| Shepherds of Christ
March 5, 2009
March 6th Holy
The Novena Rosary
Retreat in Florida
March 2, 3, 4 and 5th.
1:30pm & 6:20pm each day
Retreat in China on March 10, 11, 12 and 13th
You can help put the Blue Book V
in the hands of 1,000 people
we need $1,100 postage for this
It is ready to go
You can help put Fr. Joe's homily
book in the hands of
1,000 priests — it costs $1,100
This can help 1,000 parish priests
talk about Covenant for Lent
Please help us
It is ready to go
Call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041
We have this card telling priests about
Fr. Carter's books
Fr. Joe's homily books
Rita's Mass Book
This will help priests and bring in money —
$10.00 a book
several states that is 13,000
priests for $1,900.00 postage
Response to God's Love Book
PLEASE HELP US
March 5, 2009
(1) Man exists to be happy.
Sin causes unhappiness.
Sin corrupts the human nature,
stains the human soul
and makes man liable
Man's reason becomes subject
Man's will subject to malice.
A sinful man loses the capability
to judge correctly —
his will becomes weak —
good actions become
difficult for him —
A virtuous man pursues good
A sinful man pursues evils
(2) God wants us to be happy.
We were created to be able to laugh,
God wants us to meditate on the
Passion, but to meditate on
His Resurrection too.
In the Passion we see how Christ
suffered because of love of us.
We see a man, bloodied, beaten,
His flesh torn —
We see Christ die for our sins —
In the Resurrection we see the
glorified body of Christ —
We hear in the scriptures, the stone
is rolled back.
We hear in the scriptures, Christ
appears. Christ appears
to show them His glorified body.
(3) What would we do if someone we
loved — who died, appeared to us
Jesus came back from the dead —
You think everyone would still
be talking about it —
Mary's image appeared on the building in
People would see a picture —
Then they would say "Oh that is Mary"
Then they would say
Oh - okay and walk away —
Believing Mary was appearing
here - meant people would
have to change their lives —
Many people don't quit sinning
because they don't want to
stop what they are doing that
(4) Jesus rose from the dead —
Peter went running to the tomb —
when he got to the tomb —
he saw only the cloths —
Then Jesus appeared to Peter —
(5) Christ appeared on the way to
Emmaus. This is in the
Luke 24: 13-35
Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but their eyes were prevented from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What are all these things that you are discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ He asked, ‘What things?’ They answered, ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth, who showed himself a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have now gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they could not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them saying, ‘It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
(6) Jesus appeared to the disciples
except for Thomas —
John 20: 19-23
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you.
'As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.'
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone's sins,
they are forgiven;
if you retain anyone's sins,
they are retained.
(7) Jesus appeared to Thomas —
The doubting Thomas
John 20: 24-29
Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, 'We have seen the Lord,' but he answered, 'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.' Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:
You believe because you can see me.
Blessed are those who have not seen
and yet believe.
John 21: 1-17
Later on, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.
When it was already light, there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, ‘Haven’t you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No,’ he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ So they threw the net out and could not haul it in because of the quantity of fish. The disciple who Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ At these words, ‘It is the Lord,’ Simon Peter tied his outer garment round him (for he had nothing on) and jumped into the water. The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net with the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.
As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’ They knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.
When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.
November 25, 1994
Let the Holy Spirit Mold You into My Image
Jesus speaks: I am Jesus, your beloved Savior. The Father loves you so much, My dear little ones, that He gave His only Son that you might have life and have it abundantly. I loved you, My precious ones. I was born a mere Human. I gave Myself, My Body and Blood for love of you. My Mother suffered by My side. She loves you with the most tender love. The Holy Spirit loves you with such love. He is forever ready to mold you more deeply into My image and lead you to greater love with the Father!
Oh, little loved ones, do you not see the love I pour out to you? I remain with you this very day in the Eucharist, no less present than the day I was carried in Mary's womb, no less present than the day I walked this earth. I remain with you, I come to you and give you Myself, I give you My Life in My Divinity and Humanity. I come into your body. This is the Sacrament of My greatest love - I give Myself to you in the Eucharist.
Oh, sweet ones, My Heart is open and on fire. See My Heart totally open and ablaze for love of you. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the tenderest of all hearts I long and thirst for your love. I wait for you, My little ones, to come and receive Me in the Eucharist. I sit endless hours waiting for the souls I love to come and be with Me in front of the tabernacle.
My soul thirsts for the love of souls. I pour out My most tender love to you in the Eucharist. I long, I wait, I yearn for your love, My precious sweet ones. Oh, you do not know how My Heart suffered during My Passion for the souls that would reject Me and treat Me so coldly. The agonies I endured to love so much and be forgotten by so many souls I love so dearly!
Oh, I cry out with a loud voice so that you will listen to My pleading. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I am on fire for love of you this day. As your body requires nourishment, your souls are fed by Me. I am the Bread of Life, he who comes to Me will never be hungry. He who believes in Me will never thirst. I give you My very flesh to nourish you. I give you My very Blood. I give you, My dear ones, My very self.
