Mary has requested that the daily message be given each day to the world. It is read nightly at the prayer service from her Image Building in Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. This is according to her request. All attempts will be made to publish this daily message to the world at 11 p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.
We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages rests with the Holy See of Rome.
March 6, 2001
A Prayer for Intimacy with the Lamb, the Bridegroom of the Soul
Oh Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, come and act on my soul most intimately. I surrender myself, as I ask for the grace to let go, to just be as I exist in You and You act most intimately on my soul. You are the Initiator. I am the soul waiting Your favors as You act in me. I love You. I adore You. I worship You. Come and possess my soul with Your Divine Grace, as I experience You most intimately.
Messenger: Include Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in 6:20 prayers.
Messenger: Please pray for 5 urgent intentions!
Messenger: WE URGENTLY NEED FUNDS TO PUT OUT THE NEXT NEWSLETTER, PRAY FOR THIS AND FOR THE NEWSLETTER AND ALL INVOLVED.
WE ALSO NEED FUNDS FOR PRAYER MANUALS FOR THE 75,000 PRIESTS.
Messenger: Our Lord has asked us to pray for a special priest and three other special priests and His designated priests.
Please pray for the priestly newsletter and for the intentions on the prayer list at the end of the message.
Messenger: Please pray for an urgent intention, spread the blood of Jesus on them, consecrate their hearts, cast the devil far from them, and ask for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Messenger: A second urgent intention is to pray for the mailing of the newsletter and all involved. Please pray hourly if possible.
BUILDING MARCH 5, 2001
JESUS IS RUNNING THE MOVEMENT
THIS IS AN URGENT PLEA
$10,000 CAN BUY
100,000 PRAYER MANUALS
We are sending the Newsletter to 75,000 priests
at Fr. Carter's request. (8,500 heads of religious houses)
THE NEWSLETTER FATHER CARTER WANTED
OUT WILL VERY SOON REACH THE PRIESTS.
(A 1/3 are in the mail, another 1/3 tomorrow, another 1/3
the next day.)
THIS CAN MAJORLY HELP TO BRING TO
COMPLETION THE MISSION MARY
BEGAN AT FATIMA IF PRIESTS BEGIN
PRAYER CHAPTERS AS JESUS DESIRES.
WILL YOU HELP US.
PRAYER MANUALS ARE NOT AVAILABLE
BECAUSE OF FUNDS.
BECAUSE OF FUNDS
Please help us
appeared on the building all
through the rosary March 5, 2001.
He appeared during the nightly prayer
service as we all stood under the
Here is a picture of Jesus as He appeared
last month February 5, 2001.
Here is a message I received from Jesus
Jesus speaks: My dear people,
The Newsletter is going to 75,000 priests
in the world and 8,500 heads of houses
The Newsletter contains the Prayers I
gave to Father Carter to help bring about
the Reign of My Sacred Heart.
When the priests and others call after
receiving the Newsletter Prayer Manuals
will not be available.
Please help me.
I am Jesus Chief Shepherd of the Flock.
I love you,
Jesus speaks: My dear people,
Please help Me reach the
Priests with My Prayer Manual.
I am Jesus, I promise great grace
for all who pray My prayers.
Prayer Chapters could help to bring
about the Reign of My Heart.
I implore you to help Me. This
can help to bring about the great
era of peace Mary promised at
Prayer Chapters begun by the Priests
and people as I have so directed
can help change the face of the
Do you want peace? Do you want
the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Reign in
I promise the greatest graces
to those who pray My Prayers.
Please circulate My Prayer
Manual and pray My Prayers.
Please help Me get My Prayer
Manual in the hands of priests and
I am Jesus Christ, Chief Shepherd
of the Flock.
$10,000 can buy
100,000 Prayer Manuals.
Come to China, Indiana March 12, 13, & 14, 2001
Messenger: This is from February, last month.
Jesus wants them to go there.
They will get great graces.
March 6, 2001 - Second Message
Many people go to extremes when using foods.
Some diets say stop this food entirely and that
With regard to foods moderation is important.
It is important to celebrate birthdays and to
enjoy food with friends.
I tell you today that the devil can tempt
you with extreme usage of foods.
Eating too much of certain foods is not good.
Stopping foods entirely may very well be an
The important thing is to be loving to each
I ate many times with My people and apostles.
Eating together gives great joy. Love each other.
Be happy. I am with you. Be kind and
loving to each other. Share your meals
in joy. Help each other and be kind.
Don't fall into fad diets that
could harm your health. Eat to
please your Heavenly Father. Do God's
I want you to engage in loving
union during meals. Do your Father's
I love you,
I gave you each other.
I gave you food to eat.
I love you so much.
March 6, 2001 - Third Message
I desire the writings of Father
Carter to be published and
spread to the earth.
Please put on the following
I desire the priestly Newsletter
to continue and Prayer
Chapters be begun immediately
I promise to those who
fervently pray My prayers
to turn their Churches
into little cities of light.
I am Jesus Chief Shepherd
of the Flock.
Please help me spread my
Excerpt from Response in Christ, by Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.
