November 12, 2018
November 13th Holy Spirit Novena
The Novena Rosary
November 10th - 13th
Please tune in & pray.
Nov. 13th - Mass at 12 noon
Prayer Service follows the Mass.
Prayer for Grace for our Country
Dear Father united to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally made present, celebrated around the world, in the Holy Spirit. We offer up all we do united to the Mass. We unite in one mind and one heart as members of the mystical body of Christ, with Christ our head in the pure and holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, through the powerful intercession of Mary with all the angels and saints and souls in purgatory, and we beg for the saving grace, for our country, the United States. Please help us. We further pray for unity to always do the will of God in love. We spread the Blood of Jesus on the leaders and people of the United States and cast the devil into hell. We consecrate our country to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart and all our dioceses, and beg for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God help us. We pray for our families, the priests, the Church and the world. In the Name of Jesus please hear us, we pray. We pray for our president and leaders. We pray that we are united as one nation under God to work together in love as God wants.
November 12, 2018
R. The Crowning of Jesus –
Yesterday I made a list of the death of
the Apostles and how they died. Most suffered
brutal deaths. We see Jesus so willing
to suffer in love for us.
We can meditate on the sorrowful mysteries
of the rosary and see how much Jesus
was willing to suffer for our sins and
how He was willing to carry a heavy cross
laden with our sins to pay for our sins.
We offend God when we sin. The story of Adam
and Eve that received such gifts from God and
their disobedience shows us how God is
offended, when God gives us so much and
we parade in front of Him in impudence
acting like He doesn't see us or our
Adam and Eve hid after they sinned. The
sin of Adam and Eve was against Divinity –
They deliberately disobeyed God and were
thrown from the Garden of Paradise –
Sin entered the world and Cain slew his
brother in cold blood after God warned
Genesis 4: 7
If you are doing right, surely you ought to hold your head high! But if you are not doing right, Sin is crouching at the door hungry to get you. You can still master him.’
R. We fool ourselves when we disobey God
and act as if God will not notice –
Jesus was stripped of His garments before
so many men, and men that sin can hide
their sin because they don't want anyone
to know –
God knows all things, the most secret
lies in our hearts and He gives us an
opportunity to be forgiven, but we must
come clean – and admit our sins – and
ask for forgiveness and mercy –
They placed a crown of thorns on Jesus'
head after He had been beaten for our
sins at the pillar – They mocked Him –
they led Him away a bloody mess to go
through this spectacle and men can sin
in secret to get away with it and hurt
other men for pride and anger, control,
envy, jealousy, innocent men who,
like Jesus, loved them and were chosen
to help them walk in truth –
Jesus was crowned with thorns they
pounded into His Head – the head of
the Son of God –
Where is the lies and deception of one
who hates their brothers and treats them
as enemies because they become darker
and darker about disliking themselves
and project it on others.
Loved in a Personal Way and the
other Blue Books speak the truth
about how much God loves us –
November 1, 2018
Dear Donor and Member,
I give my heart to Jesus and Mary with you in love.
Here is the Pre-Blue Book.
Sub-title – Loved in a personal way by Jesus.
Jesus woos us into His precious, tender love for us.
Please spread this book –
In the book is a big print prayer manual,
big print Holy Spirit Novena.
Jesus loves us so much –
This book makes a wonderful Christmas present –
Jesus calls us to this personal precious love relationship –
Enclosed is a prayer brochure – please pray these prayers Jesus gave Fr. Carter to pray for the priest, the Church and the world.
The priests celebrate the Mass. We need to pray for them. Pray for the Church and the world.
Jesus told us to pray at 6:20.
R. The thorns were pounded into His Head –
They mocked Him, they put a reed in His
hand and they spit on Jesus –
Jesus: It is a cruel sport the man who
enjoys hurting his brother because
he gives into satan to bring down the
house – when I call for love and
adoration and unity.
They mocked Me –
"The King of the Jews"
I am King of heaven and earth –
The men hated the Jews –
The men were brutal to Me –
These soldiers treated Me so brutally –
How is sin of one attacking just
authority for their own pride and vain
does it help improve the hateful vision
they have of themselves –
God the Father created you in My image
and likeness –
They kept striking Me on the head with
thorns and spitting on Me –
mocking Me –
Luke 4: 1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert, for forty days being put to the test by the devil. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says:
Human beings live not on bread alone.’
Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and their splendour, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give it to anyone I choose. Do homage, then, to me, and it shall all be yours.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says:
You must do homage to the Lord your God,
him alone you must serve.’
Then he led him to Jerusalem and set him on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said to him, ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says:
He has given his angels orders about you,
to guard you,
They will carry you in their arms
in case you trip over a stone.’
But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says:
Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Having exhausted every way of putting him to the test, the devil left him, until the opportune moment.
R. Humility of Jesus to suffer such abuse
for the hidden abuse of others,
done to others for power and control –
then hiding their mean tricks to
Jesus: Hypocrites, Hypocrites –
And I love you so much and you
reject My letters and keep them
for who they were addressed.
Pride is ugly –
I atoned for your sins in My brutal
suffering and you, some of My
religious, make mean sport of
their lives when others serve with
such love and fervor.
"Behold the Man"
John 19: 4-5
Pilate came outside again and said to them, ‘Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case against him.’ Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said, ‘Here is the man.’
I appear and those who listen
to satan, mock you in evil
Look at Jesus who died on the cross
doing the will of the heavenly Father.
And some lives that call themselves
servants of God – hide the truth
and play mean sport, after Jesus paid
such a price for you – in love –
Jesus paid for your sins and
He calls you to prayer – to do the
calling Jesus gives you here and
you hide the meanness in your hearts –
God knows the very depth of rejection
you give in your prideful, angry,
jealous, envious sins.
