Shepherds of Christ  
       Daily Writing        

September 10, 2010

September 11th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 5 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for September 11th are Joyful.


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                September 10, 2010

                R. We, who are baptized, are members of the body of Christ —

                Jesus sweat blood in the garden —
                Jesus was whipped
                Jesus was crowned with thorns
                Jesus carried His cross —
                Jesus hung to His death for 3 agonizing

                Thank You God for all our leaders —
                    who obey You and lead according
                    to Your will —

                Who despite the suffering do what
                    is Your holy will because God
                    is more important than their

                Thank God for leaders who operate
                    not on their feelings, their
                    saving their own face and
                    reputation, but who operate
                    as Jesus, as a servant
                    of the Lord —

                Jesus was the suffering servant —

                They whipped Him, crowned Him
                    with thorns and made Him
                    carry a heavy cross —
                    laden with the sins of men —

                There are those who sit back
                    in indifference

                    Their god is their feelings, their
                        pride — while others
                        carry their bodies beaten
                        for the sins of others

                    Indifference, slothfulness —
                        disobedience to God's will —
                        Not servants at all, but one
                        who carries not love, but hatred
                        from years of anger in their
                        hearts —

                God is love and in Him there is no darkness —
                Jesus, the suffering servant —
                Gave Himself and gives Himself now
                    for love —

                God calls us to respond to His
                    call — Call - Response


Colossians 1: 24-29

It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church, of which I was made a servant with the responsibility towards you that God gave to me, that of completing God’s message, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his holy people. It was God’s purpose to reveal to them how rich is the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; it is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we are proclaiming, admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom, to make everyone perfect in Christ. And it is for this reason that I labour, striving with his energy which works in me mightily.


                Suffering for the Church

                St. Stephen was stoned —

                Peter who once denied Christ
                    gave the witness to all
                    as head of the Apostles —

                He was locked in prison and angels
                    tended to Him

                For we hear the words of Christ
                    regarding those who have punished
                    the Church, by using their
                    call for their own personal
                    vendetta and pride

                Saul, Saul — why do you persecute
                    Me —

                The Blood of these martyrs who
                    followed Christ and paid for
                    our sins, by giving themselves
                    and shedding their blood —
                    some being crucified —
                    some beheaded —

                Their blood given is the price they
                    paid for their love of the
                    Church — their love of
                    serving God for His body
                    the Church —

                Love is the rule —


                Love for souls like Christ who died
                    for His precious souls —

                False pride of some who think themselves
                    holy while they punish others
                    hurting souls and the Church —

                How can you hurt the body of
                    Christ when Christ called
                    you to witness and be a servant
                    to sacrifice for the Church —

                Not over my hurt feelings —

                Victimizing the Church, the people as
                    the one who hurt you —

                Saul — Saul — why do you
                    persecute Me?

                Why when martyrs shed their blood
                    for the Church —
                    when you have been so richly
                    blessed by the Church —

                Jesus: Why when I give you so much
                    in the Church — do you act
                    like Eve in your pride and
                    tear down what is a gift
                    given to you —

                I put you here to serve Me —

                I asked you to help renew the Church —

                Pray for grace to see how you
                    have not served Me, but played
                    games that hurt souls —

                You are here to live your
                    Morning Offering —

                You are here to be one with the
                    Masses going
                    on around the world —

                Being so one offering the Holy Sacrifice
                    at Mass —

                Your focus is helping to make reparation
                    to God for your sins and the sins
                    of men —
                    to thank your God —
                    to love, praise and petition your
                        God —

                You think you are the one who should
                    get reparation because
                    of your hurt feelings —

                Martyrs shed their blood —
                    You can't even offer up yourself
                        as a sacrifice to God in prayers

                    Servants —

                    A Servant serves 


A Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

    Let me be a holy sacrifice and unite with God in the sacrament of His greatest love.

    I want to be one in Him in this act of love, where He gives Himself to me and I give myself as a sacrifice to Him. Let me be a holy sacrifice as I become one with Him in this my act of greatest love to Him.

    Let me unite with Him more, that I may more deeply love Him. May I help make reparation to His adorable Heart and the heart of His Mother, Mary. With greatest love, I offer myself to You and pray that You will accept my sacrifice of greatest love. I give myself to You and unite in Your gift of Yourself to me. Come and possess my soul.

    Cleanse me, strengthen me, heal me. Dear Holy Spirit act in the heart of Mary to make me more and more like Jesus.

    Father, I offer this my sacrifice, myself united to Jesus in the Holy Spirit to You. Help me to love God more deeply in this act of my greatest love.

    Give me the grace to grow in my knowledge, love and service of You and for this to be my greatest participation in the Mass. Give me the greatest graces to love You so deeply in this Mass, You who are so worthy of my love.

-Mass Book, December 27, 1995


1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-27

In fact, preaching the gospel gives me nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion and I should be in trouble if I failed to do it. If I did it on my own initiative I would deserve a reward; but if I do it under compulsion I am simply accepting a task entrusted to me. What reward do I have, then? That in my preaching I offer the gospel free of charge to avoid using the rights which the gospel allows me. 

    So though I was not a slave to any human being, I put myself in slavery to all people, to win as many as I could.

To the weak, I made myself weak, to win the weak. I accommodated myself to people in all kinds of different situations, so that by all possible means I might bring some to salvation. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, that I may share its benefits with others.

    Do you not realise that, though all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, only one of them gets the prize? Run like that — to win. Every athlete concentrates completely on training, and this is to win a wreath that will wither, whereas ours will never wither. So that is how I run, not without a clear goal; and how I box, not wasting blows on air. I punish my body and bring it under control, to avoid any risk that, having acted as herald for others, I myself may be disqualified.


Psalm 84: 3-6, 12

Even the sparrow has found a home,
the swallow a nest to place its young:
your altars, Yahweh Sabaoth,
    my King and my God.

How blessed are those who live in your house;
    they shall praise you continually.                 
Blessed those who find their strength in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of the Balsam,
they make there a water hole,
and a further blessing early rain fills it.

Yahweh Sabaoth,
    blessed is he who trusts in you.


