June 3, 2011
June 4th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 1 Period I.
The Novena Rosary Mysteries
for June 4th are Luminous.
Please pray for Jimmy.
June 2nd - 5th
1:30pm and 6:20pm
Please tune in and pray.
May 28, 2011
A Message from Jesus:
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June 3, 2011
R. This is a major message for you from God the Father —
Listen to God
The devil tries to block the message God
is giving to us —
He uses deception - lies —
The open door to satan is doing our will over
God's will —
We are to live the life, death,
of Jesus in our lives —
Mary told us to meditate on the rosary —
which is the mysteries of the
life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus —
This is reality
The vision of the Father is reality —
Man has distorted vision because of his
wounded human nature
The Church is the pillar of truth —
The Word is truth —
Today's GospelJohn 16: 20-23
‘In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a human being has been born into the world. So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you. When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. In all truth I tell you, anything you ask from the Father he will grant in my name.
R. Jesus experienced the agony of the Passion —
Jesus came to show us reality —
We will suffer in this world of disobedience —
We will suffer when we sin and deviate
from God —
We see the blood of the martyrs today —
We reflect on those who would not give
up their faith (martyrs like today) in the one true God and
worship this distorted reality of a king not aligned to the will of God.
Some martyrs were burned to death —
A King or Queen can inflict death on people
living in the truth and worshiping the real God —
Leaders can use methods of forcing
their false reality on the world —
Satan wants abortion —
homosexual marriages —
it is against the will of God —
But men — societies can force
a false reality on people against
the Father's Plan —
We see the pope — the Church —
giving us the truth of God —
We see how Pope John Paul II helped
the whole world to be in
the reality of Jesus —
We see popes who went before him and
the role they played bringing
the truth of Jesus to the world —
Jesus gave Fr. Carter these prayers to pray
for the priests, the Church and
the world —
The priest brings us the Eucharist —
We pray for the Church — help me
start these prayer chapters
17 Years Ago
July 31, 1994
Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:
"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.
"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.
"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."
- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)
R. We see our present Holy Father —
His courage —
Our vicar —
Leading the Church —
Pillar of truth and
He has suffered —
Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book III, Issue 3 - 2000
Yes, the effectiveness of each Mass, which makes the sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally present, depends in part on the holiness of the entire Church offering it with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, including the holiness of the individual priest offering and the holiness of his participating congregation.
Fr. Maurice de la Taille, S.J., formerly professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a universally recognized authority on the Mass, also points out the great importance of personal holiness in the Church relative to the effectiveness of the Eucharistic sacrifice: "It is, then, of the greatest importance that there should be in the Church many holy, many very holy persons. Devout people, men and women, who should be urged by every means to higher sanctity, so that through them the value of our Masses may be increased and the tireless voice of the Blood of Christ, crying from the earth, may ring with greater clearness and insistence in the ears of God. His Blood cries on the altars of the Church, but, since it cries through us, it follows that the warmer the heart, the purer the lips, the more clearly will its cry be heard at the Throne of God. Would you wish to know why for so many years after the first Pentecost the Gospel was so marvelously propagated, why there was so much sanctity amongst the Christian people; why such purity in heart and mind, such charity, the sum of all perfection? You will find the answer when you recall that in those times the Mother of God was still on earth giving her precious aid in all the Masses celebrated by the Church, and you will cease to wonder that never since has there been such expansion of Christianity, and such spiritual progress."
If all, then, have a responsibility to grow in holiness in order to render the Mass more efficacious, the priest has a special duty to do so. His goal must always be to grow in holiness — to grow in union with Christ the Priest, this Christ Who leads us to the Father in the Holy Spirit with Mary at our side.
end of excerpt
R. Lies we tell is promoting
the Kingdom of Satan —
We are to tell the truth — if
we want to be one with
We can lie for our
own vain glory and affections —
seeking dominance for
dominance sake —
God is good
Lies don't raise us up
Lies take us down —
God the Father is perfect truth —
Satan is the father of lies —
He is deception —
He tries to show right as wrong
He tries to show wrong as right
Satan wants to lie to get a person in
this false reality —
God is perfect truth —
The Church is to be a pillar of truth —
Men make mistakes, sin —
The Holy Father is the vicar of the Church —
Leaders, doctors, lawyers,
people in charge are to tell
the truth —
not lead others off by lying and
trying to lead those under them
into sin by deception —
The Father — God the Father is perfect
Matthew 5: 48
You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
R. In the vine and branches scripture we see
no branch can bear fruit unless
connected to the vine —
Without God we can do nothing —
If one lies — deceives for their vain
glory and to make others dependent
so they can raise up for their
own power — because they need
to feel over —
they are sinning against God and
blocking the order in which God wants
for things to run —
God created an orderly, harmonious world
and Eve disobeyed God — because of
she wanted to be equal to God —
Sin is raising ourselves above God
who is so good to us —
When we are a leader and we give a
bad example we are using our
position to hurt others instead of
being under God — serving God —
Doing all things for the honor and glory of God —
How is the world today?
How is our leaders?
How do we obey the basic commandments
about lying (bearing false witness)
of killing babies, of abusing
ourselves which is hurting ourselves —
God intends us to obey the 10 commandments —
The Ten Commandments
1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
R. God is over us —
We are to live as handmaids and servants
of God —
Not do things for our own vain glory —
Not do things to raise ourselves up
before men —
No lies because of pride —
Living in the truth —
seeing the good in us — admitting it
and seeing the evil in us and dealing
Jesus: I am the King of Kings —
I am the way, the truth and the life —
I am all good —
I am God
I have all the Power
Live to be one in God —
To be more perfected as your
heavenly Father is perfect —
Be a father likened to God the Father —
Not a father like satan — for vain glory —
A father of lies
A leader of lies
Be a leader under God
Be a leader of truth —
Be as God wants you to be —
Seek to be more and more perfected
as your heavenly Father is perfect —
Telling lies opens you up to satan —
Tell the truth — I am the Way, the Truth and the Life —
Surrender to God's will —
Quit controlling so you can force your
imperfect distorted vision on
Live by the scriptures
The Church is the pillar of truth —
Form these prayer chapters praying
for the priests, the Church and
the world as I instructed
Fr. Carter, 17 years ago —
with devotion to My Heart and
My Mother's heart —
From Tell My People
Jesus: "My beloved friend, tell My people to pray daily to the Holy Spirit. They are to pray for an increase in His gifts. My people must realize that the Holy Spirit comes to transform them. The Spirit desires to transform you more and more according to My image. Those who are docile to His touch become increasingly shaped in My likeness. He performs this marvel within Mary's Immaculate Heart. The more one dwells in My Mother's Heart, the more active are the workings of the Spirit. The Spirit leads Mary to place you within My own Heart. In both Our Hearts, then, your transformation continues. The more you are formed after My own Heart, the more I lead you to the bosom of My Father. Tell My people all this. Tell them to pray daily for a greater appreciation of these wondrous gifts. I am Lord and Master. All who come to My Heart will be on fire to receive the gifts of the Spirit in ever greater measure! I love and bless My people!"
Reflection: The Holy Spirit is given to us to fashion us ever more according to the likeness of Jesus. And the more we are like Jesus, the more Jesus leads us to the Father. Do we, each day, pray to the Holy Spirit to be more open to His transforming influence? Do we strive each day to grow in union with Mary? The greater our union with our Mother, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the greater is the transforming action of the Holy Spirit within us.
end of excerpt
R. The Holy Spirit can breathe on us
and transform us from fear
to fearlessness —
God gives the directions —
We are to obey — to surrender —
To do as God wants us to do —
To operate in love of God and
love of others —
If a person has a distorted
vision of God and others —
they can believe inside
themselves this is the truth —
They go before to prepare their
way — not the way of the
they have directions to
not have a problem for
there is a constant struggle
trying to put 'their reality' in place —
against the back drop
of why God is speaking here —
God is revealing to us Reality —
God's Reality is Reality —
The person who wants to
control things for their
honor and glory has
prepared the way for
'their reality' —
In dysfunctional families the
person who is dysfunctional
tries to force their way on others —
because they do not want change —
trying to create a co-dependent
What happens depends on them they think —
and they want it that way, to be independently in control
others are forced to do a dance around them —
the dance steps are written by the dysfunctional person
they implement their tainted
reality — which is
false reality — because
they want others to
do it their way —
follow them —
they don't want to change —
they want the system to serve
their dysfunction —
God gives us His Word — so we live
the Word — not talk about
it and do something else —
We are not in charge —
God is teaching us about truth —
God has a plan —
The Father sent His Son to teach
us about God —
We are learners —
It's not focused on the dysfunction
of one — manipulating to
force their ways —
their distorted reality —
tainted with the dark
shadows — hidden,
the devil wishes to
paint in the picture —
The picture God has painted
for us is the picture of
the Good Shepherd, chief Shepherd
of the Flock — the one, true,
almighty God — God-made-Man —
Jesus who walked the earth to
teach us about what is really
real — reality — seeing through
the Father's eyes — seeing the
Father's plan for the human
family — Seeing everything
through the Heart of Jesus —
Jesus the center —
In a dysfunctional family — say
alcohol — it can be anger,
control, trying to make people
dependent on them —
the person needs to control —
Jesus came naked —
Jesus the Divine God — came
Mighty Lord, the King
of Kings — show us
the way —
John the Baptist was sent to
prepare the way —
John the Baptist said He must
increase, I must decrease —
In the wilderness — WILDNESS
OF THE WOUNDED HUMAN NATURE —
John prepared the way —
What about John —
He said he was not worthy
to fix His sandal —
John the Baptist was stripped —
He delivered a message of conversion —
He surrendered —
He jumped in his mother's womb —
He was docile —
When Mary visited Elizabeth —
the Holy Spirit was there —
Elizabeth spoke —
Mary told us about being
a handmaid —
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.
R. Everything centered on Christ —
God being all-in-all —
Mary, Elizabeth, John the
Baptist serving God —
under God —
The Holy Spirit upon them —
It didn't say, "Mary did it her
Elizabeth did it her way"
At the Marriage of Cana —
Mary said, (and she said
very few things in the scriptures)
Mary said "Do whatever He
tells you to do"
Mary is seen in the scriptures
as the handmaid of the Lord —
Mary called herself, a servant,
a handmaid —
Mary lived to do the Father's
John the Baptist — prepared in
the way of the Lord —
The WILD-CARD in our life is
the guy who centers things
around him on himself —
he is the WILD-CARD —
with a wounded human nature —
with a tendency toward seeking
dominance for dominance
seeking affections —
Raising himself up to
show the world —
His reality —
to have others do his dance
so he doesn't have to change —
When God wants us to go right —
He can take us left with
Always ready to lead, but
not docile to the Real
Leader — Jesus, the Son
of God —
In the mysteries of the rosary —
we see two mysteries with
the Holy Spirit over Jesus and
the voice of the Father is heard —
The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist
and the heavens were opened
and we hear
(not following John the Baptist, but Jesus —
John was the servant)
"This is My beloved Son,
in whom I am well
R. The center is
the Son —
The Father's words
LISTEN TO HIM
|The co-dependent says||WILD-CARD
"I know it all"
"Depend on me"
LISTEN TO ME —
God the Father says
LISTEN TO HIM
Everything the Father wishes
to teach us is summed
up in the life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus —
Jesus is the Center —
We are the servants
handmaids of the Lord
Peter argued at the transfiguration
He had a better idea —
turning 'left' when God
was taking us 'right' —
through the centuries —
Peter had a good idea
At the washing of the feet
when Jesus showed us
how to serve —
John 13: 8-9
‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said, ‘Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’
R. Peter had a better idea, but
not what God wanted —
he missed the point
Peter denied Christ
before the cock crowed
Peter acted many times
his way instead of
being docile —
"Doing what He tells you"
Mary said at Cana —
Doing what John the Baptist
"He must increase, I must
THE LORD IS KING,
God is the Most High —
We want to get under Him
He is Most High over the
Jesus gave us the Church —
The Bishops are the descendants
of the Apostles —
The Apostles were eye
1 Corinthians 15: 20-28
In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead. Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but all of them in their proper order: Christ the first-fruits, and next, at his coming, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished every principality, every ruling force and power. For he is to be king until he has made his enemies his footstool, and the last of the enemies to be done away with is death, for he has put all things under his feet. But when it is said everything is subjected, this obviously cannot include the One who subjected everything to him. When everything has been subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the One who has subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
John 3: 2
who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.’
