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
April 3, 2006
April 4th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 4 Period I.
The Novena Rosary Mysteries
for April 4th are Glorious.
Servants and Handmaids praying in China.
Come to the Retreat in China!
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
P. O. Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152
We take credit card donations.
We are now printing Blue Book V.
Please pray for the printing of it.
April 3, 2006
Messenger: With regards yesterday's message with a profound
teaching from Jesus and a revelation to us:
Covenant -- Let's review this and study this message
and the writing of Fr. Carter
then reflect on yesterday's message as the
Divine God communicates to us.
God intends us to be in relationship --
God intends us to have lasting relationships --
He gives children to parents --
God made a covenant with man.
The Trinity is one --
The Trinity is the most perfect
The Trinity is love.
God calls us to love God.
God calls us to love one another.
Our existence on this earth and what we are
to learn is to be more perfected in love.
Mom and Dad have a baby from their bodies --
God loved the world so much He gave His only
Son as a sacrifice --
God loved His people so much He died for
Love is sacrifice.
Love is permanent.
God gives us children --
no one can take this away --
my children come from my body.
Look at the Covenant God made to Noah --
God flooded the earth.
Genesis 7: 11-24
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, and on the seventeenth day of the month, that very day all the springs of the great deep burst through, and the sluices of heaven opened. And heavy rain fell on earth for forty days and forty nights.
That very day Noah and his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth boarded the ark, with Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons, and with them every species of wild animal, every species of cattle, every species of creeping things that creep along the ground, every species of bird, everything that flies, everything with wings. One pair of all that was alive and had the breath of life boarded the ark with Noah, and those that went aboard were a male and female of all that was alive, as God had commanded him.
Then Yahweh shut him in.
The flood lasted forty days on earth. The waters swelled, lifting the ark until it floated off the ground. The waters rose, swelling higher above the ground, and the ark drifted away over the waters. The waters rose higher and higher above the ground until all the highest mountains under the whole of heaven were submerged. The waters reached their peak fifteen cubits above the submerged mountains. And all living things that stirred on earth perished; birds, cattle, wild animals, all the creatures swarming over the earth, and all human beings. Everything with the least breath of life in its nostrils, everything on dry land, died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out, people, animals, creeping things and birds; they were wiped off the earth and only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters maintained their level on earth for a hundred and fifty days.
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: Then He gave the sign of the Rainbow to
show His covenant with man.
Genesis 9: 8-17
God spoke as follows to Noah and his sons, ‘I am now establishing my covenant with you and with your descendants to come, and with every living creature that was with you: birds, cattle and every wild animal with you; everything that came out of the ark, every living thing on earth. And I shall maintain my covenant with you: that never again shall all living things be destroyed by the waters of a flood, nor shall there ever again be a flood to devastate the earth.’
‘And this’, God said, ‘is the sign of the covenant which I now make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I now set my bow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature, in a word all living things, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all living things. When the bow is in the clouds I shall see it and call to mind the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth, that is, all living things.’
‘That’, God told Noah, ‘is the sign of the covenant I have established between myself and all living things on earth.’
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: He gave us Our Lady of Clearwater
July 5, 2000
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: Covenant -- God made a covenant with the people.
When we knocked off Mary's rainbow image head
March 1, 2004, the hurricanes
ravaged Florida ever since --
January 5, 2001
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: What is being attacked by the devil is
commitment, vocations --
our faithfulness to baptism, confirmation.
oh vocations to religious life are down
oh divorces are up.
Vocations are attacked in general.
Messenger: ON THE FENCE
1. Religious life
Devil tempts --
• the devil tempts --
don't commit to your vocation --
• the devil
presses down and tries to get
people to leave -- their vocation
the devil works to discredit authority.
2. Married life
Cheating -- on the fence
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: God is love.
The Trinity -- 3 persons one God --
God intends us to live in relationship
1) Love God
2) Love one another
3) lack of permanent commitment
Covenant sign of the Rainbow
Genesis 9: 12-16
And this’, God said, ‘is the sign of the covenant which I now make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I now set my bow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature, in a word all living things, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all living things. When the bow is in the clouds I shall see it and call to mind the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth, that is, all living things.’
