| Shepherds of Christ
February 5, 2009
February 6th Holy
The Novena Rosary
Please help us with a donation
to print Fr. Carter's book
Response to God's Love
We need your help —
Please help me send this book
to hierarchy and priests.
Fr. Carter used it for 13 years at XU.
It changed my life.
Fr. Carter had a dream.
The Mystery of Christ and Christian Existence
The Christian's Personal Uniqueness
Death and Resurrection
The Christian Virtues
The Christian and Church
The Christian Encounters Others in the World
The Christian Prays
Other Aids to Spiritual Development
Incarnationalism and Transcendence
Characteristics of the Spiritually Mature Christian
Given January 9, 2009
Writing by Rita Ring
Love of the 2 Hearts
Matthew 22: 36-39
'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
Love is at the Heart of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Love is friendship with God —
God deserves our love
One who loves God is not jealous
of others loving God and
having spiritual goodness
One who loves does not envy another
who is virtuous or a leader
of prayer giving love to God —
The greatest commandment demands
we love God first above all things,
Love is the Law of God
Love is Selfless
Love is for the honor and glory of God —
Love requires action
We must renounce attachments that
interfere with love
Love seeks unity as God wants in
a life lived in a great likeness
Love is a virtue and a virtue is
Habits increase by repetition.
Especially when the repetitious
acts increase with great
John 15: 9, 13-15
I have loved you
just as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.
No one can have greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know
the master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
John 14: 21, 23
'Whoever holds to my commandments
and keeps them
is the one who loves me;
and whoever loves me
will be loved by my Father,
and I shall love him
and reveal myself to him.'
'Anyone who loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him
and make a home in him.
We increase and cultivate our experience
of loving God — genuinely
In a marriage husband and wife are
to live in conjugal love.
For the religious, men are to love
in the community as a family —
For the clergy, in love of their family
in the Church, love of those
they minister to —
In loving service of one another
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.
Love is the gift of self to promote the true good of those loved. He states the reception of love is the receiving of the gift of the other, so my good will be promoted.
Our love should be nurtured by the
experience of loving the Church —
The parish, Archdiocese, parish
As members of the Church it should
be our loving desire to serve the
Church as members of the mystical
body of Christ —
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:
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.
For the Pope.
For all bishops of the world.
For all priests.
For all sisters and brothers in the religious life.
For all members of the Shepherds of Christ Movement, and for the spread of this movement to the world.
For all members of the Catholic Church.
For all members of the human family.
For all souls in purgatory.
end of Apostles of the Eucharistic Heart message
Christ gave Himself up for the Church —
to make the Church holy —
The family first are the teachers of love —
teaching us to love God and
each other —
The parents are to love each other —
The parents are to love their children —
Today so many families are divorced
It is through learning about love in the
family — we learn we are
lovable, that we are valuable.
If this is not done it is more difficult
for a child to understand God's love
and to know they are lovable.
Those who minister in the Church are
to love God's people and tell
them of this love —
Christ gave us His love on the cross —
God first loved us — He sent His
only Begotten Son —
Real Love as God wants is being lost
by many —
We were created to love and be loved —
Living without loving is going against
Let us think of the Love of Jesus
The gift of love Jesus gives us in the
The queen of all virtues is LOVE
It is a habit to act lovingly
It is a habit to not act lovingly —
a vice —
Our way of life is to be rooted in
the experience of love of God and
this is that we are to be like
Mary the perfect disciple
and to be witnessing to God's
love alive in us
We are to have love in the faith community —
enabling us to have a way of life
with love and witnessing to Jesus Christ
We are to be Christ-like and witness
There must be love in our homes —
We are to strive to love those we
live with —
There should be in our Churches,
schools, and homes an atmosphere
of love — welcome —
warmth, not selfishness
There should be love in Church
There should be witnessing to love
and unity and honesty among
those working together —
acting when it is a prayer
We are to promote peace and social
All prayer services should be to
nourish and foster Christian life —
Special attention to the Eucharist
We are to teach others to grow
in love — Blue Books
We carry a key to help build
the Kingdom of God
There is, finally, a kind of death-resurrection
which embraces both everything we have said
concerning ways of experiencing the paschal mystery,
and all we have left unsaid. We are speaking of a
general attitude of Christian selflessness. This
selflessness is the true self, the divinized self, the
Christic self. This selflessness is present in all we
do and experience in Jesus. It is present in every
Christian act. Whether we eat or drink, shed tears of
joy or sorrow, work or play, bask in success or feel
the weight of failure--whatever we do in a Christian
manner--demands this stance of selflessness.
Sometimes life with its diversified experiences
makes us more aware of the joyful dimension of the
human condition; at other times life makes us more
aware of the difficult aspect of being human. But in
either case, if we relate to life properly in a
Christian fashion, we are exercising selflessness.
This selflessness is love of God and love of neighbor.
This selflessness is death-resurrection. This
selflessness is losing non-authentic life in order to
find true life in Jesus."
Mary asked for conversion and reparation
at Fatima for peace among men --
The process of on-going conversion through
death-resurrection is a self-liberation which enables
us to relate in greater freedom to God, to one
another, to all reality. The life of the authentic self
in Jesus has structured within it relationships to
God, to one's neighbor, to the world with its various
temporal values, to all dimensions, of God's creation.
As we achieve on-going conversion and its concomitant
self-liberation, we also increase in the
capacity to relate properly to reality. We have a
greater capacity to live resurrection. We have a
greater freedom to open ourselves to God's love and
to relate more authentically in love to one another.