R. Disciple is a learner —
God has given the Blue Books
to teach us about
His love —
His Heart —
Loving others —
Matthew 22: 36-40
'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.'
Excerpt from Light, Happiness and Peace by Fr. John Pasquinipp. 21-26
Freedom, Responsibility, and Personal Becoming
Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.
At the core of a person’s nature or essence, intrinsic to him or her, is that person’s freedom. Freedom is the means by which a person primarily becomes something. A person is so free that he or she has within his or her being the capacity to take control of his or her basic nature. A person is able to determine what he or she is and what he or she is to be. Therefore, at the heart of the definition of the person is the reality that the person is one who is open to becoming.51
Freedom is an openness to that which is beyond — a movement toward fulfillment. Because freedom is open and a movement toward fulfillment it allows for self-causation, that is, the power to become. Freedom entails a possibility for selfachievement, self-becoming. In freedom we can realize our potential. In the words of Karl Rahner,
…[Freedom] is a permanent constituent of man’s nature. The true nature of freedom appears precisely in this, that in the Christian revelation it is the cause of both absolute salvation and absolute rejection by the final judgment of God…. In the Christian view… man is, through his freedom, capable of determining…. Through his free decision he is rather truly good or evil in the very ground of his being, and thus, in the Christian view, his final salvation or loss is already present, even though perhaps still hidden.
The person endowed with grace is on a journey—whether he is aware of it or not—toward the perfection of Christ, the Godman, the fully divine, fully human being. By seeking the God that dwells within, one can find one’s true human potential, and by seeking to find one’s full humanity, one can find the divine within whether in an explicit way or an implicit way.53
Christians are called into theMystery of God. By making the choice to enter into this mystery one is making a choice to enter into the spiritual life, the beginning of the mystical life.54
50 St. Irenaeus,Adv. Haeres. 4, 4, 3: PG 7/1, 983.
Excerpt from Light, Happiness and Peace by Fr. John Pasquini
The Limitations of Human Freedom
Human freedom is not absolute. It is limited and subject to errors. It is limited in that it demands obedience to the natural law that resides at the core of every person, and it is subject to error in that it is subject to the slavery and blindness that is associated with sin. As theCatechism states, “By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth.”55 Human history attests to the sad consequences that result from the sinful abuse of freedom.
The Christian is called to live a life in imitation of Christ. The Savior who saved us from the slavery of sin is the one that all are called to imitate, for in this imitation is found the ultimate in liberation and freedom (cf. Gal 5:1; Jn 8:32; 2 Cor 17; Rm 8:21). In the grace of Christ one is educated and nourished in the ways of authentic freedom.56
In the early stages of the spiritual journey, the imitation of Christ is quite difficult, and therefore one’s sense of freedom and liberation is curtailed.
57 Gaudium et Spes
Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…. His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.
A person entrusted with this innate moral law, this conscience, is obliged to be faithful to this moral law in choosing what is right and just. In so doing one recognizes the ultimate in truth, truth itself, God himself, Christ himself.
58 John Henry Newman
Conscience is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.
Conscience directs us to conversion and to hope. It enables us to recognize the evil we have done and consequently to ask for God’s forgiveness. Conscience also helps us recognize the good and the power of hope. It directs us away from evil, unhappiness, despair, and moves us toward happiness, peace, and light.
The Formation of Conscience
We have a moral obligation to form our conscience in accordance to right reason and the will of God. It is a life-long task. In the purgative stage of spirituality, the conscience is often poorly formed, while in the succeeding stages the conscience becomes more enlightened. The following are some general guidelines for the proper formation of our conscience:
.Reflection, self-examination, and introspection make up the ground level of an informed conscience.
.Absorption in the Word of God (Ps 119:105) and Sacred Tradition (the life of the Holy Spirit within the Church) serve as the blood of life for the conscience.
.The authoritative teachings of the Church that flow from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are essential (cf. 2 Th 2:15).
.Reading the spiritual masters and the advice of good spiritual directors are extremely helpful in putting all the above into a concise vision of reality that corresponds to the innate reality at the core of a person’s being.
A well-formed conscience engenders freedom and peace of heart.
Determining a Well-Informed Conscience
There are essentially two key guides that help us to determine if we have a well-informed conscience:
1) A good end does not justify an evil means.
2) Do unto others as you would like done unto you (cf. Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31; Rm 14:21; 1 Cor 8:12; Tb 4:15).
An Uninformed Conscience59
60 Pope John Paul II
Like all things human, even [the] conscience can fail to…[perceive] illusions and errors. It is a delicate voice that can be overpowered by a noisy, distracted way of life, or almost suffocated by a long-lasting and serious habit of sin.
There are two main reasons for an uninformed conscience:
1) The propensity toward laziness is at the heart of
those who fail to seek a well-informed conscience.
2) A sinful life often blinds us to recognize the truth and often deadens our conscience.
The more correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61 Gaudium et Spes
An Examination of Conscience
An examination of conscience is a powerful way of keeping our conscience informed and open to the working of grace. The following is a general method of examining our conscience: We must first begin by praying to God for enlightenment. We must then ask ourselves the following key questions: “Who am I as God sees me? What is happening in my life at this moment? How is God working in me? How is evil working in me? What is God asking of me? What would Jesus do in my situation?” From these key questions flows a profound examination of conscience.
55 CCC 1740.
56 CCC 1741-1742.
Excerpt from Light, Happiness and Peace by Fr. John Pasquinipp. 27-29
Lord Jesus Christ you truly contain within your gentleness, within your humanity, all the unyielding immensity and grandeur of the world.
You are the center at which all things meet and which stretches out over all things so as to draw them back into itself; I love you for the extension of your body and soul to the farthest corners of creation through grace, throughlife, and through matter.
Lord Jesus, you who are as gentle as the human heart, as fiery as the forces of nature, as intimate as life itself, you in whom I can melt away and with whom I must have mastery and freedom; I love you as a world, as this world which has captivated my heart….
Lord Jesus, you are the center towards which all things are moving.
. . .
Original sin distorted the harmony of creation and damaged the relationship between God and humanity. The second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, came into the world and cleansed it of this damage, this original sin. While the sin is forgiven in Christ, the wound remains.
Human beings, while in Christ, in God, are capable of an intimate, personal, saving relationship with God, and are capable of experiencing eternal life with God in heaven. Yet despite this, because of the wound of original sin, a human being is still inclined and tempted toward that original rebellion; that is, human beings are inclined toward the temptations of evil. The spiritual journey becomes a battle against concupiscence.
Sin is a personal act in which reason, truth, and right conscience are offended. It is a failure to live up to the command of love of God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to that which is not for the honor and glory of God. It is an act of self-infatuation, disobedience (Gn 3:5) and hatred toward God (Ps 51:4).64 It wounds the nature of the human person, the nature of solidarity, and the nature of the eternal law.65
Kinds of Sin66
Sin comes from the heart, from the core of a person’s very being (cf. Mt 15:19-20). The two main kinds of sins are sins of commission and sins of omission. Sins of commission are sins in which a person takes an active part—such as acts of fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, envy, drunkenness, carousing, etc. (cf. Gal 5:19-21; Rm 1:28-32; 1 Cor 9-10; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5-8; 1 Tm 9-10; 2 Tm 2-5). Sins of omission are sins that involve actions that are omitted in fostering the glory and honor of God. These are sins committed by people who keep quiet when evil is being done. People who do nothing to put an end to abortion and euthanasia, for example, are the quintessential type of people who commit serious sins of omission. These people can be equated to the people who did nothing to put an end to slavery in the United States’ early history. They did nothing to put an end to evil. Failing to stop gossip, vulgarity, and so forth, are other forms of sins of omission.
63 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, “Cosmic Life” inWritings in Time of War, 69-70.
R. Living in the Word —
is how we are to live
in following the
footsteps of Jesus
Meditating in the rosary on the life, death,
and resurrection of Jesus
Living this in our lives!!
Excerpt from Light, Happiness and Peace by Fr. John Pasquinip. 15
The Moral Virtues
To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).30 St. Augustine
The apex of the spiritual journey is the living in and with reality — the way one was intended to live in and with it. At the apex of the spiritual journey we become in total harmony with all of creation, for all of creation bears the mark of the one who sustains it.
end of excerpt
R. Seeing reality through the
eyes of God —
not our distorted
In the experience in the
Mass Book December 15, 1995
and I wrote about
December 17th and December 18th
in the Mass Book —
We see unity —
The Persons of the Trinity
are 3 Persons in One
Perfect Unity —
Seeing Reality as it is
through the eyes
Not the distorted reality of
the wounded human
nature that sees God
that sees other men
that sees oneself —
This is a distorted reality —
Man is to be always seeking
the perfection of God —
Man was created in the
image of God —
God the Father is the potter —
Song: Jesus I Love You
R. When man cease to see himself
as in need of conversion,
of dying to those bad habits
within him and
trying to force others to be
like his tainted reality —
he further blocks those
he comes in contact with
from conversion to be more
perfected as God is —
Man is to see the message of
God the Father at the
Matthew 17: 5
He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and suddenly from the cloud there came a voice which said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’
R. We are reaching to be united in
the beatific vision in
to die to our ways that are not
like God —
to grow to be more perfected
as our heavenly Father
Excerpt from Response in Christ by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
e) Relationship with Members of the Church
There is but one true Church of Christ. Yet this one Church has three different states of existence. There is the pilgrim Church, the Church of this world, composed of members who have received the grace of Christ and strive for its development. They have not yet obtained the goal of their efforts, as have the members of the heavenly Church, who enjoy God in eternal happiness. The Church suffering is an intermediate state of existence necessary for those who had not achieved the required purification as members of the pilgrim Church. Although there are these three phases of the Church’s existence, there is a profound union existing between all the members. All these members possess the same basic life of grace in Christ, and this common life establishes the most intimate bonds of love. In our preceding chapter, we discussed the pilgrim Church. Let us now consider the Church suffering and the heavenly Church.
The members of the Church suffering are those who have departed from this life in an incomplete state of Christian development. Their development is incomplete in the sense that grace has not fully taken possession of them, and, as a result, they are yet closed in upon themselves to a greater or lesser degree. They as yet cannot open themselves out in complete love to the Triune God in the beatific vision. They must undergo a further purification, a purification which could have been achieved upon earth with merit. Now the purification must be achieved with no merit attached. The pain of this purification is mixed with the certain expectation of achieving the vision of God. We can hasten the advent of this vision for this people by the offering of prayers and other good works. Scripture itself refers to our action on behalf of those in purgatory in Chapter 12 of the Second Book of Maccabees beginning with verse 38.
The members of the heavenly Church are those in whom the life of grace has taken full possession and has reached its completion in the life of glory. Faith now is unnecessary, as the light of glory gives the human intellect a new strength and capacity for seeing God face-to-face. While the Christian was a wayfarer, he received the imprint of the indwelling Trinity as he shared in God’s own life. Now in heaven that grace-life and possession of God reaches its completion—the absolute completion is not achieved, however, until the resurrection of the body. The divine persons give Themselves to the beatified in a profound union far surpassing that of the indwelling of the Trinity experienced here below.