2 1/2 months after Mary appeared
March 3, 1997 Message
Day Falmouth Flooded Early Morning
Jesus speaks: Oh, the waters will run and the earth will shake and you will suffer and suffer and work your own plan and say it happened before, it is not a sign from God - it is a phenomenon, a happening, no reason to take notice.
And I will shake you on your tree and you will fall to the ground as rotten fruit and all that will remain will be the fruit of heaven.
end of excerpt
March 1, 2004 -- 7 years later Mary's head off.
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: Whether in religious life
the devil has
The attack is on • Vocations
The devil isn't nice
April 3, 2006 message continues
Messenger: What does Jesus say
I Love You
(Letter for Front of B.B. II)
April 13, 1994
How, child, do I, Jesus, tell you I love you? You hold on to silly things, when God is in your midst and is ardently loving you. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am writing to each precious child this day. I am on fire for love of you. I remain in the Eucharist to be with you with My ardent love. I did not want to leave My beloved ones at the Last Supper. I love you so, My dear and ardently loved children. I remain with you this day in the Blessed Sacrament, the same Jesus Who died a brutal death on the cross.
Do you know I am truly present there? Do you know that God waits every day for you in the tabernacle? Do you comprehend even a minute amount of My love? You will never on earth know how I love you.
I, Jesus, truly the Son of God, came to earth a man and suffered a brutal death for love of you. I love you so much! I remain with you this day. I long for your love. I want you to come and be with Me in front of the tabernacle. I wait, I yearn for you to come and whisper your love to Me. I am a Person and I love you this day with such an ardent, on-fire love. No human could ever compare a speck to My love for you.
I wait, little ones, in the tabernacle. I wait for you to come and receive Me in Communion. I want you to want Me so much that you cannot wait to come and receive Me. I want to be the love, the Center of your life!
I am Jesus. I am the Son of God. I am writing to you this day. I want to possess your very soul and live in you. I have all you need, sweet ones. Oh, you are so blind! I long for your union with Me. I wrote the book on love. I instituted it, yet you go to the world for your love and do not even come to Me! Oh, I love you, little ones. Little ones, beloved of the Father, loved by the Holy Spirit, mothered by My very own mother, what more can I say? The rest is up to you!
I give you your will with such love and I want your love, freely given. I am God. What do you think you could ever need that I do not give you? I am the Savior of this world. I am Jesus, the Son of God. I am waiting for you. I am longing for you. I am yearning for you. I am God. I have all you ever will need!
Surrender this life to Me. Pray My prayer for union with Me. I want to possess your soul and operate from your very being. I am Jesus. I am the Son of God. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am Who am. I died and rose on the third day.
Harken to My call, harken to My pleading. Spend your days in love with Me. Nothing matters unless it is rooted in Me and rooted in My love. I am the Son of God. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I love you with the tenderest love. I am waiting this day for you, My beloved one. Come to Me for I am the tenderest of all hearts. I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
end of April 13, 1994
2 days after Mary appeared in Clearwater
December 19, 1996
Received in a few minutes after Communion
St. Gertrude Church
Jesus speaks: My Beloved Ones,
You will know a great time of trial and darkness. I have written to you of the great sufferings to come. The sinfulness of this world greatly displeases Me. I beg you to pray for forgiveness and turn your hearts to love.
And darkness covered the earth and the light was cast in little corners of the earth. Those who were willful remained in intense darkness, those who were rooted in God, and giving themselves to consecration, were the children of the light.
And the light shown in the darkness and the darkness grasped it not, but to as many as responded, they became the children of the light and from them His life flowed into the hearts that were cold and dark and slowly, very slowly, the light began to steal across the darkened sky and the moon was covered with blood. The blood was the blood of the Lamb. The blood represented the blood He shed to give us life. But the blind just saw ordinary blood and were scared to death. They responded with the greatest fright and lacked peace, but those rooted in God, those whose hearts were consecrated to Mary and Jesus, knew the sign was from God--that the time of reckoning was at hand. Many were punished and suffered a great chastisement. Many were left to death, but the children of light prayed the rosary and trusted in God.
And the night was no more for the light of day came stealing across the sky and myriads of angels filled the sky and the heavens. Sing Alleluia, Praise the Lord, you saints and angels, show yourselves to the survivors for they walked in darkness and could not see, but the light was alive in their hearts and they dwelt within the furnace of His Heart.
