| Shepherds of Christ
April 11, 2009 - Holy Saturday
April 12th Holy
The Novena Rosary
Mass 11:00 a.m.
The church needs to have the stucco replaced
and also the community building.
It is about $38,000 to repair it.
People pray in the church 24 hours a day.
We have prayed in there for 11 years.
The archdiocese gave the church to us
for this purpose for a small price.
Can you help us?
Fr. Carter had a dream.
Available for $10.00 plus postage
In this book Fr. Carter speaks of God as the ultimate mystery. We can meditate on the interior life of the Trinity. The Trinity is the most perfect community.
Fr. Carter tells us about our uniqueness in the Father’s Plan for us, how the individual Christian, the Church and the world are in the state of becoming –
Our incorporation into the mystery of Christ at baptism, and the gradual maturing of that life in the process of becoming, is centered in the pattern of death resurrection.
Hebrews 5: 1-10
You are my Son, today I have fathered you, and in another text: You are a priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to act on their behalf in relationships with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or who have gone astray, because he too is subject to the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron’s case. And so it was not Christ who gave himself the glory of becoming high priest, but the one who said to him:
The spiritual life, which is centered in the pattern of death-resurrection, variously expresses itself through the Christian virtues.
God calls us to live the Christian existence, the spiritual life, within the framework of the Church that Jesus has established.
The Christian life, then, is rooted in the great event of the Incarnation — Christ came for a double purpose. He was radically to release us from the dominion of sin and elevate us to a new level of existence.
The Incarnation goes on in us. We are in the state of becoming –
Genesis 1: 26-27
God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.’
God created man in the image of himself,
in the image of God he created him,
male and female he created them.
This book is a great gift. Father Carter, founder of the Shepherds of Christ with a doctorate in theology was always trying to put the essence of the spiritual life in a ‘nut shell’ so we could advance in understanding more and more as he knew the spiritual life.
The Church is the Body of Christ. The concept of the Church as Body of Christ certainly emphasizes the sense of corporateness that should permeate the consciousness of the Church’s members.
God intends each of us to press on toward maturity in the spiritual life through a proper encounter with others.
The Shepherds of Christ Movement is rooted in living our lives as the bride of Christ – laying down our lives daily in the morning offering, offering our lives as a sacrifice, united to the Mass, praying for our needs and the priests, the Church and the world.
Besides circulating these spiritual materials from Fr. Carter, and other prominent theologians, scriptures and popes writings – we have had a network of prayer chapters praying for the priests for 14 years in 7 languages, people all over the world praying the prayers in the prayer manual before the Blessed Sacrament at the end of this book –
1. For the spread of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary culminating in the reign of the Sacred Heart and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
2. For the Pope.
3. For all bishops of the world.
4. For all priests.
5. For all sisters and brothers in the religious life.
6. For all members of the Shepherds of Christ Movement, and for the spread of this movement to the world.
7. For all members of the Catholic Church.
8. For all members of the human family.
9. For all souls in purgatory.
We ourselves pray 24 hours a day for the priests, the Church and the world before the exposed Eucharist in our Church in China, Indiana. This church was given to us from the Archdiocese for this purpose 12 years ago.
Our mission to lead all into this deep oneness with God as St. Paul says
Galatians 2: 19-20
...I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
And consecrating our hearts to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and spreading this consecration.
Rita Ring, Cofounder,
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
Etymologically, the word mystery basically means that which is secret or hidden. It was used in a religiously technical sense even before Christianity. Mystery was used, for example, to designate certain religious rites of pagan Hellenism, secret rites that were closed to outsiders unless they had been properly initiated into them. In relation to Egyptian hermeticism, the word mystery was applied to initiation into secret religious ideas or doctrines. In reference to Christianity, God himself is the ultimate mystery. Radically, God is completely other and transcendent, hidden from man in his inner life, unless he chooses to reveal himself. Let us briefly look at this inner life of God.
The Father, in a perfect act of self-expression, in a perfect act of knowing, generates his son. The Son, the Word, is, then, the immanent expression of God's fullness, the reflection of the Father. Likewise, from all eternity, the Father and the Son bring forth the Holy Spirit in a perfect act of loving.