This life of heaven is still the Christ-life, for just as we possess a share in Trinitarian life here below as mediated by Christ, and exercise this grace-life as structured by Him, so also in heaven is the mediation of Christ present. In the words of Rahner, "One always sees the Father through Jesus. Just as immediately as this, for the directness of the vision of God is not a denial of the mediatorship of Christ as man."14 And not only does the humanity of Christ unite the blessed to God, but also, in some way, to the whole of creation. This is merely a completion of what is begun here below, namely, the union with Christ in His humanity establishing the Christian in a special relationship with God, with other men, and with the whole of creation. We have a glimpse, therefore, of the fullness of life which members of the heavenly Church possess.
The heavenly Church, as St. Thomas says, is the true Church.15 The Church of this earth and the Church of purgatory are, each in its own way, reaching out in loving hope for the heavenly Jerusalem. Vatican II puts it very simply: "The Church, to which we are called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain her full perfection only in the glory of heaven."16
The members of the heavenly Church can help us in living our life of grace until we too share its fullness with them. Their power of intercession on our behalf is but another ramification of the communal aspect of Christianity. We are meant to help others grow in Christ. We, in turn, are intended by God to receive aid from others—yes, from members of the heavenly Church, as well as from those with whom we dwell here below.
Not only can we be aided by the saints’ intercession, but the example of the canonized saints can also be of great value to us. They have concretely proved that full holiness is possible. Such an inspiration is of real worth when we are tempted to think that Christian sanctity in its higher degrees is impossible of attainment. Moreover, the canonized saints, in their diversity, teach us that there are many authentic versions of Christian holiness. They can be innovators in showing us that there are numerous possibilities in assimilating the mystery of Christ, although the basic assimilation remains the same for all Christians of all times. In the opinion of Rahner this is one of the chief roles the canonized saints exert in the life of the Church.17
14Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. III (Baltimore: Helicon, 1967), p. 44.
15 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In Ad Ephes., c. 3, Lect. 3.
16Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church, No. 48.
17Cf. Karl Rahner, Op. cit., pp. 100-101.
The Word Alive in Our Hearts
(1) Revelation 4: 8-11
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was studded with eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing:
Holy, Holy, Holy
is the Lord God, the Almighty;
who was, and is and is to come.’
Every time the living creatures glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying:
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you made the whole universe;
by your will, when it did not exist,
it was created.
(2) Light over darkness —
Living water leading to, hopefully,
eternal life for us
Healing for man — freedom
to be released from the
slavery of sin —
(3) Jesus, God's only Son — comes to
reveal the Father and
then Jesus returns to the Father —
(4) John 1: 1-14
In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came into being,
not one thing came into being
except through him.
What has come into being in him was life,
life that was the light of men;
and light shines in darkness,
and darkness could not overpower it.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
to bear witness to the light,
so that everyone might believe
He was not the light,
he was to bear witness to the light.
The Word was the real light
that gives light to everyone;
he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had come into being through him,
and the world did not recognise him.
He came to his own
and his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believed in his name
who were born not from human stock
or human desire
or human will
but from God himself.
The Word became flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that he has from the Father
as only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
(5) John 1: 15-18
John witnesses to him. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me
has passed ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness
we have, all of us, received—
one gift replacing another,
for the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come
through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son,
who is close to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.
(6) John the Baptist — John 1: 23
So he said, 'I am, as Isaiah prophesied:
A voice of one that cries in the desert:
Prepare a way for the Lord.
Make his paths straight!'
(7) Colossians 1: 15-17
Christ is the head of all creation
He is the image of the unseen God,
the first–born of all creation,
for in him were created all things
in heaven and on earth:
and everything invisible,
thrones, ruling forces,
all things were created through him
and for him.
He exists before all things
and in him all things hold together,
(8) Colossians 1: 18-20
and he is the Head of the Body,
that is, the Church.
He is the Beginning,
the first–born from the dead,
so that he should be supreme in every way;
because God wanted all fullness
to be found in him
and through him
to reconcile all things to him,
everything in heaven
and everything on earth,
by making peace through his death
on the cross.
(9) From Tell My People
Jesus: "This is the day celebrating My Resurrection (Easter). The day of newness of life. I am Lord and Master. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Tell My people to come to Me if they wish to experience life in abundance. I want to give all an ever greater share in the life of My Resurrection. Without Me you cannot be happy, nor have peace, nor have real joy. Tell My people to surrender to Me more and more. The more they do so, the more they will experience My love, wisdom, power, peace, joy, happiness, mercy, and goodness. Within My Heart My people will find these riches. I am Lord and Master! Please listen to My words."
Reflection: Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has come to give us life, and to give us this life in abundance.
When we were baptized, we were incorporated into Christ and His Church. When we were baptized, we received the life of sanctifying grace. This life is a created sharing in the life of the Trinity. Truly, we are called to live a God-like existence according to the teaching and example of Jesus! It is our duty and our privilege to develop our life of grace—our Christ-life—through our participation in the Mass, through the reception of the sacraments, through prayer, and through all other good works. Indeed, we are called to love God and neighbor more and more.
What a glorious life has been given to us! In a spirit of thanksgiving, and together with Mary our Mother, let us always strive to know Christ more intimately, to love Him more ardently, and to follow Him more closely, so that He will always bring us to a closer union with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
(10) From Tell My People
Jesus: "My beloved friend, tell My people to pray daily to the Holy Spirit. They are to pray for an increase in His gifts. My people must realize that the Holy Spirit comes to transform them. The Spirit desires to transform you more and more according to My image. Those who are docile to His touch become increasingly shaped in My likeness. He performs this marvel within Mary's Immaculate Heart. The more one dwells in My Mother's Heart, the more active are the workings of the Spirit. The Spirit leads Mary to place you within My own Heart. In both Our Hearts, then, your transformation continues. The more you are formed after My own Heart, the more I lead you to the bosom of My Father. Tell My people all this. Tell them to pray daily for a greater appreciation of these wondrous gifts. I am Lord and Master. All who come to My Heart will be on fire to receive the gifts of the Spirit in ever greater measure! I love and bless My people!"
(1) Sing: Holy is His Name
(2) The Holy Spirit is operating —
Mary comes to call on her cousin Elizabeth —
The Holy Spirit acts in her
(3) The Holy Spirit acts in Elizabeth —
God is operating here
These women are selfless —
Sensitive to God's will —
Putty in the hands of God —
Not like Eve who disobeyed
God and wanted to shape
her own destiny and
did her own will out
Eve listened to satan —
Mary and Elizabeth —
A sign to us of 2 women listening
to God, being operated
on by God, used by God
to build His Kingdom —
filled with the Holy Spirit —
(4) Eve was filled with the temptation
of satan — she gave into him —
It says in the scriptures with
regarding Cain —
the devil is lurking at your
you can be master over him —
It says of Judas —
the devil entered him —
(5) God gives us grace if we pray
and others pray — if we
cooperate with the grace
we can resist temptation —
but we have a free will —
God can knock at our door
and we can continue in
our vices and resist
His grace —
We have a free will —
A wild card to choose
life or death —
(6) The Pharaoh did not listen to
Moses — Plague after plague
he ignored —
finally he and his charioteers
were wiped out in the
Red Sea —
It says in the scriptures
the Pharaoh was made
When we do good it is because
of God's grace
When God leaves us to our
own power after
choosing our will and not
His we can fall fast —
(7) We are blind, God, we do not
Help us to learn from Mary and
Elizabeth — to surrender
to God the Holy Spirit —
to surrender to God's will —
to quit thinking we do not need
conversion and trying to force
others into putting up with our
distorted reality — by our
manipulation and need to control
Let us seek to see all things
through the eyes of God —
True Reality is in God —
(8) John the Baptist — lost his head —
Christ is the head of the Church —
John said: "He must increase
I must decrease"
Let us follow Jesus —
Let us listen to Jesus —
Let us live by the scripture and
not try to just talk
about it —
Live the Word of God —
Love others as ourselves —
(9) Luke 2: 14
Glory to God in the highest heaven
and on earth peace for those he favours.
(10)The infant in Elizabeth's
womb leapt for joy —
Elizabeth was considered barren —
And yet in her old age she
For nothing is impossible
with God —
The Birth of Jesus
(1) Luke 2: 15-20
Now it happened that when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.
Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed
to receive power, riches, wisdom,
strength, honour, glory and blessing.
Revelation 1: 6
…and made us a Kingdom of Priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
(3) Psalm 23
Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
In grassy meadows he lets me lie.
By tranquil streams he leads me
to restore my spirit.
He guides me in paths of saving justice
as befits his name.
Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death
I should fear no danger, for you are at my side.
Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me.
You prepare a table for me
under the eyes of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup brims over.
Kindness and faithful love pursue me
every day of my life.
I make my home in the house of Yahweh
for all time to come.
(4) The Sheep were scattered.
Christ came, our Savior
(5) Song: A Song from Jesus
(6) John 10: 11-15
I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd lays down his life
for his sheep.
The hired man,
since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and runs away,
and then the wolf attacks
and scatters the sheep;
he runs away
because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
(7) Luke 2: 7
and she gave birth to a son, her first–born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living–space.
(8) Let us pray for peace on
Holy Spirit fill us with love —
(9) Jesus is the Light of the
Let our hearts be open —
Let us see through the eyes
of the Father —
Surrender to God —
Not try to force our distorted
reality — our distorted
vision on others because
we don't want to change and
think we are without sin and
Jesus came to this earth for we
We need Jesus — He is our
To think we don't need Jesus
to go it alone and dictate
"our way" as "the way"
is wrong —
We need to obey the commandments —
live according to God's will —
God's plan —
seek to see through His eyes —
Be molded more and more in the
image of God
(10) Jesus is our Savior.
Song: A Song from Jesus
R. Jesus is the King of Glory —
Jesus is the King of heaven and earth —
Put God on your throne —
God rules —
We are learners
Learners in living according
to God's Word —
His life, death, and resurrection
Living in unity — in
harmony with all men —
1 John 1: 8-10
First condition: to break with sin
If we say, ‘We have no sin,’
we are deceiving ourselves,
and truth has no place in us;
if we acknowledge our sins,
he is trustworthy and upright,
so that he will forgive our sins
and will cleanse us from all evil.
If we say, ‘We have never sinned,’
we make him a liar,
and his word has no place in us.
The Presentation in the Temple
(1) 1 Timothy 3: 4-7
a man who manages his own household well and brings his children up to obey him and be well-behaved: how can any man who does not understand how to manage his own household take care of the Church of God? He should not be a new convert, in case pride should turn his head and he incur the same condemnation as the devil. It is also necessary that he be held in good repute by outsiders, so that he never falls into disrepute and into the devil's trap.
(2) Isaiah 9: 6
to extend his dominion
in boundless peace,
over the throne of David
and over his kingdom
to make it secure and sustain it
in fair judgment and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of Yahweh Sabaoth
will do this.
(3) Sing all the ends of the earth
Reference: Isaiah 52: 7-10
(4) God has done wondrous things —
God has spoken to us through
(5) Hebrews 1: 1-6
At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages. He is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
To which of the angels, then, has God ever said:
You are my Son, today I have fathered you,
I shall be a father to him and he a son to me?
Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says:
Let all the angels of God pay him homage.
(6) Let us live by the Word of God
Colossians 3: 12-17
As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.
(7) God is our source of Light in
every age —
Ephesians 1: 3-6, 15-18
Blessed be God
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us
with all the spiritual blessings of heaven
Thus he chose us in Christ
before the world was made
to be holy and faultless
before him in love,
marking us out for himself beforehand,
to be adopted sons,
through Jesus Christ.
Such was his purpose and good pleasure,
to the praise of the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
That is why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all God’s holy people, have never failed to thank God for you and to remember you in my prayers. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people,
(8) Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one
in whom my soul delights.
I have sent my spirit upon him,
he will bring fair judgement to the nations.