We have a greater freedom to love the world and its
values as we should. It is interesting to note, then,
that the one who can love the world more and,
therefore, is more capable of promoting its true
growth, is the one who is more free relative to its
values. On the other hand, the person who is
enslaved to the world's values, and in a certain sense,
then, seems to love the world, is really loving his
selfish self, and is less capable of contributing to the
real progress of man's world.
The individual Christian, the Church and
the world are in the state of becoming as Fr. Carter says.
There are various ways we live the death-
resurrection of Jesus in our daily existence. There is
the practice of self-discipline which extends to a
person's entire makeup. There is the doing of
penance. There is also the practice of renunciation.
There is the proper endurance of passive sufferings--
sufferings which we do not actively
chose, but which come into our lives, and then it is
our task to relate to them properly and thereby
become more mature and loving Christians,
Christians who have grown in resurrection.
What Thomas Merton says of
asceticism can also be applied to any form of dying
with Jesus. For Merton, asceticism is that active self-
purification aimed at "the recovery of our true self,
man's true 'nature,' created for union with God. It is
the purification, and liberation of the divine image
in man, hidden under layers of 'unlikeness' " (from
The Silent Life, published by Farrar, Straus and
The Christian is meant to undergo an on-going
conversion. The Christian life is an on-going
process of turning away from the non-authentic self
to the authentic self. The Christian achieves this
authentic selfhood the more he dies to his selfish
ego, to his non-Christic self, and increasingly
becomes Christ, becomes more assimilated to Jesus.
This process of conversion to the authentic self in
Christ can also be viewed as a process of self-
liberation. The more the Christian dies and rises
with Christ, the freer he becomes. As he grows in
Christ he achieves a greater freedom to become
what he is meant to be. A person's freedom is a gift
through which he achieves his true identity, his true
self, the authentic fulfillment of his personhood.
When the Christian abuses his freedom, he becomes
less his true self. He diminishes the process of self-
Everything we do is in love —
We don't have hidden division in
our hearts —
We do things because it is
God's will in love —
Pride and anger are enemies —
the devil wants us to be selfish —
We live with others —
What we do affects others
Say you are sorry and
work to do God's will in love —
"As the People of God collectively experience the
death and resurrection of Jesus, so each of us
individually is meant to be living death-resurrection,
not sporadically, but consistently. It is true that our
share in Christ's resurrection will achieve its final
culmination only in eternal life, but we also possess
a very real share in Jesus' resurrection here below.
Our life of baptism, our grace-life, our Christ-life, is
now our life of resurrection. We live realized
eschatology. In a certain sense we are already living
the final things. We are already living eternal life.
There is no sharp break between this life and the
life we will eternally enjoy in heaven's beatific
vision. Whatever we experience here below in
Christ—loving union with God and with one
another, enjoyment of material creation, and the
rest—all this will be brought to perfect and
deepened fulfillment in eternal life. And we will
then be fulfilled to the degree we have died and
risen with Jesus here upon earth.
Our dying with Jesus, our suffering, has the same
thrust or orientation as did suffering and dying in
the life of Jesus. We have said that Christ viewed
suffering and death as a means to greater life. This
must be our perspective also. With an attitude of
love, we ourselves must be willing to bear with
difficulty, with pain, with hardship, in order to grow to
greater maturity in Christian holiness, and, at the
same time, to make ourselves more capable of
helping Jesus channel this Christic life to others.
Each of our acts is meant to be a kenosis or self-
emptying for God and others as we embrace in love
the Father's will. Each of our acts is meant
to be a preparation for, and a participation in, the
act of physical death. That time of our lives will be
our final kenosis, the final self-emptying. This final
act of physically dying is aimed at life, at
resurrection, just as are all the acts of mystical dying
which precede it. While such acts of mystical dying
bring us closer to Christ and to His life of
resurrection, the act of physically dying prepare us
for the state of full union with Christ and full
sharing in His resurrection."
"Achieving adequate self-knowledge can be both painful
and joyful. Coming to the realization that I have this bad
trait, or that weakness, can be disturbing, frustrating, or
humiliating — especially when others point out these negative
characteristics. Growth in self-knowledge, however, can also
be encouraging and joy-producing as I realize I can do
something about these negative aspects, as I achieve a
deeper insight into certain positive qualities or become
aware of others that I hardly knew existed. The quest for
self-knowledge can, then, be exciting. As I obtain better
knowledge of both my limitations and my capabilities, I see
interesting possibilities for more advanced Christian living
which I have not yet implemented.
Growth in self-identity does not take place in a vacuum—
the vacuum of the isolated self. Rather, I achieve self-
knowledge through the proper relationship with reality.
Through the interaction of myself with various facets of
created reality—persons, places, things, happenings—I can
come to know much about my strengths and weaknesses,
my talents and limitations, my personality and temperament.
It is, however, especially through my relationship with
God that I grow in achieving self-identity. God, the
ultimate source of all knowledge, is, consequently, the
ultimate source of self-knowledge. God continually wants to
remind me of the fundamental fact concerning myself—that
he overwhelmingly loves me and that I am uniquely
precious to him. Upon this rock-bottom fact rests all other
facets of self-knowledge. Regarding all aspects of knowing
myself, God is most anxious to help me grasp these with
greater clarity. My task is to allow him to do so. If I open
myself to him in prayer, he will continue to reveal himself to
me, and also he will reveal myself to me. The more I
fathom the mystical depths of my being—the more I allow
God to lead me to the center of my being—the more God
will tell me about himself and myself, this self which is in
his image. Deeper insights concerning himself and myself
come to light—and here again we meet up with the hidden
aspect of mysticism. The more, in turn, I know of myself
under God's guidance, the more I can truly love myself."