"Bend the stubborn heart and will,
melt the frozen warm the chill –
Guide the steps that go astray"
God knows the disobedience and pride
and rejection –
He paid for your sins with
beatings and torn flesh – He
was paraded before others in
such abuse –
Lies and deception are from satan –
He is the enemy –
don't you know it yet –
At Fatima I called for Conversion –
Death / Resurrection is the Pascal
Some just get better at pride and
concealing their sins –
What a sorrowful way – My eyes
bleed, my heart wails for
those who are hypocrites –
Jesus died on a cross for your sins –
Jesus obeyed the will of His Father to His
death on the cross –
Jesus was rejected - like you reject
Him now after all He has given
you in love and truth –
The devil is a liar, a deceiver; serving
satan is a trick for the man
rejecting God's authority and
serving the evil one –
hypocrites and gaul –
from the Rosary of August 27, 1996
Mary: I stood beneath the cross of my Son, and my Heart was in such pain for I saw Him before my eyes. I saw Him covered with blood. I saw Him die. My Heart, my children, my Heart to watch my Son, but my Heart, my Heart, how I suffered for my little children of the world that give in to this world and give up the love of my Son. O my little children of light, I give you this message. Carry this light into the darkness for your Mother Mary, for I stood beneath the cross and I cried. I cried for the little ones. I cried for the young ones, the ones that do not care and will lose their souls. How do I make you see for you will not listen to me? What can I do? I come. I appear. I beg. I plead. I give you these gifts from my Son, and you reject me. I do not deliver messages very often anymore for I have been ignored. The message is the same. You do not read the messages I have given to you. Please help me. Help the little children. I appear. I appear. I appear, and I am ignored. I stood beneath the cross, and I cried. I cried, and my Heart was in such anguish for my little children, for I am searching for them this day as I searched for the Child Jesus. Please, please help me. I cannot hold back the hand of my Son any longer. I am Mary, your Mother. I ask you to help my children. You are my children of light.
end of Mary's Message
Mary: Jesus was rejected before His own
Look into His Heart covered with
Why do some religious like
His Heart is ablaze with love
for men He came and died
for, and these are His letters
of love for the sick children –
Christ called some who DISOWN
the reason they were called –
Courage to give the letters He has
given to His precious souls
of His love –
Satan brings down the house of
those growing in greater
and greater pride, jealousy,
envy – seeking vain power
for their meanness –
And Jesus was told by satan to turn the
stones into loaves of bread –
When a man is fixed on anger and
secrets and lies – the darkness
gets darker for the mean-sport
of rejecting what God wants –
You should live your life to please
your heavenly Father –
Not hold out in stubborn,
lying pride serving satan.
You need self-denial, discipline –
the devil has a play-ground for
the one who refuses correction,
He puts his foot in and he takes
more and more control as
he deceives and the person
lives to prove
right is wrong and
wrong is right –
You need to learn obedience to God's Laws,
just authority –
Who is hiding from God with their
undisciplined actions opposing
the heavenly Father's Plan.
No one hides from God –
God loves you –
God created you in love –
God called you to be obedient,
to learn discipline, to
serve Him as He asks –
To be an example of the Light before
God gave you a sharing in His life
in baptism –
He opened the supernatural world
to you –
He gave you the supernatural virtues
of faith, hope and love –
Why would the man, called by God,
with such gifts –
head for the dung heap pile of lies,
tricks, pride, anger, envy, jealousy,
for power – over just authority –
God called you to discipline your
You are to detest your sins and
be sorry for your disobedience.
Song: I Am a God of Justice
Mary: My message at Fatima said you were
to make reparation –
This devotion in the Shepherds of Christ is to
make reparation to His wounded Heart (Jesus)
for those who reject Him and
punish others with their
You are to make reparation for
your sins –
You are to discipline your unruly
will – not get better at forcing
your selfish ways for control –
power over what God is calling you
You are to die to those ways not
like Jesus to grow in the
Matthew 16: 24-25
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Mary: A person that loves Jesus works in
discipline to stop sinning and
recognizes the ugliness of sin –
that they need to make reparation –
Jesus loves a cheerful giver –
One who gives without expecting
something in return –
Just to give as God commands
you to –
To co-operate with the heavenly
Father's plan –
It is love –
God commands you to love –
It is love that will get you
into heaven –
Obedience to the law of God's love –
How dark is the man in disobedience
forcing his way under the
guidance of power and
rejection of God's will in
hate and pride, envy, anger
and jealousy –
You have a mind to live by right
reasoning and the commandment
of love – tells you – you must
love and serve God – put Him first –
But a man has a free will to do
what his right reasoning
tells him or disobey God
and sin –
Men must discipline themselves,
be obedient and willing
to make reparation for their
Conversion and reparation –
I am Our Lady of Clearwater, Our Lady of
Fatima in the Americas
Mary: You are to carry your cross as
Jesus did –
Identify your sufferings with
Jesus to lead you to greater
life in Him –
You must obey the commandments.
You must die to self to lead
a holy religious life.
24 years Ago
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
Mary: You were called in religious life
under poverty, chastity and obedience.
You are to be rooted in love –
being a cheerful giver because
you love Jesus and
put Him first in your life –
You are to atone for your sins and
the sins of the world!!
You must be committed to Christ –
God is first in your life –
You live the life, death and
resurrection of Christ in
your lives –
Galatians 2: 19-20
...I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
Mary: This is what makes a happy religious –
serving God with your lives
according to the Father's Plan
in love –
Devotion to His Sacred Heart of love –
Making the Morning Offering and
offering all you do all
day united to the Mass
to the Father in love –
2 Corinthians 4: 10
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.
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 Churchs 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) 7
Excerpt from the Shepherds of Christ Newsletter 2000 #2
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)
- 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
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 Fathers 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 Churchs 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 Christs resurrection. It is true that our participation in Christs 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 Gods 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 ones 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 Christs 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 Christs 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 mans weakness and emptiness of self."
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 Christs 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 Gods 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."
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 mens 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 "
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."
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."
St. Paul tells us: But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is Gods 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)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Luke 1: 38
Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
Mary became the Mother of God –
God shows us His deep love for us –
There is that exchange
Jesus took flesh –
Jesus gave Himself –
We are to give ourselves in love to God –
The Incarnation goes on in us.
God the Father gave His Son, a little
child, to pay for our sins.
God the Father is our spiritual Father –
God the Father created us uniquely for a
God the Father wants us to be
a little child –
Matthew 11: 25
At that time Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children.
From The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius,
by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. p.25
In the preparatory prayer I will beg God
our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions,
and operations may be directed purely to the
praise and service of His Divine Majesty.