He does not cry out or raise his voice,
his voice is not heard in the street;
he does not break the crushed reed
or snuff the faltering wick.
Faithfully he presents fair judgement;
he will not grow faint,
he will not be crushed
until he has established
fair judgement on earth,
and the coasts and islands
are waiting for his instruction.
I, Yahweh, have called you
in saving justice,
I have grasped you by the hand
and shaped you;
I have made you a covenant of the people
and light to the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness
from the dungeon.
(9) 40 days before the Presentation
is Christmas —
Jesus was presented in the
temple fulfilling the
law of Moses
Led by the Spirit Simeon
and Anna came to the
They recognized Christ and
proclaimed Him with Joy
We recognize Jesus in the
Eucharist - today —
Christ is the Light of the World —
(10) Malachi 3: 1-4
'Look, I shall send my messenger to clear a way before me. And suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his Temple; yes, the angel of the covenant, for whom you long, is on his way, says Yahweh Sabaoth. Who will be able to resist the day of his coming? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like fullers' alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they can make the offering to Yahweh with uprightness. The offering of Judah and Jerusalem will then be acceptable to Yahweh as in former days, as in the years of old.
Finding in the Temple
(1) Hebrews 2: 14-18
Since all the children share the same human nature, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could set aside him who held the power of death, namely the devil, and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself the line of Abraham. It was essential that he should in this way be made completely like his brothers so that he could become a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship to God, able to expiate the sins of the people. For the suffering he himself passed through while being put to the test enables him to help others when they are being put to the test.
(2) Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book II by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. - Scriptural Reflection - pp. 102-103
God wants the best for us. His love is eager-eager to draw us ever closer to Himself. His love for us is a transforming love. As we surrender to it more and more, this love accomplishes our ongoing conversion. It thrusts us forward to become more deeply Christian. God's love for us contains the absolute capacity to make us happy, to make us fulfilled persons, to make us what in the depths of our beings we really know we should be and want to be.
We can put obstacles in the way of God's transforming designs. We can say no to this love. We can refuse to be open to God's tender, loving touch. We can engage in a process of self-enclosedness. We can determine to map out our own path to happiness, forgetting that plans for happiness which exclude God are ultimately plans for experiencing frustration and emptiness.
At other times it is not so much selfishness which leads us to say no to God, it is rather fear. We hear God's voice calling us higher. We hear His voice asking something which seems very difficult. We hear His voice asking something we had not at all expected. Yes, we hear all this-and we draw back. We draw back because we are afraid. We refuse God because our fear focuses our attention on what we are rather than on what God is. We look too much at our own weakness, rather than at God's power which can transform our inadequacy into a mighty strength.
In all this Mary offers an example. Selfishness was totally foreign to her. She did not belong to herself. She belonged to God. She was not closed in upon herself. She was completely open to God. When God spoke, she listened. When God pointed the way, she followed. She realized that life is not a process a person masters by carefully mapping out one's own self-conceived plans of conquest, but a mystery to be gradually experienced by being open to God's personal and loving guidance.
Selfishness, then, did not close Mary off from God's call. Neither did fear. God asked her to assume a tremendous responsibility. He asked her to be the Mother of Jesus. Mary did not engage in a process of false humility and say that such a great role was above her. She did not say that she did not have the proper qualifications for this awesome mission. Briefly, she did not waste time looking at herself, making pleas that she was not worthy, telling the angel he had better go look for someone else. No, Mary did not look at herself. Her gaze was absorbed in God. She fully realized that whatever God asked of her, His grace would accomplish. She fully realized that although she herself had to cooperate, this work was much more God's than hers.
Mary's words, then, truly sum up what is the authentic Christian response at any point of life, in any kind of situation: "I am the handmaid of the Lord," said Mary, "let what you have said be done to me".
(3) Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book II by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. - Scriptural Reflection continued - pp. 103-104
People are Looking at Us. "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of men, so that, seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven" (Mt 5:14-16).
Jesus taught by word and action. He talked to huge crowds, to small groups, to various individuals. He talked about love and friendship, about joy and suffering, about life and death. He had a message to spread, His Father's message, and He did not miss His opportunities. It was not enough for Him merely to talk about His Father's message. He was also constantly teaching by the total event of His life, death and resurrection. Not only His words, but also His actions spoke out loud and clear. He not only talked about the love we should have for one another. He incarnated this teaching in the laying down of His own life for the salvation of all. His words spoke eloquently of brotherly love. So also did His bloody and bruised body nailed to a cross. His words sounded so convincing. The way He went about living could also pierce the hardest heart.
Jesus invites us to assist Him in the continuation of His teaching mission. The method of procedure remains the same; we, too, like Jesus before us, are to teach by both word and action. The opportunities for teaching by word are more numerous than we might expect. For it is not only bishops and priests and teachers of religious studies who teach by word. Parents, as they rear their children, have numerous opportunities to teach Jesus' message. Friends talk about all sorts of things. If one is sincerely Christian, his or her friend will eventually know.
The opportunities to teach about Jesus by the way we act are even more numerous than are the occasions for variously speaking about the message of Jesus. People are looking at us. We cannot long hide the life-vision which thrusts us forward, which motivates so much of what we do. If we live according to the pleasure principle, this becomes evident. If we live according to the money principle, this also becomes manifest. If we are close followers and friends of Jesus, this too becomes clear to people. They will know by the way we work and play, by our attitude towards life and death, by our refusing to become bitter despite even great suffering, by the way we treat others, especially those who are poor, or ridiculed, or discriminated against, or passed over as unimportant and of little worth. If we are deeply Christian, Christ's way of thinking and doing will necessarily affect our own way of thinking and doing. We are called to project Jesus and His message through our own humanities. Either we do, or we don't. Either we seize the numerous and daily opportunities for helping to preach Jesus by the way we live, or we do not. Either we respond to Jesus' invitation to be a light for the world, or we do not. This invitation goes out to all, but to priests in a special way. Jesus, through Holy Orders, has given Himself to the priest in a most special way. If the priest, realizing Jesus' precious love for him as this unique priest-companion, surrenders to Christ, this gives Him special joy. For the priest, because of his special union with Jesus, can be a light to the world in a most extraordinary way.
(4) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side, by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
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.
(5) Excerpt from Mother at Our Side, by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. - Chapter 4 continues
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.
(6) Excerpt from Red Rosary Book - The Seven Sorrows
The Third Sorrow — Jesus Is Lost, In the Temple
Imagine the sufferings in Mary's heart when she realized the child Jesus was not with them. Think of how it would be to lose your child and not know where he was or if anything happened to him. With sorrow in their hearts, Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem to look for the child Jesus. And a sword, too, shall pierce your heart, 0 Mary!
(7) Excerpt from Red Rosary Book - March 30, 1995 - pp. 105-106
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
1. Mary: I would like my Son Jesus present in the tabernacle when you pray this rosary!
2. Mary: My Son was taken to the Temple for the feast of the Passover. We lost my Son in the Temple. So many souls this day are in deep darkness and have lost their way. They are dead in their hearts! I pray to you to go out to this world and spread the good news! You are so favored by God that you are given such great gifts! To hold them to yourself is not to His liking! I beg you to spread this news, to pray for courage, to do what He is asking you to do!
(8) Excerpt from Red Rosary Book - March 30, 1995 - The Finding of Jesus in the Temple continues - pp. 105-106
3. Mary: He has chosen this Center to be apostles to go out into the world and to spread the love of His Most Sacred Heart through my Most Immaculate Heart. Can you not answer the call that I give to you this day? You are so favored, so chosen, so gifted by God Himself and you bicker and you fight and you complain! You, my chosen ones, the chosen race, look at you!
4. Mary: You look at each other with eyes of envy when God is speaking here! Each person that receives this message is receiving a grace, a gift from God Himself! You do not even see! You are so blind!
(9) Excerpt from Red Rosary Book - March 30, 1995 - The Finding of Jesus in the Temple continues - pp. 105-106
5. Mary: Pride is an evil that ruins men's hearts. Speak to all men of pride. It is only a loving heart that will unite with the Heart of my Son. A heart of love will light up this darkened world. I send you as soldiers into a world that is godless! You are fighting a battle with this world, with hearts full of the love of my Son. Look at all the souls that are lost! Look at the children of these parents who have gone astray! Little children! Look at their lives! I am so sad for the lives of my children. I call to you this day. Look at your world, America! You are so blind! You do not see! You have turned deaf and you have closed your eyes! I come and I appear! My Son talks and so many do not pay Him heed! I beg you! I beg you to heed my words for I truly am Mary, and I am speaking to you!
6. Mary: Hearts that are hard, hearts that are godless, hearts that are lifeless, hearts that are dead in sin! Look at your world, America! Can you turn your head and look the other way? I come and I plead with you to turn your hearts back to the love of my Son, and who listens? Three come to pray my rosary with me! How do I shake those into listening to me here for I am truly speaking in this rosary to my beloved children? Listen to me! All those who come to this rosary will receive abundant graces from me and my Son!
(10) Excerpt from Red Rosary Book - March 30, 1995 - The Finding of Jesus in the Temple continues - pp. 105-106
7. Mary: My lost children, how the fires in hell burn, burn so brightly for the souls that were willful and had their own way. You do not see! You do not comprehend! You focus on little details here in your lives! Focus on the fires of hell, my dear, sweet children. Souls are burning in the fires of hell for their own willfulness and sin, and many more will be lost despite the sufferings of my Son. Many souls will be lost. I call you to unite with the Heart of my Son, to go into this world and preach the Gospel at every highway and byway, to spread the love of my Son, Jesus.
8. Mary: My little, lost children, I am your Mother, and I lead you on your way, closer and closer to Heaven!
9. Song: O holy dwelling place of God. O holy temple of the Word. O holy Mary, holy Mother of God!
10. Mary: Tomorrow is the 31st of March and I tell you to come to this chapel and pray the rosary in this chapel at 6:20 p.m.
end of rosary
R. Purpose of the Movement
(1) Priestly Writing
(2) Begin Prayer Chapters
The Good Shepherd gave His life
so that we may have life and have
it in abundance.
We are always in the state of
The incarnation goes on in
We must center our life in
The Father has spoken to us in
the life, death, resurrection and
ascension of Jesus.
Romans 1: 22-32
While they claimed to be wise, in fact they were growing so stupid that they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation, for the image of a mortal human being, or of birds, or animals, or crawling things.
That is why God abandoned them in their inmost cravings to filthy practices of dishonouring their own bodies— because they exchanged God’s truth for a lie and have worshipped and served the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices; and the men, in a similar fashion, too, giving up normal relations with women, are consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameful things with men and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion.
In other words, since they would not consent to acknowledge God, God abandoned them to their unacceptable thoughts and indecent behaviour. And so now they are steeped in all sorts of injustice, rottenness, greed and malice; full of envy, murder, wrangling, treachery and spite, libellers, slanderers, enemies of God, rude, arrogant and boastful, enterprising in evil, rebellious to parents, without brains, honour, love or pity.They are well aware of God’s ordinance: that those who behave like this deserve to die—yet they not only do it, but even applaud others who do the same.
R. The spiritual life centers in Christ —
Excerpt from Response to God's Love by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.
... In reference to Christianity, God himself is the ultimate mystery. Radically, God is completely other and transcendent, hidden from man in his inner life, unless he chooses to reveal himself. Let us briefly look at this inner life of God.
The Father, in a perfect act of self-expression, in a perfect act of knowing, generates his son. The Son, the Word, is, then, the immanent expression of God's fullness, the reflection of the Father. Likewise, from all eternity, the Father and the Son bring forth the Holy Spirit in a perfect act of loving.