Fr. Carter had a dream.
Edward Carter, S.J. says
Dying to our non-authentic self is
rising to the self we are really
meant to be.
The mystic marvels at the love God
has for his children. Embraced
by this love, their fear has diminished
and their trust increased.
Made secure in this love, they have
possessed the courage to undertake
the ordinary with uncommon
devotion and the heroic with
with this love, they have
continually pushed forward to accomplish
more for Christ and his kingdom.
Transformed by this love, the
mystics have said with the most
Galatians 2: 19-20
...I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
Obviously, we can never fully
fathom the depth of God's love
for us. We can, however, grow
in what will always be a finite
comprehension of this awesome
reality. Christ has shown us
his heart as a constant reminder
that we should strive for a greater
realization of what it means to say
God loves us. The heart of Christ is
indeed the symbol of God's fathomless
love for us, a love which requests
our own, response to love —
Father Cather says —
(paschal or passover mystery)
"The word passover has a very basic
and literal meaning. The word contains
the idea of religious transition.
While upon earth, Jesus was always
experiencing such transition.
He was always in a process of
passing over, passing back to
the Father. He was gradually achieving
a new state of existence for His own
humanity and for the entire human race.
The new life was the state of resurrection.
As His mortal life beautifully and
poignantly unfolded, He was in process
to the definitive point of death.
His death in turn, was the passageway
to resurrection. This death marked
the final mortal act of Jesus. It was
the final act of His earth-bound life
in which He would conform His
will in love to His Father's will.
His death was an act of final pouring-—
out of Himself. It was His final libation.
His final kenosis — His final self-emptying
I went to the hill of Calvary like a
runner in a race. The final giving of
My all for love of you — oh My precious
one — how much I love you and you
look for pleasures in things on earth
and some seek relationships against the
commandments, against the Father's will.
How can you be happy when you sin?
Wake now before it is too late —
I emptied Myself for love of you and
My precious souls —
I love you so much —
"All through His life Jesus was undergoing
this emptying out, this giving of Himself.
He was always giving Himself, always
concerned about others, always loving,
even though this meant great suffering
and hardship at times.
Yet Jesus always viewed suffering and
hardship very positively. He always saw
it as leading to greater life. He suffered
as no one else ever has or ever will, yet
He suffered with dignity, with a perduring
optimism, with a basic peace of spirit,
with a happiness which could not be
extinguished despite the pain."
And I went to the top of the hill of Calvary
and My thoughts were for you My chosen one —
for you — for I love you so much and I have
chosen you this day —
Come to Me — that you will know more
and more how I truly love you —
I am Jesus and I love you, I am your
beloved God, the bridegroom of your soul —
Come to Me now — trust Me — do not be
The Church which is the earthly and visible
continuation of Jesus and His mission,
centers her life in the paschal mystery
also. It can be no other way. The Church
has no other pattern for existence
except that which Jesus Himself established
by the way He lived, died and rose.
The Church is always meant to be dying
with Jesus so that she might more
and more rise with Him.
The Church, like the Jesus who preceded
her, is in a process of passing over,
passing back to the Father under the
guidance of the Spirit. The Church's
passover will continue to the end of time,
when there no longer will be an earthly
As individual Christians we, too,
possess a life focused in death - resurrection.
At baptism we are incorporated into Jesus
and His pascal mystery.
Death - Resurrection
St. Paul says
Romans 6: 3-4
You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.
From Response to God's Love
Structure in the Spiritual Life
One of the results of Christ's Incarnation is the necessity for a certain degree of external structure in the Christian life. The fact that God has communicated himself to us through the concrete, visible humanity of Christ gives rise to such a structure; this exterior structure of our grace-life flows from various realities that are contained in the humanity of Jesus. God's grace, for example, has come to us through Jesus who was visible and social in his humanity. To insure the continuity of this visible and social dimension of God's self-communication, Christ established his Church. The Church, as a visible and social or communal organization, means an external structure.
The Christian, then, who tends to rebel against structure, is actually rebelling against the law of Incarnation. The Church's structure is meant to serve the Christian community in relating properly to God and the world in faith, hope, and love. To put it another way, the Church's structure is intended to aid her members in living according to the Holy Spirit.
To say this, however, is not to say that structure in the Church always fulfills its function perfectly, or that it fulfills its function perfectly at any time. The Church's structure is shaped by both God and us. Insofar as it is shaped by us, it will always be less than perfect—indeed, sometimes it will be very imperfect. To expect otherwise is to fail to penetrate the implications of the human creature as frail and finite.
Change and Permanence
The reality of structure in the Church's life, and structure's openness to change, logically lead us to another application of incarnationalism and transcendence—namely, change and permanence in the life of Christian holiness. First, we will consider aspects of the life of grace that are changeable—the incarnational aspect. Then we will consider aspects of the life of grace that are essentially permanent—the characteristic of transcendence is applicable.
end of excerpt
A mature Christian has a
Jesus, as man, is our mediator
The Christocentrism, however
does not push the thought and love
of Father and Holy Spirit to the background —
If the mature Christian's spirituality
is Christocentric, it is also
We go to the Father in Christ
and by the Holy Spirit.
This also includes a devotion
to Mary, who is spiritual Mother —
John 19: 25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
These relationships with Father,
Son and Holy Spirit and Mary are permeated
with love —
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Christianity is a religion of love —
From Response to God's Love by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.