Have no fear now, My people, for you are the children of the light and My hand is forever upon you. You may suffer now a little, but it is nothing compared to the splendor to come.
Messenger: Oh, reign of peace, reign of the Sacred Heart, triumph of her Immaculate Heart, we wait for you anxiously for the nights have been cold and dark and we cried a bitter cry in the darkness but we knew of the glories to come for we forever trusted in You and Your mighty hand.
Your hand is struck with power. The Virgin Mary warned the poor children that died an eternal death to mind their ways and they cried out, "Not me, oh, no, God -- your ways are stiff necked and cruel. I want for foolish pleasure now and tomorrow will care for itself."
And the Lord called and called and they marched into the darkness with cold hearts, telling the Almighty God, 'no'.
Mary speaks: Oh, my children, my little children of light, the time is nigh and many will be lost forever. I appeared and warned and told all to mind their ways and come to the Heart of my Son and they said "No, my Lady, not for you or any mother. We are children of darkness and that we remain, for we seek our pleasure by day and feast on sin all night and when you called, mother, we laughed at your Son and ignored Him and His ways." And He called and His call fell on deaf ears.
Please, my children of light, come to my heart now for although you walked next to the children of darkness. I smite the dragon that whirled around you and protected you in my heart and you will now feast on the glories of His Kingdom, my little children of light.
end of except December 19, 1996
4 days after Mary appeared in Clearwater
December 22, 1996
Jesus speaks: Brace yourselves in the Shepherds of Christ. You want to be Christ-like. Is this the true desire in your heart or is it just words like the other words you give to Me?
Brace yourselves. I will lead the way with My rod and My staff, but you must be strong to follow for the way is rocky and the rocks are sharp. They cut through to the soul. They cut through to your heart.
You will be brought to your knees, you will beg for Me, you will be molded and helped with in the abundant grace flowing from My Heart. My little shepherd, so willful and so stupid in your ways, but I love you just the same to My death, child. I love you and you do not see that all I give to you is for your good.
I am not angry with you, My messenger. You must suffer now to write My messages for the world. How could you write had you not experienced My pain in your soul? You are My hand, that I am using to write the messages of My Heart for the world. My Heart was crowned with thorns. So, too, will your heart be pierced and wanting to bleed. Bleed, little heart, My Heart bled for you.
And the moon will be covered with blood. It was the blood of the Lamb and it poured forth on a sinful world to cleanse them of their sin, and I give you My Body and Blood in the Mass and I am ignored.
He slapped their hands and He smite their cheeks and they laughed in their pain and continued their willful ways. But the day of reckoning is at hand and I will separate the sheep from the goats and the sheep I will take home with Me. The goats will know a day as they never knew before for My justice will prevail.
When I warned they would not turn from their evil ways and I could not reach them. They walked as blind men down the path of destruction and who would have thought that the end of the road was so near. And at the end of the road they continued to walk for in the darkness they could not see and they fell into an everlasting pit of doom and suffering.
Justice will prevail. I am a good God. Justice and truth will kiss. When I gave to them My warning they said, "Oh no, Lord," and continued their sinful ways.
The time is at hand. My efforts and yours were in vain. I will wipe their sick smiles from their evil mouths and they will suffer forever the death of the soul.
I will not have mercy on these hard-necked cowards who thought, in their pride, they could smite Me. I will throw the book at them and they will suffer for their sinful ways.
Woe to them who led My children astray. Woe to them. They will burn the eternal death of intense suffering for the murder of My young. And who will help them then? They will know a death beyond all deaths and suffering beyond all suffering. For a few moments of pleasure, they lost their souls forever.
I am a just and merciful God. I give water to quench your thirst, I bathe you in My divine love, but to the evil doers, I will curse their name and wipe them from the face of the earth. I have spoken. Justice will prevail. My hand is struck with power. The senseless ones will know My might.
Who will you call? You said 'no' to God and He struck you for your sinful ways.
All honor and glory be to God for He has visited His people and they cast Him aside. I will light the earth with My love and the dark hearts will curse the night for they will be no more.