                Living for God

                You came — said you would serve and
                    you were angry — so you said
                    I don't serve because I am
                    angry —
                    Now you are more angry and more
                    miserable from the anger
                    in your hearts —

                I am love —

                To be one with Me — you serve the Father
                You give of yourself for the love of souls


Luke 6: 39-42

He also told them a parable, ‘Can one blind person guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit? Disciple is not superior to teacher; but fully trained disciple will be like teacher. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the great log in your own? How can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me take out that splinter in your eye," when you cannot see the great log in your own? Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.


                R. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians about
                    himself —
                    He simply preaches the Gospel and
                    He does it willingly

                You have freedom to do or not do —

                St. Paul said he is free to preach or
                    not preach —

                Once St. Paul chose to preach — he
                    is not to preach what he wants —
                    He preaches what is the Gospel —

                St. Paul says he is a slave —
                    is that he freely chooses to serve
                    to be a servant of servants —

                    He chooses to preach so he will
                        receive the prize which
                        is eternal salvation —

                    The challenge is given to him to be
                        an apostle —

                    His salvation is in serving as
                        he is called —

                Jesus says we do things for others
                    to serve others —
                    We don't do things to get things
                        back for ourselves —

                    If we follow Jesus
                    We have to listen to Jesus —
                    Then we have to sacrifice —
                    We look at ourselves and see
                        we are faithful disciples
                        of Jesus — not ourselves —

                We live to measure up to Jesus —
                    we say — I may not be there yet —
                    but I preach the Gospel

                I am working on myself
                I follow Jesus —
                I don't do this to get stuff back
                    from you
                I do it for Jesus

                Jesus challenges us to be what we
                    were intended by God to be
                    with His grace
                    to be His disciple
                    to be His servant
                    to be His messenger and preach the

                That we who preach the Gospel can
                    go out to the world and preach
                    it by our words and actions —

                God called servants and handmaids to serve
                    and be witnesses of hope —
                    to follow in His footsteps —
                    to love and follow that we
                    teach others how to do the Morning Offering —
                    How to attend Mass
                    How to be self-less   


A Prayer for Intimacy with the Lamb, the Bridegroom of the Soul

     Oh Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, come and act on my soul most intimately. I surrender myself, as I ask for the grace to let go, to just be as I exist in You and You act most intimately on my soul. You are the Initiator. I am the soul waiting Your favors as You act in me. I love You. I adore You. I worship You. Come and possess my soul with Your Divine Grace, as I experience You most intimately.


Prayer for Union with Jesus

Come to me, Lord, and possess my soul. Come into my heart and permeate my soul. Help me to sit in silence with You and let You work in my heart.

    I am Yours to possess. I am Yours to use. I want to be selfless and only exist in You. Help me to spoon out all that is me and be an empty vessel ready to be filled by You. Help me to die to myself and live only for You. Use me as You will. Let me never draw my attention back to myself. I only want to operate as You do, dwelling within me.

    I am Yours, Lord. I want to have my life in You. I want to do the will of the Father. Give me the strength to put aside the world and let You operate my very being. Help me to act as You desire. Strengthen me against the distractions of the devil to take me from Your work.

    When I worry, I have taken my focus off of You and placed it on myself. Help me not to give in to the promptings of others to change what in my heart You are making very clear to me. I worship You, I adore You and I love You. Come and dwell in me now.

-God's Blue Book, January 17, 1994


                I thank You God for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass —

                I unite myself as an offering
                    united to the sacrifice of Jesus —

                I give myself to the Father, united
                    to the sacrifice of Jesus, in the Holy Spirit —
                    through the powerful intercession
                    of the Blessed Mother —

                God I beg to make reparation for my sins
                    and the sins of the world —

                God I love You so much —
                God I love You so much

                I praise You God —
                I want to serve You God —

                I petition You God to be faithful
                    to You in my vocation in the Shepherds of Christ
                    to be a good servant and
                    to serve You and others and
                    to love as a witness to You —

                Oh Father —
                    I love you  

The Our Father

    Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


                Jesus is the Lamb of God —


Lamb of God

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.


                Your Word Oh Lord is truth —
                Consecrate us in the truth —

                Christ gives to us the Mass — the sacrifice
                    of Calvary sacramentally made
                    present —

                We are to be so one offering ourselves
                    to the Father, united to the
                    sacrifice of Jesus in the Holy Spirit
                    through the intercession of Mary
                    with all the angels and saints —

                Jesus, this man of love hung on the cross
                    on the hill of Calvary —

                God didn't have to create us —
                God created us out of love —

                It is His love that keeps us in existence
                Jesus withstood the most horrible torture
                    for us and His precious souls —

                Jesus suffered so we can bring this
                    marvelous message of
                    His Church and His love
                    to the world today —

                Thank You God for all these teachings
                Thank You God for dying and rising for me —
                Thank You God for the Church and the Mass —

                How are you standing beneath the cross?
                How are you standing under the altar at
                    Mass —

                As one indifferent and waiting to be
                    served — thinking you
                    deserve reparation because of your
                    anger of what was done to you —

                We were called to give reparation to God —
                    to serve God —
                    to praise God —
                    to love God —
                    to petition God
                    to thank God and

                in this great sacrifice of His love to be
                    deeply one with the
                        heavenly Church —
                        the souls in purgatory and
                        the pilgrim Church on earth —

                So one - in this great gift of
                    sacrifice given to God —

                Adam and Eve sinned
                We sinned —
                We tell God we are sorry at Mass —

                God cleanses the contrite heart of
                    venial sins at Mass —

                God is so good He gives us this chance
                    to be clean at Mass —
                    to partake in the Holy Sacrifice —

                Sunday is a special day to give
                    reverence to God as it says in
                    the 3rd commandment
                    To keep holy the Lord's day —

                There is a special bond between
                    us and God for He has primed us
                    to be so one with Him and know
                    so much at Mass —

                Judas was one of Jesus' 12 Apostles —
                    so Jesus spent time teaching him —
                    Jesus loved Judas —
                    He made him His apostle —
                    Out of 12 men chosen he was
                        one of them —

                It's all choice —

                    We can say 'yes' to God's will —
                        or we can say 'no' to God —
                    It's up to us —

                When a man marries he says he will
                    love his wife and stay faithful
                    to her —