Messenger: What can you get on this earth that can compare to God, truly present and dwelling with you? How much do you comprehend that God comes to you and enters your body in the Sacrament of the Eucharist? Do you realize what transpires at Mass? Bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, through the hands of His specially anointed priest. Do you cry to realize what is happening at Mass? God is truly present. Jesus is no less present than the day He hung on the cross, dying for love of you.
Jesus speaks: I would die this day for you, My dear ones. I love, I love, I love. I am Love. You look, you wander, you roam.
Jesus was sending His disciples
into the world and from these
men the Church He instituted
Jesus was telling them of all the
souls they would catch —
Matthew 28: 16-20
Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
1 Corinthians 15: 6
and next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep;
1 Corinthians 15: 7
then he appeared to James, ...
1 Corinthians 15: 8
Last of all he appeared to me too, as though I was a child born abnormally.
Acts 1: 1-11
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. While at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’, he had said, ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but, not many days from now, you are going to be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to earth’s remotest end.’
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky as he went, when suddenly two men in white were standing beside them, and they said, ‘Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.’
(1) Jesus had worked many miracles
Jesus appeared many times —
Jesus told them to wait in
Jerusalem the promise
of the Holy Spirit.
(2) Jesus was lifted up before their
eyes and a cloud took Him
out of sight —
Acts 1: 11
and they said, ‘Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.’
(3) How are we serving God —
We were called to love
Matthew 22: 36-40
'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. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.'
Do we hate sin and
Do we love God?
Jesus asked Peter three times do you love Me?
(4) The priest has the power to forgive
sins from Jesus Christ —
We see how Jesus died for our
We see Jesus and His ascension —
We can go to confession and
be forgiven of our sins —
Jesus said to the Apostles and to
their successors in the
John 20: 22-23
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
Receive the Holy Spirit.
If you forgive anyone's sins,
they are forgiven;
if you retain anyone's sins,
they are retained.
(5) This is what these 40 day
are for —
wants us to look at ourselves —
to see our sins —
to die to the ways not like Christ —
a person in pride will not look
the devil tempts them to stay where
they are in their sins
People dying to themselves and loving
God want to pray and be
united more and more to God —
People sinning don't want to
be before the exposed
they will stay away before
(6) The effects of the sacrament of Penance,
worthily received are
1) sanctifying grace
2) forgiveness of sins
3) remission of the eternal
punishment, if necessary
and also of part, at least
of the temporal punishment
due to our sins.
4) the help to avoid sin in
5) the restoration of the merits
of our good works if
they have been lost by
(7) A person that is stooped in sin
many times blames others — they are
blinded — they don't want
to look at themselves and believe
anything they did was wrong
so they stay STUCK
(8) Mary and Jesus says souls are dropping
into hell like rain.
(9) A person focused on themselves
lost in the darkness —
is turned inward —
wanting others to serve them —
being locked in sin
is misery —
We were created for God
God makes us happy
(10) When we are locked in sin
we are blinded and
Sin hurts our relationship with
the souls in hell will never know
the love of God
they are isolated
they chose their destiny
they are screaming and
The souls in heaven are
possessed by God —
they know the beatific
They are happy, our relationship
with God makes us happy.
1 John 2: 9-11
Whoever claims to be in light
but hates his brother
is still in darkness.
Anyone who loves his brother
remains in light
and there is in him
nothing to make him fall away.
But whoever hates his brother
is in darkness
and is walking about in darkness
not knowing where he is going,
because darkness has blinded him.
I went to Church and
a priest talked about the angry world
more and more people criticize
A person may not even feel the love of
God because they are angry —
they keep acting unloving —
they blame others
They become reactors - instead
Children can watch mom and dad
The priest said — people who are
angry are sad and they make
everyone else around them sad
Anger became a part of their personality
When we get older wrinkles stay
where we most have been
Many hold anger in behind a phony
smile — he said —
Bitterness that is held in helps
Many are corroded with bitterness and
People like this are dangerous to
work with - worse to be
People hurt other
Anger is one of 7 capital sins
Anger builds like a tumor
starts out small
grows and grows until it is
out of control
Some people run tapes —
where they were violated —
Have fun - let God
Descent of the Holy Spirit on Apostles
Acts 2: 1-4
"When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves.
(2) Through the pierced Heart of
Jesus the Church was born.
(3) The angels sang over the
stable at Bethlehem —
In the descent of the Holy Spirit on
the Apostles and the
The Holy Spirit appeared
as tongues of fire
over their heads
(4) Fr. Carter's Response to God Love
We were given this great gift
from Fr. Carter —
We want to get it out
to the priests
July 31, 1994
Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:
"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.
"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.
"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."
- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)
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
October 13, 1994
The Birth of the Full Ministries
of the Shepherds of Christ
"I wish to share with you part of a message which Jesus gave us on October 13, 1994. The message tells us about the expansion of the Shepherds of Christ movement:
'My beloved priest-companion, today I come to you with another mission. I am asking you to establish Shepherds of Christ Ministries. At My request you have already begun the priestly newsletter, "Shepherds of Christ", and the prayer chapters, Shepherds of Christ Associates...