SEVEN The Cross and Christian Life
1. Traditional and Contemporary Views of the Cross
The cross, or dying with Christ, constitutes an essential and inevitable element of the Christian life. Christ has inserted the cross into Christianity, and it is not to be removed. Christ embraced the cross in His earthly, historical existence, and He thereby instilled the cross' dimension into the life of grace which He gives us. We hereby are recalling a point we have made before. Our Christian life has been structured according to the pattern established by Christ as He lived out His own life of grace as man. Consequently, our life of grace has, among other dynamisms, a definite thrust towards the cross. This thrust is towards the cross not as an end in itself but as a means, for this was the function of the cross in Christ's life. The suffering in His life, culminating in a death of agony, was a passageway to a greater life, to the life of His Resurrection.
We can understand why the saints have always had a tendency toward the cross. This is not their only vibrant tendency, but it is one of them. Because of their fidelity, their life of grace is given the proper freedom to develop according to all its basic dynamisms, one of which is towards the proper assimilation of the cross of Christ. It is not surprising, then, that down through the ages the Fathers, doctors, saints, and spiritual masters have taught the doctrine of the cross.
St. Paul was one of Christianity's first teachers of the cross. In one of his famous passages concerning the cross, Paul tells us:
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News, and not to preach that in the terms of philosophy in which the crucifixion of Christ cannot be expressed. The language of the cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God's power to save. As scripture says: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned. Where are the philosophers now? Where are the scribes? Where are any of our thinkers today? Do you see how God has shown up the foolishness of human wisdom? If it was God's wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach. And so, while the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom, here are we preaching a crucified Christ; to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness, but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is the power and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is wiser than human strength. (1 Co 1:17-25).
The spiritual masters throughout history have continued this teaching of St. Paul. There is, for instance, that great teacher of the mystical life, St. John of the Cross. Perhaps no other writer has so starkly and relentlessly applied the doctrine of the cross to the Christian life as has St. John. Even those very advanced in the spiritual life seem to shudder somewhat at the demands St. John of the Cross makes in The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night. But it must be remembered that if St. John speaks starkly of the cross, he always presents such teaching as being productive of the highest union of life and love with God. Therefore, St. John follows the only true teaching regarding the cross. The cross should always be expressive of one's love of God and man, and it should always lead to a growth in this love. It is also well to point out here in regard to St. John of the Cross that he is speaking, in the first place, to a particular class of people. His doctrine is not to be applied in all its details to Christians indiscriminately, even though they have seriously committed themselves to the Christian life. St. John's teaching concerning our share in Christ's cross is only one such presentation. There are also other ways of sharing mystically in Christ's death.
St. Ignatius of Loyola is another great master of the cross. His spirituality has a different orientation from that of St. John of the Cross. His teaching is meant to form apostles for various types of active involvement. His doctrine of the cross is not as stark as is St. John's, and has different nuances. Nevertheless, the cross has just as important a place in Ignatius' spirituality as it does in that of St. John's. Ignatius and John, then, are merely two examples of the great traditional masters of the spiritual life who have expressed the teaching of the cross.
In this contemporary age of the Church, with its sweeping changes, perhaps there are some who question the doctrine of the cross as regards modern man. Can the teaching of the cross be applied just as radically to the contemporary Christian as it has to Christians of the past? Can present-day ideas concerning the affirmation of the values of this world be harmonized with the concept of the cross? Actually, we have already given the answer. In the opening lines of this chapter we stated that Christ has structured our Christian life by His own historical existence. That structure established by Christ is essentially transcendent. Despite very real and important accidental differences, this structure of the Christian life remains essentially the same throughout the ages. At the heart of that structure is the cross leading to life. True, as we shall soon see, the contemporary Christian, as compared to the Christian of another age, has a somewhat different concept of how the cross is to be implemented in this twentieth century. But the cross is still really there.
We find Christian thinkers of our own era teaching the same basic doctrine of the cross as did St. Paul two thousand years ago. One cannot read Karl Rahner without being deeply impressed with the place he assigns to the cross in his theological and spiritual doctrine. Another outstanding example is Teilhard de Chardin. In his own life Teilhard was a man profoundly aware of the meaning of Christian suffering. The doctrine of the cross also holds a central place in his system of thought.1 Going outside the Catholic ambit, we find one of the most influential Christian thinkers of our times, the Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, stressing the need of the cross.2
Contemporary spirituality sees the need for the Christian cross.3 But it gives the assimilation of the cross its own particular orientation. This orientation is not only toward God as He is in Himself, but also as He is found in this world. To a considerable extent, traditional asceticism has been concerned with preparing for union with God primarily as He is in Himself, not as He is present in the world. Often the involvement with the cares and values of this world was looked upon as a hindrance to this union with God. Today, this view is disappearing, and rightly so; for the entire temporal order has been redeemed, not only man.
One's authentic involvement with the world in loving service, an involvement which is regulated by God's will, is greatly conducive to union in love with God and man. God's will is the criterion regulating the type and degree of this involvement. In summary, the main point we wish to stress is this. Contemporary spirituality is emphasizing that the great mass of Christians of all vocations must to a large extent assimilate the cross of Christ into their actual involvement with the work of Christ in the world. An ardent disciple of this view of the Christian life is Teilhard de Chardin, who wanted not only to love God and the world, but wanted to be united with Christ through his love of the world.
One of the great stresses of contemporary asceticism is to sustain the Christian in his proper involvement with the world according to his particular vocation — we still make allowance of course for the rare vocation of the cloistered contemplative which still calls for withdrawal from the world. Contemporary asceticism is an asceticism which is primarily concerned with a loving service of God through a loving service of this world. It is an asceticism which enables the Christian to imitate Christ as the "Man for others", a phrase popular with some contemporary thinkers. This Christian dimension of "being for others" has been given a great impetus by the theology of Vatican II. This theology constantly opens up the Church to proper involvement with the world. The Church today, perhaps more so than ever, is conscious that one of the most obvious themes of her life is that of prolonging the witness of Christ, the suffering servant, the man for others.