                It hurts far worse to be bound in
                    the sacrament of marriage and have
                    someone's spouse be unfaithful
                    to them, then any other relationship —

                Jesus takes religious as His Spouse —
                    He wants them to be faithful and
                        love Him

                 It is scandalous for a religious
                    to act against God in a habit —

                It is God's choice to choose them for His
                    Spouse to help bring His love to
                    the Church, through the religious'
                    love for the Church and others —

                They are to be witnesses

                    God comes first in their lives —
                    Teaching others obedience, dedication —
                        letting others see how they
                        work as a community of
                        love serving God in love and
                        unity — obedience and respect for their
                        superiors and serving —

                When we do something we do it to serve
                    God and others —
                    not get stuff back for our anger
                    inside and punish others because
                    we don't feel good —

                We live to be witnesses in the world of
                    Christ's love in us —

                The Age of the 2 Hearts is an
                    age of peace and love —

                When Paul was persecuting the
                    Church — God asked Paul —
                    Why are you persecuting Me? —

                When we block God's work in the
                    Church we are persecuting
                    the body of Christ — the Church
                    is to bring love as the body of Christ
                    to the world today —

                Are you sitting and watching today —

                Or are you serving and answering the call
                    of Jesus to walk in His footprints —

                Sitting and waiting in Church —
                    looking on —
                    not really giving deeply for the
                        sake of souls
                    not really giving deeply for the
                        honor and glory of God

                God wants us to have
                    eternal life with Him —

                We are being tested here below —
                    Should we punish others —
                        so we are punished?

                    Or should we be a witness —
                        following in the footprints
                        of Jesus —
                        giving —

                Giving up God is what makes us miserable —
                    living in sin —
                    saying no to service —

                God gives us confession as one
                    of the 7 sacraments —

                To confess our sins —

                Jesus was nailed to a tree for our
                    sins —

                His head crowned with thorns for
                    our pride —

                Jesus, whipped at the pillar for our
                    stubborn, angry hearts,
                    His flesh was torn —
                    He bled for me —

                Indifferent men — watching the world and
                    knowing God's love and
                    hurting the body of Christ
                    with their punishment
                    and anger in their hearts —

                Are we rebels against God —
                    hurting others for our anger —
                    abuse, indifference and then
                    we think God isn't watching —

                When our talents were given to serve God —

                Christ was crucified with 2 thieves —
                    We have a choice —

                The bad criminal was still focused
                    on his life here


Luke 23: 39

One of the criminals hanging there abused him: ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.’


                The good thief wanted to go to heaven —

                The Pharaoh went through all those
                    plagues and still sent
                    out chariots and charioteers
                    to the end —


Luke 23: 40-42

But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’


                So much pain is wasted
                What do you do with pain?

                Rebel — hate — have anger —
                    punish —

                What did Christ do with His pain —
                He offered it up — Christ
                    suffered for our sins —


Excerpts from The Spirituality of Fatima

by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

    During the summer of 1916, the angel again appeared to the three visionaries. He said to them:

Pray! Pray a great deal. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices continually to the Most High. Make everything you do a sacrifice, and offer it as an act of reparation for the sins by which God is offended, and as a petition for the conversion of sinners. Bring peace to our country in this way.... I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal Accept and bear with submission all the sufferings the Lord will send you. (4)

4. Our Lady's Peace Plan, op cit., pp.1-2.


Colossians 1: 24-29

It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church, of which I was made a servant with the responsibility towards you that God gave to me, that of completing God’s message, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his holy people. It was God’s purpose to reveal to them how rich is the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; it is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we are proclaiming, admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom, to make everyone perfect in Christ. And it is for this reason that I labour, striving with his energy which works in me mightily.



                We have suffering in our lives —

                It is the Pascal mystery —

                What about punishment we deserve
                    from our own sins and

                Has God punished us for how we
                    deserve it for what we have
                    done? —

                How can we continue punishing
                    others — when God has called
                    us to love —

                God wants us to change our hearts —
                    God gives us pain to wake us up.

                Jesus suffered on the cross —
                    for the resurrection

                Jesus suffered for us —
                    so we could eventually
                    share His life —

                In the resurrection —
                Christ wounds were
                    glorified wounds 

                God gives us pure love
                God loves us and wants us to go to heaven —

                In our sin — we may just want
                    what we want

                God tries to reach us, many times, through
                    pain — a wake up call

                He knocks on our door —




                Mary loved purely —
                Mary was full of grace —

                Mary knew —
                Mary was so identified
                    from the prophesy of
                    Simeon —

                Song: Little Baby Hands and Feet



Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

February 22, 1995

1. The Prophecy of Simeon
Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus went to the temple. Simeon, the prophet, inspired by the Holy Spirit, met them and told Joseph and Mary of the great sufferings of Jesus and Mary. He told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart. From that point on, Mary ever remembered the prophecy of Simeon whenever she beheld her child. When she looked at His little body, even as an infant, she knew He would suffer. Every time she clothed Him and watched Him at play, her heart was torn in her chest as she knew what He would suffer. And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

2. The Flight into Egypt
Joseph was told by the angel to flee. Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus had to flee because of what might happen to Jesus. They had to pack for a long stay. The child Jesus was so small! They left on their journey, hearts full of fear, trying to protect Jesus. They were forced to flee into Egypt.

3. 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, O Mary!

4. Jesus Carries His Cross
Song: See the eyes that look at Mary, her tender infant child. See the child's Heart beat so tenderly, the Savior of the world!
See the eyes of Jesus and Mary as they met on Calvary. Mary's Heart knew Jesus' Heart so well! From the first moment of conception and throughout His life, Mary was so connected with Jesus and now she peered into His eyes. The crown of thorns adorned His Head! Blood ran down His face! A heavy cross on His back! Wounded, His whole body covered with bleeding wounds! And her whole life flashed before her, the life that she had spent with Jesus. This was the beloved child that she had held in her arms when Simeon told Mary that 'a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!'

