|Mary has requested that the daily message be given each day to the
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this daily message to the world at 11 p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.
We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages
February 25th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 3 Period I.
The Novena Rosary Mystery
for February 25th is Sorrowful.
February 24, 2003
February 24, 2003
February 24, 2003
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February 24, 2003
My Heart cries out to you to pray
for My beloved souls.
Many souls do not even know how
imperfectly they act — they
do not pray for grace to see
They do not pray for Wisdom.
Sirah 1: 1-10
All wisdom comes from the Lord,
she is with him for ever.
The sands of the sea, the drops of rain,
the days of eternity—who can count them?
The height of the sky, the breadth of the earth,
the depth of the abyss—who can explore them?
Wisdom was created before everything,
prudent understanding subsists from remotest ages.
For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered?
Her resourceful ways, who knows them?
One only is wise, terrible indeed,
seated on his throne, the Lord.
It was he who created, inspected and weighed her up,
and then poured her out on all his works—
as much to each living creature as he chose—
bestowing her on those who love him.
Some are too prideful to pray allowing
God's grace to work in them, they
think they do everything right, they
continue acting the way they
are accustomed to and try
to change all around them.
Control is a problem.
Many control for the sake of control.
You must pray for grace to know what
While you give into satan with your
pride, much work is not
Oh My beloved people I have all
Do not let your pride take
Some will lie, just to seem right.
What is important to them is that they
are always above others,
that they see themselves
always having the right
What is important is that you
pray for wisdom and truth.
What is important that when directing
others, you must pray for wisdom
to do so correctly.
Do you pray, or are you telling yourself
you are right and then want God
to prove it to others?
I want you to read the Story in the
beginning of the Bible —
Genesis Chapter 3
Now, the snake was the most subtle of all the wild animals that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the snake, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, "You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death." ’ Then the snake said to the woman, ‘No! You will not die! God knows in fact that the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good from evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was enticing for the wisdom that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig–leaves together to make themselves loin–cloths.
The man and his wife heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. But Yahweh God called to the man. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden,’ he replied. ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked. ‘Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then Yahweh God said to the woman, ‘Why did you do that?’ The woman replied, ‘The snake tempted me and I ate.’
Then Yahweh God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this,
Accursed be you of
all animals wild and tame!
On your belly you will go
and on dust you will feed
as long as you live.
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.’
To the woman he said:
I shall give you intense pain
you will give birth to your children
Your yearning will be for your husband,
and he will dominate you.
To the man he said, ‘Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,
Accursed be the soil because of you!
Painfully will you get your food from it
as long as you live.
It will yield you brambles and thistles,
as you eat the produce of the land.
By the sweat of your face
will you earn your food,
until you return to the ground,
as you were taken from it.
For dust you are
and to dust you shall return.’
The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live. Yahweh God made tunics of skins for the man and his wife and clothed them. Then Yahweh God said, ‘Now that the man has become like one of us in knowing good from evil, he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick from the tree of life too, and eat and live for ever!’ So Yahweh God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the great winged creatures and the fiery flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Jesus speaks: I want you to meditate on light.
Think of St. Paul and what he was
doing and then he saw the light.
Oh pride blinds the man — you must
pray to not be guilty of the
sin of pride, but pray for
grace to do God's will.
Many want Me to do what they want,
I am God.
Many are so prideful in their prayers.
Some are so confused that they
change black and white
statements into statements
they interpret to their liking.
Pray for wisdom.
Pray to not be full of pride.
Pray to see as God wants you to see.
The light shown on my face and
I saw differently than before.
Some are hurting so much from
past relationships they do not
know how they are blaming others
today for their pain with others.
They need to look at the hidden pain
within from all their relationships.
Some do not even realize what they do.
A person was very wounded, they
kept saying things to hurt
another to explain their
pain, they never realized
how they drove the other
away. They made the other
person in their relationship,
now, responsible for all the
pain that had been done to
them. They never looked at
all the disappointments, wounds
and sufferings of the past, - they pick
a surrogate person and act out
all their pain on them, emotionally
controlling and hurting - using the
job, the situation for their own
Those underneath others in families
and businesses can use passive-
aggressive ways to get control
and attention. They are silent
and yet their silence hurts everyone
when they are an authority. They
have control of the situation and
that is their goal to emotionally
control those around them to
punish someone for their deep —
People who have suffered terrible
betrayal can punish innocent
people their whole life until
they look at their own bitterness.