At the destined moment in human history, God's self-expression, the Word, immersed himself into man's world. God's inner self-expression now had also become God's outer self-expression. Consequently, the mystery of God becomes the mystery of Christ. In Christ, God tells us about himself, about his inner life, about his plan of creation and redemption. He tells us how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit desire to dwell within us in the most intimate fashion, how they wish to share with us their own life through grace. All this he has accomplished and does accomplish through Christ.
end of excerpt
Romans 6: 3-4You cannot have forgotten that all of us, when we were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into his death. So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glorious power, we too should begin living a new life.
From Fr. Carter's Priestly Newsletter - Issue 3 - 2000
8 . . .
Christ has structured the Christian life by the way He lived, died, and rose from the dead. It is obvious, then, as Paul tells us above, that the pattern of death-resurrection must be at the heart of the Church’s life. Individually and collectively, we continually die with Christ so that we may continually rise with Him. Thus we pass over in a process of ongoing religious transition to a greater participation in Christ’s resurrection. It is true that our participation in Christ’s resurrection will reach its completion only in eternity. Nevertheless, we begin the life of resurrection here upon the earth, in the here and now of human life, in the midst of joy and pain; in the experience of success and failure, in the sweat of our brow, in the enjoyment of God’s gifts. As Christians, we should have a sense of dynamic growth concerning our here and now life of resurrection.
We cannot maintain the life of resurrection or grow in it without a willingness to suffer. This does not mean that we need to feel overwhelmed and heavily burdened in our lives. The greater portion of suffering for most Christians seems to be an accumulation of ordinary hardships, difficulties, and pains. At times, however, deep suffering, even suffering of agonizing proportions, can enter into one’s life. Whether the sufferings one encounters are of either the more ordinary variety or the more rare and extreme type, Christians must convince themselves that to relate properly to the cross is to grow in resurrection, and growth in resurrection means we will also have an increased capacity to help give resurrection to others.
The Church invites us to share deeply in the passion of Christ, in the cross of Christ. She does so that we might share deeply in His life of resurrection—here and hereafter. The more we die with Christ, the more we share in His life of resurrection—here and hereafter. Our ultimate goal here below is not the cross, but resurrection—the newness of life the cross leads to - here below as well as in eternity.
We are meant to share in all of the mysteries of Christ here below—we are meant to relive them in our own lives. And all of these mysteries are directed to the crowning mystery of Jesus, His resurrection: "As the Church is ever re-enacting, during all the ages, the life story of her Divine Spouse—undergoing in the Mystical Body what He suffered in His Natural Body, so it must be too, in some measure, for every individual Christian that lives in real unity with Christ. It was thus that the saints understood the life of the Divine Master. They not merely contemplated it, they lived it. This was the source of the immense sympathy they were capable of experiencing for Him in His different states. They felt in a certain measure what He felt, and what is true of Our Lord’s life considered as a whole must be true in no imperfect or limited manner of that which was the supreme and crowning mystery in that life—namely, the Resurrection. This must be, not merely a fact in Christian history, but a phase of Christian experience …We do not readily perceive that, in God’s plan, not only the Cross, but the Risen Life that followed it, is meant to be part of our terrestrial existence. Christ did not pass from the Cross straight to heaven. The Christian is not meant to do so either. In the case of Jesus the Cross preceded, prepared and prefaced a risen life on earth. In the case of the Christian the Cross is meant to play a somewhat similar role—that is, to be the prelude to a risen life, even here below.
The following words of St. John Eudes remind us of the glorious goal the Christian is called to: the most intimate union with Jesus.
"I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head and that you are a member of his body. He belongs to you as the head belongs to the body. All that is his is yours: breath, heart, body, soul and all his faculties. All of these you must use as if they belonged to you, so that in serving him you may give him praise, love and glory. You belong to him as a member belongs to the head. This is why he earnestly desires you to serve and glorify the Father by using all your faculties as if they were his.
"He belongs to you, but more than that, he longs to be in you, living and ruling in you, as the head lives and rules in the body. He desires that whatever is in him may live and rule in you: his breath in your breath, his heart in your heart, all the faculties of his soul in the faculties of your soul...
"You belong to the Son of God, but more than that, you ought to be in him as the members are in the head. All that is in you must be incorporated into him. You must receive life from him and be ruled by him. There will be no true life for you except in him, for he is the one source of true life. Apart from him you will find only death and destruction. Let him be the only source of your movements, of the actions and the strength of your life.
"Finally, you are one with Jesus as the body is one with the head. You must, then, have one breath with him, one soul, one life, one will, one mind, one heart. And he must be your breath, heart, love, life, your all. These great gifts in the follower of Christ originate from baptism. They are increased and strengthened through confirmation and by making good use of other graces that are given by God. Through the holy eucharist they are brought to perfection."
Cardinal Newman tells us: "Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not born at random... God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, He lodges it in a body, one by one, for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us."
Because of the uniqueness of each Christian's existence, he or she presents Christ with a unique opportunity. Each Christian has the vocation to offer Christ his or her humanity so that Jesus can live in that individual in a special way. This Jesus is Priest, Prophet and King. To the extent that an individual Christian offers his or her humanity to Jesus, that person has an unique opportunity to help to continue the work of the redemption--an opportunity that no one else can fulfill. Likewise, to the extent that an individual fails to offer his or her humanity to Christ, Jesus loses the opportunity to continue His redemptive work according to that person's uniqueness.
Concerning the prophetic or teaching office of Christ, each of us has the ever-present opportunity of witnessing to the truth of Christ by the way we live. Mother Teresa gives a striking example of this. She says: "I received a letter from a wealthy Brazilian man. He assured me that he had lost his faith -- not just his faith in God but his faith in humanity as well. He was fed up with his situation and everything around him. He only thought about suicide.
"One day, walking on a busy street downtown, he saw a television set in a store window. The program was about our Home for the Dying in Calcutta, and it showed our Sisters taking care of the sick and the dying.
"The man confessed that when he saw that, he felt the urge to kneel and pray, after many years of not ever kneeling or praying.
"From that day on, he recovered his faith in God and in humanity, and he was convinced that God still loves him."
St. Paul, one who loved Jesus so deeply, has left us these words: "But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God’s and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor 4:7-11).
Here are words from St. Claude La Columbière, one of the great apostles of devotion to the Heart of Christ. Speaking to Jesus, Claude says:
You share my burdens,
You take them upon yourself.
You listen to me fondly when I tell you my troubles.
You never fail to lighten them.
I find You at all times and in all places.
You never leave me.
I will always find You wherever I go.
Old age or misfortune will not cause You to abandon me.
You will never be closer to me than
When all seems to go against me.
No matter how miserable I may be,
You will never cease to be my friend.
You tolerate my faults with admirable patience.
You are always ready to come to me, if I so desire it.
Jesus, may I die praising you!
May I die loving you!
May I die for the love of you.
R. The spiritual life centers in Christ —
We must strive to do the Father's
will in love
Pope John Paul II instructs us: "The Church, as a reconciled and reconciling community, cannot forget that at the source of her gift and mission of reconciliation is the initiative, full of compassionate love and mercy, of that God who is love (see 1 John 4:8) and who out of love created human beings (see Wisdom 11:23-26; Genesis 1:27: Psalms 8:4-8)…He created them so that they might live in friendship with Him and in communion with one another.
"God is faithful to His eternal plan even when man, under the impulse of the evil one (see Wisdom 2:24) and carried away by his own pride, abuses the freedom given to him in order to love and generously seek what is good, and (instead) refuses to obey his Lord and Father. God is faithful even when man, instead of responding with love to God’s love, opposes Him and treats Him like a rival, deluding himself and relying on his own power, with the resulting break of relationship with the One who created him. In spite of this transgression on man’s part, God remains faithful in love.
"It is certainly true that the story of the Garden of Eden makes us think about the tragic consequences of rejecting the Father, which becomes evident in man’s inner disorder and in the breakdown of harmony between man and woman, brother and brother (see Genesis 3:12 ff; 4:1-16). Also significant is the Gospel parable of the two brothers (the parable of the ‘prodigal son’; see Luke 15:11-32) who, in different ways, distance themselves from their father and cause a rift between them. Refusal of God’s fatherly love and of His loving gifts is always at the root of humanity’s divisions.
"But we know that God…like the father in the parable (of the prodigal son), does not close His heart to any of His children. He waits for them, looks for them, goes to meet them at the place where the refusal of communion imprisons them in isolation and division. He calls them to gather about His table in the joy of the feast of forgiveness and reconciliation.
"This initiative on God’s part is made concrete and manifest in the redemptive act of Christ, which radiates through the world by means of the ministry of the Church."
Shortly before he was to die from cancer, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin left us these inspiring words about peace: "It is the first day of November, and fall is giving way to winter. Soon the trees will lose the vibrant colors of their leaves and snow will cover the ground. The earth will shut down, and people will race to and from their destinations bundled up for warmth. Chicago winters are harsh. It is a time of dying.
"But we know that spring will soon come with all its new life and wonder.
"It is quite clear that I will not be alive in the spring. But I will soon experience new life in a different way...
"What I would like to leave behind is a simple prayer that each of you may find what I have found—God's special gift to us all: the gift of peace. When we are at peace, we find the freedom to be most fully who we are, even in the worst of times. We let go of what is non-essential and embrace what is essential. We empty ourselves so that God may more fully work within us. And we become instruments in the hands of the Lord."
The late Archbishop Luis M. Martinez of Mexico strikingly speaks of the ongoing cooperation of Mary with the Holy Spirit regarding the reproduction of Jesus within us: "Christian life is the reproduction of Jesus in souls…
"Now, how will this mystical reproduction be brought about in souls? In the same way in which Jesus was brought into the world, for God gives a wonderful mark of unity to all His works. Divine acts have a wealth of variety because they are the work of omnipotence; nevertheless, a most perfect unity always shines forth from them because they are the fruit of wisdom; and this divine contrast of unity and variety stamps the works of God with sublime and unutterable beauty.
"In His miraculous birth, Jesus was the fruit of heaven and earth…The Holy Spirit conveyed the divine fruitfulness of the Father to Mary, and the virginal soil brought forth in an ineffable manner our most loving Savior, the divine Seed, as the prophets called Him…
"That is the way He is reproduced in souls. He is always the fruit of heaven and earth.
"Two artisans must concur in the work that is at once God’s masterpiece and humanity’s supreme product: the Holy Spirit and the most holy Virgin Mary. Two sanctifiers are necessary to souls, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, for they are the only ones who can reproduce Christ.
"Undoubtedly, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary sanctify us in different ways. The first is the Sanctifier by essence; because He is God, who is infinite sanctity; because He is the personal Love that completes, so to speak, the sanctity of God, consummating His life and His unity, and it belongs to Him to communicate to souls the mystery of that sanctity. The Virgin Mary, for her part, is the co-operator, the indispensable instrument in and by God’s design. From Mary’s maternal relation to the human body of Christ is derived her relation to His Mystical Body which is being formed through all the centuries until the end of time, when it will be lifted up to the heavens, beautiful, splendid, complete, and glorious.
"These two, then, the Holy Spirit and Mary, are the indispensable artificers of Jesus, the indispensable sanctifiers of souls. Any saint in heaven can co-operate in the sanctification of a soul, but his co-operation is not necessary, not profound, not constant: while the co-operation of these two artisans of Jesus of whom we have just been speaking is so necessary that without it souls are not sanctified (and this by the actual design of Providence), and so intimate that it reaches to the very depths of our soul. For the Holy Spirit pours charity into our heart, makes a habitation of our soul, and directs our spiritual life by means of His gifts. The Virgin Mary has the efficacious influence of Mediatrix in the most profound and delicate operations of grace in our souls. And, finally, the action of the Holy Spirit and the co-operation of the most holy Virgin Mary are constant; without them, not one single character of Jesus would be traced on our souls, no virtue grow, no gift be developed, no grace increased, no bond of union with God be strengthened in the rich flowering of the spiritual life.