5. Jesus Dies on the Cross
Mary stood under Jesus' cross as He was put to death. The child that she had held in her arms as Simeon prophesied, And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary! Now Jesus is dead on the cross! He gave His flesh, He gave His blood so that we might be with Him forever in heaven. He held not back. He gave His all. He calls out to us this day to see through the eyes of His mother as she appears and calls out with a Heart of great love, "Return to the love of my Son! He is with you this day. He remains with you, no less present than the day that He hung on the cross, in the Eucharist. He longs for you to come and be with Him. He is in your brother. How can you not love your brother when Jesus died for your brother?"

Her Heart was pierced with a sword. His Heart was pierced with a lance. What came forth was blood and water, the sacramental life of the church. He lives with us this day in the Church. He gives to us His sacraments, the source of His life! He gives to us the Sacrament of Penance whereby any sin that we commit can be taken away through the priest. He wants us to be so close to Him! He gives us everything to be close to Him. But we see with such limited vision only those things that are right before our face, when the true reality is that which we don't see with our eyes, the reality of the invisible divinity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the consecrated Host! This is reality! This is our life! This is our power! This is God! And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

6. Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross
If we ever doubted for one second that we were loved, we could visualize the picture of Mary as she sat beneath the cross with the lifeless, battered, bruised and bloodied body of her Son in her arms, the same child that she held when Simeon prophesied her suffering. He gave His last breath. He gave the last beat of His Heart. He gave His all! This is the way He complied with the Will of the Father. He came to show us the way. He died in perfect peace. To His death He was in peace because He knew the Father's love. The Father loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for love of us! The Spirit descended upon the Virgin Mary and the Word was made flesh! The love of the Two Hearts! Such immense love beating for us!

In all love there is suffering. Her Heart was pierced with a sword. His Heart was pierced with a lance. And a sword, too, shall pierce your Heart, O Mary!

7. Jesus Is Locked in the Tomb
And now Jesus, His body lifeless, is locked in a tomb! What cold reality for Mary to realize that His body is now gone! A stone separated her from her Son!

He gave His last breath! He gave the last beat of His Heart for love of each one of us! And she comes to us this day with her sweet, beautiful voice and she asks us to go to her Son and love Him! How can we refuse Jesus who spread His arms and gave His life for each and every one of us? How can we not trust Him when He loved us so much that He allowed them to tear His flesh, to crown Him with piercing thorns and, lastly, to hang Him on a cross? He truly gave His life for us! He, truly God, is with us this day, the same as the day He died on the cross, in the tabernacle! And we take it so lightly! Death has no power over Him! Locked in the tomb for three days, He rose triumphant on the third day as He had foretold. He comes to give us life. He gives us the sacrament of Baptism that initiates us into His life, that makes us children of God and heirs of heaven if we remain in the state of grace. He asks two things: love of God and love of one another! He came to show us the way and His way is love. To His death on the cross He loved each one of us! He calls out to each one of us here today to be His soldiers, to march on a world that has forgotten God, that has forgotten what it is like to love! It is a battle to live in this world. But the battle is won with hearts that are filled with His love, empowered by the grace and might that He pours out in the Eucharist. He calls out for us to come to the Eucharist and to the tabernacle and be fed with His very flesh and blood. To feed on Divine Life, the greatest nourishment, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! This is the love He gives. This is the love He asks us to share.


                Pray to Mary —

                The Devotion of the Two Hearts 


Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"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!

"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."


                We know not when God will


From the Priestly Newsletter Book III - 2000 - Issue 2

Suffering: A Source of Life

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. (Jn 10:11-15)1

Yet ours were the sufferings he was bearing, ours the sorrows he was carrying, while we thought of him as someone being punished and struck with affliction by God; whereas he was being wounded for our rebellions, crushed because of our guilt; the punishment reconciling us fell on him, and we have been healed by his bruises. We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh brought the acts of rebellion of all of us to bear on him. Ill-treated and afflicted, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep dumb before its shearers he never opened his mouth. (Is 53:4-7)

  • He hung upon a cross on a hill called Calvary. Death was near. How much Jesus had already suffered! He had been derisively crowned with thorns. In a terribly weakened condition, He carried the heavy cross to the hill of Golgotha. There He was stripped of His garments and mercilessly nailed to the cross. After all this brutal and agonizing suffering, Jesus finally died.

Truly the Good Shepherd had laid down His life for His sheep. That magnificent Heart, overflowing with love for His Father and all of us, had beat its last.

On the third day, Jesus rose: ‘Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple: are you going to raise it up again in three days?’ But he was speaking of the Temple that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what he had said. (Jn 2:19-22)

Yes, the Good Shepherd died and rose for our salvation. Behold, the paschal mystery of Jesus!

When we are baptized we are incorporated into Christ's paschal mystery of death and resurrection. St. Paul speaks of this marvelous union with Jesus: You 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. (Rm 6:3-4)

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 in Christ so that we may continually rise in 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 eternal life. Nevertheless, we begin the life of resurrection here upon 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 the more ordinary variety or of 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.

  • Pope John Paul II speaks of the role suffering plays in the Christian life: "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…

"Those who share in Christ’s sufferings have before their eyes the paschal mystery of the cross and resurrection, in which Christ descends, in a first phace, to the ultimate limits of human weakness and impotence: Indeed, he dies nailed to the cross. But if at the same time in this weakness there is accomplished his lifting up, confirmed by the power of the resurrection, then this means that the weaknesses of all human sufferings are capable of being infused with the same power of God manifested in Christ’s cross. In such a concept, to suffer means to become particularly susceptible, particularly open, to the working of the salvific powers of God offered to humanity in Christ. In him God has confirmed his desire to act especially through suffering, which is man’s weakness and emptiness of self." 2

  • Dom Hubert Van Zeller observes: "Men and women who might be turning their afflictions over to God, who have only to unite themselves in spirit with Christ’s passion, are found so often to stop short, and even to make of their trial further matter for selfishness. Even if we do not rebel positively against God’s providential will, we can become so preoccupied with our troubles as to leave God out of account.

"Instead of making us compassionate for others we can squander compassion on ourselves. Suffering is meant to enlarge our hearts, not shrink them. With suffering goes the grace of patience, peace, fortitude, penitence and love. All this can be missed if we make the mistake of turning in upon ourselves as the result of our trials.