All in all, the contemporary view of the Christian cross marks progress. It is more complete. It recognizes that we must be united to God not only as He is in Himself, but as He has incarnated Himself in this world. If this contemporary view of the cross is to be authentic, however, it must also incorporate those values of the previous asceticism which are still necessary. There can be no complete break with the past. Christianity is an evolving life, and as with all life, it can never completely dispense with its past. Also, the contemporary view of ascetism is open to its own peculiar dangers, just as was the traditional asceticism. We will try to point out some of these dangers as we now briefly discuss various forms of our participation in the death of Christ. In the divisions which follow, clear-cut distinctions are not intended. For instance, an act of renunciation can also be an act of penance, but not necessarily so. The objective of the divisions is to point out that there are various forms of sharing in Christ's death, each with its own particular purpose; yet all forms ultimately share the common purpose of assimilating us more closely to the death of Christ so that we might share here and hereafter more fully in His Resurrection. As we thus participate more fully in Christ's death-resurrection, we are also more capable of leading others to a similar participation.
2. Various Forms of the Cross
a) Christian Self-discipline
In this section we will discuss topics which have traditionally been treated under the term mortification. We have chosen the term self-discipline because it perhaps is more acceptable and meaningful to the contemporary Christian.
All forms of life demand self-discipline. The athlete has to subject himself to a rigorous training. The scholar has to discipline himself and make many sacrifices if he is to achieve significant academic success. The musician has to endure long hours of practice. The doctor has to be willing to order his life to the rigorous demands of the medical profession.
The Christian life, too, has its own form of discipline or control. This discipline has for its comprehensive purpose the greater assimilation of the Christian's total being to Christ. Christian self-discipline allows for the proper development of the Christ-life in all its dimensions. Like all forms of authentic discipline, it is at the service of life. When it is properly exercised, Christian self-discipline helps us to grow in our capacity to love God and man. It helps us render in Christ a more meaningful life of service to the Father and men.
This proper, grace-inspired control over our complete person is necessary because our various sense and spiritual faculties do not automatically follow the lead of grace. Because of original and personal sin, there are various tendencies within us which, if not properly controlled, will lead us away from Christ and the proper development of our grace-life. One of the dangers of an extreme or not completely authentic incarnational spirituality — an aberration of which contemporary Christians must be aware — is that it is falsely optimistic. It does not sufficiently allow for this sinful element in man. The Christian must be willing to exercise a reasonable self-discipline despite the considerable pain which can at times be involved. And this control must extend to all his faculties.
As regards our intellectual lives, there are various tendencies inimical to our Christ-life which must be disciplined. For instance, there can be a laziness which prevents a proper pursuit of study which is necessary for the Christian life in general and for our own particular role in the Church. There can be an unwholesome curiosity which leads us to know that which is more pleasing, rather than first of all to know that which is necessary. There is an intellectual pride which can manifest itself in various ways. Some people find it extremely difficult to be open to the ideas of others, or to admit their mistakes. The most serious form of intellectual pride, of course, is that which can cause the loss of faith, a pride which prevents the person from any longer submitting to God's revelation.
The Christian's will, the decisive faculty in man, must receive special attention. It must become both supple and strong. It must be supple in order to be open to the varied movements of the Holy Spirit. The will, under grace, must also have the strength to guide the whole man, including those forces which can so powerfully at times lead away from God. As far as concrete decision-making is concerned, there are two extremes which we must avoid. On the one hand, we must avoid precipitous action which is devoid of reflection. This reflection is rooted in an appropriate openness to the movements of grace. On the other hand, we must not fall prey to the habit of indecision. Some people are prone to spend much too long in making decisions over the simplest matters. Life is short, and we must train ourselves to make decisions after appropriate reflection. In many of our ordinary actions and decisions this reflection is instantaneous. Unhealthy fear and other factors which are responsible for indecision must be curbed despite the even great pain this can cause at times for certain temperaments.
The Christian's remaining interior faculties, those of memory and imagination must also be subjected to proper discipline. These two faculties can be of great value when properly guided. If they are not properly controlled, they can, in their unruliness, become great obstacles to the proper exercise of the Christian life. An undisciplined memory and imagination can seriously interfere with our prayer life. A memory and imagination which are not properly controlled can also give rise to numerous temptations against purity, charity and the other virtues.
Man's emotional nature must also be properly regulated under grace. A considerable portion of past spiritual literature has not given due allowance to the role which God intends the emotions to exercise. Therefore, when we speak of control of the emotions, we by no means are suggesting repression or an inhuman rigidity. Rather we speak of a control which permits the emotions to contribute to the richness and overall value of the Christian's actions. St. Thomas teaches that the emotions or passions, when properly integrated with the movements of the intellect and will, add to the goodness of our acts. 4
However, as is obvious, the evil tendencies of the emotions must be properly disciplined if they are to add their positive contribution to the Christian life. The emotions can cause havoc if such a discipline is lacking. They can reduce man to an almost brute existence at times, or they can so constrict a person as to interfere seriously with the proper exercise and development of his Christ-life. In this regard it should be observed that the emotion of fear, if not properly controlled, can cause serious disorders. Psychiatrists and psychologists tell us that an uncontrolled and morbid fear is one of the chief causes of emotional and mental illness.