And justice will flourish in His time and fullness of peace forever.
I have spoken. The deaf will not hear. My hand is the hand of God and it is struck with power.
I say to the grass to grow and it grows, to the sun to shine and it shines and to you I say, "Be ready for you know not the day nor the hour. I come as a thief in the night to take your soul home to Me. Will you be ready or will you be caught unprepared?"
Prepare ye a way to the Lord. Make ready His steps, My shepherds. I guard you but you will suffer. You must be strong and not caught off guard.
Purify your souls for I am coming and the earth will know My light this Christmas for I will shine in the hearts of the just. I will shine on My shepherds this Christmas. My light will shine in the hearts of those consecrated to My Heart and the heart of My Mother.
Alleluia, a King is born this day. Put aside your silly ways, your bows and tinsel, and praise God. He is in your midst. He reigns this day. You are ignoring the King of Glory. Oh, sinful world, you are in for a weird awakening.
And the light stole across the sky and the light of day shown brighter than seven suns, not to the eye but in the hearts of His faithful ones, the hearts consecrated to God.
end of except December 22, 1996
from the Rosary of August 27, 1996
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.
end of Mary's Message, August 27, 1996
April 3, 2006 message continues
What is baptism?
What is confirmation?
What about our commitment and our
commitment to this calling
Why do Catholics leave as if
their baptism and confirmation
means little to them --
I was in Church Saturday night and
there was a baptism of 2 babies
at Church --
in the pew in front of me was a
married couple and 4 children age
18 months to 10 years
when the babies were baptized -- the husband
holding the 4th child on his lap 18 months
looked at his wife and I thought asked if the baby
had been baptized.
Grandma's see me at Church and beg me to
pray for their little ones who were
not baptized, the parents want the
child to decide -- they usually say
When we are baptized the Father, Son
Holy Spirit dwell in us in a special
way if we remain in the state
of grace --
What about our commitment to God
when we are baptized --
Our relationship with
Father, Son and Holy Spirit --
Do we not think we have to
commit to that --
Relationship takes time
What about our relationship to
Mary our spiritual Mother.
From the Mass Book p. 168
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2. Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity.
3. Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother.
5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.46
46. Frere Michael de la Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. II, Appendix III.
April 3, 2006 message continues
God made a covenant between Him and
Excerpt from Response in Christ,
by Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.
God, then, within the framework of salvation history has determined to communicate Himself according to a covenant. What is covenant? In reference to salvation history it is a mutual life relationship in love between God and His People, and among the People themselves. God on His part communicates His own life through grace, and man in return gives himself to God and his fellowman in loving service. There are various laws governing the multiple aspects of this life-relationship. There is a formal worship with its determined ritual. Yet everything centers around the essence of covenant, the life relationship.
As mentioned, the Mosaic covenant dominated the Old Testament period. At the heart of the formation of this covenant there was a transition process involved as the Jews were led forth from Egyptian slavery to freedom under the leadership of Moses. The Egyptians had finally consented to this departure of the Jews under the pressure of the last of the plagues inflicted upon them. Under this plague the Egyptians' first-born were slain. The Jews escaped this deathblow of Yahweh by marking their doorposts with the blood of the paschal lamb: ". . . I will go through the land of Egypt and strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, man and beast alike, and I shall deal out punishment to all the gods of Egypt, I am Yahweh! The blood shall serve to mark the houses that you live in. When I see the blood I will pass over you and you shall escape the destroying plague when I strike the land of Egypt." (Ex 12:12-13).
As the Jewish people escaped from Egyptian bondage they experienced a transition which was essentially religious in nature. This transition was from a less perfect to a more perfect type of existence, for in being released from slavery they were gradually formed into Yahweh's People. The definitive event of this formation occurred on Mount Sinai. Here the covenant between Yahweh and His People was sealed with sacrificial blood. Moses sprinkled with blood both the altar, representing Yahweh, and the Jewish people. Since blood signified life for the Jews, such an action had deep meaning for them. It symbolized the sealing of the covenant, the establishment of a new life-relationship between Yahweh and themselves.