"To the Jews the cross was a stumbling block, and to the gentiles foolishness. What is it to us? Often it can be an emblem merely, the significance of the symbol forgotten. The cross is something in which we are, by reason of our Christian inheritance, inextricably involved. Do we yield to it or harden ourselves against it? The cross is not just two planks fitted together on a certain day in the history of the world, and of all the relics which we venerate the most sacred, but a fact of our human experience which may or may not be sacred according to what we do about it." 3

  • Contrary to what many think, Fr. Edward Leen reminds us that suffering is compatible with happiness: "If men are prone to err in conceiving the nature of happiness, they will necessarily err in judging of its opposite. They commonly think that a man cannot possibly be happy if he is a prey to constant sickness; if he is condemned to experience habitual poverty and to be buried in obscurity; if he fails to take an important part on the world stage; if he is unsuccessful in his enterprises; if he is deprived of the opportunities of intellectual or aesthetic development; and finally, if he fails to gain the applause and the esteem of his fellows. Now though all these things mean grievous sufferings for men, neither singly nor in combination have they the power to rob him of essential happiness.

"Apart from the consideration of the life of the Redeemer, certain undeniable facts of history justify this contention. The saints, in all ages, have been persons whose lot it was, generally speaking, to undergo greater trials and sufferings than others are called upon to endure. Yet they were habitually happy, buoyant and joyous human beings…

"The saints were not violently wresting words from their literal meaning when they proclaimed themselves happy. For the happiness they enjoyed was that which is proper to, and satisfying for man…

"God planned an unbroken life of happiness for man. The Fall modified, but did not prevent the realization of this plan. Suffering, but not unhappiness, becomes the condition of the earthly portion of men’s existence. God does not make unhappiness here to be the price to pay for happiness hereafter. To be happy, in the minds of all men, is to fare well, that is, to live excellently... The Saviour Himself suffered intensely, but He lived the highest life possible for men. He was, therefore, happy. He assured men that He could share His own blissful experience with them. It may appear paradoxical to associate happiness with the mental image of One Who is called the Man of Sorrows. But an analysis of the nature of happiness will show that it was fully realized in the earthly life of the Saviour…" 4

  • Caryll Houselander writes with great sensitivity regarding the second station of the Way of the Cross: "They put His own garments on Him again, and Jesus comes out from the judgment hall of Pilate to receive His cross.

"He comes to it gladly! This is a strange thing, for the cross is a symbol of shame, and it is to be His deathbed. Already He sees the very shape of His death in the wide-spread arms. From this moment He will be inseparable from it, until He dies on it. He will labour and struggle under the weight of it… Yet Christ welcomes the cross. He embraces it. He takes it into His arms. He lays His beautiful hands on it tenderly, those strong hands of a carpenter that are so familiar with the touch of wood." 5

  • Henri Nouwen tells this story: "I would like to tell you the story of a middle-aged man whose career was suddenly interrupted by the discovery of leukemia, a fatal blood cancer. All his life plans crumbled and all his ways had to change. But slowly he was able to ask himself no longer: ‘Why did this happen to me?’ but instead: ‘What is the promise hidden in this event?’ When his rebellion became a new quest, he felt that he could give strength and hope to other cancer patients and, that by facing his condition directly, he could make his pain a source of healing for others. To this day, this man not only does more for patients than many ministers are able to, but he also refound his life on a level that he had never known before." 6

  • St. Paul tells us: 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 Co 4:7-11)

1. Scripture quotations are taken from The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday.
2. Pope John Paul II, On The Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, United States Catholic Conference, Nos. 19 and 23.
3. Dom Hubert Van Zeller, More Ideas for Prayer, Templegate, p. 112.
4. Edward Leen, C. S. Sp., Why the Cross?, Sheed & Ward, pp. 246-247, 255, 285.
5. Caryll Houselander, The Way of the Cross, Sheed & Ward, p. 21.
6. Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude, Ave Maria Press, p. 57.


February 27, 1997

Rita Ring
After the Death, There is the Resurrection

My love affair is with You, my crucified Lord. I kiss Your cross and caress You tenderly. I smoother You with kisses and I know Your love.

This is love - to kiss the cross of Christ. I cursed the darkness and the light came across the sky, ever so gently as if it grew in intensity to a bright brilliant shade of glistening light. And in this I beheld my Beloved. I saw His glory in the wonders of the earth and I embraced Him, the divine, all-powerful, all Almighty Lord!

He took away those things I was attached to. I held on with a gripping hand. Oh, I cried out in pain and I heard the words in my heart: beyond the surrender is the real gift.

Is it not after the death there is the resurrection, after the dying, there is the glory?

Oh, my Divine Lord, I feel as if my eyes have crusted over. I laid down on the floor and pounded my fists to the earth. I did not see the miracle in the grass that touched my hand. I did not see the power and the might behind the work of endless beauty. A blade of grass, you say? Oh, yes indeed, for it lives and is not life the real miracle? For I am not a rock, but a living creature, created in the image and likeness of God and oh, you say, how much do you share in the life of the Divine Being? And I say, "I share through Baptism. He, God, gives me a sharing in His divine life!"

I pounded the earth and I cursed the darkness. I scoffed and I complained and beyond the horizon the sun slowly stole across the sky and the light appeared in glistening glory. The darkness was black and the night was cold. I heard the clamor of fear in my heart. I felt like screaming in that night and oh, I beheld the crucified Lord. He spoke no words to me, the Holy Spirit filled my heart with light and I saw the glory. I saw the resurrection, not with my earthly eyes, but with the awakening of a joyous heart within.

I saw the glorified wounds, the wounds once covered with blood, inflamed and red, gushing with deep, red blood. I saw the glistening wounds in the hands and feet and I knew behind His robe was the most tender of all wounds, the piercing wound to His side. It was there, the pierced wound of His most precious Heart. It was the wound of glory, from which His divine life would pour forth to a hungry Church. It would rain and fall as gently as the new fallen snow. It would go across the sky like the light and the souls would be transformed into the whitest light. The graced soul, oh, the glory of this soul, the soul that is filled with His divine life!

Oh, need I say more, my Lord? I see the life in a blade of grass. I see the tiniest potato bug with its dots and beauty and I behold the face of God. I behold life, His life, alive in us and in the world.

