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.
April 5, 2002
|April 6th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 3 Period I.
for April 6th is Glorious.
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.
April 5, 2002
Messenger: The Church
is existing in very critical
Fr. Carters book Shepherds of Christ
"Selected Writings on Spirituality
for all Peopleas published
in Shepherds of Christ
Newsletter for Priests"
addresses issues that will help
priests with the problems
they are faced with today.
Fr. Carter was commissioned by Jesus to compile
It is the desire of Jesus that both of these
Newsletter Book I and
Newsletter Book II
be circulated to the priests this day.
Also the remaining Newsletters be compiled in a small book.
Fr Carter wrote for the renewal of the
Church and the world.
Fr. Carter didn't write only for that two month
period when the Newsletter was first
circulated, he wrote to help the
Church and the world to be
Jesus told him what to write.
August 1, 1994
Message from Mary
~ July 31, 1994 ~
Feast of St. Ignatius
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)
end of July 31, 1994 message given to Fr. Carter
April 5, 2002 message continues
Messenger: Here is a
quote from Fr. Carters Newsletter in Volume
I from a priest Fr Robert Schwartz,
Servant Leaders of the People of God
“The church is by definition a pilgrim, for its source of life and its goal transcend visible reality. (this is from Newsletter Book I, Sept/Oct 1995) Linked to the material world by human nature and by the very words and signs which mediate its life, the church seeks its true home in a kingdom which is yet to come. Although its members see temporal words and actions as important factors in attaining future beatitude, they do not propose themselves and their activity as the primary determinants of the kingdom nor earthly happiness as the fulfillment of human life.”
April 5, 2002 message continues
Messenger: Today we
include the Chapter Fr Carter
wrote in his book
Response to God's Love on the Church
What will follow in the days to come will be more writings
addressing the priest and the
Church from Fr Carter's Newsletters.
I wish to include another entry from
the Priestly Newsletter Book II
Excerpt from Newsletter Book II (Jan/Feb
The Directory on the Ministry and the Life of Priests tells us:
"Through the mystery of Christ, the priest lives his multiple ministries and is inserted also into the mystery of the Church which 'becomes aware in faith that her being comes not from herself but from the grace of Christ in the Holy Spirit.' In this sense, while the priest is in the church, he is also set in front of it.
"The Sacrament of Holy Orders, in fact, makes the priest a sharer not only in the mystery of Christ, the Priest, Master, Head and Shepherd, but in some way also in Christ, Servant and Spouse of the Church! This is the 'Body' of Him who has loved and loves to the point of giving Himself for her (cf. Eph 5:25); who renews her and purifies her continually by means of the Word of God and of the sacraments (cf. Ibid. 5:26); who works to make her always more beautiful (cf. Ibid., 5:27), and lastly, who nourishes her and treats her with care (cf. Ibid., 5:29).
"The priests, as collaborators of the Episcopal Order, form with their Bishop a sole presbyterate and participate, in a subordinate degree, in the only priesthood of Christ. Similar to the Bishop, they participate in that espousal dimension in relation to the Church which is well expressed in the Rite of the episcopal ordination when the ring is entrusted to them.
"The priest who, 'in the individual local communities of the faithful, makes the Bishop present, so to speak, to whom they are united with a faithful and great spirit,' must be faithful to the Bride and almost like a living icon of Christ, the Spouse, renders fruitful the multiform donation of Christ to His Church.
"By this communion with Christ, the Spouse, the ministerial priesthood is also founded-as Christ, with Christ, and in Christ-in the mystery of transcendent supernatural love of which the marriage among Christians is an image and a participation.
"Called to the act of supernatural love, absolutely gratuitous, the priest should love the Church as Christ has loved her, consecrating to her all his energies and giving himself with pastoral charity in a consummate act of generosity."
14. "Directory on the Ministry and Life of
as in special supplement of Inside the Vatican, Nos. 12-13.
April 5, 2002 message continues
Messenger: At the
same time Fr Carter published
this entry, Jesus appeared to
me several times transfigured in the front of
Holy Cross Immaculata Church.
Excerpt from Response to God's Love
by Father Edward Carter, S.J.
