all the saints of Thy heavenly court, this is the
    offering of myself which I make with Thy favor
    and help. I protest that it is my earnest desire and
    my deliberate choice, provided only it is for Thy
    greater service and praise, to imitate Thee in bear-
    ing all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both
    actual and spiritual, should Thy most holy majesty
    deign to choose and admit me to such a state and
    way of life.


                (8) R. The Kingdom of heaven
                    is like a net thrown
                    into the sea

                (9) R. God will ask us how we
                    lived to build up His Kingdom.


                (10) Guiding Light - Cycle A - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

Christ the King - November 20, 2005

INTRODUCTION: (Ezekiel 34, 11-12. 15-17; I Cor. 15, 20-26.28; Matthew 25, 31-46) There was an artist who wanted to create a statue of Christ the King. He started working on a clay model, picturing Christ with his arms upraised, his head back and a joyful expression on his face. It was a triumphant Christ, much like the picture of Christ St. Paul gives us in today’s second reading. But when the artist went to bed it started to rain and the moist air blowing in the window made the clay in his statue begin to sag. When the artist saw his work in the morning, Christ’s arms were down, his head was bowed, his shoulders drooped and the expression on his face looked sad. Our readings give us both images of Christ the king today. In the first reading he is the powerful Christ, acting as shepherd of his people caring for them. In the gospel he is our judge. But also in the gospel he identifies himself with the hungry and the thirsty, the stranger and the naked, the sick and imprisoned and he tells us “just as you did it for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it for me.”





                (1) Genesis 22: 1-2,9,10-13,15-18

It happened some time later that God put Abraham to the test. ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ he called. ‘Here I am,’ he replied. God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, your beloved Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, where you are to offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall point out to you.’ 

    When they arrived at the place which God had indicated to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

    But the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven. ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ he said. ‘Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not raise your hand against the boy,’ the angel said. ‘Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your own beloved son.’ Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.

    The angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, that because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All nations on earth will bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command.’

                (2) Romans 8: 31-34

After saying this, what can we add? If God is for us, who can be against us? Since he did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for the sake of all of us, then can we not expect that with him he will freely give us all his gifts? Who can bring any accusation against those that God has chosen? When God grants saving justice who can condemn? Are we not sure that it is Christ Jesus, who died-yes and more, who was raised from the dead and is at God's right hand-and who is adding his plea for us?

                (3) Mark 9: 2-10

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus, ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’ Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.


Window at St. Boniface

                        Guiding Light - Cycle B - Homilies by Fr. Joe Robinson

2nd Sunday of Lent - March 12, 2006

INTRODUCTION – (Genesis 22, 1-2. 9a. 10-13. 15-18; Romans 8, 31b-34; Mark 9, 2-10) Our stained glass window here in the sanctuary is an illustration of the story in our first reading of Abraham ready to sacrifice his son. Recall how God had made many promises to Abraham, promises that Abraham had to wait many years to see fulfilled. Among those promises was that he would be the father of a great nation. However, it wasn’t until he and his wife Sarah were very old that his son Isaac was born. Several years after Isaac’s birth, Abraham sensed God calling on him to offer up his son as a human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was not unusual at that time. Abraham loved Isaac. Just as an aside, this is the first time the word "love" appears in the bible. Besides his love for his son, Isaac was the fulfillment of all the hopes and promises God had made with Abraham. What could Abraham have thought? Did he displease God and God was canceling his promises? How could he kill his own son? But how could he disobey this God who had never let him down? I might point out a couple of interesting facts. Mt. Moriah is believed to be in Jerusalem, the very spot where King Solomon would build the Temple some 800 years later. As you know the Temple had a history of being destroyed and rebuilt a few times. The beautiful mosque called the Dome of the Rock now stands on that spot. It was built by followers of Mohammed in 690 B.C. It’s the golden dome you often see when you look at a picture of Jerusalem. It is an issue over which the Jews and the Moslems are fighting today. The more conservative Jews want to tear it down and build a new temple in its place. The Moslems are determined not to let that happen.