2. Life in the New Covenant
This Mosaic covenant prefigured the covenant which was to be established in Christ. Yahweh had given himself to the Jews in a special way. He was their God and they were His People. This life relationship was highly imperfect, however, if compared to that instituted by Christ. The covenant life between God and man established by the Incarnate Word is of the most intimate nature. We see this if we consider the new covenant as being contained in a perfect way in Christ Himself. He is radically the new covenant.1 Covenant, remember, has various dimensions of love. Out of love God shares His life with man, and man in community responds in love by giving himself to God and relating in love with his neighbor. In Christ we perceive these relationships achieved in the most perfect manner possible. First of all, Christ in His humanity receives the divinity's gift of self in the highest degree – to such a high degree, in fact, that we have the hypostatic union as a result. In other words, the human nature of Christ is recipient of God's self-communication in such a perfect manner that it does not exist by reason of its own personal act of existence, but rather by the divine existence of the Word, the second person of the Trinity.
Christ as man – in the name of all men, for all men – perfectly receives God's communication of Himself in grace. This is the first movement of covenant life, downward from God to man. In the second movement of covenant, man's response, we again see Christ as central. As man, Christ makes the perfect response to God for all men. This response of Christ includes both His love for His Father and His relationship in love with men. His entire life was itself this perfect response. His life, submerged in a constant, loving conformity to His Father's will, was and is the perfect incarnate response which man is called upon to make to his covenant God.
The response which Christ made was centered in His death and Resurrection. These two events contained the whole of Christ's life and are intimately united. Everything which Christ did previous to Calvary was a preparation for Calvary and consequently shared its redemptive value. The Resurrection was in one way or another the completion of the work of Calvary. Since Christ's perfect response to the Father culminated in His death-resurrection, it is evident that Christ's life involved a transition just as did the life of the Jewish people in the old covenant. This transition of the Israelites was manifested in the exodus from Egypt. In fact, Christ's transition in death-resurrection was a fulfillment of the Jewish exodus; and just as the transition of the Jews marked a passage from a lower to a higher type of existence, so did Christ's transition or passover have this characteristic.
What was Christ's transition? Before Christ experienced death, He was limited by the sinfulness of the world into which He had immersed Himself in His Incarnation. He loved men, and He loved to be in their midst, and in the midst of their world. But He did suffer from the sinfulness of this world. Sinless though He Himself was, He was in certain ways affected and limited by sin. Indeed, sin destroyed Christ in his mortal existence. This shows us the degree to which Christ was limited by or "hemmed in" by the world's sinfulness. But through the passageway of His death, Christ passed beyond the limitations He had experienced in His mortal life. He conquered sin, and He rose into a more perfect type of life, that of the Resurrection. In such a life He could no longer suffer, He could no longer be "limited" by the sinful aspect of the world.
There is another similarity between the Jewish transition or exodus and the transition involved in Christ's death-resurrection. We saw the part that sacrificial blood contributed to the passover or transition of the Jewish people in two instances. The blood of the paschal lamb freed the Jewish homes from the deathblow of Yahweh immediately before their departure from Egypt, and ultimately it was sacrificial blood which sealed the Mosaic covenant upon Mount Sinai.
Sacrificial blood was also essential in Christ's passover or transition. It was through the shedding of His blood that He passed through death to Resurrection. It was thus His blood which made the transition possible and which sealed the new covenant. This new covenant, supplanting the old, is the new life relationship between God and His People, and the People themselves. Christ, in achieving new life through death-resurrection, gained it not only for Himself but for all His members.
The Christian, then, shares in the life of Christ's Resurrection. But if he participates in the Resurrection of Christ he must also share in Christ's death, since death is the way to Resurrection. St. Paul tells us: "We are dead to sin, so how can we continue to live in it? You have been taught that when we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glory, we too might live a new life." (Rm 6:2-4).
Through Baptism therefore the Christian is incorporated into Christ's death-resurrection. Baptism pledges the Christian to die to sin and ideally to all that is not in accordance with God's will, even though sin is not involved. Baptism also pledges the Christian to live vitally his new life in Christ, his share in Christ's Resurrection. As he is incorporated into Christ through baptism, the Christian is also made a member of the Church. Awareness of this simultaneous incorporation into both Christ and the Church emphasizes for the Christian the fact that his life of holiness in Christ is to be lived out in community. In other words, the Christian lives in Christ within the People of God, within the Church. This stress of contemporary spirituality upon the communal aspect of Christian holiness is firmly rooted in God's revealed truth. Throughout salvation history God has lovingly communicated Himself to man within the covenant framework with its communal dimension. He has also asked for man's response in love within this same covenant framework.