'I am giving you this message on this day, the 77th Anniversary of the Great Apparition at Fatima, because of the close connection between the Shepherds of Christ movement and the Fatima message. The Fatima message is centered in devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart, especially in consecration to Our Hearts. Shepherds of Christ Ministries is also centered in devotion to Our Hearts. I will use Shepherds of Christ Ministries as a great instrument in helping to bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. When this occurs, My Church and the world will be experiencing the great era of peace promised by My Mother at Fatima.
'Today, then, October 13, 1994, the 77th Anniversary of the Great Apparition at Fatima, marks the birth of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. I pour forth the great love of My Sacred Heart to all. I am Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock.'
"Jesus has told us that Shepherds of Christ Ministries includes: the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, Shepherds of Christ Associates prayer chapters, various publications, including books, whatever else Our Lord directs us to undertake.
"As members of Shepherds of Christ Associates, you are an extremely important part of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. You have given great joy to the Heart of Jesus by responding to His invitation to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. As He draws you closer to His Heart and to His Mother's Heart as Associates members, He will fill you with an ever-increasing experience of His love, peace, and joy."
- From In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Newsletter of Shepherds of Christ Associates
by Fr. Edward J. Carter S.J., Volume 1, No. 1, 1995. p. 2.
(8) From Tell My People
Jesus: "My beloved priest-companion, I have allowed you to experience in extraordinary fashion the riches contained in My Heart and My Mother's Heart. I desire that you tell all My people about these riches. I desire that My people consecrate themselves to My Sacred Heart and to Mary's Immaculate Heart. My people are living in the beginnings of the age of the Two Hearts.
"After the time of the purification is completed, this new era of the Church and the world will become firmly established. This era will be characterized by the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. All those who consecrate themselves to My Heart and to My Mother's Heart will help to establish this glorious new age. I am Lord and Master. Please listen to My urgent request. Within Our Hearts you will experience the love and security, the peace and the joy, which you all desire. I love My people with a tremendous love, and in My love I give them this message!"
Reflection: This is the Age of the Two Hearts! The surest road to sanctity in these our times is through consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In making this consecration, and striving with God's grace to live it as best we can each day, we are contributing to the establishment of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and to the arrival of the reign of the Sacred Heart.
Excerpt from Response to God's Love by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
The Christian and Church
God calls us to live the Christian existence, the spiritual life, within the framework of the Church that Jesus has established. This Church is a many-splendored reality; it has many different names, images, and dimensions that variously attest to and manifest this multifaceted richness. All of them, however, speak of one and the same reality; each in its own way emphasizes now this, now that, particular truth or truths of the Church's existence. Each of these dimensions or concepts of the Church has something to say to the individual Christian about his or her spiritual life. Let us briefly consider some of these facets.
The Church is the Body of Christ. One of the truths that is emphasized by this concept is the idea of community. The communion that binds the members of the Church together is, in turn, connected with that wider idea of community that embraces the whole of mankind.
The millions and millions of people the world over make up what might be called the world community. The members of this cosmic community are supposed to live in a basic love for one another, united in bonds of mutual support and interdependence. This is true because God has created persons as social beings. We are not intended to cut an isolated path through life. We are meant to walk hand in hand with each other, to live within a societal structure, to help others in many different ways. What is more, we must also realize that, in achieving our destiny, we receive much aid, support, and love from others. There are all too many striking examples of how the modern world has failed to live community—more than enough to make us agonize over man's inhumanity toward his fellow human beings. But there are also many beautiful and ongoing examples of how the world has succeeded in living community—enough to strengthen our belief in the basic goodness of the human heart.
The leader in helping form a better community among the members of the human family is the Christian community, the Body of Christ. God has established the Church as a leaven for the development of a graced society of human beings. The bonds of union that hold the human race together have been strengthened by the redemptive work of Christ. Despite the fact that many do not realize it, there is only one fundamental community that embraces everybody—and it is Christic. The Christian community is, in turn, a great channel of grace that deepens this Christic image of the world society.
end of excerpt
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.
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. Excerpt from Tell My People
(1) From Tell My People
The Riches of the Immaculate Heart
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how often I have pressed you to my maternal and Immaculate Heart in the greatest love! How often I allow you to taste the sweetness of this Heart. How often I make you aware that my Heart is your refuge where you feel so much loved, where you feel so secure, where you feel bathed in peace! I desire that you tell all the people about the riches contained in my Immaculate Heart. Tell my people to come to my Heart each day. I will caress them with my maternal love. I will lead them ever closer to the Sacred Heart of my Son. I will tell them to listen to Jesus. I will remind them that He is their Lord and Master. I will remind them to do whatever He tells them to do.
"Yes, my dearly beloved son, tell my people all these things. Keep reminding them of my great love for them. Keep reminding them how I love to draw them to my maternal and Immaculate Heart!"
Reflection: Is there anyone who, listening to these words of Mary, does not long for a closer union with the loving Heart of our Mother?