The Christian and Church
God calls us to live the Christian existence, the spiritual life, within the framework of the Church that Jesus has established. This Church is a many-splendored reality; it has many different names, images, and dimensions that variously attest to and manifest this multifaceted richness. All of them, however, speak of one and the same reality; each in its own way emphasizes now this, now that, particular truth or truths of the Church's existence. Each of these dimensions or concepts of the Church has something to say to the individual Christian about his or her spiritual life. Let us briefly consider some of these facets.
The Church is the Body of Christ. One of the truths that is emphasized by this concept is the idea of community. The communion that binds the members of the Church together is, in turn, connected with that wider idea of community that embraces the whole of mankind.
The millions and millions of people the world over make up what might be called the world community. The members of this cosmic community are supposed to live in a basic love for one another, united in bonds of mutual support and interdependence. This is true because God has created persons as social beings. We are not intended to cut an isolated path through life. We are meant to walk hand in hand with each other, to live within a societal structure, to help others in many different ways. What is more, we must also realize that, in achieving our destiny, we receive much aid, support, and love from others. There are all too many striking examples of how the modern world has failed to live community—more than enough to make us agonize over man's inhumanity toward his fellow human beings. But there are also many beautiful and ongoing examples of how the world has succeeded in living community—enough to strengthen our belief in the basic goodness of the human heart.
The leader in helping form a better community among the members of the human family is the Christian community, the Body of Christ. God has established the Church as a leaven for the development of a graced society of human beings. The bonds of union that hold the human race together have been strengthened by the redemptive work of Christ. Despite the fact that many do not realize it, there is only one fundamental community that embraces everybody—and it is Christic. The Christian community is, in turn, a great channel of grace that deepens this Christic image of the world society.
If the Church is to be a proper leaven for the formation of a better world community, however, she herself has to progress in a sense of community. There must be a growing understanding of the truths and principles that pertain to Christian community, and a growing desire to explore practical ways to implement these principles.
Throughout the course of salvation history, God has always communicated himself within the framework of community. In saying this, we are not maintaining that God does not communicate himself to individuals in a very intimate and personal manner that respects their uniqueness, their individuality. We are saying, however, that God communicates himself to a person according to his or her totality, and one dimension of this totality is the social aspect. God has respected this social dimension; in his self-communication he has called us together in religious community, or covenant. It seems that in our present age God is beckoning us to a deeper realization of these truths.
The Christian community is a terrestrial reflection of the ultimate and absolute community—namely, the Trinity. In a special way, we are privileged to give witness to Trinitarian life, a life of divine intimacy and loving. From all eternity, the persons of the Trinity are united in the most intimate bonds of knowledge and love; these have also brought about creation and redemption.
Grace, or the Christ-life, is a created participation in Trinitarian life. This Christ-life, consequently, calls us to a special existence of knowing and loving. Christian faith and love, which are created participations in the Trinity's knowing and loving, allow us to know and love God in a special manner. Faith and love also give us a new capacity to relate to both our fellow Christians and to all others as well.
Because the life of the Trinity is person-centered, so must the life of the Christian community be person-centered. For many years, it seems, we were not sufficiently person-conscious; however, the theology that has emanated from Vatican II is helping to rectify this situation. In the pre-Vatican II Church, structures in the Church were occasionally treated as ends in themselves rather than as the means of serving the persons in the Church. Slowly but surely, structures in the Church are being renewed so that they might better serve their true purpose, which is to aid in the ongoing development of her members.
The Christian community, in turn, develops when those who make up that community develop as authentic Christians. Just as each divine person contributes perfectly to the community life of the Trinity according to the perfect fullness of his personhood, so each Christian contributes to community life in proportion to the degree of his or her personal development.
Authentic interpersonal relationships help to develop community. The Trinitarian community is a community of profound relationships. Because we reflect Trinitarian community, we are intended to have relationships not only with the persons of the Trinity, but likewise with one another. Authentic interpersonal relationships not only unite in a deeper knowledge and love the persons directly involved, they also make a person more capable of loving others more deeply and, therefore, more capable of deepening the bonds of total community. If a person is growing in the capacity to love his or her friends, for example, that person is concurrently growing in the capacity to also love others—both those who are members of the Church and those who are not.