"Such is the place that the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary have in the order of sanctification. Therefore, Christian piety should put these two artisans of Christ in their true place, making devotion to them something necessary, profound, and constant."
We live out our spiritual lives within the Church. The Church is a multi-splendored reality. Let us reflect upon some of the key ideas connected with the Church.
Henri de Lubac states: "The Church is a mysterious extension in time of the Trinity, not only preparing us for the life of unity but bringing about even now our participation in it. She comes from and is full of the Trinity. She is for us -- in a favourite phrase of Bossuet -- ‘Jesus Christ … communicated’. She is ‘the Incarnation continued.’ She is, as Dietrick Bonhoeffer used to say, ‘the presence of Christ on earth’ --- she speaks with ‘the authority of Christ living and present in her.’… St. Paul applies to her this same word ‘mystery’ which he had first used of Christ. She is after all, the spouse of Christ and his body."
Fr. Bruno Forte tells us: "The Church comes from the Trinity, reflects in itself the Trinitarian communion—oneness in diversity—and journeys toward the Trinity, to the final handing over of all things to Christ, so that he might hand them over to the Father and God might be all in all. As ‘a people gathered in the unity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ the Church is the Church of the Father. In his universal salvific plan, God has willed it to be a sign and instrument of the unity of people among themselves and with him. It is the Church of the Son, who through his incarnation and the paschal mystery has placed it in history as His Body. It is the Church of the Spirit, who makes the Risen Christ present in human history and enriching the people of God with charisms and ministries, leads it toward the promised future goal."
The fact that the Church is here on earth a reflection of the Trinitarian Community easily leads us to reflect upon the Church as the Body of Christ, since this name given to the Church also emphasizes the communal aspect of the Church. St. Paul tells us: For as with the human body which is a unity although it has many parts -- all the parts of the body, though many, still making up one single body -- so it is with Christ. We were baptised into one body in a single Spirit, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as free men, and we were all given the same Spirit to drink. And indeed the body consists not of one member but of many. If the foot were to say, ‘I am not a hand and so I do not belong to the body’, it does not belong to the body any the less for that. Or if the ear were to say, ‘I am not an eye, and so I do not belong to the body’, that would not stop its belonging to the body. If the whole body were just an eye, how would there be any hearing? If the whole body were hearing, how would there be any smelling?
Now Christ’s body is yourselves, each of you with a part to play in the whole. And those whom God has appointed in the Church are, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after them, miraculous powers, then gifts of healing, helpful acts, guidance, various kinds of tongues. Are all of them apostles? Or all prophets? Or all teachers? Or all miracle-workers? Do all have the gifts of healing? Do all of them speak in tongues and all interpret them? (1 Cor 12:12-17; 27-30)
Some two thousand years ago Christ walked the earth teaching, healing the sick, forgiving sins, extending His mercy and kindness. By such a life which culminated in death and resurrection, Christ redeemed the world. This objective redemption was accomplished by Christ alone. Through it, He won for people of all time the necessary graces for their salvation and sanctification.
However, it is necessary that such graces be distributed to each individual as one plays out his or her part in the drama of human existence. Such a distribution of grace is the work of subjective redemption.
Jesus still walks the earth as the work of redemption continues. However, He now walks the earth according to a different type of existence. He does not walk the earth in His physical body, but rather in His Mystical Body, the Church, the People of God. Through the members of His Church, Christ continues to be present as He teaches, administers the sacraments, extends His mercy -- all done through the members of His Body, the Church. This mystical Christ, in turn, derives all supernatural power from Christ, the Head, who reigns gloriously with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The Church, therefore, is the earthly continuation of Christ’s redemptive Incarnation. This mission which the Church has, although a great responsibility, is also a great privilege. In proportion as each Christian offers and commits himself or herself to Christ, the Church in her entirety more and more mirrors forth Christ to the world. This Christ, whom the Church portrays to the world, is the Christ who is Prophet, King and Priest.
We now reflect upon the Church as Spouse of Christ. Fr. Joseph Murphy, S.J., tells us: "John Paul II always quotes the rich doctrinal and patristic traditions of the Church which refer to Christ as the Spouse of the Church and the Spouse of souls, given to both in the Eucharistic mystery. For him the key to understanding the sacramentality of marriage, not to mention the nature of humanity, is the spousal love of Christ for the Church demonstrated in Ephesians 5. Christ is the Head of the Church as Savior of His Body. The Church is exactly that Body which receives from Him all that through which it becomes and is His Body. As Head and Savior of the Church He is also Bridegroom of His Bride…"
The Church is a mother to us. Henri de Lubac speaks concerning this beautiful truth:
"The Church is my mother because she brought me forth to a new life. She is my mother because her concern for me never slackens, any more than do her efforts to deepen that life in me, however unenthusiastic my cooperation. And though in me this life may be a fragile and timid growth, I have seen its full flowering in others...
"Happy those who from childhood have learnt to look on the Church as a mother! Happier still those whose experience, in whatever walk of life, has confirmed its truth! Happy those who one day were gripped by (and whose appreciation of it ever grew) the astonishing newness, richness and depth of the life communicated to them by this mother!"
Avery Dulles, S.J., the well-known theologian who has written much about the Church, observes: "The Church, as I have already contended, is essentially a mystery of grace, a wonderful encounter between the divine and the human. Even in its visible structures, the Church is not a mere organization to be judged on grounds of efficiency, but a sacrament of God’s saving deed in Jesus Christ. From this it follows, in my judgment, that the Church’s forms of speech and life, and indeed its entire corporate existence, must be such as to mediate a vital communion with Christ the Lord. The Church must be a place of prayer and worship, praise and witness. Any institutional change in the Church must be carefully assessed for its effect on the spiritual life of the members. Does it intensify their faith, their hope, their charity? Does it help them to center their lives on Christ and to ground their existence in the God who raised him from the dead?"
Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., speaks movingly about our life in the Church:
"If you live in the Church and try to use the power of the Church to increase the life of the Church, then the power of the Church will make you yourself whole; and in your wholeness you will help to make your family and make your world. But you will be building for a more than earthly beatitude because you will be building the city which is eternal. Here you build in shadow, you build for a future which is invisible, and so you can only build in hope. And often your plans will be wrecked and your dreams come crashing about your ears, and you will need the strength of the Rock which is Christ to give you patience and fortitude...
"And when death has come to you...the Church will bless you for the life you have added to it, and there will be men to heed you better than they did when you were here...
"But you, for your part, will be no longer in the shadow but in the glory of the Light inaccessible; you will be in the City that is yours because you helped to build it; you will see Him at last as He is, and be wholly with Him; and you will have no more any mourning or weeping or any other sorrow, for all these former things will have been transmuted into happiness and peace, and you will walk with Him--together with all those you have helped to bring to Him, even until the end of the world--you will walk with Him in happiness for ever, in the cool of the eternal evening."
Sing: Church of God
25 The Church’s liturgical life is centered in the sacraments and, most especially, in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. We will briefly consider the sacraments in general, and then more extensively develop ideas about the Mass.
The Church’s existence centers in her liturgy. Vatican II says: "The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her power flows."
The sacraments are special encounters with Christ. Jesus unites Himself with the sacramental sign as He offers His grace to the recipient. In this sense, Christ and His sacraments become one; the sacrament and its minister are merely instruments that Christ employs to give Himself anew. The primary sacramental encounter is between Jesus and the recipient.
Christ offers Himself through the Church and her sacraments so that we might become ever more united to Him. This incorporation into Christ begins at baptism, through which the Christian becomes a member of both Christ and the Church. What is more, this incorporation into the life of Christ means being incorporated into his paschal mystery. Death-resurrection was the summary mystery of Christ’s redemptive existence. Death-resurrection was the central mystery whereby Christ gave us life, and it is the central mystery that the Christian must relive in Christ.
Each one of the sacraments deepens our incorporation into Jesus’ death-resurrection; each one achieves this in a somewhat different manner according to its primary purpose; finally, and very importantly, each of the sacraments deepens this incorporation within an ecclesial framework. The sacraments, because they are realities of both Christ and his Church, intensify the Christian’s relationship not only with Jesus, but also with the members of the Church and, ultimately, with all others.
The death-resurrection of Jesus, which is encountered in a special way through the sacraments, is most especially renewed in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Consequently, we can see the logical connection between the sacraments and the Mass. Indeed, all of the sacraments point to the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 17)
The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a proper appreciation of the rites and prayers they should participate knowingly, devoutly, and actively. They should be instructed by God’s word and be refreshed at the table of the Lord’s body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn to offer themselves too. Through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever closer union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 48)
Through the Eucharistic Sacrifice Christ the Lord desired to set before us in a very special way this remarkable union whereby we are united one with another and with our divine Head, a union that no word of praise can ever sufficiently express. For in this sacrifice the sacred ministers act not only as the representative of our Saviour, but as the representative of the whole Mystical Body and of each one of the faithful. Again, in this act of sacrifice, the faithful of Christ, united by the common bond of devotion and prayer, offer to the eternal Father through the hands of the priest, whose prayer alone has made it present on the altar, the Immaculate Lamb, the most acceptable victim of praise and propitiation for the Church’s universal need. Moreover, just as the divine Redeemer, while dying on the Cross, offered Himself to the eternal Father as Head of the whole human race, so now, ‘in this clean oblation’ He not only offers Himself as Head of the Church to His heavenly Father but in Himself His mystical members as well. He embraces them all, yes, even the weaker and more ailing members, with the deepest love of His Heart. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis AAS, XXXV, 232-233)
Pope John Paul II states: "This worship, given therefore to the Trinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, above all accompanies and permeates the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy. But it must fill our churches also outside the timetable of Masses. Indeed, since the Eucharistic Mystery was instituted out of love, and makes Christ sacramentally present, it is worthy of thanksgiving and worship. And this worship must be prominent in all our encounters with the Blessed Sacrament, both when we visit our churches and when the sacred species are taken to the sick and administered to them.
"Adoration of Christ in this sacrament of love must also find expression in various forms of Eucharistic devotion: personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, Hours of Adoration, periods of exposition—short, prolonged and annual (Forty Hours) - Eucharistic benediction, Eucharistic processions, Eucharistic congresses. A particular mention should be made at this point of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ as an act of public worship rendered to Christ present in the Eucharist, a feast instituted by my predecessor Urban IV in memory of the institution of this great Mystery.. . .
The Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present in the Mass. When we pray the Morning Offering Prayer, united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we act as intercessors, pleading to God that great graces be released all day through our prayerful actions as we act in love according to the Father’s will. Whether we are eating, taking care of a sick parent, enjoying time spent with a friend, working at our job, we can help bring down great graces for the world.
When we pray the Morning Offering Prayer we offer our lives to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, with the prayerful assistance of Mary, our Mother. Let us pray together united in our hearts in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There follows a Morning Offering Prayer.
"My dear Father, I offer You this day all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings in union with Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Holy Spirit.
"I unite with our Mother, Mary, all the angels and saints, and all the souls in purgatory to pray to the Father for myself, for each member of my family, for my friends, for all the people throughout the world, for all the souls in purgatory, and for all other intentions of the Sacred Heart.
"I love You, Jesus, and I give You my heart. I love you, Mary, and I give you my heart. Amen."
From a spiritual journal: "Go to the tabernacle. Jesus will give us our answers. He is waiting for us to come. We must come and sit in silence and let Him work in our hearts. We must not be filled with fear, we should be filled with hope and joy. We must pray to the Holy Spirit to give us His wisdom to know the will of the Father. Mary is our Mother. She will help us with all our trials and all of our struggles. We must discipline our thoughts and go to the Heart of Jesus. It is through the Eucharist that we will be strengthened for our trials.
