| Shepherds of Christ
June 18, 2010
June 19th Holy
The Novena Rosary
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Given June 16, 2010
The priest said at Mass:
Elijah and Elisha had a
special relationship with God —
The Things they did by the power of
God, not of their own
|Religious practices are done —
trying to do it better —
to be better
In the past few days in the scriptures
We heard about our
relationship with others
revenge etc. —
Matthew 5: 43-48
‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
We give alms to praise God —
not to praise people —
we do it for God
We pray to give honor and glory
to God —
If we aren't doing perfectly what we
should — we don't stop doing what
God wants —
we keep trying to do it
better — our motive is
pure — for God
We pray to praise God, to give
thanks to God —
to petition God —
to tell God we are sorry —
In the sermon on the Mount —
God is telling us to
improve the things we
are doing —
we never quit —
we admit our deficiency
and beg to do it better as
imperfectly as we have performed —
We don't become revengeful
and do it working against
As imperfect as it is —
we are always trying
to do it better —
we never lose sight of
why we are doing it —
We are doing it for God —
not for our own self
We pray for people who
go to bed every night
in hunger —
Dear God we know our
smallest deeds are
in Your hands —
Please answer our
request — Amen —
We just want to be better —
we act to be better —
no matter how imperfect
we are —
we don't try to work
against God —
We are doing everything
for God —
We do everything for God —
not to impress others —
or to get them to think we are
If we do it to impress others,
for others to see —
if we do it so others think
we are great —
then we already have our
Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18
'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. 'And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
'When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
We give ourselves —
everyday to God
We unite to the Mass —
We give alms to give it to
not impress others —
We pray to give honor and
glory to God —
not so others think
we are holy
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
We never lose sight of why
we are doing things —
We don't want the glory
for ourselves —
We recognize we
do things with God's
We don't rebel against
authority because we
think we can do it
without God's blessing —
My Prayer —
I love You my God with
my whole heart, my
whole soul, my whole
I want to operate according to
Your plan —
for Your honor and glory —
I beg for greater
oneness with You —
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
dwell in my graced baptized
Dear God I know
I am never alone —
My God — I want You to
dwell in me —
I am Your instrument —
I rely on Your Might —
I want to do all things to please You,
for unity and in love
according to the Father's will —
God help me to follow the
handmaid Mary —
the servant Joseph —
The saints who lived by
the commandments —
who did all things —
according to God's will —
not for vain glory —
Jesus: Some people hug
their vices like trophies
their lives are disharmonious
because they always
choose rebellion against
what they should do —
I am order —
I obeyed the Father's will to
My death on the cross —
The person who says —
"nobody will ever tell
me what to do" is
rebellious and their
life is in disharmony —
because their choices are
for division — not in
accord with God and
When you wake and say — I will
do it my way against
God and others —
your way is disharmonious
it is the way of division and
selfishness and you act
in desolation against God —
you work under the standard
of satan and
The man saying I do it
My way against God and
others - stands alone —
The example they give
further teaches others —
not to obey the commandments —
but to go deeper and deeper
into darkness — steeped
in their vices —
Some of the virtues are faith, hope, love,
prudence, fortitude, justice,
temperance and humility.
Fr. Carter addresses these virtues in
Mother at Our Side —
Virtuous living is the way
of the saints
Virtues are good habits
likened to Mary your
spiritual Mother —
I am love —
Vices continually blind
men and they work
with uninformed conscience.
June 18, 2010
2 Kings 11: 1-4, 9-18, 20
When Athaliah mother of Ahaziah learned that her son was dead, she promptly murdered all those of royal stock.
But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, surreptitiously rescued Jehoash son of Ahaziah from among the princes who wer e to be murdered, and put him with his nurse in the sleeping quarters; in this way she hid him from Athaliah, and he was not killed.
In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the regimental commanders of the Carians and the guards, and had them brought to him in the Temple of Yahweh. He made a pact with them, put them on oath, then showed them the king's son. He gave them this order,
The regimental commanders did everything as Jehoiada the priest had ordered, and each one brought his men, those coming on duty on the Sabbath and those going off duty on the Sabbath, and reported to Jehoiada the priest. The priest then issued the regimental commanders with King David's spears and shields, which were kept in the Temple of Yahweh. The guards then took position, each man with his weapons in his hand, from the south corner of the Temple to the north corner of the Temple, all round the altar and the Temple. Then Jehoiada brought the king's son out -- crowned him and gave him a copy of the covenant; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and shouted, 'Long live the king!'
