Excerpts from Mass Book II

 

   

 

Mass Book 2

Through Him, With Him and In Him

 

 

Rita Ring

  

 

 
Shepherds of Christ Publications

Madison, Indiana

   

    

  

Acknowledgements

The editor acknowledges the use of certain book excerpts as follows:

Scripture texts used in this work are taken from The New Jerusalem Bible, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1990.

    

Copyright © 2002 Shepherds of Christ Publications

First Printing: 2002

  

     

 

This is the second of a series of books.

 

  

   

Dedication

    I dedicate this book to my beloved Jesus, to my Mother Mary, and to my Spiritual Director Fr. Edward J. Carter S.J.
    This is a labor of love. I present this book to My loving Father in the Holy Spirit, through the pierced Heart of Jesus with My Mother Mary at my side.

    

    

Preface

    This is not a complete study on the Mass. I am not a theologian. I am accounting here my personal experiences on my journey into the Heart of Jesus. I am not an English major. I majored in math and taught this subject in high school and mostly in college. I am a house-wife and mother of four. I have been married since 1969. I write this book because I want to share my love for my beloved Jesus. I love the Eucharist and the Mass so much. I want to write about that. I am accounting my experiences in the Mass and before the tabernacle. Many experiences in this particular book were received during Holy Mass.

    Under the guidance of my spiritual director, Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J., I have accounted my experiences here. He is a major part of all of my enlightenments. I am most grateful for all his gifts and time he has shared with me. This book, which contains many of my journal experiences, is a joint effort of his guidance and my accounting these experiences.

    This book, I hope, will lead you more deeply into the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary, our Mother, through her pure and Immaculate Heart. I hope it will help you to love God more and more through the Mass and the Eucharist. I love you. Rita.

   

  

To The Reader

    As Father Carter wrote the Newsletters in the Newsletter Book II, I attended the daily Mass he celebrated and usually another Mass sometimes with my son, sometimes by myself. These writings were basically written then and the year of his death.

    I had very many deep mystical experiences at Mass. Father Carter was a very big help on my spiritual journey. He carefully helped me prepare all of the materials in this book.

    If you read the Newsletters in Book II, you may see a common thread in my writings and his.

    Today I live to grow in a deeper, spousal love union with God. I long for God, to be so deeply united with Him forever in heaven.

    I know Jesus is always with me, loving me and wanting me to love and adore Him, to serve Him and promote His Kingdom.

    My life is lived in this deeper union with my beloved God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Naturally Fr. Carter is not here to discern my writing To The Reader but he did discern all others in this book. Oh I have written daily of my experiences at Mass and my continual growth in my union with God.

    I know each Person of the Trinity so deeply.

    Fr. Carter wrote a very important writing on Grace, 33 years before the end of the second millennium, 1967. That writing helped to deepen my love union with God and all others. This writing of Fr. Carter on Grace and his writing on the Mass from his book Response in Christ is at the end of this book.

    Oh I feel I live that section from the Grace writing so deeply Relationship with the Members of the Church, I love this Grace writing so much.

    At Mass I am so one with God, so united to heaven and earth.

    I will include a short excerpt from a current writing.

    Things have changed for me since Fr. Carter died. I feel so much more deeply united to the souls in heaven and on earth.

    I am united with Fr. Carter in a very deep way pleading and begging for this mission.

    Fr. Carter told us in the Movement, "Our Hearts are merged" we all pray united so deeply as a body for our beloved priests, the Church and the world.

    There are more books on the Mass I have already written about my deeper union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the souls of heaven and earth and purgatory.

    Also there is a book prepared by Father Carter about our relationship with Mary.

    Oh it is a journey here below and I truly live for deeper union with God and all others and to be more perfected in His love, living as a deep intercessor praying for the priests, the Church and the world.

    The writing on Grace has been recorded by a tremendously wonderful Catholic Priest who has been on the radio for 20 years. It is on CD and audio tape.

    Also the writing on the Mass by Fr. Carter has been recorded by this special priest, Fr. Mike Paraniuk.

    Fr. Mike has celebrated a very powerful Mass for elderly and homebound. This is on video. It is only 30 minutes long.

   Fr. Mike speaks about the Morning Offering on this Mass video.

   Fr. Mike has recorded all 15 decades of the rosary.

   Fr. Carter has so many tapes of the Newsletters.

   We pray daily the prayers for the priests, the Church and the world, we unite and pray at 6:20. Fr. Carter prayed daily at 6:20. These he recorded on tape and disc and are available for you.

   Included are pictures of Fr. Carter celebrating Mass and an excerpt from the Newsletter 2001 #1 as he directed me to write after his death. This too is on disc and tape.