(2) From Tell My People
The Tears and Sorrows of Mary
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I have given you a great devotion to my sorrows and tears. Tell my people about this devotion. Tell them I promise great blessings to all who say seven Hail Marys each day in honor of my tears and seven sorrows. Included in my promise is that of granting special assistance at the hour of death. At this moment, all who practice this devotion will see my face."
Reflection: Listed below are the seven sorrows of Mary. Let us each day recall these sorrows as we pray the seven Hail Marys as Our Lady requests.
The prophecy of Simeon.
The Flight into Egypt.
The loss of Jesus in the Temple.
Jesus and Mary meet during the way of the cross.
Mary witnesses the crucifixion of her Son.
Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary's arms.
The burial of Jesus.
(3) From Tell My People
Children of Mary
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how often I have embraced you! How often I have told you how much I love you! How often, at your request, I have held you in my arms as my child. You have told me you realize how helpless you are of yourself, but how strong and secure you feel dwelling in my heart and Jesus' Heart. Your sense of your littleness and helplessness endears you to me all the more. I take you ever more securely to my maternal and Immaculate Heart. Tell all my people of the riches you have found within my heart. Tell them how I place you within my Son's Heart. Tell them that, because of my motherly action, you are now more closely united with Jesus than ever before. Tell my people to come to my heart and draw forth similar riches. Tell all my little ones that Jesus, Who is Lord and Master, bids me to lead all to His Sacred Heart. The more my little ones dwell within my Immaculate Heart, the more I place them within Jesus' Heart. Oh, how I love all my little ones! How I love to bring them to the Heart of Jesus!"
Reflection: Again, let us remind ourselves that we live in the Age of the Two Hearts. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparable. The more we dwell in Mary's heart, the more she places us within Jesus' Heart. Within these Two Hearts, the Holy Spirit fashions us more and more in the likeness of Christ, and the more we become like Christ, the more closely He unites us to the Father.
(4) From Tell My People
Mary, Model and Teacher of Love
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I have led you to greatly increase your prayers and sacrifices for others. I have often reminded you of my teaching at Fatima—that many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. My Immaculate Heart longs that all my little ones be saved. Tell my little ones that they must love their neighbor through prayer, sacrifices, and other ways, too. All should learn from me. My Heart is symbol, not only of my great love for God, but also of my tender love for all my little ones. Imitate my love for God and all my children. If you love Jesus and me, this means you also love all of God's children. Jesus died for all. You cannot exclude anyone from your love.
"My Heart is the perfect imitator of the Heart of my Son. I will teach you how to love the Father and all mankind after the example of Jesus. All my little ones, I long for you to come to my Heart so I can teach you the ways of love! I love you so much! Come to my Immaculate Heart. Pressed against my Heart, I will hold you in my arms. I will clothe you with my motherly and protective mantle. As I hold you close to my Heart, I will teach you the ways of love!"
Reflection: In the above message, our dear mother tenderly reminds us that the following of Jesus is summed up in love of God and neighbor.
(5) From Tell My People
Mary as Our Mediatrix
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I have given you a profound conviction of how necessary it is to realize I am your motherly mediatrix with Jesus. I have been appointed by the Triune God. Constantly remind all my little ones of this great truth! The more my little ones give themselves to my maternal and Immaculate Heart, the more I bring them to the Heart of Jesus!"
Reflection: Some mistakenly think that Mary "gets in the way" of their relationship with Jesus. How far from the truth is this erroneous attitude. Mary's role in our salvation has been willed by God. Enough said!
(6) From Tell My People
Come to Our Hearts
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how I love you! You give me such great joy because you love to dwell in my Immaculate Heart. In my great love for you, I have obtained this grace for you—that you love to dwell in my Heart! In my Heart, I caress you as a little child. I shower you with expressions of my motherly love. I take you each day to the Heart of Jesus and place you deeply within His Heart. How you love for me to do this, and how I love to do it! Tell all my little ones of the riches you have discovered in my Heart and Jesus' Heart. Tell them to come to Our Hearts in order to experience similar riches. Oh, how I love all my little ones, and how I long for them to come to me!"
Reflection: Again, we are reminded that we live in the age of the Two Hearts. Great graces are given to those who practice devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. These Two Hearts are given to us as our special refuge during this most critical stage of human history.
(7) From Tell My People
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how I love to enfold you in my arms as my little child! Enfolded in my arms in my maternal embrace, I press you against my Immaculate Heart. I draw you within my Heart. There, through my maternal intercession, I clothe you with Jesus' graces. As you dwell in my Heart, I place you ever more deeply within Jesus' Heart and there the Holy Spirit fashions you increasingly in the image of my Son. As you grow in the likeness of Jesus, He takes you ever closer to the Father.
"Thus, as you grow in the sense of your helplessness without God, the stronger you become in Jesus. Childlike thus becomes strength. The smaller you become in living out spiritual childhood, the taller you stand beside Jesus. Weakness becomes strength, your sense of helplessness becomes spiritual maturity!
"Tell all my children about the wonders of spiritual childhood! Tell them to come to me and I will school them in its ways. How I love all my children! Oh, how I love to exercise my motherhood toward them all!"