On hearing the people shouting, Athaliah joined the people in the Temple of Yahweh. When she looked, there stood the king on a dais, as the custom was, with the officers and trumpeters at the king's side, and all the people of the country rejoicing and blowing the trumpets; then Athaliah tore her clothes and shouted, 'Treason, treason!' Jehoiada the priest then gave the orders to the commanders in charge of the troops, 'Take her out under guard and put to death anyone who follows her.' 'For', the priest had already said, 'she must not be killed inside the Temple of Yahweh.' They seized her, and when she reached the horses' entry to the palace, she was killed there.
Jehoiada made a covenant between Yahweh, the king and the people that they would remain Yahweh's people; and another one between the king and the people. All the people of the country then went to the temple of Baal and demolished it; they smashed its altars and its images and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
The priest made arrangements for the security of the Temple of Yahweh.
All the people of the country were delighted; the city, however, made no move. And Athaliah was put to death inside the palace.
Psalm 132: 11-14, 17-18
Yahweh has sworn to David,
and will always remain true to his word,
'I promise that I will set
a son of yours upon your throne.
If your sons observe my covenant
and the instructions I have taught them,
their sons too for evermore
will occupy your throne.'
For Yahweh has chosen Zion,
he has desired it as a home.
'Here shall I rest for evermore,
here shall I make my home as I have wished.
'There I shall raise up a line of descendants for David,
light a lamp for my anointed;
I shall clothe his enemies with shame,
while his own crown shall flourish.'
Matthew 6: 19-23
‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be too.
The eye, the lamp of the body
‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkened, what darkness that will be!
When we sin — we become more and more blind —
Some can enforce their rules which are wrong —
they can punish and use force —
When a person is in charge they are
to act purely — not let unpredictable
anger taint their actions and decisions —
The more one acts in blindness — the
more off they become —
Mary gave Jacinta messages besides
the Fatima message —
Excerpts from The Spirituality of Fatima
by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
Besides the messages associated with the major Fatima apparitions, there were other revelations given by Our Lady. Before Jacinta died, she told of other messages given her (during her illness) by Mary:
More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.
Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.
Priests must be pure, very pure. They should not busy themselves with anything except what concerns the Church and souls. The disobedience of priests, to their superiors and to the Holy Father, is very displeasing to Our Lord.
I can no longer restrain the hand of my Divine Son from striking the world with just punishments for its many crimes.
If the government of a country leaves the Church in peace and gives liberty to our Holy Religion, it will be blessed by God.
Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask grace from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her. (19)
19. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op cit., pp.9-10.
When we sin we are impure and we
drive ourselves from greater union with
God — To have that sensitivity in
our relationship with God — we
are ever striving for greater purity
in our actions —
The devil is the father of lies —
The devil tries to tempt people to
think 'what is right is wrong and
what is wrong is right' —
Jesus, the Divine God, sweat blood
because of our rebellious sins, our
lying about our sins, our control
and competition fighting against
God's simple plan for obedience
and peace —
June 16, 2010
(1) Mary was chosen by God.
(2) Joseph helped Mary — Joseph
wasn't focused on his glory.
(3) Joseph and Mary wanted the will
of God —
(4) We must trust God and others
not be ready for competition.
(5) Jesus is meek and tender of heart
not combattal —
(6) The Shepherds of Christ is to teach men,
through example, about the Heart of Jesus —
(7) Jesus' Heart is not
combattal, but meek —
(8) Jesus is the Son of God —
If we are like Jesus we follow Jesus —
(9) We are to be sons and
daughters of God —
give a good example —
(10) Who is on our throne —
are we or is God on our throne —
The more we give into evil — the more
distorted our vision — some want
control and not being accountable when
they were angry and out of anger made
tainted decisions — The person needs to see
and tell the truth —
In today's scripture it says:
‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is clear, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkened, what darkness that will be! Matthew 6:22-23
We want the beatific vision
in heaven — to keep distorting our
reality with jealousy, seeking vain glory,
lies — make our vision more distorted.
Obedience to God's commandments, purity
helps us to see with greater reality —
the Plan of the Father the Creator for the
creatures seek to know what is really
reality — Seek to know God.
(1) Mary made haste to help Elizabeth.
(2) We are to teach the world
about the holy Hearts of
Jesus and Mary — Mary was humble.