Some need to cry and express the
feelings and work through the
process of forgiving and loving
the person who has offended
Others may be given special grace
to heal. I have given special
grace at the Virgin Mary building
the building of the Two Hearts for
this changing of one's heart
and seeing the situation in the light.
Some are so prideful, they stuff
their feelings telling themselves they
are above needing any kind of
help dealing with their bitterness
and they heap resentment, hatred,
unforgiveness as in a big box
within ready to explode and
punish any victim they can
consistently control emotionally.
When the job is clear and there is
"a bunch of baggage" to get to
the execution of that job - then you
are not doing the job for the
Some people spend their whole lives
They go into a room and are looking
for the person to help so they
can be master and above them.
Oh look at that poor person, they think,
"I will help them" then I will
feel power and satisfaction of
being above them.
You do not see the pride in your own
actions, many times.
You do not see your own woundedness.
Some project their own problems on
Others have had traumatic suffering
in relationships and instead of
admitting they must truthfully
try to recover — They close themselves
up like a hard box, thinking they are
so holy they don't need to face their
own pain, then they project their
pain on others trying to control
them and emotionally punish
others for their hidden pain they
have locked away like hungry
dogs in a basement.
Who will penetrate the heart of
one who is prideful and punishing —
their own prayers and willingness
to beg for grace can help them.
A person unwilling to change does
not want to change, they will try
to manipulate everything so
they will never have to change.
It takes grace to look at life-long
behavior patterns and change them.
It takes willingness to always beg
that one lives in the truth.
One little lie, stretching of the
truth is a doorway to
let other lies in.
Is your pride more important
than the truth to you?
Do you interpret things so you
will always do things your
I am giving directions to complete
this mailing to the priests
in the United States.
It is easy to follow.
It takes lots of prayers to accomplish
A person in need of recovery can
punish others until they
deal with the truth and recognize
the fact they try to emotionally
My ways are direct and steadfast.
Two people sat next to each other
in a mailing — they worked
and got the job done.
A person full of wounds and
pride is constantly thinking
of all kinds of problems
they have with others — little
work is accomplished, they
have all these issues to settle
being next to someone.
Two people working to accomplish
a task - go to work.
A person with all kinds of problems
in wounding relationships
spends all his time and
energy seeing who is in
control, how are they acting,
what side of the corner of their
mouth are they smiling out
My people while you give into satan
fighting your brothers you need
to work with — all My work
stops and the world is growing
in deeper evilness because
you are not helping.
Do you want to help your children?
Get off your high-horse, you
think you can control it —
Oh My beloved one — you live in
the world and so do your
children — in 2 years your
influence will be so little
and the world is getting worse
The world will be the teachers
of your children soon and soon —
You do not live in a vacuum
you better pray as I have
directed for the priests, the
Church and the WORLD.
Are you in My army or
has satan taken you out — controlling
your wounded heart, blaming
others for wounds they did not
You must pray for healing for yourself —
the quickest way is to follow
My directions here —
quit reading everything into
it — so you can control it —
quit telling others of your
wounded ways by people
who didn't even hurt you.
You give into satan because of
what is inside of you.
What is in your heart —
is it pride
the need to control —
Matthew 15: 17-20
Can’t you see that whatever goes into the mouth passes through the stomach and is discharged into the sewer? But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and it is this that makes someone unclean. For from the heart come evil intentions: murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury, slander. These are the things that make a person unclean. But eating with unwashed hands does not make anyone unclean.’
While you are playing your
games, my work isn't
being accomplished and
Your own children and grandchildren
are suffering from the world.
What a soldier you are!
You have been laid in a bunker
when the barrel is at your
head because your feelings
are hurt and you need to control.
Believe Me they will shoot your
head and kill your children.
Satan wants souls.
He is evil.
He wants to take them to hell.
You worry about your
body and souls are
dropping into hell
Satan is laughing —
Oh the children —
Oh the children
No one can tell you, you
are wrong because of your
pride and your need to
When I asked you to help Me
you said no to Me
and continued your
stubborn, imperfect ways.
You don't even tell yourself
the truth when you
are disappointed —
you blame someone
else and try to get
your power in ways against
A good mother and father loves their
Because the child has swayed from
doing what they should — a good
parent loves the child and
prays for them.
The good parent is not looking for
their own selfish gain with
a child —
Some parents think their children
should fill their unmet needs
of loving —
Can you see the ill effects
on the children?