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. We must think in terms of both what is good for the entire Church and, through this Church, what is good for the total human community. Even when we disagree among ourselves, we do so not because we want to glory in having the upper hand, but because we believe that to disagree here and now is necessary so that the truth might better emerge for the good of the community. St. Paul speaks to us about this sense of corporateness: "In the name of the encouragement you owe me in Christ, in the name of the solace that love can give, of fellowship in spirit, compassion, and pity, I beg you: make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals. Never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than his own" (Phil 2:1-4).
In our sense of corporateness, that is, motivated by a common purpose and a common good, we should learn to rejoice in the gifts and the achievements of others. These are not isolated gifts and achievements; rather, they redound to the good of the whole body. We all probably know of numerous instances of jealousy and a false sense of competition that have hindered the work of Christ. In the long run, however, if the work of Christ is being accomplished, and if I am making an effort to do my part, does it really matter whether I or someone else is responsible for this or that particular accomplishment? Does it matter whether this or that group or organization receives credit? St. Paul again has words for us: "After all, who is Apollos? And who is Paul? Simply ministers through whom you became believers, each of them doing only what the Lord assigned him. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. This means that neither he who plants nor he who waters is of any special account, only God, who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters work to the same end" (1 Cor 3:5-8).
Apparently, a growing number of persons today are tempted to think that they do not need the Church and its bonds of communion in order to be Christian. In fact, some say the Church is a hindrance to them in their attempts to live the Gospel message. Their uniqueness—their individuality—is being thwarted, they claim. This is a temptation that must be firmly resisted. There is, of course, an errant philosophy of individualism rampant in today's world that can certainly influence the contemporary Christian. This philosophy is patently false. It promotes a type of individualism that is inimical to community because it teaches that one must look out for Number One regardless of the consequences to others. Do your own thing, in other words, whenever and wherever you please, and let the chips fall where they may. This type of individualism is obviously wrong and pernicious.
There is, on the other hand, a kind of individualism that is positive and in perfect harmony with the tenets of community. This theory states that the authentic expression and development of individuality, of uniqueness, actually contributes to community, and, conversely, life within the community enhances one's true individuality. Rahner puts it this way: "An absolutely individual Christianity in the most personal experience of grace and ecclesial Christianity are no more radically opposed than are body and soul, than are man's transcendental essence and his historical constitution, or than are individuality and intercommunication. The two condition each other mutually. The very thing which we are from God is mediated in the concreteness of history by what we call church. And it is only in and through this mediation that it becomes our own reality and our salvation in full measure. For this reason church exists and has to exist" (Foundations of Christian Faith, p. 389).
Closely connected with the concept of the Church as Body of Christ is that dimension which is sacramentality. Both aspects—the Church as Body of Christ and as sacrament—emphasize the fact that the Church exists in, with, and through Christ, and that the Church is the tangible, visible, terrestrial continuation of the Incarnation. As would be expected, then, both concepts emphasize some of the same truths. What can be said about the Church as sacrament could also be said about the Church as Body of Christ. To put it another way, a dimension of the Church being Body of Christ is her sacramentality. We will examine this sacramentality in a general way, momentarily postponing the treatment of liturgical sacramentality until the next chapter.
In a general sense, then, a sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible, divine reality. Christ, therefore, is the primordial sacrament given to us by God. In his historical existence, Jesus was the visible, tangible manifestation that God has irrevocably entered our world with merciful, salvific grace. At the same time, Christ contained within himself this divine reality that he externally manifested. Thus, we quickly arrive at a fuller definition of sacrament in general—namely, a sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible, divine reality, that contains and confers what is signified.
The Church continues the work of the Incarnation. With Christ as head of the body, the Church continues the life and the work of Jesus according to the pattern and characteristics of Christ himself. Because Christ's existence was centered in death-resurrection, for example, so also is the Church's existence centered in death-resurrection. Similarly, in our present context, because Christ was sacrament, so also is the Church sacrament. Avery Dulles says: "The Church therefore is in the first instance a sign. It must signify in a historically tangible form the redeeming grace of Christ. It signifies that grace as relevantly given to men of every age, race, kind, and condition. Hence the Church must incarnate itself in every human culture" (Models of the Church, p. 63).