Reflection: In the Gospel, Jesus speaks emphatically to us about spiritual childhood: "At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, 'I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'" (Matthew 18:1-4).
(8) From Tell My People
Pray, Pray, Pray!
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I have taught you many times the great importance of prayer. I have obtained for you the gift to love to pray—not only during your set periods of prayer, but also during the day in a manner which permits you to perform your daily duties. I have taught you to always be aware that all prayer should be made in union with the Mass. Indeed, the Eucharistic sacrifice is itself the greatest prayer. All other prayers should be consciously united with the Mass which is constantly being offered throughout the world. I have taught you the great importance of praying before the tabernacle. My Son is really present there in the Eucharist—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Special graces are given to those who pray before the Blessed Sacrament.
"There is so much to pray for in this most critical era! The Church and the world exist in most difficult times. I desire that all my children pray daily for all the needs of the Church and the world. I ask special prayers for the conversion of sinners.
"I ask that my children pray the Rosary each day. Very special graces are given to those who do so. During these times of great purification, I promise special protection to those who regularly pray the Rosary. I also promise protection to their loved ones.
"The more one is united with me, the more I lead them to make their prayer in the Heart of my Son, Jesus. He, in turn, places all prayer in the bosom of the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
"My dear son, please keep reminding all my little ones of the great importance of prayer for their own needs and the needs of all others! Keep telling them of the great necessity of prayer for growth in love of God and neighbor! I love all my children with the most tender love. I desire that all listen to my words and live them in their daily lives!"
Reflection: All the great spiritual masters throughout the history of the Church have echoed the words of Mary in stressing the great necessity of prayer for growth in the spiritual life. Prayer is becoming aware in a special way of our relationship with the Triune God. In prayer we open ourselves once again to the awareness of God's great love for us. In prayer, we respond to this great love with our own love, telling God that whatever He wills for us, we want to do with all our hearts.
All prayer, in one way or another, should be centered in Christ. He is our Mediator with the Father. As our Mother tells us above, we should also include her in our prayers to Christ, Who leads us ever closer to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
(9) From Tell My People
Mother of Our Christian Virtues
Mary: "My beloved priest-son, I wish all my children to come to my Immaculate Heart each day. I cooperate with the Holy Spirit in helping all my little ones to grow in the life of the Christian virtues. As my children dwell within my maternal Heart, the Holy Spirit leads them along the path of the virtues. Faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, humility, chastity, and the other virtues take deeper root in the hearts of my children. Above all, the queen of the virtues, love, increasingly rules the lives of my little ones.
"I am ever at the side of my children to help them grow in the life of the virtues. As I do so, I place them more deeply within the Heart of Jesus, the source of growth in all the virtues. The Holy Spirit, then, desires that my children dwell both within my Heart and Jesus' Heart. Within Our Hearts He clothes you with growth in the life of the virtues. The more you dwell in my Heart, the more ready you are for my placing you deeply within the Heart of Jesus where the Holy Spirit clothes you more and more with the splendor of all the virtues. Thus you grow in the likeness of Christ, and Jesus unites you more closely to the Father."
Reflection: Since Mary is our spiritual Mother, she has a special God-given role in helping us grow in the life of the Christian virtues. As she tenderly and lovingly leads us in the life of the virtues, she is our great model in how to follow Christ. She lived the Christian virtues perfectly. She is so eager to help us increasingly put on Christ through a more dynamic living of the Christian virtues, especially the virtue of love.
(10) Priestly Newsletter Jan/Feb 1995
Mary and the Priest
Our friendship with Jesus as His priest-companions, our faithfulness to Him because we love Him, very much involves Mary. She, under God, is the Mother of our Christ-life. She cooperates with the Holy Spirit in our ongoing transformation in Christ. Fr. Arthur Calkins, a contemporary Marian scholar, offers us these words on Mary and the priest:
“If every Christian ought to see himself in the Apostle John, entrusted to Mary as her son or daughter, how much more ought priests to recognize themselves as sons of Mary, as the subjects of a ‘double’ entrustment to her. I say ‘double’, because they are successors of John by a twofold title: as disciples and as priests. This is beautifully drawn out by our Holy Father in his Holy Thursday Letter to Priests of 1988: ‘If John at the foot of the Cross somehow represents every man and woman for whom the motherhood of the Mother of God is spiritually extended, how much more does this concern each of us, who are sacramentally called to the priestly ministry of the Eucharist in the Church!’
“No doubt there are any number of priests today who would say that such reasoning represents a certain ‘snob appeal’, a ‘clerical culture’ that should have disappeared after the Council. The emphasis now, they would maintain, is on equality: we all share the common priesthood of the faithful and priestly ordination does not make us better than lay people.