Prayer from St. Ignatius
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing
that I am doing your will.
R. We adore Jesus
We love Jesus so much –
We thank Him for coming to the
earth, taking flesh –
Christmas is a time of gift giving.
Jesus is such a gift –
Jesus: Write what the Feast of Christmas
means to you. Write ten minutes
of your gratitude and love for
the gift you were given by your
heavenly Father. If you have failed
to thank God for this gift in the past
tell God you are sorry –
Think about this precious gift I
give to you –
Open the Blue Book and read for
This is My exercise for this retreat.
Do you see the crib, the poverty,
the beauty of the night –
I am Jesus, I was laid in a stable,
there is not room in so many
hearts that have energy to
tear down and argue.
What about gratitude to your
I came to this earth and took
flesh for you, My beloved –
Surrender and be kind and
loving, appreciative, united in
your heart –
let go of bitterness –
I was born in Bethlehem –
in a stable because there was
no room in the Inn.
R. Go with the Holy Family to Bethlehem.
See the stable.
Feel the air –
Be there – Jesus was born
in Bethlehem –
for my thoughts are not your thoughts
and your ways are not my ways,
2 Corinthians 8: 9
You are well aware of the generosity which our Lord Jesus Christ had, that, although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you should become rich through his poverty.
R. There was not room for Jesus in the Inn –
Look at the trust of Mary and Joseph –
Think of the unity of the
Holy Family –
Excerpt from the Priestly Newsletter Book II
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who 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 and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep; this is 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 10:11-151)
The Son of God be-came man for our salvation. Yes, He became incarnate. He took to Himself a real human nature. Because Jesus possessed a real human nature, He could die for us. As the Good Shepherd, He has laid down His life for us, His sheep.
There are many thoughts which come to us when we reflect upon the truth that the Son of God took to Himself a human nature and dwelt among us. Some of these are as follows:
The Word Was Made Flesh. St. John puts it very simply in his Gospel: "The Word was
made flesh, he lived among us..." (Jn 1:14). Yes, John states it so succinctly, yet
these few words contain a wealth of meaning and mystery. We should expect nothing else,
since this brief statement of the fourth Gospel points out the central event of all human
history. These words sum up God's creative and redemptive activity. They sum up God's
process of Self-communication to us. Let us briefly examine some of the implications of
the Son of God becoming man.
Adequately to explain the intimacy of the way of redemption which is the Incarnation is beyond the human powers of articulation. Jesus is Emmanuel-God with us. How tremendously more approachable God is to us because we have Jesus. The more the mind dwells on the meaning of the Incarnation, the more one is stricken with wonder at this unfathomable mystery of love. And yet, for one reason or the other, we are tempted to allow the mystery of the Son becoming man to be a fact we take for granted. Our sense of appreciation becomes dulled, and our feeling of enthusiasm about Jesus becomes so tragically mediocre. If our enthusiasm concerning Jesus is less than it should be, what are the reasons? We are speaking of a deep-rooted penetrating kind of enthusiasm centered in our graced wills. Some-times this enthusiasm has deep emotional overtones. If properly controlled, this enthusiasm involving the human emotions can be a tremendous asset in one's commitment to Jesus. But we just do not have it within our power to turn the emotions on whenever we wish. The more fundamental enthusiasm for Jesus which is rooted in the human will can and should always be substantially with us.
Realizing Jesus' Love for Us. One reason our commitment to Jesus can lose its ardor is that the realization of how much Jesus loves each of us becomes a kind of peripheral or notional assent. We intellectually assent to the fact that Jesus loves us, but at times such an assent does not have much more effect on our lives than admitting that Caesar crossed the Rubicon.
We are meant to assent with our entire being to the fact that Jesus loves each of us so uniquely, so intimately, so unreservedly. This truth of Jesus' love for us is supposed to transform our lives. It is supposed to so grip our imagination so that we can say in the spirit of St. Paul: "For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rm 8:38-39)
Giving ourselves over to Jesus' love does not remove pain and suffering from life. But, through the prism of Jesus' love for us, suffering is seen in proper perspective. We see the pain and suffering as being able to lead to something greater, just as it did in Jesus' life. His suffering led to resurrection. We realize that if we relate to suffering properly, we become persons with a deepened capacity to love God and man - persons sharing more fully in Jesus' resurrection. With such an attitude, this pain dimension of life can at times become hardly noticeable because we are so taken up with Jesus and His cause.
The Cause of Christ. What is this cause? Some two thousand years ago Jesus walked this
earth preaching His Father's message, healing the sick, forgiving sins, extending His
kindness and mercy, training the apostles. In all His varied activity, Jesus was
accomplishing the redemption. Today, Jesus still walks the earth. He teaches the Father's
truth. He is concerned with the sick and the ignorant. He administers the sacraments. He
manifests the Father's love in many different ways. But, unlike that time of two thousand
years ago, Christ Himself is not visible. He is visible only through us, His members. He
extends to us the great privilege-and responsibility-of assisting Him in the continuation
of His redemptive work. The total Christian community and each individual Christian are,
then, certain extensions and continuations of the Incarnation. So close is this union
between the Christian and Christ that St. Paul speaks very strikingly that it is more
Christ than Paul who now lives: "I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now
not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in
this body I live in faith: faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself
for my sake." (Ga 2:19-20)
Each of us has the privilege of offering Jesus his or her own unique person, one's own humanity, one's own human existence. As with St. Paul we are asked to allow Jesus to live within us. Each Christian has the opportunity to allow Jesus to live through the uniqueness which is this particular Christian. To the extent the Christian does offer himself to Jesus in this manner, to that extent Jesus has a unique opportunity of continuing His redemptive work. To the extent the Christian holds back and does not allow Jesus to live in oneself, to that degree Jesus loses this unrepeatable opportunity.
Historical and Cultural Awareness. If we are to carry forth the salvific mission of
Jesus properly, the People of God, individually and collectively, must be aware of the
Incarnation's principle of historical and cultural awareness. Jesus, through His
enfleshment, became situated within an historical situation. He lived at a particular
stage of history, in a particular geographical locale, amid a particular kind of culture.