At the mention of emotional and mental illness we should digress somewhat and ask ourselves this important question: Do such disturbances interfere with growth in holiness? Not all theologians would agree in their answer. The better opinion seems to be that which would make a distinction between two basic kinds of holiness.5 There is a total holiness, one which manifests itself throughout the entire being. Heroic holiness of this type is the kind which the Church presently demands for canonization. There is another kind of holiness which does not manifest itself in every area of a person's being. This is the type of holiness which is compatible with even severe emotional and mental illness. Persons thus burdened must take the reasonable means to cure or control such afflictions, and strive to live the Christian life as well as their condition allows. If this is done, they can be sure they are pleasing to God, that holiness is possible for them, and that they too can make their own contribution to the life of the Church.
We now return to the topic of Christian self-discipline. We have discussed the control of the intellect, will, memory, imagination and emotions. There remains a final part of one's being, bodily nature. The body is holy, partaking in the holiness of Christ's body. But it is not yet completely redeemed. It can be subject to numerous evil tendencies, which, if not controlled, can weaken the life of sanctifying grace and even destroy it. The great saints did not excuse themselves from a proper vigilance of the body with its various senses. Neither can we. St. Paul says, "All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win. All the fighters at the games go into strict training; they do this just to win a wreath that will wither away, but we do it for a wreath that will never wither. That is how I run, intent on winning; that is how I fight, not beating the air. I treat my body hard and make it obey me, for, having been an announcer myself, I should not want to be disqualified." (1 Co 9:24-27).
Christian self-discipline or mortification, then, looks to a proper control of one's total being. This control is necessary for the avoidance of sin and the proper functioning of the life of grace. There is another form of the cross which some people confuse with the self-discipline we have just discussed. The form of the cross we speak of is that of penance.
Christian penance does not have the same basic purpose as self-discipline. Christian self-discipline looks rather to the proper living of the Christian life in the present and future, whereas penance looks to the sinful past. Penance, therefore, is a virtue which includes a sorrow for sin, a purpose of amendment, and a desire to make atonement or satisfaction for sin. As with the entire Christian life, penance is primarily, although not exclusively, an interior attitude.6
Penance, or satisfaction for sin, is an essential part of the life of the Church and the individual Christian because both are called upon to continue Christ's redemptive Incarnation. One aspect of Christ's redemptive work consisted in making satisfaction for sin. This aspect of Christ's life should always be part of the Church's existence and that of the individual Christian. Furthermore, certain members of the Church are called to give special attention to the prolongation of Christ making satisfaction for sin. In this category are those who are called to a form of religious life primarily dedicated to making reparation for sin.
The Christian in a special manner makes satisfaction for sin in the accomplishment of the sacramental penance imposed in confession. But he is also expected to do more than this, and the opportunities are readily available, for the inevitable hardships and difficulties of life can take on the value of penance. It all depends on my attitude. I can go about my day in a spirit of love, and this is all important. But other attitudes can be present, and should be to some extent at least. One of these attitudes or dimensions of my Christian perspective should be that of penance, or of making satisfaction for my own sins and those of others.
We should first of all seize the more obvious opportunities of doing penance. To accept properly the inevitable crosses which God permits can be an excellent form of penance. Another excellent form of penance is to bear with the pain, effort and difficulty which we all experience to some extent in fulfilling our life's work.
It is evident that there can be a considerable degree of penance in my life simply through the proper living of the human situation. But to be aware fully of the fact that I am in part a sinner, and that I should be aware of my responsibility to make satisfaction for sin, it seems that from time to time I have to perform additional acts of penance. The performance of such acts of supererogation have found a constant place in the history of Christian spirituality. As long as this manner of penance is performed with Christian prudence, there is no reason for saying that such a practice is no longer relevant.
The Christian life contains a manifest element of renunciation. This is evident from a reading of the New Testament. Among other places, this can be observed in the gospel of the gentle evangelist, St. Luke. He puts forth with a peculiar intransigence Christ's message of renunciation.7 This was a message which Christ Himself lived. Renunciation was by no means the only aspect of Christ's life, but it was an undeniable one. The Christian, the follower of Christ, must also include renunciation in his life regardless of his vocation. We remind ourselves that the cross is always intended to be connected with life and love. Paradoxically, then, renunciation is embraced for the sake of life. This was its purpose in Christ's life. This must be its purpose in the Christian's existence also. We will now consider various ways in which the principle of Christian renunciation applies.
The first two forms of the cross which we have discussed, self-discipline and penance, do not necessarily always include the aspect of renunciation. For instance, I can exercise Christian self-discipline in the positive use of created goods. There is no renunciation here. I rather relate properly to a created good according to God's will. However, renunciation is sometimes connected with the question of self-discipline or mortification. I cannot always properly relate my total being to God's creation unless from time to time I am willing to renounce particular goods and values. Consider this example. I will not always properly employ my external senses in using God's creation unless at times I deny the senses what they naturally desire. If we are not willing to admit this, it seems that we are falsely optimistic concerning human nature. Human nature has been redeemed, but not yet completely; it still has its sinful element which inclines us to a misuse of creation. To control this tendency towards misuse, there must be some renunciation of those goods towards which my various spiritual and sense faculties are orientated. Christian self-discipline, then, although not equated with renunciation, does utilize it at times.