     

                                                                       
 
                                                                                                         
 
                                                                  
 
                      
 
                          
 
                                                                    
 
 
 
                                                                                                        
 
                                                                      
 

   

       

March 15, 2002 After Mass

                I just wanted to be alone with Him after communion. I wanted
            intimacy with Him. I can go so deeply in an ecstatic experience
            with Him. I want to be in such deep union with Him in my heart. When 
            I am one with Him I feel so one with the souls of the earth.
            I feel one with those in the Church. I feel one with His chosen priests.
            I long for the deep oneness amongst the people of the earth, as
            He desires. My oneness with Him is always in that deep connection
            with the Universal Church. My oneness reaches such heights in these
            ecstatic experiences where I am so one with the Father, knowing
            Him so intimately as His little child and loving so deeply all souls,
            wanting so deeply in my soul the Father's will for all souls of
            the earth.
                My very deep connection is in such oneness with God, Father,
            Son and Holy Spirit, I exist so deeply in God in the Mass, I want
            what He wants, my prayer so deep within me is for the will
            of God on this earth.
                And I cannot help but constantly, incessantly tell God of my
            deep, deep, burning love for Him at Mass. I am so united to God, I
            know each Person so deeply and so intimately, the depth of this
            union so far beyond this pen and paper. It is in knowing each
            Person so intimately, in loving God more deeply every moment
            of my existence here on earth that I relate so deeply with Him in
            this Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
                My depth of union and my knowledge of the Father ever deepens
            my desire for completeness with my God is the thirsting
            within my soul.
                My relationship with Jesus, my beloved Spouse, my Divine Bridegroom
            takes on a deeper meaning every moment of my existence. My journey
            into the spiritual life ever deepens. The flooding love within my
            soul for God in the Mass I cannot ever explain. The Holy Spirit
            fills my soul with the deepened presence of God's love.

  

    

March 15, 2002 continues

               I am one in God. I want a deeper fullness in His divine Life. 
            I want completeness in Him. My heart longs for the beatific vision.
            My God! I love Him so much. My deep love I cannot express.
                I am taken into ecstasy in Him. My burning desire
            for God in the Eucharist is so strong, I want Him, I 
            love Him, I want His Body and His Blood. I want this
            intimacy with my God.
                My soul cries for mercy for all the souls of the earth -
            "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."

            At the beginning of Mass, we beg for grace to be released,
                with all my heart I cry to our God.
            Oh my tongue is parched and my soul longing for God.
            I cry the day long for grace to be outpoured on the hungry
                souls.
            I feel so much depth in my heart when I communicate with Him.
            I pray for the souls of the earth and our priests and our
                Church and I know He hears me.
            This is the promise God gave to Fr. Carter for those who pray
                the Shepherds of Christ prayers.

      

13th Promise

Jesus speaks: "...I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

ó July 31, 1994

     

March 15, 2002 continues

               To those Churches who pray these prayers Jesus has given
                so many promises.

            Look at this my faithful ones.
            Do you think God would give such a sign for no reason.

  

July 5, 2000

   

March 15, 2002 continues

               And He picked a priest in good standing, author of all
            these books on the spiritual life to carry the
            message.
            It is intimacy we all crave and
                God wants this intimacy with men.
            This is the message.
            The sickness is this: many seek intimacy, they
                crave this, but they look in the wrong places.
            Jesus promised Fr. Carter greater intimacy to those
                who pray the prayers.
            This is about this ever deeper union with the Father, Son
                and Holy Spirit our souls crave.
            The following writing was written by Fr. Carter in 1967-
                33 years before the end of the second millennium.
            This has been translated in 3 other languages early in
                the seventies.

end of excerpt from March 15, 2002

               

Excerpt from the Newsletter 2001 #1
  

I Lay Down My Life for My Sheep

    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

Yes, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for us. And it is in this that we must lay down our lives daily in the Morning Offering, offering all we do as a sacrifice united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and great grace will be released for souls. We can identify with Him in this that we offer everything we do in trying to please Him and serve Him as a sacrifice united to the Mass. The more we tell others to pray the Morning Offering, the more people will lay down their lives for souls and the more grace will be released for the troubled hearts.

Jesusí Heart is pure and holy, our hearts are tainted.

Maryís Heart is pure and sinless. The more we unite our offering with Their pure and holy Hearts, the more pure our offering and the greatest grace will be released for the troubled souls.

Souls, it is souls He came to save. Do we want to identify with our beloved Savior? Then we must not miss an opportunity to lay down our lives as a sacrifice for His precious souls.

Oh, how His Heart burned with love for the souls when He mounted the cross, covered with Blood and gave Himself as a sacrifice for souls.