Jesus respected this historical conditioning. Without compromising His Father's message,
Jesus was aware of His historical milieu. He lived like a good Jewish man of the time. He
talked in language which respected the linguistic idiom and thought patterns of the then
existent Jewish culture. He accepted the Jewish people as conditioned by a certain
historical and cultural milieu, and dealt with them accordingly.
The members of the Christian community must follow the example of Jesus. In living and proclaiming the Gospel message, the People of God must be aware of the particular historical and cultural milieu in which they find themselves. But, also after the example of Jesus, they must strive for this awareness without compromising the Gospel. We immediately see that the Christian community is consequently open to a double danger. On the one hand, there is the danger that the People of God will not read the signs of the times properly. On the other hand, in the effort to be aware of their historical setting there is the danger of compromising the Gospel message. But the Christian community has to face these dangers and not surrender to them.
The Temporal Order. Another truth connected with the Incarnation - another incarnational
perspective - leads us to a discussion of the Christian's responsibility toward the
secular or temporal order of things. Through His enfleshment Christ has assumed, or united
to Himself, not only the human race but the entire world or temporal order. The world
literally belongs to Christ. The Christian's attitude toward authentic temporal values
should therefore be obvious. He or she should love the world as redeemed by Jesus more
than does the non-believer. The Christian should be the first to love all authentic human
values. He or she should be the first to promote these values. Obviously, the real
progress of these values must be according to their Christic design, however hidden this
design may be at times. Very importantly, the Christian should be the first to be willing
to suffer for the authentic progress of the world. And why? We reiterate-because it all
belongs to Christ.
The Christian should grieve because all is not well with the temporal order. He or she should be duly disturbed that there is so much violence, murder, social injustice, lust for power, drug peddling, pursuit of hedonism, increasing Godlessness. These and other evils sadly mar the name and image of Jesus which He imprinted upon the universe through His life, death, and resurrection. The Christian should grieve because the face of Christ is thus so often covered by the sinful dust of the market place.
But the market place, the temporal order, is not all evil. Far from it. It is basically good with the creative goodness of God. It's basic goodness and beauty have been deepened by the grandeur of Jesus' redemptive effort. There is so much good in so many human hearts. This goodness manifests itself in countless ways. There are so many ways that many allow us to see their love for neighbor. There are those who selflessly give of themselves for the good of others in the field of medicine and nursing, in the political arena, in education, in science and technology, in laboring for justice for the consumer, in striving for pollution control. The list only be extended indefinitely. Some of these services of so many for the good of neighbor command national attention. Many, many more services are so hidden, hardly noticed.
Each Christian, grieving at the world's evil, but rejoicing in its goodness and potential for greater good, must be inspired to action. He or she should deeply love the world because it belongs to Christ. He or she should deeply love the people who cover the face of this world, because they too belong to Christ. His blood has touched them and redeemed them. The love of the Christian for others must be an operative, an efficacious love. It must be willing to do, to accomplish, and, in rare cases, to die. Whatever one's state of life, be it activist or cloistered contemplative, this is the privilege and the responsibility of the Christian. He or she cannot be committed to Jesus in love without concomitantly being dedicated to the human family and the temporal order. Through the Incarnation, all this is interlinked.
If the Christian is to promote the good of the temporal order, one must be free in regards to it. One must be free, even to the extent that he or she is willing to renounce certain temporal values, good in themselves, for the service of others. The one who really loves the world is the person who is willing to forego its use at times. To love the world and to love the things of the world are not always one and the same. A person can love the things of the world- selfishly - and consequently, not love the world in itself. This selfishness is an obstacle to helping the temporal order to progress as it should.
The Human Condition. As we continue a survey of some of the truths or perspectives
connected with the Incarnation, we notice that Jesus has taught us that redemption occurs
within the human condition. The Father could have redeemed us in a number of ways. He
chose that setting which was the Incarnation of His Son. Jesus saved us by being fully
man, a man who exercised His manhood perfectly in the self-libation which was His.
Although His mission led Him to give up certain human values, He saved us through real
human acts. He saved us by loving Mary and Joseph, by eating with friends, by teaching, by
loving the little children, by thrilling to the beauty of nature, by bearing properly
insult and abuse, and, of course, by dying and rising. Summarily, Jesus saved us by living
that kind of human life which was in harmony with His Father's will.
Jesus did not rebel because He found the human condition less than perfect. He had come to change things, to give a new release to the goodness of man. He was a revolutionary in the best sense. His effort was to turn things around, to reorientate the human race toward God. But Jesus was by no means always the recipient of the goodness He had come to preach. Although He taught that one should love his or her neighbor, He himself was not always loved. He suffered, and He suffered mightily, because of the mean streak, the sinful streak in others. He Who had done nothing wrong, Who had showed His love for others in so many different ways, this man was the one they beat, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross.
Jesus redeemed us within the human condition. We receive His redemption, and help channel it to others, within that same human condition. We are redeemed by living the authentically human in the way indicated by the Father's will. Although we are led by that will to renounce various human values at various times in various ways, we are saved by living a human existence, or we are not saved at all. We have often heard that grace does not destroy nature. But, perhaps, we do not too often penetrate the depths of this theological truth. Perhaps we do not very often have a firm realization that grace elevates nature, gives it a deepened capacity for fulfillment, and that grace needs nature. Grace must work through nature if it is to save. Consequently, we are not saved and sanctified by becoming less human. We are saved and sanctified by being very human-by allowing grace to perfect the various dimensions of our human nature. Grace inspires us to the fullest exercise of our humanity. Grace inspires to a Spirit-directed way of living, of eating and drinking, of working and playing, of enjoying sense pleasure, of experiencing joy and suffering.
Participation in the human condition, then, offers us a marvelous opportunity of developing all our human capacities in the work of ongoing redemption. Yet the human condition is not by any means a completely pleasant situation. As Jesus before us suffered because of the human condition, so also must we. The human condition can be the occasion of suffering in so many different ways. For instance, a person can suffer because others treat him or her unjustly. One can suffer also precisely because someone loves him or her and he or she loves in return. This love makes one vulnerable to pain, not because the other intends it, but merely because to love within the human condition means a certain amount of inevitable suffering. We suffer also because we are to a certain extent pilgrims in exile. We have not yet arrived at our final destiny, a destiny which will be achieved only in eternity. Because we are still on the way, we are not yet completely alive, completely fulfilled. And because all this is so, we suffer, and sometimes deeply so. But, again looking to Jesus, we must learn how to encounter suffering properly. He encountered the human condition perfectly, whether it meant great joy or deep anguish. The Spirit asks us to live by the same attitude.