The same is true concerning the practice of penance. As indicated above, there are various opportunities for penance which do not involve renunciation. But I can also perform an act of penance by the renunciation of some good. Neither can the practice of penance, therefore, always be equated with renunciation, although the latter is one of penance's possible forms.
Christian renunciation can be employed in the exercise of self-discipline and penance. But it has other applications also. The choice of a particular vocation and life's work demands a renunciation of various other created goods and values. The Christian who chooses to be a doctor has to be willing to sacrifice numerous positive values if he is to serve mankind properly in the medical profession. The Christian scholar, called by God to make a significant contribution to the life of the Church in the academic sphere, must also learn the lesson of renunciation; for he cannot be true to his demanding work unless various human values, good in themselves, are sacrificed.
There are still other possibilities for the use of Christian renunciation. One of these is the fact that its exercise gives an unique expression to the transcendent aspect of the Christian life. One element of the transcendent perspective is that our life of grace is a participation in the transcendent life of God Himself. This life of grace has a radical thrust of desiring God as He is in Himself. This particular dimension of our grace-life will not be completely satisfied until we achieve the beatific vision. In this vision we will possess God as He is in Himself, without the mediation of the world. Here below we can, to a certain extent, go out to God as He is in Himself. One way we can do this is through renunciation. Speaking of this type of renunciation which is expressive of transcendent love of God, Rahner observes: "For such renunciation is either senseless or it is the realized and combined expression of faith, hope and charity which reaches out towards God precisely in so far as he is in himself, and without any mediation of the world, the goal of man in the supernatural order."8 God, then, not only wants us to seek Him as He is immanent in creation and redemption, but also as He is transcendent in Himself. One way we can achieve this transcendent union with God is through the prudent, periodic renunciation of created goods and values.
There is one final perspective of Christian renunciation we would like to discuss. It is a dimension which has been included in what we have already said, but which we would now like to emphasize. The dimension we speak of is the peculiar redemptive force which authentic renunciation possesses. We see this to be true by a consideration of Christ's life. Everything in the life of Christ contributed to our redemption. He redeemed us by His teaching, by His hidden life, by His miracles, by His correct use of His Father's creation. In a very special manner He also redeemed us through the renunciatory element of His existence, a renunciation which culminated in His giving up what is dearest to any man, life itself. Central to Christ's redemptive work was an act of radical renunciation of the highest natural good.
The role of renunciation in the redemptive process has been established by Christ Himself. The People of God must respect this truth as they help Christ to carry on the work of the subjective redemption. In so many ways we must work with Christ. One manner is through a positive involvement with the world. We relate to its various created goods and values in order to assimilate these into the mystery of Christ more and more. But amidst all the ways by which we help further the redemptive process, let us give a due place to renunciation. If we do not, we are being disloyal to the plan of redemption as structured by Christ Himself. Perhaps we present-day Christians need to be reminded of this in a special manner. We say this because contemporary spirituality, so wonderfully incarnational, is open to the danger of becoming falsely incarnational. Among other possibilities, it would become falsely incarnational if, in its positive affirmation of this world, it neglected to continue the renunciatory perspective of Christ's life. We have to guard against the temptation of becoming erroneously practical about Christianity. On the one hand, we must be authentically practical to the greatest extent possible in our work for Christ. This in part means an assimilation of the cross so that it meets today's apostolic needs. On the other hand, we cannot become so pragmatic that we substitute a worldly wisdom for the folly of the cross. There is a danger today of making asceticism so functional that we are tempted to omit those forms of the cross which are not seen to have an immediately practical result. Such an attitude towards the cross is one which strives to confine the doctrine of the cross to the narrow limits of our reason. Such an attitude wants to remove all mystery of the cross. In summary, we must be sure to assimilate Christ's death, or His cross, according to the forms established by Him, and one of these forms is renunciation.
d) Passive Suffering
The forms of the Christian cross which we have discussed to this point are more active than passive. We are not saying that these forms cannot contain a passive element, but the emphasis lies in our active effort assisted by grace. There is another form of the cross which is noticeably more passive. We speak here of the various sufferings which God permits in our lives. These sufferings we do not actively choose, but we rather endure them according to God's will. Like all forms of the cross, this type of suffering serves more than one purpose. As I properly relate to it, it is expressive of my love of God and man, and in its own way it promotes Christ's redemptive work. At the same time such suffering helps purify the Christian person. This purification gives an increased capacity to receive God's love. It results in an increased capacity to love God and man. In terms of the paschal mystery, it leads to a greater share in the Resurrection.
There are numberless examples of passive trial or suffering. There are those connected with family life. Parents can suffer unspeakable grief because of the moral degeneration of one of their children. A wife loves her husband deeply, but his love for her grows cool and eventually seems to disappear. Only a woman who has been exposed to this experience knows the depths of the suffering involved. Children also are vulnerable to familial suffering. For instance, a young son is in need of his father's love and interest. However, he senses that this is lacking. His father seems more interested in making money than in loving his children.
All other vocations have their share of suffering also. There is the single girl who one day realizes with a crushing suddenness that she will most probably never be asked to marry. This sense of being unwanted can, at least temporarily, be a traumatic experience. There is the young priest who feels completely misunderstood by his bishop and pastor. There is the religious woman who lives under a superior who makes life unbearable. The list of possible sufferings to which the various states of life are exposed could be extended endlessly.