The individual Christian participates in the sacramentality of Jesus and the Church. In some ways, this participation differs according to one's vocation; a lay person, for example, does not participate in all ways the same as does the priest. There are, however, some ways we all share in common, one of which is our privilege and responsibility of signifying God's love. Because God in his love was the principal reality signified by Jesus in his incarnate existence, we, who help continue the Incarnation, must make the manifestation of love our principal concern. We must make sure that it is the controlling force of our Christian existence. We all know countless examples of Christians who have given outstanding witness to God's love, and the achievements to which that love can inspire others. History shows how Christians of all vocations have marvelously and, at times, brilliantly, spent themselves for one another and for mankind in general. In all honesty, however, we know that there is also a darker, unattractive side to our history. There are numerous and painful examples of how Christians have failed to give witness to the love that Jesus came to preach. We cannot undo these failures, but remembering them can help motivate us to repair the damage by loving—here and now—as we should.
Another dimension of the Church is the fact that she is a pilgrim Church, a fact that we have alluded to in an earlier chapter. This concept has various ramifications: A pilgrim Church, for example, has not yet arrived at her final destiny, has not yet achieved that fullness, that perfection, that complete maturity that will be hers only when she joins the heavenly Church—that portion that has already achieved eternal life. To be a mature member of a pilgrim Church, then, is to realize that there will always be many imperfections that will mar the beauty of the Church. Although these failings dim the Christ-like image of the Church and thus prevent her from projecting Christ to the world as well as she otherwise could, we have to realize that, to a certain degree, the Church will always be burdened with such failings.
Liberals are correct, however, when they call for a renewal of the Church that would better enable her to be what she should be. They are correct in pointing out that a pilgrim Church is one that should be evolving, progressing, searching for the path that has been marked out by the Lord, and always pressing on toward that which has not yet been achieved. But if liberals are eager to view the Church according to such an imperative, they also must be willing to accept the fact that the concept of a pilgrim Church is a two-edged sword. If such a concept points out the truth that the Church must, to a certain extent, always be progressing, changing, renewing herself, it also points out the truth that a pilgrim Church will always be burdened with failures and sinfulness. If she were all she should be, in other words, there would be no need for change or renewal or evolution.
Conservatives, on the other hand, must realize that a pilgrim Church must be on the move, adapting, reaching out for that aspect of the Gospel ideal that has not yet achieved. To opt for the status quo, to have a triumphalistic attitude regarding the Church, is to reject the idea of a pilgrim Church—it is, in short, to reject reality. Conservatives are correct, however, in pointing out that change and progress can never mean compromising the timeless essentials that are irrevocable constituents of the Church's existence.
The challenge for all of us, then, whether we be liberals, conservatives, or centrists, is obvious: We must learn how to more perfectly unite the unchangeable and changeable aspects of the Church; we must courageously bear with the failings and sinfulness of the Church while, at the same time, we must take all reasonable means to improve the situation; we must deeply love the Church while, at the same time, we must admit that she has a long way yet to travel; lastly, we must be willing to give ourselves so that we might accomplish this goal.
Another dimension of the Church is the fact that, by her very nature, she is capable of expressing both diversity and unity. Exactly how to combine both of these aspects in a proper balance is one of the greatest challenges facing the Church today. We are still far from the desired balance—an unpleasant reality that is made manifest by the spirit of divisiveness that plagues the contemporary Church. This divisiveness has, to a considerable degree, been caused by the recent pluralism, or diversity, that is a leading characteristic of the post-Vatican II Church. Pluralism, or diversity, in itself is not undesirable—far from it; rather, it is that we still have much to learn in dealing with pluralism, in being able to discern the difference between authentic pluralism and its nonauthentic counterpart, and in blending the pluralism that is desirable with the unity that is necessary.
Let us reflect on some of the factors that give rise to pluralism in the life of the Church. First, let us consider the mystery of Christ as it is relived by both Church and individual Christians. The People of God, individually and collectively, are meant to continue the Incarnation in space and time by reliving the life, death, and resurrection of Christ—the mystery of Christ, which is both richly diversified and profoundly unified.