Bodily Values. Another perspective very close to the heart of the Incarnation is the
concept of bodily values. The connection is obvious. The Son of God assumed a human nature
with its bodily dimensions. He has given a great new dignity to the human body. Any
attitude which deprecates the body is consequently totally un-Christian. There have been
numerous such attitudes which have influenced Christian thought and practice,
unofficially, of course. There have been Manichaeism, Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, and
Jansenism, to name some. Each of these has in one manner or other failed to see the
beauty, dignity, and purpose of the human body.
The body, despite its basic goodness and grandeur, still has sinful tendencies, tendencies toward laziness, lust, unbridled pursuit of all kinds of sense pleasure. If the body is to achieve its purpose, it must obviously be properly disciplined. The one who loves his body the most is, quite obviously, not the one who gives to it all its desires. He or she is the one who takes the necessary means, however painful, to ensure that the body serves its wonderful and God-given purpose.
Incarnationalism and Transcendence. In a quick survey of some of the important truths
consequent upon the Son of God becoming man, certainly one to be mentioned is the fact
that Incarnationalism leads to transcendence - to that which is invisible, to that which
is above material limitation. At the offertory of the Mass, as the priest adds a drop of
water to the wine to be offered, he says: "By the mystery of this water and wine may
we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our
humanity." The Son has come to draw us to God - to the ultimate Transcendent Reality.
Even though we would not have been given a supernatural destiny, we would have had a thrust toward the transcendent. Our graced nature has an even greater thrust toward transcendence. The ultimate Transcendent is God, and, as St. Augustine said long ago, our hearts will not rest until they rest in God.
Christ, in His human nature, points to that which is beyond His humanity and everything else created. Christ ultimately points to God alone. Through His enfleshment, the Son was marvelously immanent in this world. But this very immanence of God pointed to the otherness, the transcendence of God. Jesus taught us that there is something beyond the material, something beyond marriage, and riches, and culture, something beyond all earthly values.
Jesus told us to relate to these values in so far as they lead to God. He told us to renounce them in so far as this would be more conducive to union with God. Jesus told us something which we all have experienced - the created in itself cannot radically satisfy us. Only God can, and the created takes an ultimate meaning, and renders authentic satisfaction, only when it leads us to God. The Son became man to lead us to transcendence-indeed, to ultimate Transcendence, God Himself.
From Guiding Light - Trust and Transform
December 25, 2012
In our first reading we hear from Isaiah the
prophet who lived 700 years before Christ. The king who reigned at the
time of Isaiah refused to trust in God and his policies brought darkness
and gloom upon God's people. We hear Isaiah prophesy the birth of a king
whose reign would bring peace and justice to God's people.
HOMILY – On Christmas morning, little five year old Tommy wasn't thrilled with the few toys and lots of clothes he had received. As he slowly trudged upstairs after opening his presents, his dad asked: "where are you going?" "To my room" he said, "to play with my new socks." (Reader's Digest: Dec. 2008, pg. 206)
As she prepared to wrap her Christmas presents, a mother discovered she didn't have any Christmas wrapping paper. The only wrapping paper she had said "Happy Birthday" on it. So she improvised. She got a big marking pen and wrote the word "Jesus" after "Happy Birthday." (Reader's Digest, Dec. 2012, pg 21)
In our first reading today, we heard the prophet Isaiah tell God's people that God would send them a king who would bring peace and justice to the people. He would not be like the king who was reigning at that time. It took 700 years before Isaiah's prophecy would come true. You would think that God's people would have forgotten about this prophecy, but they didn't. Their hope was still very much alive at the time of Jesus, waiting with high expectation for that Wonder-counselor, God-hero, father-forever and prince of peace, as Isaiah had foretold. Today we celebrate his birth.
He came to us in utter simplicity and humility, but the angels of God and the stars in the sky could not contain themselves. They had to announce his birth to everyone from those at the bottom of the social ladder, the shepherds, and to those whom society held in high esteem, the magi. Over two billion people in the world today celebrate his birth and praise God for the gift of Jesus.
Jesus didn't come just for us to make a big deal over his birth. He wants us to learn from his teachings, to imitate his example of love, to accept him as our savior and to find in him our hope. He wants us to spend eternity with him. We sometimes wonder where is that peace he came to bring, the love he taught, the eternal life he came to give. People still suffer, get sick, start wars, steal, cheat and kill. Where is the new life he came to bring us? First of all, we have to buy into his message to know his new life. Second, we have to realize that the peace he brings is not of this world, nor is his kingdom of this world. Only when we accept him fully into our lives does it all begin to make sense.
St. Luke and St. Matthew tell us very little about the birth itself, but St. Luke keeps us focused on the manger in which Jesus lay. Most commentators see a connection between the manger of Jesus and a statement in the beginning of the book of Isaiah. Isaiah told God's people, "Sons I have raised and reared, but they have disowned me! An ox knows its owner, and a donkey, its master's manger; but Israel does not know, my people has not understood." In other words, even a dumb animal knows who takes care of it and feeds it, but God's people did not know their God who took care of them. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds they went to find the baby Jesus in a manger. In other words, Luke is telling us God's people are beginning to find their God again in Jesus. And in finding him, God's people will be cared for and fed by him. Jesus himself tells us: "I am the bread of life." He feeds us and nourishes us with his word and with his love. He invites us to be at least as smart as an ox and a donkey who know who takes care of them and feeds them. (One other detail I might interject here: Bethlehem comes from two Hebrew words, which mean "the house of bread.) Jesus wants us to do more than make a big deal out of his birth; he wants us to come to him and to find our life and our inner strength in him. As he tells us, he is the way, the truth and the life.
I want to thank all of you who have come here today to celebrate Jesus coming to us. May he fill your hearts with joy, and may his love strengthen you all through the year. Amen.