                (5) 2nd Sunday of Lent - March 12, 2006

HOMILY – Two mountains dominate our readings today: Mt. Moriah, the place where Abraham’s faith was tested and another mountain, which was most likely Mt. Tabor, where Jesus was transfigured. I think these two mountains symbolize the ups and downs of every life. We have those times when our faith is tested, moments when we think God is demanding too much of us, moments when it seems God is asking us to give up all the blessings he had previously given us. And we have high moments, moments when God seems so close, when his presence fills us with wonder and awe, moments of blessing that we do not want to see come to an end. Often we have no control over where God might put us at different times in our lives: whether we find ourselves on Mt. Moriah facing great trials, or we find ourselves on Mt. Tabor in a state of ecstasy. But for most of us, most of the time we’re somewhere in between, plugging along every day. Difficult times often seem to last forever but they seldom do. Abraham’s time of trial ended when God said "hold off, you don’t have to sacrifice your son. I just want to know you were willing to obey me." Sometimes that’s all God wants from us is for us to say "Thy will be done." And the joyful moments in our lives end all too quickly. The apostles wanted to stay on Mt. Tabor forever but our Lord said it was time to go back down. There was a lot of work and very hard times ahead of him.

                (6) 2nd Sunday of Lent - March 12, 2006 - homily continues

Not mentioned is a third very important mountain. It is foreshadowed in the story of Abraham and Isaac. God did not demand the human sacrifice of Isaac, but God’s only son was to remain faithful to his mission even at the cost of his life on the hill of Calvary. Calvary also casts its shadow over the glory of Mt. Tabor. St. Mark makes an obvious connection between Jesus’ passion and death and his transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Mark tells us specifically the transfiguration took place six days after Jesus’ first prediction of his passion and death. And Mark ends his narration of the transfiguration with Jesus telling Peter, James and John not to tell anyone of the vision until he had risen from the dead. The obvious linking of Jesus’ death and resurrection with the transfiguration tells us that while Calvary reminds us of Jesus’ suffering and his cross, it is also his hour of glory that brings us salvation, hope and peace.

                (7) 2nd Sunday of Lent - March 12, 2006 - homily continues

The transfiguration was not only a revelation of the divinity hidden in Jesus but it was also a preview of his future glorification in the resurrection. It is also a preview of the glory God the Father wants us to share with his Son. The transfiguration is the fourth of the new mysteries of light for the rosary. As I was meditating on this mystery the other day I wondered how often the apostles experienced Jesus’ glory like this? Only once and it was only three of them. They had to simply go on faith the rest of the time, seeing only the human side of Jesus who ate and slept and grew tired and was sometimes sad or angry just like them. Those special moments when we experience God’s special closeness, when Jesus’ presence is tangible to us, when our lives are touched by glory are few and far between. Most of the time we have to simply go on faith. But it is a faith that will lead to future glory. St. Paul asks us in today’s second reading: "is it possible that he who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides?" 


                (8) Excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. pp. 141-146


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


                (9) Excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. P.147-150    


Further rules for understanding the different movements produced in the soul. They serve for a more accurate discernment of spirits and are more suitable for the second week

329.  I.  It is characteristic of God and His Angels, when they act upon the soul, to give true happiness and spiritual joy, and to banish all the sadness and disturbances which are caused by the enemy.
   It is characteristic of the evil one to fight against such happiness and consolation by proposing fallacious reasonings, subtilties, and continual deceptions.

330.  2.  God alone can give consolation to the soul without any previous cause. It belongs solely to the Creator to come into a soul, to leave it, to act upon it, to draw it wholly to the love of His Divine Majesty. I said without previous cause, that is, without any preceding perception or knowledge of any subject by which a soul might be led to such a consolation through its own acts of intellect and will.

331.  3.  If a cause precedes, both the good angel and the evil spirit can give consolation to a soul, but for a quite different purpose. The good angel consoles for the progress of the soul, that it may advance and rise to what is more perfect. The evil spirit consoles for purposes that are the contrary, and that afterwards he might draw the soul to his own perverse intentions and wickedness.