Jesus has left us many different truths and examples that are to be incorporated into our own Christian existence. Historically, this rich variation of the mystery of Christ has manifested itself in various ways. We have different schools of spirituality, for example, each of which gives a special witness to this or that aspect of the Christ-event through its own particular harmonization and implementation of the various facets that comprise the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And so, Carmelite spirituality has always stressed prayer; it gives special witness to the Christ who often went aside and prayed to his heavenly Father. Benedictine spirituality has given special attention to liturgy and, consequently, emphasizes the priestly activity of Christ. Dominican spirituality has traditionally stressed the pursuit of truth and, in its own special manner, points to the prophetic or teaching office of Jesus. Franciscan spirituality has emphasized, among other things, the material simplicity of Christ's life.
In more recent times, in the effort to apply in a special way the mystery of Christ to the diocesan priesthood and to the laity, writers have dealt with the spiritualities that are appropriate to these two vocations. The mystery of Christ, then, simultaneously possessing a varied richness and a profound unity, makes possible different spiritual movements that, nevertheless, ultimately constitute but one Christian spirituality. Consequently, we must preserve a balanced view. We must admit the legitimacy of varied movements and schools of spirituality, which have their own particular nuances in the following of Christ, while, at the same time, we must realize that all Christian spiritualities are essentially the same. They have very much in common because they are rooted in the one Christ, in one Gospel, in one liturgy.
We have established a very basic theological reason for diversity in the life of the Church—the diversity that is contained in the very mystery of Christ. There are, however, two more factors we would now like to discuss that help us to see why diversity exists in the Church. These second and third principles might well be called the theology of personal uniqueness and the theology of time and culture.
We have seen in chapter two that the theology of personal uniqueness tells us that each person is a unique imitation of God. In the process of being elevated to graced existence through our incorporation into Christ, our personal uniqueness is deepened. This interpretation is an application of the theological principle that grace does not destroy or lessen nature; rather, grace perfects nature and gives it a deepened capacity to more fully actuate all its authentic dimensions, one of which is personal uniqueness. Our life in Christ, then, far from lessening or destroying our uniqueness, respects and develops it.
Various implications that relate to diversity in the Church flow from this theology of personal uniqueness. There are, as we have said, various spiritual movements and schools of spirituality in the Church because it is possible to relive the richly diversified mystery of Christ with different emphases and nuances. In the same way that this diversity is possible between schools of spirituality, so also is it possible among individuals. Moreover, it is not only possible, but actually necessary because of the concept of personal uniqueness. No two Christians will put on Christ in exactly the same manner; each one puts on Christ according to what each one is. Obviously, each Christian is to assimilate Christ in essentially the same manner; nevertheless, each Christian will also do it in a manner that cannot be duplicated. Our theology of personal uniqueness, then, has obvious implications for the overall diversity in the Church, which has millions of members.
We have seen how diversity is present in the Church because of both the principle of pluralism, which is contained in the mystery of Christ, and the principle of personal uniqueness. Now we come to the third and final principle; it deals with ideas that are contained in what can be called the theology of time and culture.
In God's dealings with mankind, the concepts of time, historical situation, and culture have played a very important role. In saving us, God works within time, history, and culture; his salvific action is not unnaturally superimposed upon our historical and cultural situation, but rather, works within it. Throughout the continued course of salvation history, God's saving will manifests itself differently, or diversely. This diversity can, in part, be explained by historical and cultural exigency, a classic example of which is the comparison between the old and the new covenants. God's dealings with the people of the Mosaic covenant were conditioned both by the point of time in salvation history that was then operative and the culture of the Jewish people. With the enfleshment of his Son and the ensuing formation of the new covenant, God communicated himself in a manner that was partially different from that self-communication that had prevailed during the time of the Mosaic covenant.