December 30, 2012
INTRODUCTION – Our first reading (1 Samuel 1,20-22.24-28)
takes us back over 1000 years before Christ, just before there were
kings in Israel. Hanna (the first person mentioned) was unable to
conceive a child. If a woman in that culture could not conceive, it was
looked upon as God's punishment for something. Her husband had two wives
and the other wife used to taunt Hanna at every chance she could get.
Hanna prayed very hard to be able to have a child. In her prayer she
made an interesting promise. She promised that if she had a male child,
she would dedicate the child to God and give him back to the service of
God. She did have a child she named Samuel. Today's reading is the
account of her returning Samuel back to God. She took him to where the
Arc of the Covenant was kept, which was at Shiloh at the time, and
entrusted him to the high priest, Eli, who would raise and educate and
train Samuel in God's ways. Samuel became a great prophet and was the
one who chose the first two kings of Israel: Saul and David. The story
prepares us for the gospel of the finding of Jesus in the Temple at the
age of twelve. When Jesus tells Mary he must be about his Father's
business (or his Father's house, as it is often translated), I suspect
Mary knew someday she would have to give Jesus back to God the Father.
HOMILY – As a husband and wife were dressing to go out for New Year's Eve, the wife asked her husband: "do you think this dress makes me look fat?" He said to her: "do you think this shirt makes me look stupid?"
A mother wrote in to Reader's Digest that the highlight of her trip to the zoo with her children was a peacock showing off its plumage. The four year old son was particularly taken with it and that evening when the dad came home he couldn't wait to tell his father: "Dad, guess what! I saw a Christmas tree come out of a chicken."
Overheard at the beauty parlor was a married woman complaining to her hair dresser about her husband. She said "things have gotten so bad, I'm thinking of getting a divorce. What do you think?" Her hair dresser replied: "that's a serious question. I don't think I'm qualified to give an opinion. You better consult another hair dresser." (from Reader's Digest: Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010, pg 188
A wife sat down on the couch next to her husband who was flipping channels on the TV. She asked: "what's on the TV?" He said "dust!" Then the fight began.
One could go on for a long time with funny stories about families. If your family is not perfect, you're not alone. There are lots of dysfunctional families around. Some dysfunctions are tragic; others are just plain funny. I'll bet even the Holy Family, most likely the perfect family, had a few things happen in their relationships that gave them a few laughs. The story we hear today, the only event recorded about Jesus when he was growing up, was not funny at all. Joseph and Mary were in anguish. They must have thought that as parents they were irresponsible and awful failures.
Luke tells us the holy family went up to Jerusalem every year for the Passover - a seven or eight day event. In the Temple there was a section where the women prayed and worshipped and a different section for the men. Since Jesus was twelve years old, he could have stayed with Mary in the women's section or he could have stayed with Joseph in the men's section. At age 13 he would have been obligated to join the men. Not only did the men and women pray separately, they would gather together into groups (for safety) and they would travel separately. So apparently when Joseph and Mary returned to Galilee after Passover, they both assumed Jesus was in the group with the other parent. No one knows how it was that Jesus missed out on joining either group. Ann Rice, in her book: Christ the Lord, out of Egypt, describes the possibility that on this particular visit to Jerusalem, Jesus found out from the scribes and Pharisees about the things that happened when he was born, the shepherds who found him, the magi who were looking for him, the killing of infant boys in Bethlehem by King Herod. He had inklings that he was somewhat different before this time, but someone among the Jewish elders told him about all the unusual things that happened at his birth and the whole revelation dumbfounded and exhausted him, so much so that he missed the caravan going back to Galilee. That whole description that Ann Rice gives us in her book is pure speculation, but it's one that makes sense to me. Behind this explanation is the assumption that Jesus did not have clear knowledge yet of who he really was. Some theologians think Jesus knew who he really was from the very beginning, while others believe it wasn't until Jesus was an adult that he knew he was Son of God. It's a debate that will never be answered in this life. I just gave you Ann Rice's explanation because he helps me imagine what might have happened.
Luke tells us even Mary and Joseph did not understand what he said to them as to why he had not joined them on the way back home. It shows the perfectly human side of the holy family; what family hasn't had to go through times of crisis. At the same time it implies the divine nature of Jesus. Whether Jesus' answer is translated "in my Father's business" or "in my Father's house," the reference is to God and Jesus' very unique relationship with him. How blest we are that Jesus shares his special relationship with the Father with us by sharing God's life with us through grace and teaching us to pray to God as Our Father. Amen.
January 1, 2010
Mary, Mother of God
HOMILY - (Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2: 16-21) I entertained myself this afternoon looking up information about the new year. I’ve always wondered how January 1 became New Year’s Day. I wondered how other cultures celebrate New Year’s. I’ve always known that the Jewish new year begins on Rosh Hashanah which will fall on September 18, 2009. I’ve always known that the Chinese have their own new year celebration which this year will be Jan. 26, 2009. Because their calendar is a little shorter than ours, the Moslems began two new years’ in 2008; one in January and another in December. But I was amazed to see all the other cultures that have their own new year at different times and seasons. January 1 was chosen as the start of the new year by the early Romans in 153 BCE. Prior to that date they celebrated the new year in the spring which seems logical since nature starts to come alive at that time. But in 153 BCE the Roman senate chose January 1 as the beginning of a new year because that was the day when the Roman consuls took office. The date is quite arbitrary. It is said they celebrated with “boisterous joy, superstitious practices and gross orgies.” The early Christians made January 1 a day of penance as a reaction against the excesses of the pagans. Eventually it was made a feast of Mary as the “Mother of God.” I learned too that many European countries didn’t officially make January 1 the start of the new year until the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Now practically all big cities of the world celebrate January 1 even if they have their own new year, like China.
The Church’s celebration of the new year is the first Sunday of Advent. It makes little reference to January 1 as the start of a new year as it falls during the octave of Christmas. Christmas is too important a feast for just a one-day celebration, so the liturgy celebrates Christmas solemnly for eight days. After today, the liturgy continues to celebrate Christmas, but less solemnly, until the feast of the Baptism of our Lord. Although the angel had already told Joseph that Mary’s son was to be named Jesus, today also recalls the day on which Jesus was circumcised and officially given his name. We might reflect for a moment how respectful we are of this name by which we are to be saved. Pope Paul VI asked that today be observed as a day of prayer for peace, which is so badly needed in today’s world.