Realizing that God mightily loves us, we know that our lives should be nothing else than a response of love to God. God, who is love, has given us a share in his own life through Jesus Christ. Sharing in God's life through grace, we have a power of loving that far exceeds the natural capacity of the will to love. In Jesus, we have been given the power to be tremendous lovers. Our vocation as Christians is basically a vocation to love. A characteristic of the maturing Christian, consequently, is a growing awareness of the primacy of love. More and more, the mature Christian realizes that his or her activity should be permeated with love—with love for God and his or her neighbor. The mature Christian becomes more sensitive to the truth that all steps taken toward growth in the spiritual life should really be steps toward becoming a more tremendous lover. When, for various reasons, the mature Christian senses that the motive of love has receded to the background of consciousness, he or she becomes alert to the danger and seeks remedies for the problem.
The Christian, then, focuses on becoming a more tremendous lover after the example of his or her God who has loved and continues to love him or her first. This thrust toward greater love accompanies the Christian not only during those times when it is relatively easy to love, but also during those periods when he or she is weighted down with unusual sorrow, or when he or she has to struggle against the deadening influence of routine and lethargy, or when he or she feels unloved, unappreciated, misunderstood, and even ridiculed by others.
Another trait of the mature Christian is a dynamic sense of personal uniqueness. Each of us can truly say that he or she has no replica; the ramifications of this truth are awe-inspiring. Each of us has the wonderful privilege and weighty responsibility of allowing Jesus to re-incarnate himself in and through us in a unique way. To the extent that you and I allow Jesus to express himself anew through our unique humanities, he has an opportunity that no other person can offer him.
Attached to each one's uniqueness is a special mission to be fulfilled, that is, a life's work that no other can accomplish. The mission to be achieved is not special in the sense that it is a life-style or occupation engaged in by no one other than myself—there are many husbands and fathers; many wives and mothers; many priests and religious and single people; many engineers and laborers; many doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, politicians, lawyers, and businessmen. By necessity, then, I share a life-style and occupation with numerous others. What comprises the uniqueness of my mission, however, is my personal uniqueness itself. If I am a husband, a father, and a businessman, no other man can fulfill these roles in exactly the way that I can.
My personal uniqueness dynamically influences everything I am, everything I think, everything I do. The mature Christian vitally realizes this and, consequently, is better able to cope with temptations to discouragement and a sense of worthlessness. He or she is deeply convinced that one life does make a difference in the history of mankind, even though that one life may be very prosaic in its external setting. The maturing Christian is convinced that each life, lived in deep faith, hope, and love according to God's designs, makes a profound impact upon the world of men and women.
A sense of personal uniqueness, however, carries with it a sense of personal limitations. We have our work to do, and other persons have theirs. Our free decision, under God, to use our lives in certain ways necessarily means that we are rejecting other possibilities. Although we can certainly be guilty of accomplishing too little, we can also be guilty of striving to achieve too much. The mature Christian, consequently, realizes the necessity of developing that self-discipline which allows him or her, despite the pain and struggle that are involved, to do well that which he or she is meant to do, and to omit doing that which is opposed to or lies beyond the scope of his or her own unique mission.
Realizing that God knows and loves each one of us very intimately and very personally, and realizing that each one of us is precious in God's sight and has a unique mission to accomplish, each one of us can achieve a healthy self-acceptance. If God loves and accepts us, why should we not love and accept ourselves? If God loves to be present to us, why should we not like to be present to ourselves? Why should we not feel at ease being who we are? If God thinks so much of us and has such great expectations of each of us, why should we ourselves not have a healthy self-image? Of course, a healthy self-acceptance vastly differs from a growth-inhibiting self-complacency. Operating out of self-acceptance does not mean that we fail to realize that we have faults to correct, good points to further develop, and much of our mission still to accomplish.
end of excerpt
Given January 8, 2009
Writing by Rita Ring
Writing by Rita Ring
We seek happiness — happiness is found in
living in God's plan —
Ignorance makes people frustrated — We
were given hearts by God, with His plan for loving
Him and others — this determines our happiness —
Fr. Carter says Love of God, love of others, love of self —
God is the ultimate mystery
Excerpt from Response to God's Love
Mystery of Christ and
...In reference to Christianity, God himself is the ultimate mystery. Radically, God is completely other and transcendent, hidden from man in his inner life, unless he chooses to reveal himself. Let us briefly look at this inner life of God.
The Father, in a perfect act of self-expression, in a perfect act of knowing, generates his son. The Son, the Word, is, then, the immanent expression of God's fullness, the reflection of the Father. Likewise, from all eternity, the Father and the Son bring forth the Holy Spirit in a perfect act of loving.
At the destined moment in human history, God's self-expression, the Word, immersed himself into man's world. God's inner self-expression now had also become God's outer self-expression. Consequently, the mystery of God becomes the mystery of Christ. In Christ, God tells us about himself, about his inner life, about his plan of creation and redemption. He tells us how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit desire to dwell within us in the most intimate fashion, how they wish to share with us their own life through grace. All this he has accomplished and does accomplish through Christ. St. Paul tells us: "I became a minister of this Church through the commission God gave me to preach among you his word in its fullness, that mystery hidden from ages and generations past but now revealed to his holy ones. God has willed to make known to them the glory beyond price which this mystery brings to the Gentiles—the mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim while we admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ" (Col 1:25-28).
end of excerpt
We were created uniquely with talents given
to us by the Divine all powerful God — we can love
as only we can love because of our uniqueness —
God asks us to do something and we are happiest
doing God's will and the plan of God is there —
He created us a unique part of His plan.