The Church in union with Christ is the new covenant. Since Christ is the Head of His Church, it follows that the Church with her members must live out the covenant life according to the structure which Christ gives her. The Church has no life, no pattern of life, except that which Christ gives her. This basic pattern or structure is death-resurrection. Christ established the Church by His paschal mystery, His death-resurrection. In so establishing the Church by such an event, Christ also determined how the Church essentially lives out her covenant life down through the ages – through death and Resurrection.
The Church, then, continues Christ's death-resurrection. She consequently continues the entire mystery of Christ, since Christ's entire life is contained in His passover event.2 We see therefore why the Church can be referred to as the continuation of the redemptive Incarnation. Indeed the Church is Christ, the mystical Christ. Because she is the earthly continuation of Christ, the Church has everything within her structure needed to be the source of salvation and sanctification for men of all times. For instance, in reference to the presently much-discussed theme of the Church's relevancy to modern man, we know from theological reflection that the Church has this relevancy radically structured within her very existence. This is simply an application of the reality that the Church actually does prolong the mission of the Incarnate Word; since Christ was relevant to His age, the Church has the capacity to be relevant to all ages.
What do we mean by saying Christ was relevant to His age? Christ revealed the Father and communicated the Father's life to men by adapting Himself in a fundamental way to the life situation which existed at that particular time in Jewish history. Since Christ through His humanity adapted His message to the people of His times, so the Church must use her innate capacity to be relevant for the men of this or that age. She must in a sense be constantly reincarnating Christ, for she is the only visible Christ which this world now has. This reincarnation largely means being relevant.
As the Church is the continuation of Christ, so is the life of the Christian. Just as the Church centers her life in Christ's death-resurrection, so does the life of the Christian. Both Church and Christian then are continually dying with Christ, dying to all which is not of Christ. At the same time Church and Christian are meant to rise more and more with Christ, assimilating ever more perfectly His life through grace. This life of grace is the Church's and the Christian's share in Christ's Resurrection. It is true that this life of grace will have its completion only in eternity. Nevertheless, it does have very real beginnings here in this life.
It is therefore apparent why the Church's life is directed to the liturgy, especially the eucharistic liturgy.3 For it is within the liturgy culminating in the Mass that the death-resurrection of Christ is constantly renewed in a special manner. In the Mass the People of God have the constant opportunity to assimilate the death-resurrection of Christ more and more into their lives. As they do so collectively and individually, the People of God are continuing Christ's life and mission upon earth.
The Christian life, then, is a response to God's gift of Himself. God in love gives us a life of grace, a share in His own divine life. We respond in love by giving ourselves to God and our fellowman, by dynamically living out this life of grace, this Christ-life, in the pattern of death-resurrection. This life of grace is meant to be exercised constantly, as the Christian loves God and man, in Christ, according to the will of the Father. Also, to reiterate, God intends that our life in Christ be lived out in the community of the Church. The Christian life can never solely be an individual's response to his God.
As the Christian lives out this life of grace in community, he is offering Christ a new humanity through which He can reincarnate Himself. It is not only through the Church as a whole that Christ reincarnates Himself, but also, ideally, through each Christian within the Church. Each Christian has a special responsibility and privilege. No one else can offer Christ the unique opportunity of reincarnating Himself as can this or that particular Christian. For each Christian is a unique, created imitation of God never again to be repeated. Each Christian has a unique humanity to offer Christ. To the extent that he fails to do so, to that degree Christ has lost this opportunity to reincarnate Himself through this humanity.
Consequently, the Christian life can be conceived as the Christian permitting Christ to live more and more through his total person. Christian holiness is continual growth in the assimilation of that great thought of St. Paul, ". . . I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me." (Ga 2:20).
There are many ways in which the Christian can permit Christ to live in and through him. Love of the Father and love of all men, of course, are the two great themes which will channel this reincarnation of Christ. These were the great driving forces in Christ's life, and consequently they will be so in the life of the Christian.