As we celebrate the beginning of 2009 we are hopeful nations might find a better way than waging war to get along with one another. We are hopeful also that our world will be more just, that life will be respected, that we might enjoy health and happiness. Although we may party at this time of year, we also have a lot of reasons to be here in church, to seek God’s help in the coming year, and to thank him for his help in the past.
Mary, the Mother of God and our spiritual mother gives us an example of how to enter into this new year. We are told she reflected on all these events in her heart. What events? The annunciation by the angel, the visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Jesus’ birth, the visit by the shepherds and the magi. May we too continue to reflect on them in our hearts. The rosary can help us in this. May we come to know God’s support as we move another year closer to the kingdom of his eternal love. Amen.
Feast of the
January 6, 2013
Isaiah 60, 1-6; Ephesians 3, 2-3a; Matthew 2, 1-12.
587 years before Christ, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians
(modern day Iraq) and most of the Jews who lived in and around Jerusalem
were taken to Babylon as exiles and slaves. Fifty years later, the
Persians (people living in modern day Iran) conquered the Babylonians,
and they allowed the Jews to return home. I can't possibly imagine the
difficulties and stresses the Jewish people were under as they tried to
rebuild their homes, their Temple, their farms after the Babylonians
destroyed everything 50 years earlier. The prophet in today's first
reading tries to encourage God's people and assure them Jerusalem would
again be a great city. He sees Jerusalem becoming a light for the whole
world. His vision is that the Jews would no longer be the only people to
learn about God and to worship God, but people would come from all
nations to visit Jerusalem to be nourished by God's word and to worship
at God's holy temple. St. Matthew sees the vision of the prophet
fulfilled in the birth of Jesus and the visit of the magi.
HOMILY – According to George Burns the secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and to have the two as close together as possible. I do not promise that from now on my every sermon will fit this pattern, but I know you have been patiently listening to a lot of sermons in the past two weeks. Today I'll do my best to give you a good sermon according to George Burns.
On Christmas we celebrated the Son of God taking on our human nature (a mystery called the Incarnation). Today the heavenly bodies themselves proclaim to all the world that God is living among us in human form. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek and means an appearance, a manifestation or a showing forth. The Greek Church celebrates Epiphany in a big way - it is their celebration of Christmas. The Roman Church (that is us), after celebrating Jesus' birth, tends to focus primarily on the coming of the magi after Christ is born. The news is getting out.
In antiquity it was a general belief that the stars and planets in some significant way announced the birth of a great person. Magi is the plural form for the Greek word Magus. A magus was a Persian or Babylonian wise man and priest who was expert in astrology, interpretation of dreams and who possessed various other magical or occult powers. The Scriptures do not tell us how many magi came, but they traveled some distance, somewhere between 500 and 1000 miles. Travel was dangerous in those days and not very comfortable. There is a delightful mini-opera (in English) named Amahl and the Night Visitors. The opera takes as its theme three magi (in the opera they are kings) losing their way in their search for Christ and stopping at the home of a poor mother and child to spend the night. I'm sure you found it delightful if you have ever had a chance to hear it or see it.
Reflecting on the theme of the magi's long journey from Iraq or Iran to Jerusalem, I thought of how we all are on a journey, whether we are aware of it or not, as we pass through this life. On this journey we encounter pleasant or unpleasant events and surprises. Sometimes it moves along happily, sometimes it gets very difficult, sometimes we meet wonderful people along the way and sometimes not, but day by day we keep moving. Whether that journey leads to Christ or not depends on us. As the magi found the Scriptures helpful in their travels, so those same Scriptures can and will guide us. As I thought of the magi coming from a far distance to find Christ, I thought many people who come here are like the magi, for they come long distances: Centerville, Delhi, Colerain Township, West Chester, Fairfield, Loveland, Lawrenceberg IN, Ft. Thomas, KY., etc. I am grateful so many people come from so many places. If we didn't have you, we would be out of business. I hope and pray that St. Boniface will always be a place where you can find Christ.
Just a few days ago we started a new year. One author described the beginning of a new year as a book with 365 blank pages. Each day we fill one page with the story of our journey. I pray that when all 365 pages are filled, your story will be a good one, and it will be if you keep moving in the direction of Christ. Amen
Given October 29, 2016
Please spread blessed holy water
(You can also mix Jesus and Mary water
with your blessed Holy Water if you have it.)
in your yard, around your house,
in the state you live in.
And ask God to bless your state
Ask God to bless the United States
Pray all prayers through the intercession of
Our Lady of CLEAR – WATER.
Ask the Lady of CLEAR - WATER
to help with the blessed water.
Mary has appeared to me for 22 years,
in Ohio and Florida.
the gift that Counts
God's Blue Books - Love Letters from Jesus
Blue Books 1 & 2 - $4 each
Blue Book 3 - $3
Blue Books 4 & 5 - $2 each
Blue Books 6A, 6B, 6C, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 - $3 each
Blue Books 14, 15, 16 & 17 - $5 each
by Rita Ring: Many of the entries in the Priestly Newsletter
Volume II from a spiritual journal came from this book.