If a train tried to operate as a car, it would
have a problem — the train is not meant to run
like a car. A fish is to be in water — outside
of water — the normal fish dies
A person who works against God's will —
will have a frustrated heart — After years of
not loving, being divided with those God put
us to work with and live with — we develop
vices, hatred, division, discontent —
Where we are to be actors — spreading Christ's
light to the world — we have deprived ourselves
of love and harmony, listening to the counsel
of satan - who wants us to never love God,
not love others, not love ourselves — Satan
wants us to give into our
wounded human nature — to be jealous, lustful,
greedy, envious, seeking dominance for dominance
sake, blaming others —
Satan wants division — satan wants hate,
satan wants disharmony, confusion,
A person that gives into these imperfections -
is miserable — a person divided against those
God wants us to live with makes us miserable —
We were created with a heart to love — when a
fish is out of water - it can die —
A man was created to love God
A man was created to seek happiness —
The purpose of the Shepherds of Christ is to bring
greater unity and renewal among members
of the body of Christ and the world —
The purpose of Consecration to the Hearts of
Jesus and Mary is greater perfection
in living in the pure and holy Hearts
of Jesus and Mary.
The Church is
Satan wanted Eve to rebel — she tempted
Adam — they sinned against God —
they disobeyed God's will for them —
Cain's actions were jealous, prideful,
hatred, competition for his brother —
God told Cain he could have master over
satan — Cain killed his brother anyway —
In the book of Fr. Carter's — I long to publish and circulate
to the hierarchy — It begins in the book
Response to God's Love — that God loved us
first and God is the ultimate mystery —
we are to respond to God's Love —
We are uniquely created by God — God
intends us to die to our ways not
likened to Him — we give our heart to
Mary — she is the spiritual Mother and
we are formed more and more in the image
and likeness of God — the incarnation goes
on in us —
In Fr. Carter's Priestly Newsletter Book III he
talks about this in quoting
Shepherds of Christ Priestly Newsletter
From 2000 - Issue 3
The Holy Spirit And Mary
The late Archbishop Luis M. Martinez of Mexico strikingly speaks of the ongoing cooperation of Mary with the Holy Spirit regarding the reproduction of Jesus within us: "Christian life is the reproduction of Jesus in souls…
"Now, how will this mystical reproduction be brought about in souls? In the same way in which Jesus was brought into the world, for God gives a wonderful mark of unity to all His works. Divine acts have a wealth of variety because they are the work of omnipotence; nevertheless, a most perfect unity always shines forth from them because they are the fruit of wisdom; and this divine contrast of unity and variety stamps the works of God with sublime and unutterable beauty.
"In His miraculous birth, Jesus was the fruit of heaven and earth…The Holy Spirit conveyed the divine fruitfulness of the Father to Mary, and the virginal soil brought forth in an ineffable manner our most loving Savior, the divine Seed, as the prophets called Him…
"That is the way He is reproduced in souls. He is always the fruit of heaven and earth.
"Two artisans must concur in the work that is at once God’s masterpiece and humanity’s supreme product: the Holy Spirit and the most holy Virgin Mary. Two sanctifiers are necessary to souls, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, for they are the only ones who can reproduce Christ.
"Undoubtedly, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary sanctify us in different ways. The first is the Sanctifier by essence; because He is God, who is infinite sanctity; because He is the personal Love that completes, so to speak, the sanctity of God, consummating His life and His unity, and it belongs to Him to communicate to souls the mystery of that sanctity. The Virgin Mary, for her part, is the co-operator, the indispensable instrument in and by God’s design. From Mary’s maternal relation to the human body of Christ is derived her relation to His Mystical Body which is being formed through all the centuries until the end of time, when it will be lifted up to the heavens, beautiful, splendid, complete, and glorious.
"These two, then, the Holy Spirit and Mary, are the indispensable artificers of Jesus, the indispensable sanctifiers of souls. Any saint in heaven can co-operate in the sanctification of a soul, but his co-operation is not necessary, not profound, not constant: while the co-operation of these two artisans of Jesus of whom we have just been speaking is so necessary that without it souls are not sanctified (and this by the actual design of Providence), and so intimate that it reaches to the very depths of our soul. For the Holy Spirit pours charity into our heart, makes a habitation of our soul, and directs our spiritual life by means of His gifts. The Virgin Mary has the efficacious influence of Mediatrix in the most profound and delicate operations of grace in our souls. And, finally, the action of the Holy Spirit and the co-operation of the most holy Virgin Mary are constant; without them, not one single character of Jesus would be traced on our souls, no virtue grow, no gift be developed, no grace increased, no bond of union with God be strengthened in the rich flowering of the spiritual life.
"Such is the place that the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary have in the order of sanctification. Therefore, Christian piety should put these two artisans of Christ in their true place, making devotion to them something necessary, profound, and constant." 18
18. Archbishop Luis M.
Martinez, The Sanctifier, op. cit. pp. 5-7.