If God's salvific activity has a diversity attached to it because he respects the time-conditioned and culture-conditioned situation of man, so must there be a similarly caused diversity attached to Christian life. The Christian life is a response to God's loving salvific activity, a response to his living initiative that always precedes us. God's activity, which respects the differences that time and culture insert into human history, will exact differentiated responses within the Church. This differentiation can exist between the various ages of the Church, and, therefore, we can legitimately speak of the predominant spirituality of either the sixteenth century or a certain period within the eighteenth century. This pluralism, or diversity, can also exist within the same age because of cultural differences; God respects the African culture, the American culture, and so forth. As Christians within these various cultures respond to God's continued self-communication, they do so in a manner that is partly determined by their particular cultures. Because there are differences in their cultures, we will discover a Christian pluralism, or diversity, arising out of these cultural differences. An African spirituality, therefore, differs somewhat from an American spirituality, and both differ from a Spanish spirituality.
Up to this point, we have been discussing basic truths that offer a sound theological basis for diversity in the life of the Church. This pluralism, though it obviously has a place in any age of Christianity, is an especially important dimension for the contemporary Church. Today's Church offers a particularly advantageous climate for the development of authentic diversity in Christian living—a favorable climate that has developed because of the greater spirit of freedom that is present in today's Church. True, this greater freedom has been abused in numerous instances; these abuses of freedom, however, cannot deny that the Holy Spirit seems to intend this climate of expanded freedom, because it has emanated from the principles of Vatican II.
The connection between pluralism and a Church that allows a greater freedom of both thought and expression in lifestyle is obvious. In such a Church, various thrusts of diversity are bound to fructify more often than in a Church that is heavily monolithic, whose thought patterns and lifestyle are too much imposed from the top downwards. The hierarchy will, of course, always have the leading role in directing the Christian thought and lifestyle of the Church, but it should do so according to the principle of collegiality, which allows for all members of the Church to help shape her life. In order for collegiality to flourish, however, there must be a spirit of freedom, some elbow room in which to both maneuver and, yes, even make some mistakes. Consequently, even though some are tempted at times to think that the greater freedom of today's Church has resulted in more harm than good, fundamentally this is not true. In the last analysis, such a Church will be a healthier and more mature Church—and, to be sure, one characterized by a greater diversity.
There are already various examples of an increased pluralism in today's Church. The liturgy, for one, is now much more diversified than it was in the pre-Vatican II Church. There has also been considerable discussion and implementation regarding pluralism in Christian ministry; Christian lifestyle is considerably more pluralistic today than it was previously; theological thought now exhibits a much greater pluralism than it had; also, new and diversified forms of prayer appear to have taken their place alongside traditional forms. All these examples, not to mention many others, indicate that life in the contemporary Church is characterized by an increased diversity.
Three special qualities are necessary in order to live properly in today's Church with her increased pluralism. These qualities are not mutually exclusive; there is an overlap among them, yet each has its own particular nuance. First, then, there is the need for an increased awareness of the necessity of spiritual discernment. Today's diversity requires that Christians, more than ever before, know how to listen to the Spirit. Because of the special importance of discernment in an age of pluralism, we will later devote a chapter to this topic.
Second, in order to cope properly with today's diversity, we especially need the quality of Christian maturity. Increased diversity within the Church demands increased maturity. In the more tightly structured, monolithic Church of pre-Vatican II days, things were spelled out for us in much greater detail than they are today. The Church of today asks us to exercise a greater maturity, a more mature use of our freedom, as we are called upon to live responsibly in a more pluralistic Church.
Finally, besides an increased sense of both Christian discernment and Christian maturity, there is a special need today for the spirit of Christian tolerance—a tolerance of the views and lifestyles that do not agree with our own. The need for this spirit of tolerance is indeed evident after only a brief look at what we have experienced in recent years. One of the great pains that has been felt within the post-Vatican II Church has been caused precisely by the numerous and diverse viewpoints and lifestyles that have arisen. This spirit of tolerance, of course, does not mean that we need to condone what we think is wrong. It does mean, though, that we need to increase our efforts to be more open to the view of others, admit that a more diversified Church is intended by the signs of the times, realize that we are likely to make mistakes in such a situation as we grope for the leading of the Spirit, which, because of the confusion that both the Church and the world are experiencing as they undergo radical transition, is occasionally much more hidden than we would like.