(3) Eve was prideful —
We are impure when we
are jealous of one doing God's will.
(4) We are impure for seeking
dominance for dominance sake.
(5) When we are jealous, prideful,
envious, revengeful we are not like
the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
(6) God is love — Mary is the
perfect handmaid of the Lord.
(7) Luke 1: 46-55
And Mary said:
My soul proclaims
the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices
in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon
the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards
all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty
has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his faithful love extends age after age
to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm,
he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes
from their thrones
and raised high the lowly.
He has filled the starving with good things,
sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help
of Israel his servant,
mindful of his faithful love
—according to the promise
he made to our ancestors—
of his mercy to Abraham
and to his descendants for ever.
(8) Mary carried baby Jesus in her —
Jesus lives in the graced baptized soul —
(9) We receive a sharing of
His life in baptism —
(10) We are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Birth of Jesus
(1) Jesus came a little, tiny baby —
Why are we so high and mighty?
(2) Jesus is the Savior of the world.
(3) Jesus came to show
us how to be sons and daughters of God.
(4) Jesus wants us holy —
consecrated to His Sacred Heart.
(5) John 3: 16
For this is how God loved the world:
he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
may not perish
but may have eternal life.
(6) Look at how little a baby is —
Jesus came like this —
(7) Babies are so little — Jesus
came in the womb of Mary.
(8) We see the Plan of God for
the salvation of man.
(9) Thank God for life.
(10) Praise and love God —
(1) Jesus went to the temple —
Simeon was there —
(2) Simeon told Mary of the
sufferings to come —
(3) Mary kept all these things
in her heart —
(4) Jesus was a baby
like other babies —
(5) Jesus was also circumcised.
(6) Simeon was blessed —
We are blessed, too —
(7) Jesus came to the earth
Jesus took on a human nature
out of love —
(8) We are to obey the commandments
not treat God as a rival.
(9) Seven Sorrows of Mary
(1) The first sorrow: the prophecy of Simeon
(2) The second sorrow: the flight into Egypt
(3) The third sorrow: the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple
(4) The fourth sorrow: Jesus and Mary meet on the way to the cross
(5) The fifth sorrow: Jesus dies on the cross
(6) The sixth sorrow: Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary's arms
(7) The seventh sorrow: the burial of Jesus
(10) Joseph and Mary lived to do the will
of God —
Finding of Jesus in the Temple
(1) Humility is the realization of
the truth that I am a
creature of God —
Humility is not a process of
self-depreciation, or of
telling myself that I am no
good, that I have very little
to contribute —
Humility moves me to look
at myself as I actually am.
It moves me to look at my good and
my bad points and very
importantly, to follow up with
appropriate attitudes and actions —
Humility is truth —
James 4: 6
But he has given us an even greater grace, as scripture says: God opposes the proud but he accords his favour to the humble.
(2) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. p. 62
Christian fortitude, or courage, is that virtue which disposes us to face in mature fashion whatever difficulties we encounter in Christ's service. The necessity of this virtue is evident from our inner experience—we have a tendency to shrink from that which either poses difficulty or frightens us. Apparently, numerous Christians never develop as they should because they do not consistently confront that which is hard and difficult in a proper fashion.
We should not think that courage is a virtue which we need only in times of extraordinary difficulty. As with all the Christian virtues, courage usually finds its expression within the prosaic framework of everydayness. The rather uneventful duties of our state of life day in and day out demands fortitude. All vocations face this challenge, and to evade the challenge is to hinder our growth in Christ.
(3) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. pp. 60-61
Prudence is that virtue which helps us to make the proper decisions in the exercise of our Christian life. Prudence aids us in making correct choices so that we do God's will in all areas of Christian existence.
Prudence is meant to influence every aspect of our participation in the mystery of Christ. It is always our guide as we strive to grow in the putting on of Christ.
What state of life does God wish me to embrace? What kind of work does he desire of me within that vocation? Among the various ways of expressing love, how am I to love God and others at this particular time? Am I working too much or too little? Am I too dependent upon others or not dependent enough? Prudence helps answer these and other questions concerning the Christ-life.