Well, the night was black, as black as black could be and the cold pierced my bones. I felt its chill go through my entire body and I wanted to scream and it happened--He gave me an outpouring of His life in my soul and my darkness was truly turned to light, another light, not the light of the eyes, a light of knowing God, the joy of beholding His heavenly embrace, the great illumination of another mystery. Oh, sweet gifts He gives when He gives me new knowledge of Himself. Sweet gifts He gives when, in an instant, I pray my rosary and the Holy Spirit fills my heart with lights and the mystery lights up and I know, I just know and I experience a great insight into God.

This is the reason for this letter, for I laid in my bed and I wanted to cry and I was deeply afraid for the devils pressed in as rocks poking at me and hurting my precious skin. I laid in bed and I went into the womb of my Mother and I asked for the Holy Spirit to flood me with His light and it came. I speak His words to you, they are the words He gives: death-resurrection, darkness-light, sorrow-joy, suffering and pain, but oh, the joy of His light, the joy of His glory, the sacrifice I offer to Him that He turns into blessings and I experience His glory. It is in the death there is the resurrection. It is in the anguishing days of lent we come to the glory of Easter.

So, my dear brothers, I walk the road to Calvary. I mount the cross and I die. I offer sacrifice and in the morning when the night is done I see the glory of the resurrection. I experience His joy in my heart.

So I went to bed and went into the womb of my Mother and the Holy Spirit flooded me with light and I united deeply to my precious Jesus on the cross. I knew Him and His love. I reminisced on all the places of deepest intimacy I had shared with Him and my heart burned. I wanted Him so close and I loved Him so much. I cried out, "I love You, I love You, I love You." In that moment I knew and wanted only Him. He had removed my bonds and set me free to be engulfed by His divine love. I then knew Him as never before, the most Holy One, in this union with Jesus.

I felt my great love for God the Father. I have been experiencing my littleness as a child and knowing my Father, seeing myself real little and knowing my Father and wanting, as a little child, to please Him. Then tonight I realized more His Fatherly love. I see myself depending on Him, needing Him, crying to Him, loving Him and then I realized His power and might and love coming to me.

So I knew in an instant. He just gives you a light and you know, you experience--I knew, I experienced the Trinity. I loved Them, all three Persons, so much and I loved Them as one, my heart, being consumed with the presence of God and sharing the love of each Person--love beyond all love, and I stopped to be in this embrace, wanting it to never end, for in this embrace I felt peace, a peace I had not felt before, so different from the days that proceeded this moment, the days of suffering and trial.

I mounted the cross. I felt the nails press deeply into my hands and feet. I felt the crown of thorns on my head. I said to Him, "Oh, why, my God, if You love me, do You make it so hard?"

And then I saw Him on the cross. I saw His mouth with blood running from the corner of it. I saw the body of a man, close to death. I saw His wounds, blistery and red, pouring out His precious blood. I saw the hollowness of His cheeks and the exhaustion of a body ready to expire in death. I saw the anguishing Lord who came to show us His way. His way is death and resurrection. His way is pain and glory. His way is the way to eternal life.

        end of February 27, 1997


Homily from Fr. Joe

All Saints

Revelation 7: 2-4, 9-14

Then I saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’ And I heard how many had been sealed: a hundred and forty–four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel.

After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted in a loud voice, ‘Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four living creatures, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words: 

    Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom, 
    thanksgiving and honour 
        and power and strength 
    to our God for ever and ever. Amen. 

    One of the elders then spoke and asked me, ‘Who are these people, dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?’ I answered him, ‘You can tell me, sir.’ Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great trial; they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.


1 John 3: 1-3

You must see what great love 
    the Father has lavished on us 
by letting us be called God’s children—
which is what we are! 
The reason why the world 
    does not acknowledge us 
is that it did not acknowledge him. 
My dear friends, 
    we are already God’s children, 
but what we shall be in the future 
    has not yet been revealed. 
We are well aware that when he appears 
we shall be like him, 
because we shall see him as he really is.

Whoever treasures this hope of him 
purifies himself, to be as pure as he is.


Matthew 5: 1-12

Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

How blessed are the poor in spirit:
the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle:
they shall have the earth as inheritance.
Blessed are those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those
   who hunger and thirst for uprightness:
they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
they shall be recognised
   as children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
   in the cause of uprightness:
the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.


All Saints

November 1, 2001

INTRODUCTION: Our first reading is from the book of Revelation. The section just preceding today’s passage described the end of the world. It described the sun becoming dark while the moon became red as blood and the great earthquake all over the earth. As people were trying to hide from all the terrible things that were happening, they asked the question “Who can survive?” Today’s reading answers the question: those who have followed Christ faithfully, even through tribulation and persecution. Lest we think that 144,000 people are the only ones to be saved, the passage goes on to describe a crowd of people so large that they could not be numbered. Actually, the number 144,000 is symbolic of completion or perfection.

HOMILY: When we walk into St. Boniface church, we are surrounded by saints. And I don't mean just the saints here at Mass today. There are many holy people in our parish. However, I am talking about saints like the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, St. Rita, Sts. Martha and Mary with Jesus in the stained glass window, St. Teresa (aka, the Little Flower), all the apostles, St. John Vianney and St. Patrick in the back, St. Cecilia and St. Gregory the Great in the stained glass windows in the choir loft, St. Anthony, St. Boniface in the window. This is just a tiny sample of all the holy people the Church honors with the title "saint." There are thousands of others. My book of saints lists 7000. But who could count the number of holy people the Church has never honored as "saint?" That is that large crowd that the first reading tells us about, so large that no one could count them. There are many wonderful people I have known personally who are among them. And if the Church tried to honor all of them and assign them their own special feast day, it would take thousands of years to get through the list.