"This is how I am with Jesus. I am empty. I want Him to make Himself known to me. I didn’t have much theological knowledge when I started sitting in front of the tabernacle. I was looking for love from Jesus. Nobody loved me the way my soul wanted to be loved. I craved to be with Jesus. I wanted my heart filled. I wanted the craving I felt inside satisfied. I thirsted for love. I sat with Him present in the tabernacle and He filled me. He revealed Himself to me. He was the Bridegroom of my soul and I His bride. As I became more intimately united to Him, sitting there in silence and going to Him, I cried. I was so filled with love. I found what I was looking for all my life. He wrote the knowledge of Himself on my soul. He wrote this knowledge in the intimate moments I spent with Him at Mass after Communion and before the tabernacle.
"I struggle intently to do His work, and I am weary from running the race. I am tired, I am truly human, but the unquenchable love I have for Him in my heart is at the core of my existence. It is in Him I exist and in Him I love. I love Him so intently and yet I am so unworthy of His gifts given to me. I long more for the desire to help souls, and His desires become mine through my deep union with Him especially after the reception of the Eucharist. On this day (Feast of the Assumption), I felt the unquenchable purity of the Heart of Mary and the joy of dwelling deeply in His Heart in her pure love. It was a special gift He gave to me, to be wrapped in Mary’s Heart despite my faults. He gave Himself so completely to me. I only long for this, knowing this presence.
Pope John Paul II builds upon the teaching of Vatican II: "There can be no doubt that the exercise of the priestly ministry, especially in the celebration of the sacraments, receives its saving effects from the action of Christ himself who becomes present in the sacraments. But so as to emphasize the gratuitous nature of salvation which makes a person both ‘saved’ and a ‘savior’ -- always and only in Christ -- God’s plan has ordained that the efficacy of the exercise of the ministry is also conditioned by a greater or lesser human receptivity and participation. In particular, the greater or lesser degree of the holiness of the minister has a real effect on the proclamation of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and the leadership of the community in charity."
Fr. Jean Galot, S.J. gives us these insightful words on the priesthood: "Christ requires of the Twelve a more complete consecration, more like his own. He calls upon them to forsake everything to follow him and thereby associates them more closely to his own Incarnation…
"Consecration, too, establishes a special bond between priests and the redeeming mystery of Christ. Because Jesus brings his own consecration to fruition through sacrifice, those on whom he bestows his pastoral power are called upon to realize in themselves the definition of the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. Priests cannot limit their sacrificial offering to the ritual performance of the Eucharist. They are called upon to commit themselves completely by making that total gift of their own selves which the Eucharist implies for their own personal lives. Their commitment to sacrifice is not just the one required of every Christian by virtue of the universal priesthood but the one demanded of them by a consecration that is specifically the priest’s own.
"As to the mission of the priest, it is entirely an expression of redemptive Incarnation in its pastoral aspect. The Incarnation is revealed in this mission because the powers bestowed on the priests to be exercised in the name of Christ are divine powers: the power to hand down revealed truth authoritatively, the power to offer… Christ’s own sacrifice in the Eucharist, the power to forgive sins and to mediate Christ’s holiness, the power to lead the community and to promote the development of a kingdom which is God’s own. Thus, the priest emerges as the man of God, the man in whom God acts with a special power.
"The priestly ministry brings redemption to fruition also because of the indissoluble bond which Christ establishes between service and sacrifice. The Son of Man has come to serve and to give his life as a ransom for mankind. Prolonging this service of the Son of Man and making it available to men in every age and place means prolonging at the same time the sacrifice that imparts freedom. All the aspects of the priestly ministry bear the distinctive mark of sacrifice. The priest cannot impart the truth and the life of Christ, nor live his pastoral love, without a profound commitment to the way of the cross."
And here are further words of Fr. Galot: "As a mediator, the priest is a shepherd in the name of God, or more precisely in the name of Christ, and through Christ, in the name of the Father. In the priest is realized the prophetic oracle of Ezechiel in which Yahweh promises to be the Shepherd of his people. (Ezek 34).
"Some implications of this principle must be underlined. The priest does not draw the inspiration for his pastoral zeal from his own feelings, from his own personal resolve to create a better world. He is shepherd on the strength of God’s pastoral intention and represents specifically Christ the shepherd. Consequently he is called upon to fulfill his pastoral mission not according to ideas of his own and his own personal ambitions, but in keeping with God’s own dispensation and the design of salvation devised by the Father and carried out by Christ. Like Jesus himself, the priest is at the service of the Father."41
Growth in the Christ-life gives us an increased awareness of our relationships with others. That is to say, the true Christian is keenly aware that, to a great degree, God intends each of us to press on toward maturity in the spiritual life through proper relationships with our fellow human beings. Indeed, the Christian imperative reminds us that we are to walk life’s path, not in isolation, but hand in hand with our brothers and sisters of the human family.
To authentically relate to others, we must be aware of who they really are. We must be able to penetrate beyond surface appearances, which may or may not be appealing to us, and contact others in their core existence. When we are truly in touch with others at the core of their beings, we are aware of their awesome dignity. We are conscious that these persons are created and redeemed by God in His overwhelming love for them. Fortified with this proper awareness, we are then in a position to relate to others as we should.
In order to be in touch with the inner self of others, we must be aware of or in touch with our own inner or true self. This awareness, in turn, is also an awareness that our self is in the image of God, that we have been divinized in Christ, that we are oriented toward love of God and neighbor. Here, then, we see the profound interaction between the three awarenesses and loves: awareness and love of God, self and neighbor.
As Christians, consequently, we should have a maturing sense of how our existence is, in varied ways, profoundly interlinked with the existence of others. This reality of union with others is not limited to those we directly meet but includes all members of the human family.
Growth in the spiritual life entails an ongoing and progressive purification. This purification enables us to grow in union with God as it allows God to increasingly possess us through the Christ-life of grace.
The process of purification takes many forms. It comprises everything which cleanses us more and more of the false self -- the self which operates outside of God’s will -- and which allows the true self, the Christ-like self, to increasingly emerge.
One of the forms of purification is what has traditionally been called asceticism. Asceticism is that active self-purification aimed at helping the divine image in us to be more manifest and operative. Asceticism helps us to become more like the persons God wants us to be.
The Christian must experience an ongoing conversion away from the non-authentic self to a greater Christ-likeness, to greater development of the authentic self. Asceticism is the graced control, the active self-purification, of one’s total being.
Christian asceticism is at the service of freedom, of life. In aiding us to be more Christ-like, it helps us be more alive. Far from confining our capacity to live and to enjoy life, asceticism contributes to the ongoing process of our being persons capable of deeper love, and, therefore, capable of greater life. One who practices a reasonable asceticism is not one who is less interested in love and life. Such a person is rather one who is willing to bear with the hardships involved in a reasonable, graced control of one’s being with all its various dimensions -- intellect, will, memory, emotions, and so forth -- so that one may be more alive, more capable of authentic love.
As the virtue of infused love assimilates us to God’s loving activity, and this gives us a special, God-like capacity for the exercise of love, so the infused virtue of faith, as St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, assimilates us to the divine knowing (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In Boeth de Trinitate, q. 3, a.1)
Through faith we share in God’s knowing activity in a special way, and we are able to know God and creation in relationship to God in a supernatural, God-like fashion.
If we are to properly progress in the spiritual life, we must allow this vision of faith to more and more penetrate our activities. Increasingly, we should become contemplatives in action: we should view reality in a way that is similar to God’s view of reality. Increasingly, everything we see should remind us of God because everything that is really good and true and beautiful does reflect God. The beauties of nature, for example, manifest this beauty; the raging storm at sea reflects his power; and the goodness, the kindness, and the love that we observe in others around us tell us that God is infinitely good and kind and loving.
The vision of faith allows us to see the human family and the world in a manner that differs from the nonbeliever’s view. As contemplatives in action, we should act upon this vision. Every man, woman, and child is marked with the blood of Christ. If Jesus loved them so much--indeed, if he now loves them so much--can we be indifferent to their needs, both spiritual and material? Can we be indifferent to all the problems that burden modern men and women? If we are Christians of living faith, we know that we cannot be indifferent. This vision of faith should inspire us to action according to our vocation, talents, opportunity, time, and energy. We should be laboring to make the human family and the world more reflective of Christ’s image.
. . .If humility is based on truth and, consequently, allows us to properly recognize our gifts, it also necessitates that we admit to the evil within us, which is also part of the truth and must be acted upon. Humility not only bids us to admit that there is evil in us, but also tells us that, as creatures of God, we should conform to His will and work against this evil side of our persons. In summary, humility allows us to properly evaluate both the good and evil within ourselves.
Here is a quotation from St. Paul which helps us to preserve, and grow in, humility: Who made you so important? What have you got that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why are you boasting as though it were your own? (1 Cor 4:7).
2 Corinthians 12: 10
and that is why I am glad of weaknesses, insults, constraints, persecutions and distress for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.
Living in the Present Moment
I suggest that one of the most difficult acts of self-discipline in the spiritual journey is to concentrate on the present moment. We have a very strong tendency to often disregard the importance of the present moment by focusing in a wrong way on the past or in a wrong way on the future. When we give in to this tendency we suffer a significant spiritual loss. There are proper occasions for thinking of the past and the future. For example, we have to learn from the past and we have to prepare for the future, but our great emphasis has to be upon the present. There is a Latin axiom which says, age quod agis, which means: do what you are doing, concentrate on the present. And, of course, we are familiar with the term in the history of spirituality: the sacrament of the present moment. Growth in self-discipline should include a greater determination to get as much as we can out of the present moment. People with a terminal illness have an opportunity, as they prepare for death, for increased prayer, contrition, love of God. For those who have this opportunity of knowing with some certainty the time of their death, I’m sure as they look back on their lives, they are saddened by the times they did not use time and opportunities for the service of the Lord properly, and are overjoyed at those times in which they did use the present opportunity properly. A great means we have of living in the present properly is a greater focus upon our Lord. For if I have that awareness of the fact I am united with Jesus here and now, why should I be concerned so much about the future or the past? Yes, a great help in living in the present and deriving all the good we can from it for ourselves and others is an ever greater focus on Jesus, because the more I focus upon Jesus and the more I live with Him in the present moment, the more I am satisfied with the present moment. And so let us resolve to grow in that self-discipline which is required to really live in the present with the fullness of our being as much as is possible, with the help of God’s grace. To do so is extremely important for proper growth in the spiritual life.
Now is the time. Now is the time to live and to love. Now is the time to become more united to Christ, to be more one with Him. Now is not yesterday; now is not tomorrow; now is today, and today is a gift from the Lord.
God gives ultimate meaning to our lives. God reveals to us how the laughter and the tears, the work and the play, the pain and the joy, all fit together. As we live in God, God gathers up what would otherwise be the fragmented pieces of our lives, and arranges them into harmonious unity. This unity emanates from our living according to God’s plan, a plan embodying a way of existence that leads to an ever greater experience of the true, the good, and the beautiful.
We can put obstacles in the way of God’s transforming designs, of God’s plan for us. We can at times say "no" to God’s initiative. We can refuse to be open to God’s tender, loving touch. We can engage in a process of self-enclosure. We can determine to map out our own path to supposed happiness, forgetting that plans for happiness which exclude God are ultimately plans for experiencing frustration and emptiness. Briefly, we can act in an obstinate fashion regarding God’s offer of Self-communication.
At other times, it is not so much stubbornness which leads us to say "no" to God; it is fear. We realize that the closer we come to God, the more God will ask of us, gently but firmly. We fear the white heat of God’s love. Such episodes along the spiritual journey are crucial. If we keep pulling back from the intensity of God’s love, if we keep refusing what this love wants to accomplish in us and through us, then we will live on a rather superficial level.
We must strive to overcome whatever attitude prevents us from increasingly giving ourselves over to God. We must realize that progress in the spiritual life is measured by the degree to which we abandon ourselves to God. We must realize that, if we hope to grow spiritually, we must increasingly allow God to direct our lives.