A healthy good parent prays for the
children no matter what they
have done, they love them and
want the child to have their eternal
How are your relationships with
your children? Do they exist
to fill your needs?
A mother once said when the children
were "up and grown" and seemed
so busy with their own lives —
I love them so deeply — no matter
what they are doing — it isn't
I love one more than another
because of what they have
done for me —
I love them all so very deeply —
I just love them —
I want so much for them to go
to heaven —
Oh My people
How pure is your love?
Do your relationships exist
to fill your wounds and
do you emotionally control
I have called you in My army to
Depending on your maturity and
how you yourself, live
truthfully is how you will
How pure is your love for souls —
Or was your relationship with
Shepherds of Christ because
you wanted a family to fill
your needs and blame your
old wounds on.
I have called you in My army —
your arms are your hearts
filled with My love —
Some are babies —
they wanted the milk from
the bottle or breast they
never got —
Some wanted the love they
never got from a failed
I called you to serve Me —
I outpoured My love to you in
God's Blue Book —
I took you deeply into My heart —
Some came and learned and gave
very little back and
gave very little to other souls and
then they started criticizing
My Movement after I gave
them so much —
the folly of it is —
is - you do not see the work of satan
in your inactive, bitter life,
Some have a pressure cooker
filled with bitterness and anger
from past relationships and they
want to be held like babies,
they want a wife to tell them they
are #1 and they are loved
every second of every day —
I love you every moment of every day
and more and
I love My precious souls this way —
Your children are being given poison
in the world —
Soon the grandbabies will be given
the same diet and
are you the mother that says —
"I love them no matter what"
bitter mother that wants the
birthday present and mother's day
card or she will not talk to them —
How is your heart —
Evil comes from within —
contemplation of ill deeds
LOOK AT YOUR HEART
have you grown in My image
and likeness —
I gave the last drop of My Blood —
your anger and bitterness is eating
you away more than the ill deeds
of your fellows you blame
and robbing your heart of
happiness to know Me -
and know you are helping this
|The First Station
JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH
Jesus: My dear child, with angry
hearts and hatred on their faces, they poked at Me and condemned Me to
death. I stood so silent, My hands tied, in perfect peace, because I
knew the Father's love. I knew the Father's Will. You too will stand
your trials in perfect peace, the more you realize the immense love the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for you. Pray to the Spirit to
transform you more and more into My image and, through this
transformation, you will be led ever closer to the Father. Oh, how I
The Second Station
THEY GIVE JESUS THE CROSS
Jesus: They gave Me a heavy cross, laden with
the sins of the world. They placed it on My shoulder. It was so heavy I
felt as if My shoulder would break. I ask you to carry little crosses,
to experience little pains. I could not remove this cross from My
shoulder. The weight was unbearable. It is through My suffering and
death that you receive new life. It is through your sufferings this day
that you will grow in your life with Me. Oh, child, I loved you so much
that I took up the cross of salvation. I love you. Please realize that I
am talking to you here. To My death I loved you. Oh, how I love you!
The Third Station
JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME
Jesus: The cross was so heavy I could hardly walk. I held on to My cross for greatest love of you and in compliance with the Will of My Father. It became so hard to walk! The cross was so heavy! I fell. I fell and the cross fell on Me. They poked at Me, they struck Me, they demanded I get up. The pain from the instruments they used to poke Me and strike Me was so great! I somehow managed to get up.
When you fall under the weight of your cross, come to
My Eucharistic Heart. I am no less present in the tabernacle and in the
Eucharist than on the day I carried My cross. I wait with the same love
that I had for you when I carried this cross and suffered such agony.
Oh, how I love you!
The Fourth Station
JESUS AND MARY MEET
Jesus: I saw the face of My beautiful Mother.
She was weak, her face reddened and full of tears. I saw her tender
heart, her love, her anguish, her pain. I saw My dear Mother Mary. My
Heart was comforted by the sight of her, but torn by her suffering.
The Fifth Station
SIMON OF CYRENE IS FORCED
TO HELP JESUS CARRY HIS CROSS
Jesus: The cross was so heavy I could not move.
My persecutors became angry and forced a man to help Me. The cross was
so heavy the two of us could barely move it. How is your cross today?
Does it seem so heavy you cannot go on? I am forever watching you. When
you are suffering the greatest, I am very close to you. It is in immense
suffering that you realize My great love for you. Pray for grace to do
always the Father's Will. Pray for grace to grow in your knowledge and
love of Me.
VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
Jesus: My face was covered with blood. From the crowd Veronica came forward with a cloth to wipe My face. On the cloth I gave to you an imprint of My bloodied face. This, My children, remains with you this day as a sign of My immense love for you. But more than any cloth, look beyond the visible consecrated host. I, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, remain with you, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Eucharist this day, waiting and longing to be with you. Oh, how I love you!
The Seventh Station
JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME
Jesus: Oh, dear ones, the road became harder
and harder to walk. The cross was becoming heavier, My body weaker and
weaker. My shoulders and arms hurt so much! My head throbbed as I
walked. The blood came from My body, from My head to My feet. I was
covered with open wounds. I could not go any farther. I stumbled and
fell. Again they poked at Me, only harder, and with such hatred they
kicked Me. Such vileness in the hearts of men! My greatest agony was not
the agonies of My body, but the agonies of My heart for the love I have
for all My precious souls. I loved them so dearly. I loved those who
persecuted Me. Oh, how I love you!
JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM
Jesus: The women came to Me with their children, their tender hearts crying and wanting to comfort Me. I saw their love, their care. I saw the coldness of men's hearts for all time, the hatred, the anger, the sins, all the souls that, despite all of My sufferings and death, would be condemned to eternal damnation. I told the women to weep not for Me, but for themselves and their children. My greatest agonies were the agonies of My Most Sacred Heart. Oh, how I love you!
The Ninth Station
JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME
Jesus Falls the Third Time
|The Tenth Station
JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS
Jesus: They took Me to the hill to crucify Me. They angrily stripped Me of My garments. They took off My clothes to whip Me. They had covered My bloody wounds with a dirty purple robe. Now, total surrender-they took off My clothes. I showed you the way to surrender, always complying with the Will of the Father. It is in living in His Will that you will have peace and joy, and life eternal some day. Oh, how I love you!
The Eleventh Station
THEY NAIL JESUS TO THE CROSS
Messenger: See Mary as she holds the little
Baby Jesus. See her as she washes His tender hands and feet. See her now
as she watches as they pound into those same hands and feet the gigantic
nails that fix Jesus to the cross.
The Twelfth Station
JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS
The Thirteenth Station
JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS
AND PLACED IN THE ARMS OF HIS MOTHER
Messenger: His totally lifeless body was placed
in the arms of His most loving Mother. As she had held the little baby
body in her arms, she now received His bloodied, bruised body in her
arms. This is how He obeyed the Father's Will. Jesus gave His life for
us. The Father gave His only Son because He loves us so much. Mary, His
Mother, our Mother and the Mother of the Church, is forever by His side.
See Jesus in the arms of His loving Mother under the cross. This is
JESUS IS LOCKED IN THE TOMB
Messenger: His enemies rolled the stone up to the tomb and were pleased to have buried Jesus. Mary, outside the tomb, wept bitterly. The cold reality that He was dead! But death has no power over Jesus for on the third day He rose, triumphant, from the tomb! We are partakers in His divine life. Death has no power over Jesus. He is with us this day. He comes to bring us life to the full. He loves us so much!
Talk by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.
given to the Apostles in the
Shepherds of Christ Movement
February 1, 1998
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen all of you at once in the same place. It’s a tremendous treat for me. So praise be the Lord. Let’s start with the Holy Spirit Prayer.
Come, Holy Spirit, almighty Sanctifier, God of love, who filled the Virgin Mary with grace, who wonderfully changed the hearts of the apostles, who endowed all Your martyrs with miraculous courage, come and sanctify us. Enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgment, set our hearts on fire, and preserve us from the misfortunes of resisting Your inspirations. Amen.
...So after I talk here I will have to depart and leave the praying to you at this place. I’ll be praying with you as I drive away...
...I’m spending much more time on the newsletter now. Our Lord had been calling me to do that for months but it was when I was fully active it was very, very hard to get the time to really spread it around the world like He wanted to, although we had been working with the English edition trying to get that in more and more countries. We are in about eighty or more countries with the English edition...
And in cases where it needs translation, for instance, the Spanish edition we translate that up here, we print it up here and we bulk mail it.