(4) 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
Though I command languages both human and angelic—if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains—if I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned—if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
God is love
Giving a good example —
Obeying and being an instrument
of the light —
Who is on our throne
Us or God
Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. pp. 59-60
. . . We can be tempted to reject this marvelous example of love which Jesus has left us. We can seek our own greatness and fulfillment in a manner which necessarily results in disappointment. We can strive after greatness in ways which God does not intend. These wayward wanderings, however, result in a feeling of dissatisfaction and frustration and we will eventually come to realize they have betrayed us because they are not rooted in Christ and His way of life—the way of true personal greatness.
We grow as Christians as we grow in love. We exercise this love within the milieu of the human condition. This is the only framework we have for achieving our greatness, and, consequently, we must not shirk this human condition. Jesus did not shirk it, but rather accepted it and manifested His greatness within it, despite the pain and even agony that the human condition at times heaped upon Him. It is true that Jesus rejoiced during the course of His life because of the goodness, sincerity, and response of some of those with whom He dealt. For example, the love which Mary and Joseph showered upon Jesus gave Him great joy. During His life, however, Jesus often suffered because of the evil side of humans—their pettiness, cowardice, insensitivity, selfishness, egotism. In other words, Jesus suffered at the hands of others because they were not what they should have been. Nonetheless, these experiences did not thwart the greatness of Jesus. Jesus was always the tremendous lover, and He loved even at those times when it was very painful to do so.
As Christ suffered because of others, we, too, as we try to love, suffer because of others. We may suffer because others do not always understand us—this can be true even of those who dearly love us. We may suffer because some do not appreciate what we do for them, sometimes at great personal cost, or because others reject us, or make us the objects of their meanness and selfishness. We may suffer because there are some who ignore us. At times we suffer so much that we are tempted to quit loving as we should and are tempted to withdraw from the pain of giving ourselves to an egotistic world. To surrender to such a temptation, however, is to forget what true Christian greatness really is—namely, a life of love for God and others, a love that does not shrink from the pain that results from loving in an imperfect world, a love that is meant to become greater regardless of the way others might treat us. Christian love, then, accepts both the pain and the joy of life and carries on under both conditions.
We should ask Mary our mother, who takes such great pride in us when we love as we should, to lead us daily to the Heart of her Son. This Heart, burning furnace of charity, is the source we must draw from if we are to love and progress in love.
Lead us, dear Mother, to this Heart of your Son. As we rest secure in the love of your Immaculate Heart, instill within us daily a growing desire to take on the likeness of the Heart of Jesus. Obtain for us, dearest Mother, the grace to make the Heart of Jesus the center of our existence. Living within this pierced Heart of Jesus, we will more and more be consumed with the desire to love God and neighbor. We will become increasingly aware that to truly live is to love.
(5) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. pp. 55-56
Being mother of our Christ-life, Mary is also mother of our life of Christian virtues. Many of them are listed above, including the three most important ones—faith, hope, and love.
Ideally, faith is the commitment of one's entire being to the truth of Jesus. We must live the truth of Jesus, not merely intellectually assent to it. We properly comprehend religious truth only when we live it, savor it, experience it to the depths of our being. How much more we understand the truth of Christ in its wisdom, power, and beauty when we not only believe this truth with our graced intellects, but also allow it to permeate and transform our entire existence. As a corollary, we see the danger of intellectually assenting to Christ's truth without attempting to live accordingly. Faith can grow weak and even die if there is a constant and serious division between what we believe and the manner in which we live.
When we live according to faith, we are living according to a vision of God, humanity, and the rest of creation. Faith tells us things about God and creation we could either not otherwise know or know only with greater difficulty and with less certainty. A good example of the former is the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. Reason can never arrive at this sublime truth. Only the intellect that has been elevated with the grace of faith can believe in the Triune God. If we are to progress in the spiritual life, we must allow this vision of faith to more and more influence our activities. Increasingly, we should become contemplatives in action. The more we allow Mary to lead us into such a way of life, the more our lives will have meaning for ourselves as well as for the betterment of the lives of people around us. As our mother, she happily guides us to the peace we can find as contemplatives in action.
The vision of faith should inspire us to action according to our vocation, talents, opportunity, time, and energy. We should always strive to make the world more reflective of Christ's image. To the extent we do not, we are betraying the vision of faith.
Mother Mary, deepen our faith. Help us to follow ever more closely the light of faith. And we pray, dear Mother, that you will lead us ever closer to your Son Who is Himself the source of faith's light.
(6) TRUST GOD
Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. pp. 56-57
Christian hope is a virtue that allows us to desire God as the goal of our existence. Hope also allows us to trust that God will grant us the graces necessary to achieve this goal.