The Church today not only wants us to remember our relatives and friends who lived holy lives and who are now with God, but it also wants to remind us where we are headed if we live the way Jesus taught us to live. That is most important. If we read the lives of the saints we see that some were not always holy, but they realized they were doing wrong and they changed their ways. And we shouldn't wait until the last minute to change our ways either. I want to tell you an Irish story about a person who tried to wait until the last minute and it didn't work. His name was Jack. He was smart, and he was lazy. He loved to drink too much whiskey and he loved to gamble. He never did a good thing for anyone his whole life. One Halloween night while he was at a bar, the devil showed up and told him it was time for him to die and the devil was going to take him to hell. Jack wasn't ready to die. He was pretty smart so he tried to figure out how to trick the devil. He told the devil "if you had all the power people say you do, you could turn yourself into a gold coin, but I'll bet you can't do it." The devil, being very proud, said "I can be anything I want." And he turned himself into a gold coin. Jack grabbed the coin and held it tight. It happened that Jack had a scar in the palm of his hand shaped like a cross and the devil is powerless in the presence of a cross. When the devil asked him to let him go, Jack told him he would only if the devil would give him another year to live. The devil agreed, so Jack opened his hand and let the devil go. Jack decided he would change his life during that year, but he was too busy drinking and gambling that he never got around to it. The next Halloween the devil showed up again. This time Jack challenged the devil to a game of dice. He agreed to go with the devil if he lost and if he won, he would have another year of life. The devil couldn't pass up the offer. Jack, being an expert gambler, won the toss and the devil lost again. Again, Jack said he would straighten out his life, but giving up his bad habits was too much effort and by the next Halloween he was no better. This time he really died and he found himself before St. Peter at heaven's gates. The devil didn't show up this time. He was still in hell, angry that Jack had tricked him twice. But St. Peter wouldn't let Jack in. He said he didn't belong there. But when Jack went to hell, even the devil didn't want him there either, he was so angry with him. "Where can I go," cried Jack. "I can't see in the dark." The devil tossed a burning coal into a pumpkin and ordered him to wander forever with only a pumpkin to light his path. From that day on he has been named Jack o' the lantern.

It's a fanciful story, but there are similar stories in the gospels where Jesus is telling us in all truthfulness we never know when our life will be ended and we always have to be prepared. We ask the Lord today to help us realize our dignity as God's children which St. John tells us about in today's second reading. And we ask our Lord to help us live our lives in such a way that we realize the purpose for which we were made, to live as God's children for all eternity with God in heaven.



Given September 9, 2010

                God speaks to us through creation, for all
                    creation bears the handprint of God.

                God created the world
                    the seen and unseen out of nothing

                God commands "Let there be light"

                Call — Response

                The alcoholic is under compulsion —
                The alcoholic becomes the slave of alcohol —

                God created a beautiful, orderly,
                    harmonious, good world —

                    The world reflected the love between
                God and His creatures —

                Alcoholic husbands become angry if wife or children
                    tell them to be temperate —
                    and it could be the other way around

                They don't want anyone telling them
                    not to drink so they put up
                    a wall, then, between those who tell
                    them not to drink —

                Shame to admit their guilt —
                It is a free act to drink —

                They can sneak drinks and deny
                    their addiction —
                    hide the drinks —

                It can become as the elephant in the living room

                It is the Divine Will that their be order —
                    Rebelling against God's will brings
                        disorder and evil —

                Alcoholics can blame others for their
                    drinking —
                    they can wish punishment on others —

                They want the person to make them feel

                But they continue to drink —

                The devil is cunning —

                He makes good look evil and
                    evil look good —

                There is freedom in all of us —

                We can be better —

                A person full of pain can have a hole
                    in their heart — The alcoholic — addiction
                    is to numb this pain —

                When we do not love ourselves
                When we do not love God first
                When we do not love others as God commands
                    we distance ourselves from God —
                    This makes us angry and miserable —
                    We choose this path ourselves —
                        not to love

                Fall of man — The devil is cunning
                The devil wants good to look evil.
                The devil wants evil to look good.

                    We have tendencies toward concupiscence —
                disobedience against God — lack of harmony —
                The devil tricked Eve in the garden —
                She gave in


Isaiah 5: 20

Woe to those who call what is bad, good, 
    and what is good, bad, 
who substitute darkness for light 
    and light for darkness, 
who substitute bitter for sweet 
    and sweet for bitter.


                Eve ate the fruit in disobedience to God



Matthew 13: 18-23

‘So pay attention to the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path. The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away. The seed sown in thorns is some one who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing. And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’


Mark 2: 3-5, 12

when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as they could not get the man to him through the crowd, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’

And the man got up, and at once picked up his stretcher and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astonished and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’


                Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead 


                Compulsive behavior
                    "everybody does it,"
                    the devil suggests from without

                    Then we do it —
                    We do it again and again
                    We give in

                    We develop a habit (repeated acts)
                We can have a vice that is a habit
                Or a habit to have virtues — faith, hope and love,
                                                        temperance, humility,
                                                        justice, prudence

                A person who is addicted — uses the
                    addiction to numb pain within —
                    deep within

                When one is addicted to sin — they become
                    the slave of sin —

                We have free will to act addictively
                    to numb pain or not —

                One becomes addicted
                One has a bad habit

                When one is sorry — they can change it —

                If a man tells themselves they can do
                    whatever they want — and continue
                    in bad habits they are addicted
                    and are operating in ways that
                    majorly affect their lives and the
                    lives of others —

                God commands us to develop habits
                    of love —
                    virtuous living —
                    to be obedient to God's will —
                    Not egotistical demanding they
                        do what they want —
                        ignoring rules —
                        others and
                        forcing their punishment on others
                            having to put up with their


John 19: 12-13

From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted, ‘If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.’ Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated him on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha.


John 19: 17

  and carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull or, as it is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,


Luke 23: 33

When they reached the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.


John 19: 28-30 

After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and, so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said: 

    I am thirsty.

    A jar full of sour wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the wine he said, 'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.


Matthew 27: 57-60

When it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, called Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean shroud and put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away.


John 20: 30-31

After Jesus had taken the wine he said, 'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

It was the Day of Preparation, and to avoid the bodies’ remaining on the cross during the Sabbath—since that Sabbath was a day of special solemnity—the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.