332.  4.  It is a mark of the evil spirit to assume the appearance of an angel of light. He begins by suggesting thoughts that are suited to a devout soul, and ends by suggesting his own. For example, he will suggest holy and pious thoughts that are wholly in conformity with the sanctity of the soul. Afterwards, he will endeavor little by little to end by drawing the soul into his hidden snares and evil designs.

333.  5.  We must carefully observe the whole course of our thoughts. If the beginning and middle and end of the course of thoughts are wholly good and directed to what is entirely right, it is a sign that they are from the good angel. But the course of thoughts suggested to us may terminate in something evil, or distracting, or less good than the soul had formerly proposed to do. Again, it may end in what weakens the soul, or disquiets it; or by destroying the peace, tranquility, and quiet which it had before, it may cause disturbance to the soul. These things are a clear sign that the thoughts are proceeding from the evil spirit, the enemy of our progress and eternal salvation.

334.  6.  When the enemy of our human nature has been detected and recognized by the trail of evil marking his course and by the wicked end to which he leads us, it will be profitable for one who has been tempted to review immediately the whole course of the temptation. Let him consider the series of good thoughts, how they arose, how the evil one gradually attempted to make him step down from the state of spiritual delight and joy in which he was, till finally he drew him to his wicked designs. The purpose of this review is that once such an experience has been understood and carefully observed, we may guard ourselves for the future against the customary deceits of the enemy.

335.  7.  In souls that are progressing to greater perfection, the action of the good angel is delicate, gentle, delightful. It may be compared to a drop of water penetrating a sponge.
    The action of the evil spirit upon such souls is violent, noisy, and disturbing. It may be compared to a drop of water falling upon a stone.
    In souls that are going from bad to worse, the action of the spirits mentioned above is just the reverse. The reason for this is to be sought in the opposition or similarity of these souls to the different kinds of spirits. When the disposition is contrary to that of the spirits, they enter with noise and commotion that are easily perceived. When the disposition is similar to that of the spirits, they enter silently, as one coming into his own house when the doors are open.

336.  8.  When consolation is without previous cause, as was said, there can be no deception in it, since it can proceed from God our Lord only. But a spiritual person who has received such a consolation must consider it very attentively, and must cautiously distinguish the actual time of the consolation from the period which follows it. At such a time the soul is still fervent and favored with the grace and aftereffects of the consolation which has passed. In this second period the soul frequently forms various resolutions and plans which are not granted directly by God our Lord. They may come from our own reasoning on the relations of our concepts and on the consequences of our judgments, or they may come from the good or evil spirit. Hence, they must be carefully examined before they are given full approval and put into execution.

end of excerpt of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


                (10) From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. p.11

21.                     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


From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. p.12

                        23. FIRST PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION

                            Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God 
                        our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.

    The other things on the face of the earth are created
for man to help him in attaining the end for which he
is created.

    Hence, man is to make use of them in as far as they
help him in the attainment of his end, and he must rid
himself of them in as far as they prove a hindrance to

     Therefore, we must make ourselves indifferent to all
created things, as far as we are allowed free choice and
are not under any prohibition. Consequently, as far
as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to
sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, a long
life to a short life. The same holds for all other things.

    Our one desire and choice should be what is more
conducive to the end for which we are created.


From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, by Louis J. Puhl, S.J.  p.25

46. PRAYER.  In the preparatory prayer I will beg God
our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions, 
and operations may be directed purely to the 
praise and service of His Divine Majesty.


Prayer from St. Ignatius

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 any reward,
Save that of knowing
                    that I am doing your will.


        Prayer of St Ignatius

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Permit me not to be separated from Thee
From the wicked foe defend me
at the hour of my death call me
and bid me come to Thee
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee
For ever and ever. Amen.


Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. Founder and Rita Ring
4 days before his death



Window at St. Boniface

                The Last Supper

                (1) Matthew 26: 20-30

When evening came he was at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating he said, ‘In truth I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not me, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me will betray me. The Son of man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, ‘Not me, Rabbi, surely?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is you who say it.’

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples. ‘Take it and eat,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them saying, ‘Drink from this, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. From now on, I tell you, I shall never again drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.’

After the psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.


                (2) John 13: 1-30

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end.