At the destined moment in human history, God's self-expression, the Word, immersed himself into man's world. God's inner self-expression now had also become God's outer self-expression. Consequently, the mystery of God becomes the mystery of Christ. In Christ, God tells us about himself, about his inner life, about his plan of creation and redemption. He tells us how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit desire to dwell within us in the most intimate fashion, how they wish to share with us their own life through grace. All this he has accomplished and does accomplish through Christ. St. Paul tells us: "I became a minister of this Church through the commission God gave me to preach among you his word in its fullness, that mystery hidden from ages and generations past but now revealed to his holy ones. God has willed to make known to them the glory beyond price which this mystery brings to the Gentiles—the mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim while we admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ" (Col 1:25-28).
The Christian life, then, is rooted in the great event of the Incarnation. We must, consequently, always focus our gaze upon Christ, realizing that everything the Father wishes to tell us has been summed up in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. It only remains for us, then, to fathom ever more deeply the inexhaustible truth of the Word Incarnate: "In times past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has made heir of all things and through whom he first created the universe" (Heb 1:1-2).
What was the condition of man and his world at the time of Christ's coming? In some ways, people were much the same as we are today. There were those who were just being born into this world of human drama; there were those who, in death, were leaving it, some of whom had grasped but little of life's meaning. There were those who were healthy and vigorous; there were those who were sick and lame. Some especially felt the burdens, the grief, the suffering of the human condition; others were ebullient and desired all the pleasures that life could provide. There was some good being accomplished: there was Rome, for example, with her genius for government and architecture; there was Athens with her philosophers, writers, sculptors, and artists. The moral condition of those times, however, was at a very low ebb. What St. Paul tells us concerning the time that immediately followed Christ's earthly existence certainly could also be applied to the time of his entrance into the world. It is, in short, an ugly picture that Paul depicts for us (Rm 1:22-32).
Into such a depraved condition of mankind Jesus entered, with a full and generous heart, to lead man from the depths of sinfulness to the vibrant richness of a new life in himself. Through his enfleshment, this Christ had become the focal point of all history. The authentic hopes and dreams of the human family, now so deeply overshadowed by the ugliness of sin, came converging upon this Christ. He would gather them up in himself, give them a new luster and brilliance and dynamism, and would lead the human race back to the Father in the Spirit.
Christ came, then, for a double purpose, or rather for a single purpose that has two facets. He was radically to release us from the dominion of sin and elevate us to a new level of existence. This life that Christ has given us is not a type of superstructure that is erected atop man's human existence. Although nature and grace are distinct, they do not lie side by side as separate entities; rather, grace permeates nature. The Christian is one graced person. In his entirety he has been raised up, caught up, into a deeper form of life in Christ Jesus. Nothing that is authentically human has been excluded from this new existence. Whatever is really human in the life of the Christian is meant to be an expression of the Christ-life. The simple but deep joys of family life, the wonderment at nature's beauty, the kiss that unites lovers, the warm embrace of a mother for her child, the agony of crucial decision making, the success or frustration that is experienced in one's work, the joy of being well received by others, and the heartache of being misunderstood—all these human experiences are intended to be caught up in Christ and made more deeply human because of him. As Karl Rahner has put it: "The basic and ultimate thrust of Christian life consists not so much in the fact that a Christian is a special instance of mankind in general, but rather in the fact that a Christian is simply man as he is. But he is a person who accepts without reservations the whole of concrete human life with all of its adventures, its absurdities, and its incomprehensibilities" (Foundations of Christian Faith, p. 402).
Christ has come, then, not to destroy anything that is authentically human, but to perfect it by leading it to a graced fulfillment. This is the meaning of the Incarnation. The more God-like we become through Christ, the more human we become.
As Christians, then, we live in Christ. We have been incorporated into his life, into the mystery of Christ. The mystery of Christ is the Christ event, that is, all the happenings or events of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. We may speak, consequently, not only of the total, unified mystery of Christ, but also of the individual events or mysteries. Christ's mysteries of death and resurrection are central and, in some way, they contain all the other mysteries; but these other mysteries or events also have their own importance.