                There are consequences for those who are
                    addicted —
                    they suffer and make others suffer
                    most are liars and hide so much —
                    they don't want to ever admit
                        they did anything wrong —

                Spiritual Pride for enablers become as
                    sick as the person with the addiction —

                We can fight the devil —

                We can realize only God can put us back
                    to where we need to be

                We must admit our sins —
                    all our cover-up lies — or we won't
                    get better

                When we develop addictions our
                    hearts become more hardened —
                    we are defensive — bitter —

                God can heal us with His love —

                We must flood out the darkness with
                    love of God
                    love of others
                    love of self

                Only God can lead us to happiness

                Concupiscence — self-centeredness
                                    — turning inward
                                    — our vision is of the world —

                We must be humble —
                    know evil and good in us

                Have an open heart —
                Beg for God's grace —

                But the world tells us to get everything
                    we want

                Ignorance of the scriptures is
                    ignorance of Christ —

                An addicted person is not in touch
                    with the truth —

                They are not living in the truth —
                They 'use' to numb pain
                Because they aren't living

                The more we lie to ourselves — the
                more our conscience becomes uninformed —

                The more we do bad habits —
                To the extent we sin we diminish
                    our humanity —

                Sin in our world is common place —

                The Good Shepherd leads us to abundant

                We have to fill ourselves up with God
                To fill up the space where all these bad
                    experiences are

                A person addicted loves their addiction
                    more than God

                God's love is infinite
                It transcends our mind —

                Babies look at you and want to be
                    talked to

                When people are wounded and not loved —
                    or have fear of abandonment —
                    they can suffer great pain and then they can
                    numb it by an addiction — controlling —
                    drugs, food etc. —

                God's love for us at this moment keeps us
                    in existence

                This is reality

                If God didn't love us we would
                    cease to exist —

                There is still freedom in the addicted i.e.
                    person — alcoholic, workaholic, food-aholic,
                    sex-aholic — misery — abusiveness

                There is temptations, but we have an act of
                    the will —
                    they begin with freedom
                    they may have remorse
                    say they will never drink again  


Jesus: This is the picture I want in My messages. When you read these messages, look at My picture and know I love you. These messages are My words of love for each of you.

Open Anywhere

Love, Jesus


                Alcoholic Anonymous — stand before men
                    and tell them how low they got —

                They admit their defects of character

                One must really WILL to recover
                    from their addiction —
                    not false promises —
                    addicts love their addiction more than God and others —

                Fr. Mike says — Rita they sin because they
                    want to —

                Make an act of the WILL before God —
                    to do God's will -- to depend on the "higher power"

                The person that is addicted to abuse
                    etc. — likes it —

                They have a free will to stop —

                A person using alcohol can black out —

                A person talking to the devil and being
                    addicted to bad habits can
                    "zone out" — look funny in the eyes —
                    use a low voice as if satan tells them
                    what to do — or say
                    Can have the shakes with anxiety to control
                        the surge inside —
                    They can control others day long — so they
                        won't lose control —

                An alcoholic loves alcohol —

                We must love God more —
                Use the Blue Books —

                Do you love the Lord more than your addiction? —

                To heal an alcoholic, the person must admit his
                    dependency on a higher power

                It is God's power
                We beg for grace —

                Only with this grace can there be recovery —

                A "higher power"

                Jesus healed the blind
                Jesus healed the paralytics

                It was with Jesus' power

                They must make a fearless inventory —
                Not lie at all in the future

                Jesus healed a boy with a demon
                Jesus healed the lepers —

                We must want to be healed where
                    there is an obsession —
                    WILL the healing —               

                Give all the time and attention to recovery —
                The Blue Books help —

                We are to love ourselves as God does

                Man becomes free


Galatians 2: 19-20

...I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.


                The Father is the vine grower
                Live, grow and the more
                we will flourish

                There are walking dead men
                    out there

                God has to be the center of our life —

                Eve blamed everybody — Adam —
                    the snake

                Cain planned to kill Abel out of jealousy

                God does not need us
                God does not need the world —  


                Sin deadens

                A secular person enriches
                    himself at the cost of others


Definition of Love

The definition of love used by Father Carter is as follows.

Love is the gift of self to promote the true good of those loved. He states the reception of love is the receiving of the gift of the other, so my good will be promoted. 


                Excerpt from Response in Christ by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.

The Christian and Sin

                        1) The Nature of Sin

"What is the nature of sin? Contemporary theology emphasizes that sin is not primarily a violation of a law, but a disruption of personal relationships. Sin is a refusal to love. Serious sin is a radical refusal to love. Venial sin is a partial refusal to love. ... Sin, then, because it is a failure to love God, man and the world, is selfishness. ... Sin is primarily a refusal to love God, a refusal to be loved by Him, to be guided by Him."


Excerpt from Response in Christ by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.

Other Christian Virtues

    If humility is truth, and therefore allows for the proper recognition of my gifts, it also necessitates my admitting to the evil within me. This is also part of the truth. This truth also must be acted upon; for Christian humility not only allows me to admit that there is evil in me, but it also tells me that as a creature of God I should conform myself to His will and strive to eradicate and control the evil as far as this is possible. In summary, humility allows the Christian to evaluate properly both the good and evil in himself.


1 John 4: 17-21

Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is. In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love. Let us love, then, because he first loved us. Anyone who says 'I love God' and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen. Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother.


                A person who doesn't depend
                    on God — looks for
                    power, money, people's
                    affection and depends on
                    these things to tell himself he's okay

                A person can be focused on

                St. Augustine says
                    sin is caved in on ourselves —

                Abraham shows us faith —

                Faith to walk into unknown
                To seek the Mystery of God
                To walk by faith —

                The fire of God
                    purges evil out

                We see burning bush —
                    a symbol of the presence of God

                God will not abandon us — we
                    need to go to Him with
                    a contrite heart

                Whenever anyone is disobedient —
                    Innocent others suffer

                We are to be people for Christ

                If we are faithful to God and pray
                    to Him He will help us to
                    not be enslaved to sin —
                    If we really want this —

                Pray for souls in purgatory —

                Confession helps

                Elizabeth was a barren wife
                    Look what happened —

                God gives us grace to do His work —
                    It is because of God we
                        are good — God's grace
                        given to us —

                Jesus frees His people of enslavement
                    of sin

                In the Exodus we see how Moses
                    prefigures this — God saved the
                    people by water

                Song: A Song from Jesus


                Song: Your Presence Pervades My Soul




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