[Note: He talks about the spread of the Newsletter to priests and bishops in Central, South America in Spanish, Africa, India, French speaking, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia]
...It is Our Lord’s wish along with the prayer chapters that this be considered our primary ministry, the Newsletter. So please, please, please, please pray for it’s continued success and expansion. It is so extremely important because as you know, if you can change the heart of one priest, he is in a position to do so, so much good with even thousands of people. And we have received extremely encouraging letters over the years that the newsletters been published from priests, how it’s helped them out on their own spiritual life but in their ministries, giving them homilies and so forth. And from bishops which are highly encouraging commending us on the quality and the worthwhileness of the newsletter.
- Dear Father Carter,
For years I have received Shepherds of Christ Newsletter; I do not know who put me on your mailing list, but I’m grateful to you both. Since I first began to receive the newsletter I have been assigned as the Director of Formation Advising for the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
I would like to know if it would be possible to make a bulk order so that our seminarians could benefit from the newsletter as well. I will make sure they are distributed to our seminarians. At present we have about 200 seminarians and student priests on our campus, all eager for good spiritual reading!
Please let me know if we can make an arrangement for the delivery of the newsletter here at the college.
Please keep our faculty and seminarians in your prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. J. Mark Williams
Director of Formation Advising
Pontifical North American College
00120 Vatican City State
[He then talks about funds for the Newsletter.]
I think I came to speak to you today because I think we’re at a very, very significant point of the Shepherds of Christ Movement as it marches into the new era of which was promised by Our Lady of Fatima. And I think the Movement is basically strong, basically healthy but I think we need a recommitment of ourselves to the Movement precisely because much more is being asked of us. We have three centers to staff not only with people but with materials.
So as we go on in what Our Lord wants us to do, we just need a deeper commitment to the Movement just like the spiritual life in general. You never stand still on the spiritual journey. I mean spiritual masters have always told us this, you either go back or you go forward.
And so it is with the Movement, we just don’t stand still. We have to keep on deepening our commitment to the Movement individually and collectively or it’s not going to move forward obviously. So I guess you can say that’s the main reason I thought it was very important that I come here today to speak to you to ask you to renew your commitment to Our Lord in the Movement. And to put some thoughts before (you) which hopefully will help you to renew your commitment.
I’ll begin by reminding all of us of the great, great privilege it is to have been called to this Movement. I’ve said this before, I say it now even with deeper conviction, I really believe that this will go down in history as one of the great Movements in the history of the Church. And if you reflect upon what we’ve been called to do, I don’t think it’s hard to come to that conclusion. I don’t know of any just taking our ministry to the priests with the newsletter and with the prayer chapters whose primary duty is to pray for the priests as well as the whole human race. But I am unaware of any other Movement in the history of the Church which has tried to reach all priests the world over with the newsletter and the prayer chapters to the extent that we are trying to do so. So just those two ministries in themselves I think point to the greatness of this Movement. Then our many other ministries: the rosaries, the consecration of the schools, the nursing home, prison ministries are all our various publications. So much wonderful literature, rosary in the homes, one of our newest ministries, the couples rosary and the spirituality which comes out of that and we hope to work more and more nationally to strengthen marriage and family life through working with couples as couples.
So if you look at what we are doing with the tremendous amount of materials which are being distributed from the Florida site and through orders from this site and through other sites.
So again I think this is one of the great, great Movements in the history of the Church. And we have to pinch ourselves every once in awhile and nudge ourselves and realize the great calling we have been given to work in this Movement. I think there has been a certain, despite all the great work which is being done, I think there is a certain stagnation which has set in to a certain degree and we have to jolt ourselves out of that and recommit ourselves.
St. John of the Cross in one of his writings says—of course he is one of the greatest mystical theologians in the history of the Church and in one of his writings he says, “What does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.”
Let’s read that again together “What does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.”
[Father Carter is speaking to Servants and Handmaids of the Good Shepherd—]
[Apostles who dedicate themselves completely to the Shepherds of Christ Ministries—]
Applying that to our calling to Shepherds of Christ—there’s more work to this Movement than any of us, individually or all put together can ever attend to properly. What I am getting at, if you really feel you’ve been called to this Movement and especially to the apostle's level, I am suggesting to you very fervently and hopefully, persuasively, the Shepherds of Christ Ministries can use all the spare time, all the ministerial time you have to give to the work of the Kingdom. You don’t have to go around looking for other ministries to contribute your time to. You are free to do that, you are free to leave the Movement at any time. We are not forcing anyone to stay, we hope everybody stays but we have had people leave.