Let us pray, then, for an increase in the spirit of abandonment to God. As we live more according to this attitude, we will experience in greater measure the warmth and security of God’s love, this God Who is the ground of our being, the goal of our existence, the source of our happiness.
The mystical process is one in which God more and more takes possession of the soul. The person becomes increasingly docile to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
The Theology of Consecration
A. Boussard gives an extremely fine and concise sketch of the theology of consecration:
"By the Incarnation, in and of itself, the Humanity of Jesus is consecrated, so that in becoming Man, Jesus is ipso facto constituted Savior, Prophet, King, Priest, and Victim of the One Sacrifice that was to save the world. He is the ‘Anointed’, par excellence, the ‘Christ’ totally belonging to God, His Humanity being that of the Word and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. When, by a free act of His human will, He accepts what He is, doing what He was sent to do, He can say that He consecrates ‘Himself’. In Christ, therefore, what might be called His ‘subjective’ consecration is a perfect response to the ‘objective’ consecration produced in His Humanity through the Incarnation.
"And what Christ does brings with it a ‘consecration’ for His disciples, a very special belonging to God, since He imparts to them His own life precisely by making them participate in His own consecration.
"Through Baptism Christians also are consecrated and ‘anointed’ by the power of the Spirit. They share, in their measure, in the essential consecration of Christ, in His character of King, Priest, and Prophet (cf. 1 Peter 2:9; 7 Peter 1:3-4; Rev. 5:9, etc.). With Christ and through Christ, they are ‘ordered’ to the glory of God and the salvation of the world. They do not belong to themselves. They belong to Christ the Lord, who imparts His own life to them…
"The vocation of those who have been baptized is to ‘live’ this consecration by a voluntary adherence—and one that is as perfect as possible—to what it has made of them. Living as ‘children of God’, they fulfill subjectively their objective consecration; like Jesus, they consecrate themselves. This is the deeper meaning of vows and baptismal promises, together with the actual way of life corresponding to them. The baptismal consecration is the fundamental one, constitutive of the Christian. All consecrations which come after it presuppose and are rooted in it…"55
Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock, I consecrate myself to Your most Sacred Heart. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your companion in this most important work. Help me to always love You in return. Help me to give myself entirely to You. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor! Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!
Act of consecration tothe Immaculate Heart of Mary
"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a movement created by your Son as a powerful instrument for the renewal of the Church and the world. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."
8.St. John Eudes, from a treatise on the Admirable Heart of Jesus, as in The Liturgy of the Hours, Catholic Book Publishing Co., Vol. IV, pp. 1331-32.
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Mass Book, by Rita Ring: Many of the entries in the Priestly Newsletter Volume II from a spiritual journal came from this book. These entries are to help people to be more deeply united to God in the Mass. This book is available in English and Spanish with the Church’s Imprimatur. $12
Rosary Meditations for Parents and Children, by Rita Ring, Short Meditations for both parents and children to be used when praying the rosary. These meditations will help all to know the lives of Jesus and Mary alive in their Hearts. Available in both English and Spanish with the Church’s Imprimatur. $10
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|God's Blue Book 6A by Rita Ring. Rosaries from Their Hearts during apparitions. Jesus and Mary appeared every day and I received rosaries from Them and They were transcribed from a tape. Also messages of love from Jesus on days of January, 1995 — About Baptism — writings from Fr. Carter and the Scriptures. $10|
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|Rosaries from the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Book 1. Mary appeared in Clearwater December 17, 1996 in rainbow color and these rosaries left the printer the same day from Apparitions of Jesus and Mary — transcribed from a tape. $10|
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Response to God’s Loveby Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. In this book Fr. Carter speaks of God as the ultimate mystery. We can meditate on the interior life of the Trinity. Fr. Carter tells us about our uniqueness in the Father's Plan for us, how the individual Christian, the Church and the world are in the state of becoming. Imprimatur. $10
Shepherds of Christ - Selected Writings on Spirituality for all Peopleas Published in Shepherds of Christ Newsletter for Priests. Contains 12 issues of the newsletter from July/August 1994 to May/June 1996. $15
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Tell My People.Messages from Jesus and Mary (As given to Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.) — One of Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.'s Synopsis of the Spiritual Life — From Jesus to Fr. Carter "On Holy Saturday, 1994, Jesus told me that on the following day, Easter, I would also begin to receive messages for others. Our Lord also told me that some of these were eventually to be published in a book—and here is that book." $10
|The Spirituality of Fatima by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. The Fatima apparitions and messages received official Church approval in 1930. In giving her official approval to the Fatima event, the Church tells us that what took place at Fatima involving the three young visionaries is worthy of our belief. $5|
Shepherds of Christ, a book of Spirituality Newsletters, is a compilation of the first nine newsletters from Fr. John J. Pasquini begining in August 2006. The Newsletter has been circulated to the priests and hierarchy spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart, promoting love for the Eucharist, greater love for the Church, the Priesthood, Mary and the Holy Spirit, the Mass, Prayer, and greater intimate relationship with God. $35
This bookLight, Happiness and Peace is a journey into the spiritual life — an awakening of deeper life IN HIM. Here are some of the comments we received from bishops and cardinals about the book. Cardinal – Pontifical Council for Culture – Vatican City “I am sure that this book, Light, Happiness and Peace through a discussion on traditional Catholic Spirituality will contribute in bringing back prayer into the mainstream of life.” $10
In Imitation of Two Hearts - Prayers for Consolation, Renewal and Peace in Times of SufferingFr. John J. Pasquini leads a suffering soul to the gentle Hearts of Jesus and Mary. In these most loving Hearts - the prayers by Fr. John Pasquini - help the person suffering to know more deeply the pascal mystery of death/resurrection. President of the Pontifical Council for Health $10
Authenticity, the Yellow Book of prayers by Fr. John Pasquini, can lead the soul into deeper intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, can lead to greater love of Mary which leads to the unitive life and greater holiness. The book of prayers Authenticity by Fr. John J. Pasquini is to help one grow ever deeper in the Unitive life. Apostolic Nuncio – Archbishop – Philippines “With Authenticity, much is gained in prayer, and much is accomplished through prayer. More especially if prayer is directed in behalf of the Church.” $10
“InMedicine of Immortality, Father John Pasquini offers his readers the richness of Catholic devotional prayer, the wisdom of the Fathers and, most of all, the fruits of his own prayer and meditation before the Blessed Sacrament. I recommend this book to all who wish to grow in their love for the Lord, who sustains the life of His Church through the precious gift of His Body and Blood.” Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago $10
Ecce Fidesis a work dedicated to defending Catholic beliefs through reason, Scripture, and the life of the Holy Spirit. "It is important that we (as people of God) return to the source of life, our faith, which is usefully exposed in this volume, and take it out to our contemporaries, evangelizing them and their cultures and inculturating the Gospel." Cardinal – Pontifical Council for Culture – Vatican City $10
|Consolation by Fr. John J. Pasquini — upon the passing of a loved one. Fr. Pasquini has done a beautiful gift of his most wonderful homily given when someone dear has died. It can be given as a tremendous gift. $10|
|DVD - A beautiful Mass was done by Fr. John J. Pasquini for Nursing homes and assisted living. It was done at St. Joseph's magnificent chapel — St. Joseph's assisted living in Jupiter, Florida. It last about 33 minutes. We call it the golden Nursing Home Mass from St. Joseph's. $10|
|DVD - Prayers from the Authenticity Book read by Rita Ring on the ocean — it is beautiful. 410|
|Divine Mercy Chaplet CD. Prayed by Fr. John J. Pasquini $10|
|Holy Spirit Novena CD. Prayers and scripture readings from the Holy Spirit Novena Booklet read by Rita Ring. $10|
|Guiding Light homily series - Steadfast to the Son - Cycle A — The sunflower is a great example of how we should be steadfastly guided by light. What a powerful thought that this exceptional plant is not stuck in one pose day in and day out, yet adaptable and magnetized to the sun. We feel the same about our Son. Our heads turns to face Christ as each day presents its challenges to find light. We join together like plants in a field and soak up the Son through the pulpit. We are a warm circle of strength using the wind of our breath to carry our priests' words, Christ's words, to new rich soil. $15|
|Guiding Light - Focusing on the Word - Cycle B — At times we may feel that our path to Christ is a bit "out of focus". Like the disciples in the Book of Mark, this ordinary life clouds our vision of Christ's Divinity. We may doubt the practicality or possibility of applying His teachings and example to our modern life. Cycle B's homilies are a "guiding light" to help us realize Jesus' Messianic greatness and His promise of better things to come. $15|
|Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C — In a world rapidly advancing and encouraging personal gain, we are faced with modern problems. There is a challenge to find time in our busy schedules for Sunday Mass or a family meal. We are able to research, shop, bank and even work without hearing one human voice. It is no wonder that we may often feel disconnected and famished at our week's end. In Fr. Joe's third book of homilies from Cycle C, we are reminded of the charity that Christ intended us to show each other. We have a calling to turn the other cheek and be the Good Samaritan to others. We are rewarded with the Father's kingdom and love when we are not worthy. We are not left alone or hungry. $15|
Guiding Light - The Word Alive in Our Hearts. - Cycle A (partial) —Homilies by the Reverend Joe Robinson given at St. Boniface Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is a tremendous honor Fr. Joe has allowed us to share these great gifts with you – for greater holiness and knowing more and more about God. $10
Shepherds of Christ Prayer Manual. The Shepherds of Christ has prayer chapters all over the world praying for the priests, the Church and the world. These prayers that Father Carter compiled in the summer of 1994 began this worldwide network of prayer. Currently the prayers are in eight languages with the Church’s Imprimatur. We have prayed daily for the priests, the Church, and the world since 1994. Associates are called to join prayer Chapters and help us circulate the newsletter centered on spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart and helping to renew the Church through greater holiness. Please form a Prayer Chapter & order a Prayer Manual.
Holy Spirit Novena Booklet.In four languages with the Imprimatur with 18 scripture readings for two complete novenas – this very powerful Holy Spirit Novena has prayers for prayers for Protection by the Blood of Jesus, Healing, Strength and Light, To Be One with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One with Jesus, To Dwell in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Prayer for the Holy Spirit and His Gifts, and the Word Alive in Our Hearts. All these prayers take about 10 minutes daily recited out loud. $1
|Spirituality Handbook. Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. did 3 synopsis of the spiritual life. The Spirituality Handbook, the Priestly Newsletter 20he Tell My People book. The way of spiritual life proposed to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates is centered in consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. All aspects of the spiritual life discussed below should be viewed as means to help members develop their lives in consecration to Christ, the Sacred Heart, and to Mary, the Immaculate Heart. $3|
|Priestly Newsletter - 2000 #1 - CD. - Christ is Our Strength - Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. read it the year he died. It is so beautiful. "This brief passage contains one of the greatest lessons of the spiritual life. As we progress along our spiritual journey, we become increasingly aware of how weak we are in our-selves, but how strong we are in Christ. To experience our weakness involves suffering. The degree and kind of suffering can vary. The suffering can include the experience of the classical dark night of the spirit as described by St. John of the Cross. One of the main purposes of the dark night is to make a person keenly aware of his or her helplessness without God." quote by Fr. Carter from the newsletter $10|
|Priestly Newsletter - 2000 #2 - CD. - Suffering: A Source of Life - Fr. Edward Carter, S.J. read it the year he died. Fr. Carter knew suffering that year. His voice is so powerful as he read each Newsletter from his heart and soul. "Every man has his own share in the redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the redemption. Thus each man in his suffering can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ..." quote by Fr. Carter from the newsletter $10|
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© 2011 Shepherds of Christ.
Rights for non-commercial reproduction granted:
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All scripture quotes are from the New Jerusalem Bible, July 1990, published by Doubleday.
Revised: January 1, 2011
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