The necessity of hope in our lives is obvious. Without a sustained desire for God we will not be able to live as we should. If God is not our goal, then our lives will be miserably shaped by something infinitely less, whether it be money, sex, social status, or anything else that can grip the human heart as an unauthentic end rather than as a legitimate means to God.
Without God's grace we cannot initially attain supernatural life, we cannot maintain ourselves in it, and we cannot grow in it. At times God allows us to strikingly and intensely experience how helpless we are without Him. Such episodes in the spiritual life can be very painful, but they are also opportunities for great growth. We are meant to emerge from these experiences with an increase of trust in God. We realize how weak we are in ourselves, but how strong we are if we rely on God.
One of Mary's functions as our spiritual mother is to help us grow in trust. In countless ways Mary shows us her maternal love. If we are to love her in return, if we are to allow her to increasingly possess us, we must trust her.
We should always remember: when we trust Mary, we are putting our trust in God; when we abandon ourselves to Mary, we are abandoning ourselves to God.
(7) Matthew 2: 13-14
After they had left, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt,
St. Joseph helped Mary
St. Joseph did not have
St. Joseph lived by God's will —
St. Joseph was a servant
Mary is the handmaid of the Lord
(8) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. pp. 78-79
St. Joseph (excerpt)
Let us ask Joseph—this man who enjoyed extraordinary intimacy with Christ and Our Blessed Mother—to aid us in coming closer to Jesus and Mary. Let us ask Joseph, patron of prayer and the interior life, to help us develop that spirit of silence and prayer which is so necessary if we wish to grow in union with Christ and Mary our Mother.
Joseph will aid us in focusing our attention more and more upon Jesus and Mary. He is a powerful intercessor who desires to help us live out our daily consecration to the Heart of Christ and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In Joseph we have a great model in what constitutes this gift of self. Each day he committed himself to Christ and the Blessed Virgin. His gift of self was extraordinary.
St. Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest teachers of the spiritual life, had an outstanding devotion to St. Joseph:
"I do not remember ever having asked anything of St. Joseph that he did not grant me, nor can I think without wonder of the graces God has given me through His intercession, nor of the dangers of soul or body from which he has delivered me."31
31. Michael Gasnier, O.P., Joseph the Silent (New York: Kennedy & Sons, 1962), p. 9.
Prayer to St. Joseph
St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste spouse of Mary, you passed your life in perfect fulfillment of duty. You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly turn to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes; and they turn to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too have known trial, labor, and weariness. But, even amid the worries of material life, your soul was filled with deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with the Son of God entrusted to you, and with Mary, His tender Mother. Amen. -(Pope John XXIII)
(9) Luke 2: 48-50
They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J., pp. 12-14
God's Will—Our Guiding Principle
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. (Lk. 2:48-50).
The above scene describes how Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple after having been separated from Him. As they were returning home after the Passover celebration, they realized Jesus was not with them, and returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. The scene has various lessons for us concerning God's will.
With the Holy Family traveling in two separate groups (Mary with one, Joseph with the other, and Jesus with either from time to time), we understand how Mary and Joseph could have received conflicting stories regarding their Son's whereabouts. The Father's will may have been made known to Jesus in such a way that the timing of His response precluded alerting His parents to the change in His plan. Whatever the details were, we can be assured that there was no error made on the parts of Jesus, Mary, or Joseph. We can base our trust in this on what we know through faith—that Jesus would never have been disobedient or thoughtless toward His parents, and that Mary and Joseph could not possibly have been inept parents.
Even so, as people who expect certain behaviors of children and parents, we can be unsettled by some unanswered questions presented. Yet, since this event is included in Sacred Scripture, we know it has tremendous value for us as the Word of God. We also know that obedience to God's will always works in the best interests of everyone concerned, even when it is not obvious, even for quite some time.
The scene reminds us of the guiding principle of Jesus' life—loving conformity to His Father's will. Although Mary and Joseph were returning home, in some way Jesus knew He was supposed to remain in the temple at this particular time. His course of action was no different in this instance than it had been in the past and would be in the future. His Father's will was made manifest, and He obeyed; His Father showed the way, and He followed. The Father's will was always Jesus' way, every day, in all matters. As followers of Jesus, His guiding principle must also be ours.