So there should always be that, that sense of freedom if you want to lessen off your commitment or hopefully it would never happen, but if you would chose to leave the commitment, Jesus respects your freewill.
But looking at it again positively I’m suggesting to you—there is so much work to be done in the Movement. So this first day of February which happened to be the month of the feast of St. Claude de la Columbiere, February the 15th, who has been one of the greatest apostles to the devotion to the Heart of Jesus in the history of the Church, so in a certain sense it’s a type of month of the Sacred Heart because of his feast, so I ask that all of us renew our commitment to the Movement. And again realize the great privilege, that’s one of the first ways to persevere in the Movement and to grow in the Movement, everyday to thank God for the great graces He has given you in the Movement.
And I ask you just briefly to look back over your lives, now compared to when you joined the Movement. Has not Our Lord through Our Lady drawn you so, so, so much closer to Them. And He in turn has led you so much closer to the Father and the Spirit. The chairman of our theology department, the first departmental meeting when he took over, he said Xavier has been very good to me, now I feel it’s payback time and I think I should serve the University being chair of the Theology department. Being chair of a department, it’s really a pain of any department. But those words stick in my mind, he says now it is payback time. I should payback Xavier for all the good Xavier has done to me. I suggest we keep that in mind in reference to Jesus in His Movement. It’s always payback time. He does not give us graces and gifts in the Movement just for ourselves. Every gift of Jesus has a social dimension, it’s meant not only for my own spiritual growth, but for growth of the Kingdom. And so if we find ourselves becoming somewhat complacent in our gifts received through the Movement and not properly using them at least to the full extent that we could and helping to spread the Movement, helping to spread the Kingdom, then let us resolve here and now to do better.
Perseverance in the Movement—all vocations, all callings need perseverance. I pray for perseverance as a Jesuit every day of my life. I pray for perseverance. I’m suggesting to all of us that we pray for perseverance in the Movement and not just a status quo type of perseverance, but pray for a perseverance which will allow us to dynamically grow and be greater apostles in the Movement. And we have to take the means to persevere.
First of all, of course, is Mass and communion, then our visit to the Blessed Sacrament, saying the rosary and listening to at least five minutes a day to a live rosary which Rita receives, praying the hourly prayers without feeling overburdened. If you begin to feel overburdened by the hourly novena just make a 30 second prayer, say Jesus, say the three invocations, “Lord ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, through the intercession of Mary, thy most holy mother I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted” and just say we pray for all needs of the Shepherds of Christ Movement and the other two invocations. You can do that in about 30 seconds. And then at times of course when you have the time and you feel moved bring in the specific intentions. But that hourly prayer has great power to keep our motivation up but it should not on the other hand feel burdensome to you. If it feels burdensome to you for any length of time, just use the short form for quite a while.
[Note: servants and handmaids and apostles of the Good Shepherd of the Shepherds of Christ Movement go to daily Mass and spend one hour before the tabernacle and pray hourly for the priests, the Church and the world.]
Reading the Blue Book messages, at least just a few minutes a day, can do wonders to help us persevere in the Movement. Renew your love and commitment to the Movement. Included in that renewed love and commitment I think should be a resolution that we don’t bad mouth the Movement, certainly not to those outside the Movement, certainly not even to those within the Movement. We have problems, we always have had some, we always will, the universal Church has monumental problems. But we have to learn how to handle the problems responsibly. If you have a significant problem please contact John or Rita, talk it over with them, with me if you feel so called. They usually report problems to me. I’m in constant contact with them. Currently I talk to them each day about the Movement, what’s going on, strong points, weak points and so forth. If you have problems with the Movement, don’t spread your problem with the problems to somebody else who starts to think negatively also.
I mean go to Jesus, of course, first of all, but then bring your problem to somebody who has the authority in the Movement to handle it. That’s very, very important, 'cause our loyalty and love for the Movement, I think are significantly harmed when we don’t take that approach. Obedience in the Movement is going to become more and more important as the Movement grows. Any organization needs a certain structure, a hierarchy of command, obedience to legitimate authority. When John asks you to do something, please try to answer his request. If you can’t, just tell him I can’t do it now. When he directs you to do something, which is stronger than a request, don’t give him a hard time. Jesus wants obedience in the Movement. No Movement can survive or progress without obedience, without a structure of command. John has a terrifically difficult job. Don’t make it more difficult for him by, as I say, giving him a hard time or by never answering his request for help.