There are other sufferings which can be common to all vocations. There is physical and mental illness. There can be loneliness, misunderstanding, a certain failure and disappointment in one's work, a lack of being loved. There can be severe temptations. There can be various interior trials connected with the growth of the Christ-life. These trials can be quite intense at times, even though we are not called upon to endure the classical night of the senses and spirit. (In our final chapter we will briefly discuss these nights. If some do indeed experience this mystical purgation, it is not necessary that all be led this way, even though they aspire to the highest holiness.) Some of these trials which are commonly concomitant to the development of the life of grace are prolonged dryness in prayer, periods of desolation, and purification of the virtues, especially those of faith, hope and love.
We should take the grace-inspired means to improve the situation in all these various sufferings. To the extent that we cannot, we should bow our head in loving conformity to the Father's will. In this way we will derive profit from the suffering, both for ourselves and for others. We miss a precious opportunity to the extent that we do not thus conform to the Father's will in suffering. The great tragedy about human suffering is not that there is so much of it, but that so much of it is wasted.
Finally, with the help of grace we have to try to realize with a growing clarity that suffering, even deep suffering, is not incompatible with peace and happiness. The lives of the saints prove this. And our own lives prove this paradox; for we, too, have experienced that if we properly relate to suffering we can simultaneously experience a peace and happiness in the depths of our being. This is the peace and happiness of Christ, a fundamental peace and happiness which nothing can take from us. St. Paul tells us: "I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. . . . There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus." (Ph 4:4-7).
There is one final form of the cross we wish to discuss. This we may call selflessness. It is not a selflessness which destroys or denies my true self; rather it is that form of self-denial which allows me to go out of my selfishness and self-centeredness. It is that selflessness which allows me to develop my total Christian existence to its God-intended fullness. Paradoxically, I become a complete Christian person by going out of myself and more and more into a greater assimilation with Christ. Yes, I become my true and unique self by allowing Christ to live in me ever more perfectly. "He must grow greater, I must grow smaller." (Jn 3:30). To grow in union with Christ demands effort. To love the Father and men more perfectly, in, with and through Christ, demands effort. In other words, all this demands the selflessness of the cross. Christ tells us, "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it." (Mt 16:24-25).
This kind of biblical self-denial or selflessness includes all the forms of the cross we have already discussed. It embraces any form of the cross which can possibly be conceived. Furthermore, it allows other forms of the cross to grow qualitatively if not quantitatively. For instance, my acts of Christian self-discipline or renunciation are not meant constantly to increase according to their material or quantitative aspect. This dimension tends to reach a certain level and remain fairly constant. But the love and the selflessness with which I permeate these forms of the cross can increase indefinitely. Again, such selflessness demands effort, and is the cross also.
Let us emphasize certain very important truths as we conclude our discussion of the Christian cross. First of all, our participation in Christ's cross, or in His death, is always to be linked intimately with His Resurrection. Yes, for us, as with Christ, the cross means life. Our proper assimilation of the cross is one means of expressing our life in Christ. It is also a means for a growth in this life. The more we die mystically with Christ, the more we share in His Resurrection through grace. Furthermore, since growth in grace means growth in love, the cross enables us to increase our capacity to love God and men.
Secondly, to assimilate the cross of Christ does not mean that I cannot be intimately involved with the world. It does not mean that I cannot affirm the values of this world. It does not mean that I cannot love this world passionately. In fact, I should passionately love this world with all its authentic values. Why? Because this world belongs to Christ. He paid the great price of His own blood to redeem it. Consequently, I should love the world more, not less, than the non-Christian. But properly to love the world means to embrace the cross of Christ in its various dimensions. If I relate to the temporal order in this manner, I will at the same time also be growing in my capacity to love the world. For the cross, as it purifies the Christian, enables him more freely to love and affirm this world. He does not love and affirm this world as does the one who is enslaved to it. Such a person loves the world for more or less selfish reasons, and in his selfishness he is really not free to love it as he should. It is not such a person who really loves this world and is best able to promote the true progress of man. The person who can best love man and his world and contribute to its progress is rather he who, purified by the cross, can relate to man's world in freedom and selfless love.
Thirdly, to enter into the death of Christ does not mean an absence of joy, peace and happiness. The cross is not meant to crush out my enthusiasm for life. This is not to say that the cross cannot cut deeply at times, but even then there can coexist a substantial peace in the depths of the soul, even though its surface is experiencing sorrow and pain. If I properly conform to these times of special suffering, ultimately I will experience a special growth in the peace and joy of Christ. And remember, Christ always apportions the cross according to one's strength.
Christ has shown us how to bear life's cross. He was the happiest of men, and yet there was suffering and hardship in His life. This suffering reached an extreme measure in His passion and death. But even in this cruel culmination of His life, there was a poignant beauty, because Christ knew how to suffer, and He knew how to suffer because He knew how to love. Isaiah the prophet tells us about the suffering Christ. He tells us how Christ was to suffer and through His cross achieve a new life for Himself and mankind. His words can inspire us to assimilate Christ's cross so that we might aid in continuing its life-giving function for ourselves and others: "As the crowds were appalled on seeing him — so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human — so will the crowds be astonished at him. . . . Without beauty, without majesty (we saw him), no looks to attract our eyes; a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him. And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried . . . he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. . . . Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers never opening its mouth. By force and by law he was taken; would anyone plead his cause? Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living; for our faults struck down in death. . . . His soul's anguish over he shall see the light and be content. By his sufferings shall my servant justify many. . ." (Is 52:14-53:11).