for Parents and Children,
by Rita Ring, Short Meditations for both
parents and children to be used when
God's Blue Book I by Rita Ring. Open Anywhere This book will change your life. These are beautiful love letters to us from Jesus. A million books have been printed and circulated. Jesus loves us so much He wants a personal relationship with us He wants us to go to the Eucharist and be with Him before the tabernacle. $10
God's Blue Book II by Rita Ring. Letters from Jesus about His on fire love Jesus wants this great intimacy with us On fire love Personal love letters from Jesus about the love of His Heart A book on surrender Fr. Carter said! $10
God's Blue Book III by Rita Ring. Fr. Carter's favorite book It is about loving and forgiving each other Being pure in heart A book for unity in family, community, in life!! $10
God's Blue Book IV by Rita Ring. This book is about the love Jesus has for Mary and Mary has for Jesus and Jesus and Mary have for us It is truly the Love of the Two Hearts. Mary appeared every day at the Holy Spirit Center Fr. Carter was there. Mary's first apparition July 5, 1994. $5
God's Blue Book V by Rita Ring. Jesus wants to be the bridegroom of our soul He is our beloved Jesus tells us about pure love how we are to be pure of heart and love God and love others. It is a must, to hear about love from Jesus Jesus is love $5
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
God's Blue Book 6B by Rita Ring. Jesus and Mary appeared every day in February, 1995 So beautiful transcribed from a tape the Stations, 7 Sorrows, prayers in the Prayer Manual, the Holy Spirit Novena Book and the Song Book. Pure love loving and forgiving a book about Jesus' love, baptism, grace and Fr. Carter's Newsletter. $10
Apostles Manual. About the Movement — the structure of the Movement All Ministries — from the time 3 months before Mary appeared in Clearwater and 3 months after. Rosaries of the 13ths, Fr. Carter's Newsletters. Messages from God the Father Reaching the priests, the Church, the schools and the world. $20
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
Rosaries from the Hearts of Jesus and Mary Book 2. This is a book of so many rosaries — transcribed from a tape. So many beautiful rosaries. pages $12
Messages for the Elderly, Ill and Homebound. This is a big book of loving messages for nursing home people and homebound from Jesus and Mary Their lives are so important united to the Mass offering up their suffering, their lives for the souls of this earth. $10
Short Rosary Meditations for the Elderly, Ill and Homebound. This book is so important with pictures they can open it and lay it on their laps and pray the rosary. $10
Songs from Jesus Songbook. These loving songs were given from Jesus. So beautiful Love Songs from Jesus of His love — helping us have pure and loving hearts. $3
Color the Lives of Jesus and Mary. Volumes 1 through 7. Coloring books and meditations for grade school children and others on the mysteries of the rosary — really good. $5 each.
Color the Lives of Jesus and Mary. Volumes 6 through 7. Coloring books and meditations for grade school children and others on the mysteries of the rosary — really good. $5 each.
|Fr. Joe Robinson|
Guiding Light — The Word Alive in Our Hearts. — Cycle B for 2017/2018
Guiding Light — The Soul Who Could. — Cycle A for 2016/2017
Guiding Light homily series — Reflect on the Word — Cycle B The Word leaves an impression on our souls. In my thoughts and reflections are born a more tangible understanding of these eternal concepts presented in the Gospels and the readings. Anyone can read a sentence, but not anyone can absorb it's true meaning. Truth, in this day and age, is almost a matter of opinion or individual entitlement. We believe that Christ's truth is our Roman Catholic Church. We, as priests, champion it's teachings; we are ambassadors for the Pope and Christ to those faces looking at us. We are the light by which our congregation reads to reflect upon real truth and we do it hand in hand. $15
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
|Fr. Edward J. Carter S.J.|
Here are all the products in this category:
Books written by the founder of Shepherds of Christ Ministries
Response to God’s Love by 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 People as Published in Shepherds of Christ Newsletter for Priests. Contains 12 issues of the newsletter from July/August 1994 to May/June 1996. $15
Shepherds of Christ — Volume 2: by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. Contains issues 13—29 of the newsletter (September/October 1996 — Issue 5, 1999) $15
Shepherds of Christ — Volume 3 by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. Contains Newsletter Issues 1 through 4 of 2000 including Fr. Carter’s tremendous Overview of the Spiritual Life $10
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
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
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
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
Shepherds of Christ Holy Spirit Novena
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
Shepherds of Christ Holy Spirit Novena CD
Shepherds of Christ Prayer
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.
Statues, Crucifixes, and Religious Artwork
These items are very special additions to your home or place of worship.
Special 12" Sacred Heart or Immaculate
Heart Statues with Glass
Special 11" Our Lady of Fatima/Clearwater
Statue with Glass
White or Ivory gown with gold trim.
$ 60.00 each plus shipping
Clear Crystal Rosary
Given March 21, 2014
R. Pray for These Things
1) Pray for the Pope & hierarchy to help us start prayer chapters.
2) Pray for Dan, Sally Jo, Richard, Carol, Margaret, Sue,
Jack, Jean, Amanda, Matthew, Special intentions.
3) Pray for the priests, the Church and the world!
4) Pray for the spread of prayer chapters,
also for the spread of priests doing prayer chapters.
5) Pray for the spread of Blue Books.
6) People going to Florida and China.
7) Vocations to all 7 categories.
8) Pray for spread of Consecration and Rosary.
9) Pray for pope helping us.
10) Pray for Jeff - sales & health. Pray for Nick.
11) Blue Book 18 and cover and all involved.
For our Publisher and all involved
12) All intentions on my list, Jerry's list.
13) Priests getting Fr. Joe's book.
14) Pray for Fr. Joe's new book, cover & funds for printing & postage.
15) Donors and members and their families.
16) Healing of the Family tree.
17) Dan & Melanie, Catherine & mom, Gary, Mary Jo,
Jim & statues, Fr. Ken, Monsignor, Kerry, Tom & wife.
18) All who asked us to pray for them.
19) All we promised to pray for.
20) Rita, John, Doris, Sheila, Jerry, Regina, Sanja,
Betty, Sophie, Lisa, Eileen, Fr. Mike, Louie, Laverne,
2 Dons, Mary Ellen, Fr. Joe, all priests helping us,
Ed, Jimmy, Steve, a special couple, Rosie & all involved.
21) 2 babies and moms.
22) Funds and insurance.
23) Jerry's garage.
24) In thanksgiving for gifts, graces, & blessings received.
25) Spread the Blood of Jesus on all of us here.
26) Consecrate all hearts.
27) Cast the devil out of all of us here and all in Movement.
Shepherds of Christ Ministries
P.O. Box 627 China, Indiana 47250
Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (812) 273-8405
FAX: (812) 273-3182
Copyright © 2014 Shepherds of Christ.
Rights for non–commercial reproduction granted:
May be copied in its entirety, but neither re–typed nor edited.
Translations are welcome but they must be reviewed for moral and
theological accuracy by a source approved by Shepherds of Christ Ministries
before any distribution takes place. Please contact us for more information.