The mysteries or events of Christ are not mere past events; they are still dynamically present in the glorified Christ. How is this so? The mysteries of Christ have a twofold aspect: one dimension is historical and, therefore, limited by time; the other dimension is eternal, perennially and actually present in Christ. Let us first consider the historical, temporal aspect of Christ's mysteries. In assuming a human nature, the Son subjected himself to the historical dimension of man's existence. In other words, the actions that Christ performed on earth, through his human nature, were limited by temporal historicity. The temporal historicity of these acts cannot be re-enacted—not even sacramentally in the liturgy. To do so would require that God reproduce a past act now precisely as past, which is a contradiction in terms.
There is, then, the temporal, not-to-be repeated dimension of Christ's mysteries. These mysteries, however, possess another aspect, namely, an eternal and perennially dynamic aspect. Jesus, although he has a divine nature and a human nature, is only one person—and that is a divine person. The consequence of this fact is demonstrated in reference to the acts that Christ performed as man. Although they were enacted through Jesus' human nature, these acts are attributed to the divine person and share, as much as a human act can, in the eternity of the divine person who is above the historical, temporal limitations of earthly existence. These events of Jesus' historical existence endure, then, eternally in the glorified Christ, and they endure for a purpose, that is, the mysteries of Christ perennially endure in him so that we might assimilate them. We are thus saved and sanctified by entering into the mystery of Christ, assimilating it, and reproducing it in our own lives according to our particular vocations, graces, and historical exigencies. There is only one manner of life that the Father holds before us, and it is patterned after the existence of his incarnate Son.
By reliving and reincarnating the mysteries of Christ, we are not only accomplishing our own redemption, but assisting in the continued application of Christ's redemption to all mankind. The Incarnation continues for all time. Christ, of course, is the one who fundamentally continues the Incarnation; but he enlists our help. The world no longer sees Jesus, no longer is able to reach out and touch him. We are the ones who now, in some way, make Christ visible and tangible. In union with the invisible, glorified Christ, and depending upon him as our source of strength, we continue the Incarnation in its visible and temporal dimensions. The fact that, at times, we do this poorly because of our human weakness and sinfulness does not change the great privilege and responsibility that is ours: we do, in fact, help continue the Incarnation. We are the Body of Christ. We must strive ever more perfectly to reincarnate the mystery and mysteries of Christ.
The Christian is initiated into the mystery of Christ, into his or her role of prolonging the Incarnation, through baptism. In the words of St. Paul: "Are you not aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Through baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life" (Rm 6:3-5).
It is not sufficient, however, that we be incorporated into Christ and his mysteries through baptism. All forms of life require nourishment; so too, our life in Christ must be continually nourished; we must continually keep in contact with Christ and his mysteries. How can we continually encounter Christ? There are various ways. We contact Christ in a special manner through the liturgy—above all, in the Eucharistic liturgy. Here the entire course of salvation history, as centered in Jesus, is sacramentally renewed and continued. Through this Eucharistic encounter we become more deeply incorporated into Christ and his mysteries.
The reading of Scripture provides another special opportunity for encounter with Jesus. This is true for both the Old and New Testaments; the Old Testament prefigures the New Testament and leads to it. It is obvious, however, that we meet Christ especially through the pages of the New Testament. How true it is to say that not to be familiar with Scripture is not to know Christ properly.
There is yet another way in which we encounter the mysteries of Christ; we make renewed contact with Jesus and his mysteries as these are present within ourselves and others. The mysteries of Christ that are to be relived by us are structured into our life of grace. One of the best ways, then, to encounter the mysteries of Christ is to experience them personally in our own Christian living. To personally relive the mysteries of Christ is to more perfectly understand them; what is more, this deeper penetration of their truth allows for their still greater assimilation in our lives. To see the truth of Christ, the Christ-event, reincarnated to a marked degree in another person—is a wonderful gift from God. To see the selflessness of Jesus, his love, his kindness, his willingness to suffer and endure the difficult, his joy and peace despite the pain and anguish of life—to see all this reflected in the lives of at least some of the people we meet is indeed a significant encounter with Christ.