1. Cf. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), pp. 101-104.
2. Cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Macmillan paperback, 1966), pp. 95-104.
3. For one particular discussion concerning contemporary asceticism see E. Larkin, "Asceticism in Modern Life" in Concilium, Theology in the Age of Renewal, Vol. 19 (New York: Paulist Press, 1966), pp. 100-108.
4. St. Thomas Aquinas, S.T., I-II, q. 24, a. 3.
5. Cf. P. Fransen, Divine Grace and Man (New York: New American Library, 1965), pp. 202-204.
6. Cf. R. Schnackenburg, The Moral Teaching of the New Testament (New York: Herder & Herder, 1967), p. 26.
7. Cf. Eugene Maly's article in Contemporary New Testament Studies, edited by Sister M. Rosalie Ryan, C.S.J. (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1965), p. 201.
8. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. III (Baltimore: Helicon, 1967), pp. 51-52.
(End of Excerpt from Response in Christ)
A PLEDGE FROM AN APOSTLE OF THE SACRED HEART
I am but a little speck on this earth,
but with His might He can use me
to spread the devotion to His
Most Sacred Heart.
Oh dear and precious Heart of Jesus
I give myself as completely as
possible to Thee so you will use
me to spread the devotion to the
ends of the earth for Your most
I am Rita your precious soul.
Use me to help to spread this burning
devotion to the souls of this earth.
I am yours, take me, use me as you
I surrender myself to you.
It is your might behind me, your power
that sends me. I am an Apostle of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I give
myself as completely as possible to
Sacred Heart of Jesus I place my
trust in Thee.
Father hear us please. We beg through
the intercession of Father Carter
and Our Lady of Clearwater that
prayer chapters are started all over
the world and the Priestly Newsletter
gets there immediately with the
Mary speaks: I stood beneath the cross of my Son, and my Heart was in such pain for I saw Him before my eyes. I saw Him covered with blood. I saw Him die. My Heart, my children, my Heart to watch my Son, but my Heart, my Heart, how I suffered for my little children of the world that give in to this world and give up the love of my Son. O my little children of light, I give you this message. Carry this light into the darkness for your Mother Mary, for I stood beneath the cross and I cried. I cried for the little ones. I cried for the young ones, the ones that do not care and will lose their souls. How do I make you see for you will not listen to me? What can I do? I come. I appear. I beg. I plead. I give you these gifts from my Son, and you reject me. I do not deliver messages very often anymore for I have been ignored. The message is the same. You do not read the messages I have given to you. Please help me. Help the little children. I appear. I appear. I appear, and I am ignored. I stood beneath the cross, and I cried. I cried, and my Heart was in such anguish for my little children, for I am searching for them this day as I searched for the Child Jesus. Please, please help me. I cannot hold back the hand of my Son any longer. I am Mary, your Mother. I ask you to help my children. You are my children of light.
Song: O Lady of Light, shining so bright, be with us this day, guiding our way, O Lady, O Lady of Light.
Mary speaks: I appear to you as Our Mother of Sorrows.
(End of Mary's Message)
A Note from the President of Shepherds of Christ:
If you are devoted to Our Lady's rosary, we need your help! A member of our ministry is very devoted to Our Blessed Mother and he is helping to teach us how to grow our volunteer rosary makers. He estimates that we will need approximately $37,000 this year for beads alone! This translates into 22,339,500 rosary beads (yes, 22 million beads) assembled by volunteers into 378 thousand rosaries. The biggest users of our rosaries are the Catholic schools, who requested more than 100,000 rosaries last year.
Can you help us? I appeal to you for funds, whether large or small. We give because we love God, we love our Blessed Mother, and we love souls. We will accept gifts in many forms, besides cash or check donations, we can receive gifts directly in the form of stocks or property. These gifts can offer large tax advantages to the donor and increase the monetary value of the gift to us. Also if you can help assemble rosaries we need your help! If you can help us in anyway, please call or write us. God Bless!
I love you,
A rosary can be used to pray for healing. It is powerful to unite our prayers to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and pray through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Clearwater.
In times of trouble, for special prayer, we can use our rosary and pray as follows.
A Rosary for Healing or for Someone with Cancer.
On one Hail Mary bead or as many as you desire, say:
May God heal through the intercession of Our Lady of Clearwater in union with the Mass and all the Masses being celebrated around the world.
Pray the Hail Mary or Hail Mary's then pray this after the Hail Mary.
May the cancer be uprooted and thrown into the sea.
We believe with all our hearts.
After the Glory Be pray the following petition.
May be healed through the intercession of Our Lady of Clearwater if it be the holy will of God.
|Note: You can look at Mary on the image rosary while you pray this rosary.|
Note: The above section can be printed out from a PDF file, and you can pray the rosary looking at the pictures.
December 17, 2000, Mary speaks:
Help me to circulate my red and blue
This is a gift we give you.
To order your Rosary Book fill out this form and send your donation to Shepherds of Christ Ministries, PO Box 193, Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193, Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (513) 932-4451.