This event in Christ's life also demonstrates that conformity to God's will sometimes brings hurt or sorrow to loved ones. Jesus knew that His remaining behind would cause suffering for Mary and Joseph—we can well imagine their anxiety. Jesus was sorry this had to be. He certainly was not insensitive to His parent's feelings, yet He had to do what He did. There can be similar situations in our own lives. Precisely because we are striving to seek out and do God's will, we may be causing hurt to loved ones. We know, however, there is no other course of action if we are to be open to God's designs for us.
The finding of the child Jesus in the temple illustrates still a further point regarding conformity to God's will. Mary and Joseph knew that somehow it was God's will that Jesus remain in Jerusalem as they themselves headed back to Nazareth. Yet they did not comprehend why all this happened. They recognized God's will, but they did not understand it. They accepted this will, however, along with the pain it produced in their lives.
The application of this lesson to our own Christian lives is vividly manifest. At times there occurs an incident we do not understand. We realize that somehow this is God's will, at least His permissive will, yet we do not understand why, and our unknowing is part of our pain.
Mary always perfectly conformed herself in love to God's will. It was her joy to so act. Sometimes the doing of God's will caused her considerable suffering, as we see from the above Gospel scene. Later on, the sword of suffering would pierce her even more deeply.
In summary, we can say that Mary always reached out and embraced God's will with the deepest love, whether this was easy or very difficult. Mary has left us these famous words: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Lk. 1:38). Let us ask our mother to obtain for us the grace to grow in our own conformity to the will of God.
(10) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J., pp. 114-121
Lourdes—And My Own
Since my first pilgrimage to Lourdes marked a very definitive stage in Mary's dealings with me—in her call to me—I am going to utilize this entry on Lourdes to share with you certain aspects of my Marian experience. In none of my previous books have I shared my spiritual experience in such a direct fashion. I am doing so now only because I believe it is Mary's wish that I do so. May my sharing of Mary's maternal love manifested to me be an occasion for your own reflection on Mary's goodness to you.
I have always been blessed with a strong devotion to Mary. I feel this gift is one of God's greatest graces given to me. I remember at an early age often repeating the Hail Mary. Later, I was very much attracted to Our Lady's requests at Fatima. I made the five first Saturdays and practiced what I was told were the other aspects of Mary's Fatima message.
After graduating from college I entered the Jesuits. Our first phase of training consists of two years of novitiate—a period in which one is introduced into the spiritual life according to the Jesuit tradition. This first period of Jesuit training marked a very significant growth in my devotion to Mary.
As I progressed in my Jesuit life over the years, Mary was always a loving, caring mother. I always felt, among other things, that she was a lifeline—always there in a special way at particularly difficult stages of the spiritual journey, not only then, but certainly then. I was not always as loyal a child of Mary as I should have been, but she always kept me aware of her very important role in our lives.
In early 1989 I was in Europe—destination Rome. As I was traveling toward Italy from Northern Europe, I made plans to stop at Lourdes. I considered this a very special stop on my itinerary.
As I left Toulouse on the train for Lourdes, it was raining. Not very far from Toulouse, the rain stopped and the sun appeared. I considered this a gift from Mary.
I walked from the Lourdes train station to the Shrine. It was a day in January, sunny and pleasant, but, as would be expected at that time of the year, there were less than 25 pilgrims at the grotto site. The atmosphere was very special. One realized this was a very holy place. I sat on one of the benches and began to pray. All of a sudden, I was deeply impressed with this thought: "I have finally come home." The thought seemed to come from outside of me, similar to an infused idea. I did not fully understand what this idea meant. I had not seriously strayed from God, so the idea of "coming home" did not mean I was returning as a prodigal son. Nor did the idea mean that I had finally found Mary, since, as I have stated above, I have always been blessed with a strong devotion to her. I was, then, somewhat puzzled at what the words "I have finally come home" meant. My experience, however, was a very profound one as I sat there before the grotto of Mary. I wept tears of peace and consolation. This was to be my first experience of the gift of tears at a Marian shrine. Later I would also experience this gift at Fatima, Guadalupe, and Medjugorje. The gift of tears on these occasions would always be in confirmation of a special interior enlightenment.
In the months that followed, whenever I recalled these words impressed upon me at Lourdes, I was still not sure of their meaning. I did, though, decide to write this book on Mary. I had long wanted to write such a book, but did not feel prepared to do so until now.