I understand that the level of volunteerism here at the center has gradually slackened off over recent months, and it is very difficult to get people together to do our mailings. We can’t keep depending on just a few people all the time. Here again it’s payback time. I mean everyday is payback time. You can never fully repay Jesus for what He has done for us or what He continues to do for us. Now we have to use Christian prudence in all this, we’ve got family duties; we’ve got other duties that’s God’s will for us. We have to take care of those. But granting all those other calls on our time and our energy, if Jesus has called you to this Movement, He’s called each and every one of you, then He expects you to live up to your commitment. And if it’s always looked upon, if you feel it’s always more of a burden than a privilege, then I think a person has to consider, 'Shall I stay in the Movement?' Jesus loves a cheerful giver. Suffering is involved, is it not? Any following of Christ involves suffering. Any non following of Christ brings suffering, and a greater suffering—those who don’t believe, who don’t have any religious faith or conviction. They end up suffering much more than we who suffer in the following of Christ.
I would like to read you something that I’ve written on suffering that will appear in the next newsletter—
FATHER CARTER'S VOICE WAS VERY SAD
and VERY LOVING.
Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter 1998 Issue 1
To follow Jesus entails a willingness to suffer for Him and His cause. The furthering of any worthwhile cause demands a spirit of sacrifice, a willingness to endure a variety of hardships and difficulties. We cannot expect it to be otherwise regarding the cause of Christ. To help further the process of ongoing redemption demands a price.
There is an almost endless variety of pains, sufferings, and difficulties which can arise in following Jesus and promoting His cause. At times seeing few, if any, visible results of our labors, feeling unappreciated, experiencing opposition, sometimes comprehending that we are being hated precisely by some of those whom we are striving to help, at times being laughed at and ridiculed—these are some of the ways we experience the sufferings of an apostle.
The suffering involved in contributing to the process of ongoing redemption is not, however, the complete picture. The happiness resulting from commitment to Christ and His mission far outweighs the hardships. To be aware that one is so intimately loved by Jesus, to experience the satisfaction that one is contributing to a cause that cannot fail, to play a role in helping to bring to others the love and peace of Jesus—all of this makes for a life that has no equal. The committed follower of Christ, experiencing what it means to be closely associated with Jesus, realizes why St. Peter said, Lord,…it is wonderful for us to be here. (Mt. 17:4).
Father Carter's talk continues
So in God’s plan in the following of Christ, suffering is always meant to lead to greater life here and hereafter, not only greater life for us as we grow in Jesus through the proper handling of suffering, but also greater life in the sense that we become more apt instruments for channeling His life to others, as we are purified by His suffering, so that we may more and more allow Him to live in and through and for us. One of the greatest Apostles of all times of suffering showing us the place of suffering in the Christian dispensation is St. Paul. He brings out this theme of death-resurrection of Jesus and our participation in it in various places in his writing. I think one of the most dramatic of those places is in
2 Corinthians 4: 7-11
The hardships and hopes of the apostolate
But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.
Father Carter's talk continues
So we suffer with Jesus, so that here below and in eternity, so that we may live more with Him, and that we may become more fit instruments for helping to channel His life to others. We have a particular way of doing that, a magnificent way within the Shepherds of Christ Movement. He hung upon a cross on a hill called Calvary. He had already suffered so much, had He not? He had been brutally scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, laughed at, ridiculed, without sleep. He had to carry the heavy cross up the hill, upon reaching the hill He was mercilessly nailed to the cross. He hung there in that agonizing suffering until death came. His side was pierced and from His pierced Heart flowed blood and water, symbols of sacramental life in the Church, Baptism and the Eucharist. And as He hung on that cross nearing death in that brutalized suffering, St. Francis de Sales, who was a Doctor of the Church—a Doctor of the Church means that the Church recognizes not only the great holiness of the person, but the great learning, the great wisdom—in one of his classic works, St. Francis de Sales, his work Treatise on God's Divine Love, he says, “As Jesus hung upon the cross there in that brutal suffering each of us was present to Him. He knew each of us intimately and the perfect one gave His last drop of blood for you and for me.” So if we ever have problems with our motivation in the Movement, I suggest that we come to the foot of the cross and we realize what Jesus has done for me and continues to do. It is payback time. St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, has left us this beautiful prayer, “Lord teach me to be generous, teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing that I do your will.”
Now I will give the blessing. May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.
end of Father Carter's talk February 1, 1998
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