Fr. Carter got this message
From Tell My People
The Holy Spirit
Jesus: "My beloved friend, tell My people to pray daily to the Holy Spirit. They are to pray for an increase in His gifts. My people must realize that the Holy Spirit comes to transform them. The Spirit desires to transform you more and more according to My image. Those who are docile to His touch become increasingly shaped in My likeness. He performs this marvel within Mary's Immaculate Heart. The more one dwells in My Mother's Heart, the more active are the workings of the Spirit. The Spirit leads Mary to place you within My own Heart. In both Our Hearts, then, your transformation continues. The more you are formed after My own Heart, the more I lead you to the bosom of My Father. Tell My people all this. Tell them to pray daily for a greater appreciation of these wondrous gifts. I am Lord and Master. All who come to My Heart will be on fire to receive the gifts of the Spirit in ever greater measure! I love and bless My people!"
Reflection: The Holy Spirit is given to us to fashion us ever more according to the likeness of Jesus. And the more we are like Jesus, the more Jesus leads us to the Father. Do we, each day, pray to the Holy Spirit to be more open to His transforming influence? Do we strive each day to grow in union with Mary? The greater our union with our Mother, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the greater is the transforming action of the Holy Spirit within us.
end of excerpt
Fr. Carter begins his Way of Spiritual Life thus in
the Spirituality Handbook
Excerpt from the Spirituality Handbook by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.
A Way of Spiritual Life
The way of spiritual life proposed to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates is centered in consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. All aspects of the spiritual life discussed below should be viewed as means to help members develop their lives in consecration to Christ, the Sacred Heart, and to Mary, the Immaculate Heart.
An Overview of the Spiritual Life
The Christian life is rooted in the great event of the Incarnation. We must consequently always focus our gaze upon Christ, realizing that everything the Father wishes to tell us has been summed up in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It only remains for us, then, to strive to understand with greater insight the inexhaustible truth of the Word Incarnate: "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, Whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world." (Heb. 1: 1-2) (1)
end of excerpt
Sing: Creator of the Stars of Night
Genesis 3: 9-15, 20
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.'
The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live.
Adam and Eve rebelled against God
This was their response to God's love —
they listened to satan — who lied —
satan is a liar — satan is a great
Sing: A Song from Jesus
Ephesians 1: 3-6, 11-12
Blessed be God
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us
with all the spiritual blessings of heaven
Thus he chose us in Christ
before the world was made
to be holy and faultless
before him in love,
marking us out for himself beforehand,
to be adopted sons,
through Jesus Christ.
Such was his purpose and good pleasure,
to the praise of the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
And it is in him
that we have received our heritage,
marked out beforehand as we were,
under the plan of the One
who guides all things
as he decides by his own will,
chosen to be,
for the praise of his glory,
the people who
would put their hopes in Christ
before he came.
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.
Jesus took flesh
Romans 16: 25-27
And now to him
who can make you strong
in accordance with the gospel that I preach
and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
in accordance with that mystery
which for endless ages was kept secret
but now (as the prophets wrote)
as the eternal God commanded,
to be made known to all the nations,
so that they obey in faith:
to him, the only wise God,
give glory through Jesus Christ
for ever and ever. Amen.
Isaiah 9: 1-6
The people that walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
on the inhabitants of a country
in shadow dark as death
light has blazed forth.
You have enlarged the nation,
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at harvest time,
as they exult
when they are dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that weighed on it,
the bar across its shoulders,
the rod of its oppressor,
these you have broken
as on the day of Midian.
For all the footgear
clanking over the ground
and all the clothing rolled in blood,
will be burnt, will be food for the flames.
For a son has been born for us,
a son has been given to us,
and dominion has been laid
on his shoulders;
and this is the name he has been given,
to extend his dominion
in boundless peace,
over the throne of David
and over his kingdom
to make it secure and sustain it
in fair judgement and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of Yahweh Sabaoth
will do this.
Titus 2: 11-14
You see, God's grace has been revealed to save the whole human race; it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world, waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus. He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good
John 1: 1-5, 9-14
In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came into being,
not one thing came into being
except through him.
What has come into being in him was life,
life that was the light of men;
and light shines in darkness,
and darkness could not overpower it.
The Word was the real light
that gives light to everyone;
he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had come into being through him,
and the world did not recognise him.
He came to his own
and his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believed in his name
who were born not from human stock
or human desire
or human will
but from God himself.