I was privileged to be at Fatima for the 75th anniversary of the October 13 apparition of Mary to the three young visionaries—Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco. I had a conviction that Mary wanted me there at that particular time. That I was able to be present for this momentous occasion was another special gift of Mary to me.
On October 12, the eve of the anniversary day, I was praying in the basilica at Fatima. I was close to the altar. In the sanctuary was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. I prayed that Mary would draw me closer than ever to the Heart of Jesus and to her own Immaculate Heart. I also prayed that I would be able, as never before, to work for the spread of devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
As I prayed I would often glance at Mary's statue, and when I did, I was often given the gift of tears—I know it was a special gift because I myself had no control over when this would or would not take place. The same thing happened the next day. It was a most profound spiritual experience—even more so than the one at Lourdes.
On the 13th itself, there were about one million pilgrims present for the anniversary occasion. At communion time of the outdoor Mass I felt a special confirmation of the above-mentioned experience.
From Fatima I went to Lourdes. This time, unlike my first visit, I was present along with thousands of other pilgrims. It is indeed a special experience to be at Lourdes with so many others for the impressive candlelight rosary procession at night and for other activities. Being personally present amidst all this gives one a sense of why Lourdes has been such an attraction for millions and millions of pilgrims over the years. Again, my experience at the grotto of Our Lady was very special, as was the making of the Way of the Cross on the hill high above the basilicas and the grotto.
A few months after my visits to Fatima and Lourdes I was at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It was another special gift to be able to be there for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. What an inspiration it is to be there on this most special day—to see the Mexican people come from miles and miles away for this feast which is so dear to their hearts. Their devotion to Our Lady is most remarkable. Regarding myself, the entire pilgrimage prior to the feast day was rather subdued—peaceful, but no special experience. I remained in such a state on the feast itself up to and including most of the Mass at the Shrine. Then at communion time I was gifted with the same type of deep experience which had occurred at Lourdes and Fatima. I was rather suddenly struck with a deep conviction that I am protected by Mary's mantle and that I should not be afraid or worry. Again, this interior enlightenment was accompanied by the gift of tears.
My final pilgrimage was to Medjugorje—December 28, 1992, to January 4, 1993. Again, after prayer, I had developed the conviction that Mary wanted me there for her great feast of January 1st—which, of course, is the feast of Mary, Mother of God. I thought something special would happen on that day, although I did not know precisely what.
As was the case at Guadalupe, nothing out of the ordinary happened to me on the days previous to January 1. I did not see any phenomena concerning the sun which many pilgrims have observed over the years at Medjugorje. The chain on my rosary did not change to gold—as has occurred with many of the Medjugorje pilgrims. But Mary did have her gift for me. Just as I had hoped, something special did occur on the feast of January 1. At Mass, after receiving communion, I received a profound experience of Mary's motherhood toward me and also a profound conviction of Jesus' love for me. This conviction of Jesus' love for me may be the most special I have ever experienced. Again, these interior enlightenments were accompanied by the gift of tears.
Later that day I had the great privilege of being present in the choir loft for the daily apparition of Our Lady. Ivan was the only visionary present in Church this particular day. Although I felt extremely blessed to be present for the apparition—which, of course, only Ivan himself could see—I had no special inner experience at this time. Others in our group said they did have a special personal experience at the time of the apparition. My special experience of the day had indeed occurred earlier at Mass.
Since that first visit to Lourdes when I was suddenly struck with the thought, "I have finally come home," much has happened regarding my relationship with Mary. I now believe I know the meaning of those words impressed upon me at Lourdes in January, 1989. More than three years later Mary began to instruct me regarding the precise meaning of those words. She has, in her maternal love for me, entered my life as never before. She has led me to consecrate myself to the Heart of Christ and to her Immaculate Heart in a very meaningful manner. In an extraordinary fashion she has given me a mission to fulfill in the service of Jesus. As she cooperates with the Holy Spirit in my ongoing transformation in Christ, she is leading me along paths which I have never traveled before. I can never thank her adequately for her goodness to me.
The above constitutes some of the main aspects of my personal Marian pilgrimage over the years. You also have your own Marian experience, and I am sure you have shed your own tears of joy and peace along the way.
If you have not yet done so, I strongly encourage you to consecrate yourself to the Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In consecrating yourself to Mary—in entrusting yourself entirely to her—you will be enabling her to lead you ever closer to the Heart of Christ. She will accomplish marvels in you as she aids you, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, in living out your consecration to the Sacred Heart. Indeed, she will ever be Mother at your side as you come closer to the Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit.