Common to the various ways of properly encountering Jesus and his mysteries is a certain degree of prayerful reflection. Our encounter with the mystery of Christ in the liturgy, in Scripture, in ourselves, and in others will not be all that it should be without this kind of reflection. The light of prayer enables us to see more perfectly how the mysteries of Jesus are to be assimilated. The strength of prayer provides us with a greater determination to live a more Christ-like existence.
We live out our assimilation to Christ in an atmosphere of love. Indeed, the life that Jesus has given us is centered in love; it has its origins in the mysterious love of God, his agape, through which he achieves his self-communication to us. In the words of St. John's gospel:
Yes, God so loved the world
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him may not
but may have eternal life.
Our new life in Christ has arisen out of God's fathomless love, and, what is more, its entire dynamism breathes love. The Incarnate Word himself has taught us this. On our behalf, Christ, as man, has perfectly opened himself to the Father's love; he has then responded to the Father in love. In relation to men, Jesus has loved completely from the depths of his being, pouring himself out in a life of selfless service, a self-giving that drew from him life's breath itself so that he could say he loved—without reserve and to the end. Thus forever was etched upon the pages of man's history—indelibly and so deeply—the love of Jesus for mankind. In this very greatness and depth of Christ's love for us, he was also opening himself to our love, for he can enter the human heart only if there is a response of love that encounters his own. Consequently, Jesus is the sacrament—the visible sign—of the great dimensions of Christian love. Christians are the persons who receive God's love and respond with their own love; Christians also love their fellow human beings as themselves and, in turn, open themselves to receive others' love.
Christ, in his descent into human flesh, has established a milieu of love. The life he came to give can flourish only in the framework of love. Indeed, we can summarize the meaning of the Christian life by stating that it is a response to God's love—a love that God freely gives to us without conditions or qualifications. Love is the beginning and the end. The main truth that we must comprehend is that the redemptive incarnation was wrought by God's love to raise us, in turn, to a deeper level of loving. Our further penetration into the mystery of the Incarnation can take place only in love. Incarnate love can only be understood and participated in more fully through our own life of love.
Another characteristic of our assimilation to the mystery of Christ is its personalism. There were numerous possibilities open to God, given his decision to redeem the human race. He actually chose, however, to accomplish our redemption in the most personalistic way; he communicated himself to us through the personal enfleshment of his Son. This means that God was giving himself to us through the warmth, the kindness, the strength, the gentleness, and the selflessness that emanated from the incarnate person of Christ. It was truly the incarnate, personal acts of Christ that redeemed us—his work and relaxation, his joy, his friendships, his love for Mary and Joseph, the training of the apostles, his concern for the most abject of those he encountered, his fatigue, his agony and death, and his resurrection. Our redemption was truly personalistic.
Moreover the personalism of the Incarnation continues. In union with Christ, we are called upon to help him continue his Incarnation in its visible, earthly dimension. Only one framework is available to us according to which we can help further the Incarnation—our personal lives, that is to say, our lives as individuals united as a people, the People of God. The human condition as we experience it—joyfully and painfully, too—also provides the soil for our participation in the continued Incarnation. Redemption continues to take place not when we try to remove ourselves from the human condition, but when we strive to live an authentically human life that is more and more in Christ. It is by living truly personalistic lives—that is, lives springing forth from the greatness of the person as created and redeemed by God, lives that do not flinch from the human condition—that redemption continues to be made visible to this world.