Yes, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His flock and we as His faithful shepherds must lay down our lives for His flock today.

There are millions of elderly that cry out daily, "Oh, God why am I here today?" In giving them a small card as simple as the ones that follow, they can offer their lives for souls which can help bring down great grace for the souls of this earth.

Say daily

God, I give you my life in union
with the Mass as an offering for
the souls, the Church and the
priests

Help us!

      



Your life is so important for souls, 
you can help bring down great grace.

 

      

Morning Offering

My dear Father, I offer you this day all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings in union with Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in the Holy Spirit. 

I unite with our Mother Mary, all the angels and saints, and all the souls in purgatory to pray to the Father for myself, for each member of my family, for my friends, for all people throughout the world, for all the souls in purgatory, and for all other intentions of the sacred Heart.

I love You, Jesus, and I give You my heart. I love you, Mary, and I give you my heart. Amen.
 

  
Offering Our Lives to God

Written May 29, 2000:

When we come to Mass we make an offering of ourselves, all our sorrows, wounds, joys, our complete selves. We see our lives and we put ourselves in Maryís Heart, ask to make the offering in greatest purity. In His Heart we offer the sacrifice IN HIM and WITH HIM.

We become one with Him as deeply as possible. We dwell in His most perfect Heart offering sacrifice to God for our sins and the sins of men. Our whole being is very active in the Mass as we realize more the power of this Sacrifice most worthily offered. We want to give ourselves as completely as possible, our past, all of ourselves, now become so one in the moment of sacrifice as we become one in Him pleading and begging to our God for purification, for help, for love of Him and all others. We give thanksgiving, worship and honor to Him, our whole being given as a sacrifice on the altar IN His pure and holy Heart. Being in the Immaculate Heart of our Mother, we offer sacrifice for the Church and the world.

We offer every precious moment of our lives, united to the Masses around the world, being one in Jesus. Every moment is a moment of sacrifice united to God. This is what we do in the Morning Offering.

The pages of the book of our lives are being written. These moments of our lives are so dear to God, for we offer our lives as a sacrifice for souls.

Are we spending the precious moments of our lives offering sacrifice to God for His honor and glory and giving our lives as a sacrifice for souls?

Write a short page every day or the following day, similar to an examination of conscience, seeing the good (so much good we accomplish we overlook, so many precious moments of joy we forget) and the times we were troubled.

The devil tries to keep us focused on the problems.

We are His shepherds, helping to shepherd His flock, there is so much good we can accomplish every day.

We should write a short page every day, date it, read over it when we are troubled, keep it in a book, see how many joyful moments we have every day.

Give them to God as a bouquet of flowers placed at His feet on that last day, the pages of the life of our book.

We will want all pages to be done in love, all for the honor and glory of God.


Through Him, With Him
and In Him

We should pray the prayer from Jesus before His bitter passion.

I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me. May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see my glory which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Father, Upright One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them. (Jn 17: 20-26)

Jesusí Heart is on fire for love of us.

God the Father loves us so much, give Him the moments of our lives as a sacrifice.

Peace, Love, Oneness Ė One Body In Him.

Our prayers are answered. We must pray from the depth of our hearts. Giving ourselves in consecration to Jesus, consecrating our hearts to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Offer sacrifice.

Put the flowers as gifts beneath the throne of God.

Plead and beg for souls.

Offer sacrifice. Be united as a body.

And the bell tolls.

Do you hear the bells toll?

The moments of our lives we cannot live again.

We are here to love and honor God and to serve Him, to prepare ourselves for the life hereafter and to help others get there.

He is the Son of God.

He showed us how to be children of the Father.

He laid down His life for His flock.

He is the Good Shepherd.

We lay down our lives in our Morning Offering.

We lay down our lives and unite to the perfect Sacrifice of the Savior.

The moments go by with such swiftness and now here is the day, the kids are grown, the grandchildren have come, and we still say, "TOMORROW I will be about my union with God."

There are so many precious moments that could have been united as a sacrifice for special grace for ourselves and others.

When He was here on earth, He merited grace by His life and death.

We need to tap into this grace our Divine Savior came to earth to gain for us.

We must tap into this sacrifice.

The moments of our lives tick away. There are millions of souls in nursing homes that could be offering up their lives for souls. We have to unite ourselves and reach them, all the souls that will hear us and unite to this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He is the Head, we are the members of His body, the Church. We must be united in the Mass, praying every moment together, being one in Him in this Holy Sacrifice so that great grace will be released.

All our most difficult trials, when we endure them with love, can help to bring down great grace.

The moment is now.

The bell is tolling.

I can only live in this moment.

I must unite it to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, praying for souls.