If the Christian is to grow in projecting Christ through his Christian personality, he must be aware of the many various ways in which Christ loved His Father, and His will. He must be aware of the various ways in which the Father's will comes to him, and thus he will realize the multiple ways in which he is to love the Father in embracing that will. The Father's will can come to him in joy and happiness or in pain and sorrow; in work or in relaxation; in a life of great obscurity as well as in a life which commands public attention; in frustration or in success. These and many other channels of the Father's will offer the Christian the opportunity to continue this witness of Christ's life: no matter how easy or difficult, the Father's will must be lovingly embraced in all things. This is how Christ radically saved the world. This is how the Church, living according to the same principle, cooperates with Christ in furthering His redemptive work.
Christ's great love and concern for men must also be continually reincarnated through the Christian. Contemporary spirituality makes considerable use of personalism.4 One basic way we can apply personalism to our present theme is as follows: God revealed His love to men in a concrete way, through a Person possessing a tangible, visible human nature. Although this tangible, historical Christ is no longer with us upon earth, the basic plan of the Father continues. To a considerable degree He still continues to give Himself, His love, through tangible, visible human natures. It is through the Christian united with Christ that God continues in many ways to make His love tangible, visible – and human – to mankind.
Through these brief indications we can realize the various and many possibilities through which Christ lives again in the Christian. As the Christian in this manner projects Christ to his contemporary world he relives the total mystery of Christ. All the mysteries of Christ's life will be apparent somehow in such a Christian existence. But as the Christian puts on Christ more and more, death-resurrection will be especially apparent. For the Christian will be more and more going out of a self-centered existence, dying to that which is not really life at all, and increasingly passing over into a greater existence, into the life of Christ Himself. In this manner the Christian continues that transition process of passing from a lower to a higher mode of existence. We have seen this transition process to be at the heart of salvation history. We saw it in the exodus-event of the Jewish people. We saw it in the death-resurrection of Christ. We continue to find it in the life of the Christian as he prolongs the paschal mystery of Christ.
Yes, we live a new life in Christ. Christ, therefore, wants to share everything relating to our existence – sin alone excepted. When He united us to Himself in assuming human nature, He united to Himself all our authentic concerns, values and interest. He is truly a man, and He wants to share with us all our truly human experiences. He and His grace want to touch these experiences. Nothing which is really human is alien to our life in Christ.
We enjoy the freshness of a bright clear day, the stillness of the night, the innocence of a little child, the companionship of a friend, the relaxation or stimulation of a good movie. Christ wants to share these joys with us. In our daily work there is a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and joy – there also can be pain, disappointment and misunderstanding. Christ wants to be there in the midst of all.
A strong, young American, the pride of his father, and full of promise, goes off to war. One day he fights his last and is no more. His father is in anguish and sorrow, and we sympathize. We observe the hatred and suspicion which exists between many white men and many black men, and our hearts grieve. Science achieves a great new discovery, and we are glad for this progress of the human race. A young man and woman are deeply in love, they marry, and their joy is great. And we rejoice with them. All these human experiences Christ wants to share with us, for He, too, is a man. The Christian actually is in Christ, and we must be bold enough to apply this reality to all the authentic areas of our existence. Christ wants it no other way.
The chief source of strength for the Christian as he lives in Christ is the liturgy, for this is the heart of the Church's life. Yet participation in the liturgy alone will not make certain the Christian's progress in holiness.5 The Christian must be constantly living out his previous participation. His life in Christ necessitates various types of activity which complement his liturgical life.
One such form of Christian endeavor is Christian asceticism. There are various reasons for asceticism in any age. Because of original and personal sin, the Christian has within himself many tendencies which are not in accord with Christ. Whether these involve the exterior senses or the interior senses and spiritual faculties, these tendencies must be controlled; otherwise, the Christ-life, the life of grace, cannot dominate the total person of the Christian as it is meant to do. Christian asceticism therefore embraces the traditional concept of mortification, namely a constant, reasonable control of the total person. Asceticism also includes the idea of organized effort in the spiritual life; it includes moreover the idea of renunciation and penance. These are traditional meanings of the term.