Christian personalism centers in our personal relationships with God and others, and again, Christ shows the way. Through the Word made flesh, the life of the Trinity has incarnationally manifested itself to mankind. The life of the Trinity centers in the personal relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but God's life is also his love gone out to the human race. The Incarnation projects this Trinitarian life into the temporal sphere. Jesus has come to tell us about Trinitarian life, to give us a share in it, to teach us that through grace we share in God's life—a life of relationships—by entering into deepened personal relationships with God and other persons. Redemption that is received and contributed to is the experience of these relationships. In other words, as Jesus has told us, the Christian life is summed up in love of God and neighbor. Out of these personalized love relationships flow many things; for example, redemption continued is the loving abandonment to the love of God that despite possible fear, allows a person to accomplish things that are totally beyond his or her natural courage. Or again, redemption continued is loving those who are afar off whom I will never see or know, but whom I know are my brothers and my sisters and whom my work and prayer can reach out and touch. Or again, redemption continued is the Christian hope and trust that allows man and woman to take the risk of the mutual self-giving that is marriage. Or again, redemption continued is the black person who continues to relate to his or her white neighbors in faith, hope, and love despite temptations to hatred and bitterness. Or again, redemption continued is the ecstasy and the agony of loving and being loved. Truly, the Incarnation visibly continued is our Christian faith, hope, and love made alive in our personal relationships with God and man.
In our assimilation to the mystery of Christ, then, we learn about love and the personalistic. We also learn a further truth—the value of the material, the tangible, in God's plan of redemption. The Incarnation established a set pattern for the redemption of the world, that is, redemption taken both objectively (the historical, salvific life of Christ) and subjectively (the redemption as applied to mankind). Christ redeemed the world through his humanity, which was a created and, in part, a tangible reality. As Jesus' humanity was indispensable for accomplishing the objective redemption, so also created things are necessary for continuing the subjective redemption. An outstanding example of this occurs in the Eucharistic liturgy, for bread and wine—material, tangible realities—are the central focus of the liturgical rite as they are changed into Christ's body and blood.
In assuming a human nature, then, Jesus has united to himself not only mankind, but also the material world. Not only the human spirit, but also the human body and the material world have been given a new dignity because of the Incarnation and enter so vitally into the Incarnation continued. Once for all let us lay aside the influence of Manichaeism, Gnosticism, and similar false teachings that denigrate that which is material. It is obvious that we do not always properly use material creation; at such times, we have failed to relate to material creation according to God's will. Let us remember, then, that Christ, in elevating the material to a new dignity, has accomplished this partially through that aspect of the Incarnation that is the cross—a dimension of the Incarnation that, along with its other aspects, must also be present in our encounter with the material. We must realize that such elements as Christian self-discipline and renunciation must find a place in our lives if we are to use material creation according to God's designs.
There are numberless applications of the value of the material, the visible, the tangible, in our Christ-lives: there is, for example, the warm, receptive smile of a friend and the reading of Scripture and the physical love of husband and wife and the exhilarating refreshment of a day at the seashore and God's loveliness that is reflected in a little child—and, of course, the list could continue on. The fundamental principle, however, is the same in all cases:—the human nature of Jesus, something that has been created and is in part material, has reached out and touched all these other things and experiences that are part of life in a material world. When we properly relate to them, they become for us extensions of the Incarnation. They are the redemptive Incarnation applied to us; in addition, they are opportunities for us to assist Christ in continuing his Incarnation for others.
The Incarnation, as we have briefly pointed out, was and is a rich and varied event. The truths that accompany Christ's descent into our world are numerous and capable of not only originally elevating us to a new life, but also constantly leading us to a deeper, richer, and more vibrant participation in that life. This is why Christ came to live in our midst—to give us life in abundance:
The Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Of his fullness
we have all had a share—
love following upon love.
end of chapter 1
Betty is a handmaid who has prayed in the
China Church for 11 years. To get from her
house to the church she uses a walker and
must go over a creek and a little bridge.
We wanted a little place she could rest
by the Church. We need about $1,000 to
make this happen. Can you help us?
We are trying to get
Response to God's Love
and the Mass Book out.
Anybody who wants to help us
with a donation to get these 2 books
out in the Priestly/hierarchy mailing —
Please call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041
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)
The China Church is over 140 years old
and we pray in there 24 hours a day.
It needs stucco and so does
the community building.
Can you please help us?
Call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041
Likewise the priest house
is 150 years old.
Jesus told us to repair it
which we have been doing.
We need $13,000.00 for this work.
You can help put the Blue Book V
in the hands of 1,000 people
we need $1,200 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
Call Kathleen to Order any of the items below