A more diversified Church is what we are experiencing. We might say that it is too difficult to cope consistently with this situation. Likewise, we might be tempted to withdraw from the struggle that an increasingly pluralistic Church demands and carve out our own little niche of Christian existence in which we could then lead an unperturbed life while all the confusion of a Church striving for authentic pluralism passes us by. If we surrender to such a temptation, we would, of course, avoid a certain kind of suffering; however, we would also be eschewing the joy and sense of accomplishment that result from contributing our share to the shaping of a contemporary Christian life—one that is characterized, among other things, by an increased pluralism.
It is a question, then, of striving to arrive at the diversity that God intends for his Church—a diversity that is both rooted in the richly diversified mystery of Christ and simultaneously shares in the profound unity that permeates this Christ-event. Whatever way the Church might manifest its diversity, we must always remember that, as Christians, we follow the one and same Christ, the one and same Gospel.
As we end our discussion of the Church, the Christian community, let us recall the words of St. Paul: "Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather, let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head. Through him the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love" (Eph 4:14-16).
end of excerpt from Response to God's Love
April 5, 6, 7, 2002
come to Clearwater, FLORIDA.
excerpt from March 3, 2002 message
Messenger: There will be a special gathering the
weekend of April 5, 6 and 7 First Friday—
of Easter week, First Saturday of Easter week
and Divine Mercy Sunday. This will end with
the Divine Mercy being said Sunday at 3:00 P.M.
under the image.
The Divine Mercy novena will be prayed every
day at the site.
end of excerpt of March 3, 2002 message
Excerpt from March 29, 2002
Here is the schedule of events at the image building April 5, 6 and 7.
April 5th schedule
4:30 - 5:30 Nursing Home ministry
(under the image)
The highlight of
all three days is this
prayer service on the 5th at 6:20.
These pictures were taken during the
prayers last month March 5, 2002.
March 5, 2002
March 5, 2002
(under the image special 5th service at 6:20)
1) Holy Spirit Novena
2) Shepherds of Christ prayers
3) Special Rosary
There are special prayers and singing all evening.
Book Store open after the prayer service.
April 6, 2002
12:00 - 1:00 Rosary ministry
1:30 - 2:30 Levels of Commitment
(discussion and witness)
3:00 Divine Mercy (under the image)
3:30 Discussion on Prayer and discussion on the Mass
6:00 Description of 6:20 prayers (under the image)
6:20 1) Holy Spirit Novena
2) Shepherds of Christ prayers
Bookstore open after the prayer service.
April 7, 2002
12:00 - 1:00 Angelus, Discussion about materials (books, etc.)
(a) Prayer services on the 5th of the month
(b) Retreats in China on the 12,13,14 of the month
(before the Exposed Eucharist)
(c) Sidney Rosary
(d) Broadcast and special travels
3:00 Divine Mercy prayers
6:00 Discussion about the Junior Shepherds
6:20 Junior Shepherds pray the prayers
1) Holy Spirit Novena
2) Shepherds of Christ prayers
Bookstore open after the prayer service.
Messenger:We must really pray for the priests and
We pray for the priests and the Church
we love, especially tonight.
Keep praying for the priests and the Church.
Pray for the whole world.
Excerpt from February 15, 2002 message
Jesus speaks: Make
a list of things that are needed so people
can help if they so desire.
A small list is this
1) Priestly Newsletter Book II Foreign Mailing Postage
2) Mass Book II
3) Rosary Meditations for Little People and Elderly
4) Blue Book I printing
5) Prayer Manuals printing
6) Holy Spirit Novena Booklet printing
7) Rosary beads
8) Image rosaries to sell
9) Pictures (photo's) to make available
10) Blankets of Mary's image
11) Videos for nursing home program
talks to the Nursing Homes
12) Little People's Mass Book
13) Little People's Coloring Book of the Mass
February 15, 2002 message continues
I ask you to pray for these needs on the list. Those
who can, can pray hourly.
end of excerpt from February 15, 2002
February 7, 2002
To whom it may concern,
We circulate the Priestly Newsletter that goes to 75,000 priests in the world. This has been circulated since 1994 at the direction of Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. who had a doctorate in Theology and taught at Xavier University for over thirty years and author of eighteen books on the spiritual life and many other various publications.