Yet Christian asceticism as contemporary thought conceives it goes further than mere control, organized effort, renunciation and penance. It embraces the reality of selflessness, a gradual going out from self-centeredness. As the Christian grows, his existential frame of reference becomes more and more Christ and others. To live means increasingly to love Christ and men. Paradoxically, the more the Christian goes out of himself, the more he authentically becomes himself, the more he becomes a true person. Viewed in terms of death-resurrection, Christian asceticism is seen to be more concerned with the death aspect of the paschal mystery. However, Resurrection is also present in a proper asceticism, for, among other reasons, Christian asceticism carries with it its own joy – a share in Resurrection joy.
Asceticism and other expressions of the Christian life involve the exercise of the infused virtues, both theological and moral. These virtues can be conceived of in terms of supernatural faculties which give expression to our life of grace in Christ. These virtues, the chief of which are faith, hope and love, give the Christian all the capacities he needs to form meaningful, graced relationships with God, man and the rest of creation. (The horizontal dimension outward to man and creation is receiving special attention in the contemporary treatment of faith, hope and love.) Although the death aspect of the paschal mystery is present in the exercise of the virtues, we more easily identify these virtues with the Resurrection aspect of the paschal mystery. For the life of grace, with the infused virtues playing a dominant role, is our share in Christ's Resurrection.
The life of the Christian must also involve prayer. Why? Our life of grace is a created participation in Trinitarian life. What is life in God? It is essentially a life of knowledge and love. The life of the Trinity consists in the knowledge and love which exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then it is from the Trinity that the knowledge and love of God also goes out to creation.
Our life of grace is structured in the same manner. In union with Christ it essentially consists in knowing and loving God and in knowing and loving His creation, both on a supernatural level. Because this life of grace is centered in God, prayer is an absolute necessity. For prayer essentially is an interpersonal dialogue between God and the Christian. Without prayer the knowing and loving of God will never be what it should and neither will be the knowledge and love of God's creation. For one cannot envision, one cannot love man and the rest of creation without the intimate contact with God which prayer gives. This is because it is God's vision and God's love of His creation which the Christian shares in the life of grace.
1. Cf. Bernard Cooke, "Synoptic Presentation of the Eucharist as Covenant Sacrifice" in Theological Studies, Vol. 21, (1960), p. 36.
2. The Mystery of Christ is essentially one reality. Any of the individual mysteries implicitly contains the others. For a treatment of this, cf. L. Bouyer, Liturgical Piety (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame University Press, 1955), pp. 189-190.
3. Cf. Second Vatican Council, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 10.
4. Cf., for example, E. McMahon and P. Campbell, Becoming a Person in the Whole Christ (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1967).
5. Cf. Second Vatican Council, The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 12.
6. Cf. Karl Rahner, Spiritual Exercises (New York: Herder & Herder, 1965) pp. 66-79.
end of Excerpt from Response in Christ
April 3, 1996
April 3, 1996, at All Saints Church I wrote:
I was at All Saints, April 3, at the 6:45 a.m. Mass. At 7:00 a.m. the bells rang at the Consecration of the Mass. The Sacrifice of Calvary rings out all over the world and I can be joined at every moment to this Sacrifice. We unite to this Sacrifice praying for ourselves and our brothers. The bell tolls at every moment I live. Whether I am doing dishes, being with my family, or whatever, I make this my offering united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being offered around the world. I make my Morning Offering. United to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated around the world, I give myself completely to the Father in the name of Jesus in the Holy Spirit with all the angels and saints. I make this offering of my life to help in the salvation of souls. My offering is most pure and holy as I unite to the pure and holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
What is pleasing to my Father is that at every second I am trying to live in His will operating in love. My heroic or mundane tasks are most important as I give them in sacrifice united to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
I live in this way, always united to the sacrifice of Calvary being made sacramentally present on our altars around the world through the hands of His beloved priests.
This is the moment of sacrifice. The bells toll all over the earth and Christ, Chief-Priest and Victim, gives Himself in the Mass through the hands of the priest. I give myself in love to help in the work of redemption.
end of April 3, 1996 writing
April 3, 2006 message continues
A person filled with
hate and anger is
like a budging pressure
All the devil has to do is
press a little and the
We must forgive and get rid of
things we hold on
fantasies keeping us stuck.
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