The Word became flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that he has from the Father
as only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
The Three loves
1) Love of God
2) Love of one another
3) Love of Self
Book Response to God's Love
1) God the Ultimate Mystery
Jesus Christ comes and reveals to us
2) Our Uniqueness in God's Plan
1) individual Christian
We are to be more and more likened to God —
We bear the handprint of God
4) Death - Resurrection
We die to those ways not likened
to God — to live a greater life of
resurrection in Him
The Virtues — we live a virtuous life not giving
We do not give into bad habits —
We give up vices —
Faith brings happiness of mind
Sin hurts our relationship with God
The sin of despair is a sin against
the Holy Spirit
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in the
graced baptized soul —
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit —
We are in the state of becoming — (more likened to God)
We have a free will —
We can choose life or death —
Working in obstinacy against God's
plan is how the evil one
works if we let him —
An evil spirit working on us and we
give into him when we are
obstinate, rebellious against
The devil wants souls for hell —
We give into our wounded human nature
when we keep acting in jealousy,
envy, lustfulness, possessiveness —
When we give into division, hatred
we focus on ourselves and filling
ourselves with things that make
us unhappy and can lead to grave
We were created to love
to be a light
to help build God's Kingdom
We teach by example and love — what
God wants us to show to others —
Many refuse to turn from these bad
habits and ignore that we are
here to die to our selfish sinful
ways and live a greater life of
resurrection in Him — to be
a witness to God —
A man sins when he is filled with
envy over another man's spiritual
good — He actually hates the
increase of God working in
the world in another —
He in his envy is working for the
devil blocking the man
trying to promote the Kingdom
of God to help souls get to
It is God's will we act to promote
God's Kingdom — the devil works
through some who are envious
of another's spiritual good —
When one is singing and praising God —
giving the love to God that is
pleasing to God and is His due —
it is satan who hates love
given to God and can press
on others to try to stop or
interfere this serious devotion
and love given to God —
These jealousies to block love given to God
can be habitual —
God the Holy Spirit works powerfully
when one sings and gives praise
and love to God —
Knowledge and understanding perfect
We can be blind because of giving
into our wounded human nature —
acting in jealousy and pride
and envy when another is showing
love in praising God —
If one is filled with passionate thoughts
against God's will or great hatred
one can withdraw one's mind
from God — the devil wants to
stop love and praise given to God —
The devil hates God —
The devil wants praise, love, singing to God,
reading the Word — STOPPED
Here is a little example
Mary, Sue and Joe are happy —
laughing, just enjoying being
Mike comes in and sees the fun —
Mike really does little to promote
love and unity — he is used to
being business - like — not unity —
spontaneity in the heart —
Mike sees with jealous, envious
eyes the three just having
good - fun together —
Mike brings up problems, tells them
how they will not have money
to pay the community bills and
gets control by getting them to fear —
later he shows how he will rescue
the problem he exaggerated to get
control and stop their fun
Sarah likes to couple up in a group and
show the others they are left
The devil wants division — disharmony —
people addicted to misery —
— The devil wants praise of God — love
in song and prayer stopped —
The devil will press on people to stop
unity and love —
Look how the devil works in jealousy,
lust, envy to divide husbands
and wives and families —
The devil wants to dull our minds to
the love of God and lead us to temporary
pleasures of this world —
The devil wants men who have lost control
in other parts of their lives — to seek control
in ways that block the harmonious
functions necessary to accomplish God's
work — A man can be so used to seeking
control — he fails to see how many
ways he creates confusion, combat
to block a function for his own self
The man who loves God — wants God
to be loved — God deserves it — God wants us
to praise Him — Jesus wants us to adore
Him in the Eucharist — A selfish man becomes
more and more selfish as he interprets
more and more things others do in living
as offenses against him —
Any vice that continues does not
remain the same — it grows like a
big mushroom — do you wonder why
God made weeds with such strong
roots — many times we cannot even get
the whole root out of the ground
after a big rain.
Maybe rain and big roots of weeds have
a symbolism to people who finally
see themselves and their vices after
their lives are unmanageable and they cry and
Big weeds come out best after
a big rain, but if you don't go out
and pull the weeds out they usually
grow bigger and stronger from the
Fr. Carter talks over and over again about
the pascal mystery death - resurrection —
Jesus died for our sins —
Jesus rose on the 3rd day to bring us new life.
If a person doesn't recognize their faults
they become clogged like big weeds
growing bigger and stronger with bigger roots
and then they have greater vices, hatred,
anger, pride —
Jesus died for our sins — we are to
die to our imperfections more and more
to live a more perfected life like
our heavenly Father — Jesus died so
we would die to our sinful ways and
live a greater life of resurrection in Him —
Mary came at Fatima and she said we need
to convert and make reparation —
The wise man follows in Jesus'
footprints — Jesus was whipped, beaten,
crowned with thorns for our sins. We are
to be sorry for our sins and love God —
God intends us to grow in love, not
give into selfish, isolating ways that
hurt others to get control for ourselves —
We are to die to the impure ways to live
a life of resurrection — dying and rising
in Him —
Wanting others to love God and helping
ourselves to be other focused in building
the Kingdom of God —
True happiness is achieved living
a virtuous life — people whose lives
are full of vices and selfishness, envy,
pride, seeking control (dominance for
dominance sake, vain glory) are
for they see themselves as a god and
not living to love and serve God with
their whole mind, their whole soul and
their whole heart as God commands and
to love others as ourselves —
We cannot work for true happiness
in God when we are divided — God wants
us to be one — like the members of
a body — every person works as a
unit of the body according to God's
will — in love — not selfishness —
We are to be like Jesus who died on the cross
for the souls He loved
We are to be as Christ wants us to be to
God is all good
We need God's help to be good —
We are to be living in this world
being likened to God
If what we did was giving
into selfish habits we become
more and more miserable
not like God at all
Man is called by God to be good
which surpasses natural
powers — the vision of God —
We need God's help to love likened to
We have love in our hearts — likened
more and more to Jesus
We need the virtue of charity —
to seek God
love God as He deserves
and love our neighbor as ourselves —
The passions, our feelings, seeking
pleasures must be controlled
Discernment means we see if
what we are doing is
1) from the Holy Spirit
2) the evil spirit
We seek to do God's will in love —
to live a virtuous life likened
Our pursuit is for good —
Actions which have an evil outcome
are wrong —
Blocking prayers for love of God
The devil through his fallacious
reasoning works in some with
a rush of emotions, anger,
clenched teeth because of
jealousy and they punish others
some times because of their
hearts hating, being angry,
possessive and not loving as
The devil is the father of lies
Man is to pursue good —
Man is to seek truth —
The cardinal virtues are prudence,
justice, temperance, and fortitude —
We pray that we have these virtues
working in our lives —
In the 6th Chapter of Response to God's
Love — Fr. Carter speaks of the liturgy —
I see that God has called us baptized
Catholics to live as members of the
body of Christ united to the Mass —
We lay down our lives as a sacrifice,
an offering to the Father — united
to the sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrifice
of Calvary, sacramentally made present
in the Mass —
In the 7th Chapter Fr. Carter addresses the
Church — I quote from the Book of Fr. Carter's
Priestly Newsletter Book III.
Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book III
2000 - Issue 3
Life In and With Jesus (excerpt)
The Church invites us to share deeply in the passion of Christ, in the cross of Christ. She does so that we might share deeply in His life of resurrection—here and hereafter. The more we die with Christ, the more we share in His life of resurrection—here and hereafter. Our ultimate goal here below is not the cross, but resurrection—the newness of life the cross leads to - here below as well as in eternity.
We are meant to share in all of the mysteries of Christ here below—we are meant to relive them in our own lives. And all of these mysteries are directed to the crowning mystery of Jesus, His resurrection: "As the Church is ever re-enacting, during all the ages, the life story of her Divine Spouse—undergoing in the Mystical Body what He suffered in His Natural Body, so it must be too, in some measure, for every individual Christian that lives in real unity with Christ. It was thus that the saints understood the life of the Divine Master. They not merely contemplated it, they lived it. This was the source of the immense sympathy they were capable of experiencing for Him in His different states. They felt in a certain measure what He felt, and what is true of Our Lord’s life considered as a whole must be true in no imperfect or limited manner of that which was the supreme and crowning mystery in that life—namely, the Resurrection. This must be, not merely a fact in Christian history, but a phase of Christian experience …We do not readily perceive that, in God’s plan, not only the Cross, but the Risen Life that followed it, is meant to be part of our terrestrial existence. Christ did not pass from the Cross straight to heaven. The Christian is not meant to do so either. In the case of Jesus the Cross preceded, prepared and prefaced a risen life on earth. In the case of the Christian the Cross is meant to play a somewhat similar role—that is, to be the prelude to a risen life, even here below.
"The Cross cannot be completely understood except it is viewed in the full light of the Resurrection. It is the latter, not the former, that is the ultimate mystery for us…The Cross is a means, not an end; it finds its explanation only in the empty tomb; it is an entrance into life, not a mode of death. Any death that enters into God’s plan must necessarily issue forth in life. If He lays upon us the necessity of dying it is in order that we may live…In order that we may live as we ought, our rebellious nature must be crucified. Crucifixion always remains the only mode of salvation.
"God sends trials and crosses simply to deaden in us the activity of the forces that make for the decay of the spiritual life, in order that that spiritual life may develop and expand unimpeded. According as the life of perverse nature ebbs away from us on our cross united with Christ’s, the Divine Life that God has placed in all whom He has called begins to make itself more manifest and to display increased vigour and vitality…It is to that Resurrection, that life in death, that God directs all the circumstances of our life—it is the object He aims at in His dealing with us."7
In his above words, Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., speaks about a special episode of our participation in the resurrection of Jesus. He speaks of our Christ-life, our life of grace, in the highly developed state. We should all strive for this state. We must realize, however, that all those who live in the state of grace are, in an essential way, living the life of resurrection. They are alive in Christ Jesus.
Edward Leen, In the Likeness of Christ, Sheed and Ward, pp. 290-300.
The Trinity is the most perfect
In Chapter 8
Fr. Carter says we are to walk not an
isolated path, but walk
He discusses again the 3 loves —
How God is giving us love in our
We are to love those who God intends
us to live with and work for
People who marry one another
should not marry to predominantly
get love for themselves, but
give love to the other
Chapter 9 — Prayer
In prayer God puts the fragmented
pieces of our lives together so we
see the truth as we communicate
to God and listen to Him.
The Morning Offering
God intends us to be more and more
intimately united to Him
Cling to Me
May 13, 1993
Jesus: My dear child, if you stay close to Me, then I live in you and you live in Me. I am He Who created you and I love you with such an intensity that you will never know. My words are your truth. You must abide in My heart in all things. There is no room for doubt. My ways are steadfast, direct, and without error.
You must stay rooted in Me to ward off the power of the evil one. His grip is paralyzing and crippling. His power is stronger every day.
When you live in Me, I am in your heart and he has no power over Me. I am your God. I am your true lover. I want to protect you. I want to guard you from this force. Stay rooted firmly in Me and he will have no power.
I am He Who comforts you. My hand is upon you. Hold tight to Me, My child. My eyes are fixed right on you. You are My most precious child. I love you as no other can. My arms are about you. My tenderness surrounds you. My love is in your heart. You go not alone. I walk with you.
I share every aspect of your life with you. Cling to Me, feel My presence. It is warm and secure within your chest. There is no room for fear, for I cast out fear and bring you comfort and joy.
end of May 13, 1993 message
A City on a Hill Shines to the World (excerpt)
February 23, 1994 5:30 a.m.
Jesus: I am the light of the world. A city on a hill will shine to the world. You at the Center will be this city when you are filled to the brim with the love of Jesus. What power, what might, to have each person a personal spouse of Jesus Christ! This is the light to the darkened world. The love of Jesus radiates from the very being of those who love Him. What light when all together are lifted by His love abounding deep within their breasts!
end of excerpt
The incarnation goes on in
The individual Christian, the
Church, the world is in the
state of becoming
Fr. Carter used this book for
13years at Xavier University
1987 - 2000
It majorly changed my life
I know it so well and I am
still learning from it
Jesus wants us to send it to the
hierarchy and priests
help me to reprint this
precious work of art
He had a dream.
Your life will change too —
call Kathleen for next
mailing with this book
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