“Surely, it is true that the hierarchical priesthood which is received by the imposition of the bishop’s hands is conferred on the basis of the royal priesthood which all the faithful share. It is also true that of itself priestly ordination does not make one morally better than the laity…
“But the fact is that the Sacrament of Holy Orders configures the priest more closely to Christ the Eternal Priest to the extent that his soul receives an indelible spiritual character and his very being is transformed in a way that allows him to function in persona Christi, in the very person of Christ, as he celebrates the sacraments and intercedes as a member of and on behalf of the whole Church. Hence this scriptural injunction surely holds true for the priest: ‘When much has been given a man, much will be required of him. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted’ (Lk 12:48). Saint Thomas Aquinas puts it this way: ‘Those who have been chosen for a superior position through the bestowal of Holy Orders also have been called to a similar height of holiness’ (Summa Theologica, suppl., q. 35, a. 1, ad 3)…
“Although Jesus had already entrusted every priest to his Mother from the height of the cross and the Pope has done it even hundreds of times, it is still necessary for the priest to do so himself if he would truly experience the power and the protection of the Mother of God in his life as her Divine Son intends it. Priests who have done so know the difference it makes.8
8. Fr. Arthur Calkins, Soul Magazine, January-February 1995, p. 30.
Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth
(1) Revelation 12: 1-2
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.
(2) Song: Hail Holy Queen
(3) Priestly Newsletter November/December 1995
Mary and Prayer
One of the first things a good mother does is to teach her child to pray. Mary, the best of mothers, the most caring and loving of mothers, has a deep and consistent desire to help us to grow in prayer. One of her favorite forms of prayer is the rosary. She gave a remarkable set of promises regarding the rosary to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan. Included in those promises are the following:
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice; he shall not perish by an unprovided death. If he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces. At the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the Rosary.
All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
I have obtained from my Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death. (12)
12. As in The Fatima Crusader, Summer 1992, p. 30.
(4) Priestly Newsletter January/February 1996
Mother of Our Christ-life
Mary is the Mother of our Christ-life, this life which flows to us from the bosom of the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit. Pope John Paul II beautifully links Mary's spiritual motherhood toward us with her being Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, and Model of the Church. "Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as the Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church. In this sense, Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Church's model. Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks: the Church must draw 'from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ.'" (10)
(5) Fr. Carter and Shepherds of Christ have
Priestly Newsletter to
Fr. Edward Carter, S.J., (Doctorate in Theology), began the Shepherds of Christ Priestly Newsletter in 1994. We have since circulated 6,000,000 Priestly Newsletters to the hierarchy and the priests in English and Spanish in 14 years since Fr. Carter began it. In a tainted world the Priestly Newsletter is sent to priests to help strengthen and encourage them and show them our love and appreciation for all they do. It is written in the vision of the Father, the voice of the Good Shepherd, it is made up of the Scriptures, writings of the popes, encyclicals, the writings of the hierarchy, the Catechism, the wisdom of the saints and prominent theologians.
Fr. Carter, S.J. sent the Priestly Newsletter every other month to 75,000 priests until the time of his death.
The Priestly Newsletter is
written in the vision of
(1) on the Word
(2) on the Pope's writings
(3) on Encyclicals and Documents
(4) Writings of Pope, Cardinals,
(5) Prominent Theologians
(6) Priestly Newsletter September/October 1996
Mother of Our Christ Life
Rita Ring writes: "Mary is always desiring to bring forth her children to a greater Christ likeness. It is through Mary that we join in deepest intimacy with Jesus' Heart. Jesus came into this world in the womb of His Mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is today, in the womb of Mary, in the heart of Mary, that we are transformed through the Holy Spirit more and more to the likeness of Jesus. Let us go to the heart of our Mother and ask the Holy Spirit to increasingly sanctify us that we may go ever more deeply into the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of endless love. We do not fully comprehend the love of God. We are so limited in our vision. We do not fully know how Jesus' Heart is truly burning and on fire. Do we know what it is to feel love burning in our heart? This is what Jesus felt when He allowed Himself to suffer during His Passion and to die on the cross. His Heart was on fire."7
(7) Priestly Newsletter November/December 1996
At this Christmas season, these words of Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., are particularly appropriate:
"The swaddling bands in which Mary wrapped the Infant afforded but an imperfect shelter against the chilliness of the icy draughts. There is no doubt but that the straw was rough and course in spite of all Mary's efforts to make of it a clean and smooth bed for the tender Infant limbs. The manger, to be sure, was a sorry cradle for a King, and that the august King of heaven and earth. Doubtless, it was all very comfortless, but that is only one aspect of the birth of Jesus in the stable. It was not all wretchedness and misery. In this life of the God-Man loveliness and greatness, obscurity and splendor, weakness and power ever go hand in hand, and it is the splendor and power and greatness that dominate. They are but enhanced by the dark shadows of poverty, isolation and suffering. The shadows of the life of Jesus but serve to throw the splendors into stronger relief. The stable was a wretched abode, but in it was a sanctuary as worthy of God as it is possible for a created thing to be worthy of Him. That sanctuary was Mary's soul. In it the Child-God could nestle to His Heart's content and find delight. He is God and for Him, therefore, spiritual realities are more real than material realities. In His eyes the splendors of His Mother's soul transformed the cavern into an abode of palatial splendour and beauty. The mother love of Mary wrapped the soul and heart of Jesus in a mantle of warmth that was grateful in the extreme. God had never before experienced the like from a human person. Mary lavishes tenderness mingled with adoration on the Child. She ministers to Him the warmth, the light, the comfort, denied by the cavern. Joseph's affection and adoration were a pale but still a true reflex of the love and worship of Mary. It is not easy to satisfy God. The saints, even great ones, find Him exacting in His requirements. Yet here God was satisfied. He could ask no more from the two than they had given. For they had given without niggardliness. They had given all that their hearts and souls were capable of. The hostelry in which the new-born God found shelter was not, after all, such a mean one. It was the greatest and the most beautiful that our earth has ever seen or ever will see. It was not all lowliness and sordidness that surrounded the nativity of the Saviour. Man could not take from Him His greatness, nor could the humble circumstances to which their blindness condemned Him obscure it. He was great, in spite of all that man could say or do or judge and His greatness burst in splendour through the lowly conditions of the Nativity. Trumpets proclaim the birth of princes. Never did earth re-echo to strains comparable to those that announced the birth of the Great Prince of Heaven, Mary's Son. Never was such a radiance diffused through the palaces of kings as flooded the wide spaces in the center of which was the manger. Men may not, but God always does recognize true greatness, and He sets His seal upon it."3