   They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

   He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said, ‘Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’ Jesus said, ‘No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are’.

    When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’, he said, ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.

   ‘In all truth I tell you,
    no servant is greater than his master,
    no messenger is greater
        than the one who sent him.

   ‘Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled:

   He who shares my table
    takes advantage of me
    I tell you this now, before it happens,
    so that when it does happen
    you may believe that I am He.
    In all truth I tell you,
    whoever welcomes the one I send,
        welcomes me,
    and whoever welcomes me,
        welcomes the one who sent me.’

Having said this, Jesus was deeply disturbed and declared, ‘In all truth I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means,’ so leaning back close to Jesus’ chest he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give the piece of bread that I dip in the dish.’ And when he had dipped the piece of bread he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at table understood why he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival,’ or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. It was night.


                (3) R. Judas betrayed Jesus
                    There were 12 Apostles —
                    11 were faithful

                (4) R. Jesus changed bread and wine
                    into His Body and Blood

Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. Founder


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



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.


                (7) From the Mass Book by Rita Ring

December 27, 1995



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.


                (8) From the Priestly Newsletter Book II pp. 84-85

Father Edward Leen gives us these inspiring words on the Eucharist: "Again Our Lord raised His hands over the apostles, His lips moved in prayer, and He then said: 'Do this in commemoration of Me'; and the great mystery that He had just accomplished is perpetuated, is made possible to the end of time. The Catholic Priesthood was inaugurated. By this act Our Lord made possible for all time His stay on earth amongst men, whom He loved to such an excess. And yet He knew with His Divine foresight what that meant for Him. Though He saw that His Body and Blood would be treated with reverence by a multitude of devout souls, yet He realized full well that in many and many an instance in the course of ages He would be placing Himself at the mercy of unworthy and sinful priests who would treat Him with irreverence and sacrilege. He saw in vision all the profanations, outrages and, what was more painful still to His loving heart, the cold indifference that He was to endure from tepid and careless Christians. Nothing of that was unknown to Him, but He willed to submit Himself to all in the interests of those who were to profit by His Divine Condescension and meet His advances of love. Love, especially Divine Love, does not halt to calculate and weigh advantage and disadvantage in the balance. He risked all to serve some, whom He aimed at drawing into close intimacy with Himself.
        "This love of His for us compels Him to enter into ever closer union with human souls, to be ever nearer to them than He was when He moved on earth and conversed with those about Him. During His mortal life He spoke and His words sank into His hearers' hearts and stirred them strangely. But in Holy Communion His contact with us is much more intimate and vital than it then was with those who thronged His footsteps along the Galilean highways. It is also much more active and life-giving.
        "On two distinct occasions God His Father in Heaven proclaimed that the Child of Mary was His beloved Son in Whom He was well pleased. The significance of this testimony lies in this: there is no being in whom God can find His pleasure, and to whom therefore He can extend His love, unless it be Jesus Christ or one who bears a resemblance to Him. No other form of human life can please God except His, or one that takes it pattern from His' Unless we are pleasing to God we cannot be saved, we cannot realize the purpose of our divine adoption. We cannot please God unless we resemble Jesus Christ, and the Blessed Sacrament is instituted for the very object of perfecting in us this likeness. Bodily food is transformed into the flesh of him that receives it; this heavenly food, the food of our souls, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, has the directly opposite effect: it changes him who receives it into Itself. It must not be forgotten that the presence in us which follows the reception of Holy Communion is a living active presence. Our Lord is more present with us than is a person with whom we are speaking. As He influenced whilst on earth those who allowed themselves to fall under the charm of His Personality, so He exercises a profound effect on the soul of the communicant, if that soul wishes to submit to His action. We cannot be in the society of one who is good without being incited to goodness; we cannot be with Our Lord-and we are as close to Him as our desires extend-without receiving the effects of His virtue and without being stirred to become as he was, without being drawn, in a mystical sense to become one with Him, to become 'Christified'."3

3. Fr. Edward Leen, C.S..Sp., In the Likeness of Christ, Sheed and Ward, pp. 250-252..

                (9) Sing: I Love You Jesus

                (10) Sing: Your Presence Pervades My Soul


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