Our primary purpose is to circulate this Newsletter. We are now sending three years of Newsletters in a book of 342 pages to 75,000 priests in the United States and 90 foreign countries. A special Newsletter is enclosed with Father Carter's powerful writing on Grace (2001 issue 1). This writing is also available on tape and on disc.
Our coequal purpose is to circulate prayer manuals Father Carter compiled for prayer chapters praying for the priests, the Church and
All of our printing and postage costs so much money.
We operate from the Virgin Mary building in Clearwater, Florida, pictures are enclosed. We use the building to spread materials and rosaries
to encourage people to pray for the priests, the Church and the world.
We also have a church we received from the diocese in China, Indiana where we distribute our materials and pray before the Blessed Sacrament hourly and about two hours or more at 6:20 every day. Monthly adoration before the exposed Eucharist is held for our members for 48 hours on the 12th of each month to the 14th.
We have a third center in Morrow, Ohio which is our communication center and mailing address.
We circulate rosaries handmade to Catholic schools all over the United States and meditation sheets and consecration cards. We try to send scapulars too when we have them. We supply many beads to our rosary makers for this.
We had difficulty all last summer securing funds for beads for our rosary makers. We were not able to send the 100,000 or more rosaries we usually send in October and May because of funds.
We need $10,000 every month for the loan on the Virgin Mary building. We pray nightly there usually for about two hours or more at 6:20. We pray all through the day there, hourly, many times before the image. A big prayer meeting is held on the 5th of the month. Prayers are prayed for about 4 hours for the priests, the Church and the world. We broadcast to at least 8 states and all join in the prayers, including Morrow and China.
We have a nursing home ministry and a prison ministry. We supply coloring books of the rosary mysteries and the Mass to children.
We desperately need funds for the printing and the rosary making operation and all the postage. Bishops from foreign countries beg for rosaries and prayer sheets with the Shepherds of Christ Prayers.
Now we are struggling with the monthly rent on the building and the postage for the foreign mailing of the Priestly Newsletter Book II.
We always need money for the rosary beads for the schools and the Virgin Mary building.
We also do a Holy Spirit Novena, but the little book has been out of print for some time because of lack of funds. Teachers like to use it for confirmation. We have prayer chapters using it daily all over the world.
We want to circulate pictures of the crucifix and Mary's image on the building, we are unable to do this because of lack of funds. Enclosed are pictures of the crucifix and the Virgin Mary building.
A very important part of our Movement is trying to get people to say the Morning Offering. Here is a card we distribute extensively, especially to Nursing Homes and school children.
Here is a short form of consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary that we circulate extensively.
Can you help us. It is a real shame to not even have rent on the building Mary appears on.
We need to tell the world about the Mass. This is another important aspect of our ministry. We have so many writings about the Mass. Mass Book I with the Imprimatur—and all Fr. Carter's writings and many other writings discerned by Fr Carter before his death.
It is a shame with all the money in the world not to be able to get the rosary beads to the rosary makers for school children who want them to pray the rosary.
Our movement is trying to do what Our Lady told us to do at Fatima for peace in the world.
Can you help us?
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
Messenger: Jesus wishes that we give our hearts to Him and Mary.
The following Valentine can be given to Jesus and Mary any day of the year. It is an act of love that would greatly please Him.
Use the following Valentine to fill in your name and the date you gave it to Him.
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.
The Story of the Crucifix Video
If you have a good dialup connection, you should be able to watch the movie live.
Click Here for help with Videos
click here to download The Story of the Crucifix video
Nursing Home Mass Video
We updated the Nursing videos so that if you have a good dialup
connection, you should be able to watch the movie live.
Click Here for help with Videos
click here to download the Nursing Home and Homebound Mass video (12.3 MB)
This cannot be altered in anyway.
PDF file of Advertisement #1
Please allow a couple of minutes to download, thank you.
Messenger: A shorter ad may be as follows.
This cannot be altered in anyway.
PDF file of Advertisement #2
This cannot be altered in anyway.
PDF file of Advertisement #3
Table of Contents
Previous Daily Message
Main Shepherds of Christ Page
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
PO Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (513) 932-4451
FAX: (513) 932-6791