I have never been happier, never more at peace, than I presently am. Since Mary has drawn me to consecrate myself to her Immaculate Heart, marvelous changes have taken place within me. She has brought me to the Heart of Jesus in a way I had not experienced before.
If you have given yourself totally to Mary—and this is what consecration to her Immaculate Heart means—you have had similar experiences.
Having consecrated ourselves to Mary, we feel secure as we rest in her loving, maternal Heart. There she comforts us when we are sad—there she wipes away our tears. There she rejoices with us when we rejoice. There she smiles as we share with her our accomplishments for Christ. There she encourages us when we are fearful. There she strengthens us for the most difficult tasks.
What a great gift Jesus has bestowed upon us in giving Mary to us as our mother! Let us thank Him each day for this Mother who loves us with an unfathomable love. We must try to grow in the appreciation of this love. The more we do so, the more we want to cry out, "O Mother, how loving, caring, and tender you are! Draw us ever closer to your Immaculate Heart where you accomplish your marvels within us."
end of excerpt
Given June 13, 2010 - Feast of St. Anthony
David was loved by God, but he wasn't perfect —
David sinned with Bathsheba —
David had Uriah her husband killed in battle —
Nathan the prophet had to confront David —
2 Samuel 12: 7-10, 13
Nathan then said to David, 'You are the man! Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I anointed you king of Israel, I saved you from Saul's clutches, I gave you your master's household and your master's wives into your arms, I gave you the House of Israel and the House of Judah; and, if this is still too little, I shall give you other things as well. Why did you show contempt for Yahweh, by doing what displeases him? You put Uriah the Hittite to the sword, you took his wife to be your wife, causing his death by the sword of the Ammonites. For this, your household will never be free of the sword, since you showed contempt for me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite, to make her your wife."
David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against Yahweh." Nathan then said to David, "Yahweh, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die.
When Adam and Eve sinned — they blamed each other —
the sinner may deny their sin and blame
Psalm 32: 1-2, 5, 7, 11
I made my sin known to you,
did not conceal my guilt.
I said, 'I shall confess
my offence to Yahweh.'
And you, for your part, took away my guilt,
forgave my sin.
You are a refuge for me,
you guard me in trouble,
with songs of deliverance you surround me.
Rejoice in Yahweh,
exult all you upright,
shout for joy, you honest of heart.
The devil wants you to say what's wrong is right and
what is right is wrong.
Children need their parents.
Little ones miss their parents if they are
Likewise we need God — for God is the
Creator — we are the creatures —
God is always wanting oneness with Him —
Themes in today's scripture
Galatians 2: 16, 19-21
have nevertheless learnt that someone is reckoned as upright not by practising the Law but by faith in Jesus Christ; and we too came to believe in Christ Jesus so as to be reckoned as upright by faith in Christ and not by practising the Law: since no human being can be found upright by keeping the Law.
In fact, through the Law I am dead to the Law so that I can be alive to God. I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The life that I am now living, subject to the limitation of human nature, I am living in faith, faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not setting aside God’s grace as of no value; it is merely that if saving justice comes through the Law, Christ died needlessly.
Luke 7: 36 - 8: 3
One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table, suddenly a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment. She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is and what sort of person it is who is touching him and what a bad name she has.’ Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’ He replied, ‘Say on, Master.’ ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty. They were unable to pay, so he let them both off. Which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘The one who was let off more, I suppose.’ Jesus said, ‘You are right.’
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘You see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. For this reason I tell you that her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love. It is someone who is forgiven little who shows little love.’ Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that even forgives sins?’ But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
Now it happened that after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.
Forgiveness — God forgave David
Jesus forgave the sinful woman
forgave the sinful woman —
In confession — God forgives us
The priest talked to a married couple — the husband would not forgive her
for anything — When the priest asked -
well she must have forgave you —
the husband said — "I have no faults." —
God tells us no matter how great our sins —
God forgives us if we ask Him and
we are sorry and repent and want to do better —
God's mercy is there —
Do we come before God asking forgiveness —
or do we come like the Pharisee
in today's Gospel?
The second reading is so important to us —
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.
Mary pondered what happened
in her heart —
Luke 1: 38
Mary said, ‘You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.’ And the angel left her.
John 2: 5
‘Do whatever he tells you.’
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"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.
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