3. Fr. Edward Leen, C.S.Sp., In the Likeness of Christ, Sheed & Ward, pp. 45-46.
(8) Priestly Newsletter November/December 1996
The Heart of Mary
Pope John-Paul II gives us these inspiring words: "Be blessed above all things, Handmaid of the Lord, who obeyed the Divine Call in the fullest way! Be greeted, you who united yourself entirely with your Son's redemptive consecration! Mother of the Church! Enlighten the People of God on the way of faith, hope and charity! Help us to live with all the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family in the contemporary world. By entrusting, O Mother, the world, all individuals and all peoples to you, we also entrust to you the very consecration of the world, putting it in your Maternal Heart.
"O, Immaculate Heart! Help us to overcome the threat of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of men today and, with the incommensurable effects, already weighs upon our contemporary existence and seems to close the way toward the future.
"Free us from hunger and war! From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, free us! From the sin against the life of man at its dawning, free us! From the hatred and debasement of the children of God, free us! From every kind of injustice, national and international, free us! From the ease treading down God's commandments, free us! From sins against the Holy Spirit, free us! Free us!
Receive, O Mother of Christ, this cry charged with the sufferings of all mankind! Charged with the suffering of entire societies. Reveal yourself once again, in the story of the world, to be merciful! May this cry halt evil! May it transform consciences!
May the light of hope, reveal itself to all in your Immaculate Heart! Amen".14
14. Pope John-Paul II, Prayers and Devotions, edited by Bishop Peter Canisuis Johannes van Lierde, O.S.A., Viking, pp. 357-358.
(9) Priestly Newsletter January/February 1997
Laurentin and Mary
Fr. René Laurentin, one of the world's foremost Mariologists, offers us the meaningful words concerning Mary: "She was present physically throughout the life of Christ-both by her mother's love and by her commitment to him. It was a communion of faith, of hope and of charity. Mary's presence to her son is a model for us, since, through this mother, God becomes our brother and has given her to us as mother in order to identify us with himself....We are humble children of this mother who has so profoundly adopted us in him....Mary has the mission of aiding the work of our divinization in Jesus Christ. She cooperates with him in the work of God."14
(10) Priestly Newsletter May/June 1997
The Heart of Christ, the Heart of Mary
Pope John Paul II speaks to us movingly concerning the Heart of Christ: "The Heart of the Redeemer enlivens the whole Church and draws men who have opened their hearts 'to the inscrutable wealth' of this unique Heart....
"I desire in a special way to join spiritually with all those who inspire their human hearts from this Divine Heart. It is a numerous family. Not a few congregations, associations and communities live and develop in the Church, taking their vital energy in a programmed way from the Heart of Christ. This spiritual bond always leads to a great reawakening of apostolic zeal. Adorers of the Divine Heart become people with sensitive consciences. And when it is given to them to have a relationship with the Heart of our Lord and Master, then need also reawakens in them to do reparation for the sins of the world, for the indifference of so many hearts, for their negligence.
"How necessary these ranks of vigilant hearts are in the Church, so that the love of the Divine Heart shall not remain isolated and without response! In these ranks, special mention deserves to be made of all those who offer up their sufferings as living victims in union with the Heart of Christ pierced on the cross. Transformed in that way by love, human suffering becomes a particular leaven of Christ's saving work in the Church...
"The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us, above all, of those moments when this Heart was 'pierced by the lance,' and, thereby, opened in a visible manner to man and the world. By reciting the litany and venerating the Divine Heart in general, we learn the mystery of the Redemption in all its divine and human profundity."
And the Pope also speaks to us about the heart of Mary: "The Immaculate Heart of Mary was open to the word, 'Woman, there is your son.' It went to meet spiritually the Heart of the Son opened by the soldier's lance. The heart of Mary was opened by the same love for man and for the world with which Christ loved man and the world, offering up himself on the cross, even to that lance stroke from the soldier.