Name: _________________ Street: _____________________________
City: _________________ State: _________________ Zip: ________
Donation price: $7A $15 A $25 A $50 A $100 A Other $_____ A
Messenger: Mary wants the Red Rosary Book printed. It will cost $12,000 - $14,000 to get them reprinted. Mary has asked us to always circulate them. They go with the apparition in Florida.
Messenger: The new Blue Rosary Book Volume II of Rosaries from the Hearts of Jesus and Mary has been printed. It cost $21,000. Please pray with us for funds.
Messenger: CAN YOU HELP US BY GIVING US ROSARIES FOR THE SCHOOLS REQUESTING THEM?
Mary speaks: PLEASE MAKE WALTER'S ROSARIES. THE SCHOOLS WANT ROSARIES AND THERE ARE NOT ANY ROSARIES LEFT.
Messenger: Pray for Ron, Fernando and Perry.
Prayer List for apostles for interior use in the Movement. Pray hourly.
Spread the Blood of Jesus on everyone involved with Shepherds of Christ in any way, consecrate their hearts, cast the devil out, pray for coming of the Holy Spirit in a special way for all people involved on this list.
Pray for the Pope and everyone we need to help us.
* Pray for the priestly newsletter, for funds for it and for all involved.
Pray for the taping of the priestly newsletter.
Pray for the reproduction of disks.
Pray for the Newsletter that went from China and Eden Prairie.
Pray for priests receiving the Newsletter for grace.
Pray for fund letters, all donors, and getting the right names.
Pray for setting up telephone communication for priests receiving newsletter and wanting the Prayer Manual at the Morrow Center.
Consecrate Hearts of all Priests in the world, saying Mass today.
Pray to see the vision of the Reign of the Sacred Heart and the Era of Peace.
Pray for the prison ministry.
Pray for Michael B.
Pray for the Documentary.
Pray for all mankind, Church and the world.
Pray to make amends to God for the sins of the men of this earth.
Pray to make reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Pray for Don, Don, Mike, Bob, Bob, Dave, Reggie, and Bush and all donors and those who Jesus wants to help us financially.
Pray for Father Carter and the Jesuits, the people at Colombiere.
Please pray for one new very important intention.
* Pray for 2 special priests.
* Pray for funds and grace.
Pray for designated priests, Fr. Mike, Fr. Laurentin, Fr. Joe, Fr. Lou B., Fr. Jim, Fr. Willig, Fr. Smith, Fr. Ken, Fr. Sevilla and all priests involved in the Imprimaturs translations including all bishops and all bishops over us. Pray for Bishop Ed, Fr. Don, Father at Tuesday Masses, Fr. Tom, Fr. Bill, all priests involved with Walter, Fr. Hagee and special priests, priests who help us in China, and priests who help us in Florida.
Pray for Father's sister Merle, for all of us servants, handmaids, apostles and vocations to all 7 categories.
Pray for the Internet team and the daily messages.
Pray for people reading the Internet.
Pray for prayer book, Mass Book II, and Daily Message Books.
Pray for all covers, pray for Cathy.
Pray for Glaci and all translations and all involved.
Pray for the elected officials.
Pray for an audience with the Pope.
Pray for all Jesuits involved, all those over us. Pray for the 5 urgent intentions.
Pray for Mike and Dan.
Pray for the rights to the books, pray for Jesuits in Father's house.
Pray for the process of getting Father's books on the Internet.
Pray for money to reprint the books.
Pray for the Imprimatur on the Priestly Newsletter Book II.
Pray we can send it to all bishops and Jesuits.
Pray for Fernando, Ron, Joseph, Peter, Ed, Jane, Sonia, Don, Sue & Ken.
Pray for Perry and family and discernment.
Pray for all sub-centers and all out-of-state rosaries; Denver, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Toledo, St. Louis, Memphis and California.
Pray for the sisters' mailing, nursing home mailing, bus mailing.
Pray for Genevieve's daughter and Sheila's mom and the repose of the soul of Jerry's dad.
Pray for Paul and Joan discernment.
Pray for B & M and Tina and Terry, all printing jobs, companies involved.
Pray for 5th, the 13th, the 17th.
Pray hourly for the Rosary on the 5th & all attending and those traveling to Florida.
Pray for building up of Morrow, Ohio, Dale, Indiana, Toledo, Ohio, Sidney, Ohio, Iowa, and other sub-centers.
Pray for the Holy Spirit Center and all involved.
Pray for all our families, children in school, college mailing.
Pray for lots and lots of people to help us get prayer manuals and pictures.
Pray for Rosary Factory and rosary beads.
Pray for lots of rosary makers and rosaries for the schools.
Pray for Paul C., Margaret Mary, Steve and Sheila, Monica, Angie, Marian, Cathy, Joe, Nick, Mary, Emily, Joe, Doris, Glaci, Dunkers, Joan R., Morgan, Mark, Walter, Janice, Mike A., Margaret, Ron, Harold, Scott, Nathan, Don, Rosalie, and Dennis.
Pray for everyone who has asked us to pray for them.
Pray for Steve and Sheila and repairs.
Pray for Fred doing the paper and all involved in priestly "start-up".
Please pray for all Shepherds of Christ children.
Pray for Victor's son, Michael. (Victor and Frances)
Pray for Delores and organization of writings and other material.
Last revised March 4, 2001
(Please copy and pass out to family and friends.)
MY VALENTINE FOR JESUS AND MARY
AND THE WORLD
I _________________ give my heart to
You Jesus and Mary on this day
I promise to help spread the devotion to
the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
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