"Consecrating the world to the Immaculate heart of Mary means approaching the same Source of Life, through the Mother's Intercession, that life which flowed forth from Golgatha, the source which gushes out ceaselessly with redemption and grace. Reparation for the sins of the world is continually being accomplished in it. It is ceaselessly the font of new life and holiness.
"Consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother means returning under the Cross of the Son. More: it means consecration of this world to the pierced Heart of the Savior, by bringing the world back to the very source of its Redemption. Redemption is always greater than man's sin and 'the sin of the world.' The power of Redemption infinitely surpasses the whole range of evil in man and in the world.
"The Heart of the Mother is aware of it, more than anyone in the whole cosmos, visible and invisible. This is why she calls. She does not call only to conversion; she also calls upon us to let ourselves be helped by her, the Mother, to return to the source of the Redemption."4
4. Pope John Paul II. Prayers and Devotions, edited by Bishop Peter Canuis Johannes Van Lierde, Viking, pp. 449-451.
Shepherds of Christ Associates
Chapter Meeting Prayer Format
The prayer format below should be followed at chapter meetings of Shepherds of Christ Associates. All prayers, not just those said specifically for priests, should include the intention of praying for all the needs of priests the world over.
1. Hymns. Hymns may be sung at any point of the prayer part of the meeting.
2. 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.
3. The Rosary.
4. Salve Regina. "Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, our mourning, our weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."
5. The Memorare. "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen."
6. Seven Hail Marys in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Mary has promised very special graces to those who do this on a daily basis. Included in the promises of Our Lady for those who practice this devotion is her pledge to give special assistance at the hour of death, including the sight of her face. The seven sorrows are:
(1) The first sorrow: the prophecy of Simeon (Hail Mary).
(2) The second sorrow: the flight into Egypt (Hail Mary).
(3) The third sorrow: the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple (Hail Mary).
(4) The fourth sorrow: Jesus and Mary meet on the way to the cross (Hail Mary).
(5) The fifth sorrow: Jesus dies on the cross (Hail Mary).
(6) The sixth sorrow: Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary's arms (Hail Mary).
(7) The seventh sorrow: the burial of Jesus (Hail Mary).
7. Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us (repeat after each invocation).
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech You, O Lord God, that we Your servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever virgin, be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
8. Prayer to St. Joseph. St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste spouse of Mary, you passed your life in perfect fulfillment of duty. You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly turn to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes; and they turn to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too have known trial, labor, and weariness. But, even amid the worries of material life, your soul was filled with deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with the Son of God entrusted to you, and with Mary, His tender Mother. Amen. --(Pope John XXIII)
9. Litany of the Sacred Heart, promises of the Sacred Heart.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us (repeat after each invocation).
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke You,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim of sin,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints,
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Yours.
Let us pray: O almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Your dearly beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers You in behalf of sinners and, being appeased, grant pardon to those who seek Your mercy, in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
Promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart(these should be read by the prayer leader):
(1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
(2) I will establish peace in their homes.
(3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
(4) I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
(5) I will bestow a large blessing on all their undertakings.
(6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
(7) Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
(8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
(9) I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
(10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
(11) Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
10. Prayer for Priests. "Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart You attend to all the needs of Your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that You draw back to Your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from Your path, that You rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that You continue to give Your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary's Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen"
11. Prayer for all members of the Shepherds of Christ Associates. "Dear Jesus, we ask Your special blessings on all members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. Continue to enlighten them regarding the very special privilege and responsibility you have given them as members of Your movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates. Draw them ever closer to Your Heart and to Your Mother's Heart. Allow them to more and more realize the great and special love of Your Hearts for each of them as unique individuals. Give them the grace to respond to Your love and Mary's love with an increased love of their own. As they dwell in Your Heart and Mary's Heart, abundantly care for all their needs and those of their loved ones. We make our prayer through You to the Father, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary our Mother at our side. Amen"
12. Prayer for the spiritual and financial success of the priestly newsletter. "Father, we ask Your special blessings upon the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ. We ask that You open the priest-readers to the graces You wish to give them through this chosen instrument of Your Son. We also ask that You provide for the financial needs of the newsletter and the Shepherds of Christ Associates. We make our prayer through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary at our side. Amen"
13. Prayer for all members of the human family. "Heavenly Father, we ask Your blessings on all Your children the world over. Attend to all their needs. We ask Your special assistance for all those marginalized people, all those who are so neglected and forgotten. United with our Mother Mary, we make this petition to You through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit."
14. Prayer to St. Michael and our Guardian Angels:
"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."
"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."
15. Pause for silent, personal prayer. This should last at least five minutes.
16. Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock, I consecrate myself to Your most Sacred Heart. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your companion in this most important work. Help me to always love You in return. Help me to give myself entirely to You. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor! Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!
"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a movement created by your Son as a powerful instrument for the renewal of the Church and the world. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."
17. Daily Prayers. All members should say the Holy Spirit prayer daily and make the act of consecration daily. They should also pray the rosary each day. They are encouraged to use the other above prayers as time allows.
end of prayer manual
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