Every moment, whether of joy or suffering, can be a moment of grace being released for our needs, for the salvation of souls, to make reparation to God, to honor and love Him and obey Him.

OUR LIVES ARE INDEED PRECIOUS, every moment, a moment that our Father gave us as a child of God for His honor and glory.

Alleluia Ė God, help us unite as a body.

Alleluia Ė God, help us to see ourselves all one as the family of the Father with Mary our loving Mother.

How will the page of our book look for the Father? Whether we write or not, we lived it as He willed or we lived it against His will.

Were our moments, moments to give Him honor and glory, to help promote the kingdom, to help save souls and lead others to God? Did the moments help us have a higher place in heaven? Did we mature more in our love relationship with God?

Here are the flowers over the bed where Father Carter died. Before he died he requested these news-letters be continued with his writings. Father Carter wrote 17 books and 33 newsletters in the 33 years he wrote during his life. Father Carter very carefully helped prepare this writing in those last days so his writings will continue. THE MISSION given to him by God to reach the priests was twofold.

His mission was to reach the priests with these newsletters centered in consecration and to begin prayer chapters centered in consecration to pray for the priests and the renewal of the Church and the world.

His desire being that his writings be published in future newsletters and along with other articles, that prayer chapters be begun praying these prayers.

Tapes are available with this newsletter and Father Carter, himself, prays these short prayers he gave to us in the prayer manual for this purpose. A prayer manual is enclosed. Also on the tapes, another priest reads the powerful writing of Father Carter on Grace.

In the last three months of his life, he firmly directed how he desired the newsletter to be continued.

Our precious moments are to be petals of flowers we give to our Father for that last day.

The moments of our lives are being written. He has them all recorded in our book of life.

August 8, 1946.

Today is the day I was born into the world.

What a glorious day it was, for I came and had the opportunity to gain heaven and help others do likewise.

The bell tolls.

The long night will soon be over.

A new spring day buds forth.

In the fall, the leaves give way to winter and soon we see the days are gone and past. How did we love and serve the Lord?

The trees are barren, the trees are in full bloom Ė the years go by, the seasons change, a small sore, a big blockage in the heart, soon the long hard nights come to a close and the glory of the long days waited, arrives. God gives His people what is their due.

How did we love and serve our God? How did we promote the kingdom on earth?

How did we live?

How did we follow in the Good Shepherdís footsteps and lay down our lives for our friends?

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)

On September 22, 2000, Father Carter went into surgery. They opened him up and found out he had cancer. His disease was very advanced. He spent the last days preparing this writing to continue his mission Ė to write the priestly newsletter for priests and others interested in the spiritual life. He is the founder of the Shepherds of Christ Movement. Father Carter, S.J., authored some 17 books revealing deep insights into the divine mysteries. His writing is not complete in the 33 newsletters he was permitted to edit. His writing is seen in the whole body of material he authored in the 33 years he wrote. He wrote the following prayers for prayer chapters to pray for the priests, the Church, and the world. For the past six years the newsletter has been distributed around the world with circulation increasing to approximately 75,000 priests in English and Spanish. Now the newsletter is translated into French and we are currently translating the first twenty page newsletter into Portuguese.

The first book Father wrote in 1967, Response in Christ was soon published and became the book of the month. It was then translated into Polish, Italian, and Portuguese. This began Fatherís writing career. Thirty-three years later, God has called him home after touching so many souls with his writing and his work to help bring about the Reign of the Sacred Heart through all he did for sisters, priests, and laity. He founded the Shepherds of Christ Ministries to pray for priests and to help bring about the renewal of the Church and the world.

In addition to circulating the newsletter to approximately 75,000 priests, bishops and cardinals, he began prayer chapters praying prayers for the priests, the Church and the world, honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

For the past six years, a strong body of people have given their lives supporting this effort to get the newsletter into the hands of the priests and to pray for them and for the renewal of the Church and the world.

We try to get as many people as possible, in nursing homes, prisons, schools, and families to say the morning offering and offer their lives as a sacrifice united to the Mass for the priests, the Church and the world.

We try to tell people all over about the prayers in the red prayer manual Father Carter wrote so we can pray them for the priests, the Church and the world.

People all over the world gather every evening at 6:30 and pray these prayers for the priests, the Church, and the world.

Father Carterís vision was that the Sacred Heart of Jesus would be the King and Center of all menís hearts and that the Sacred Heart of Jesus would be honored and loved by men.

Father Carterís love of Our Lady is shown in his writings. He always saw himself as a little baby in her arms. In his room that last day was a holy card of Mary holding the Child Jesus, which was the only holy card we saw in his room. It looked as if he had held it. It looked used. In going through his personal holy cards, he had so many holy cards of Mary holding the Child Jesus.

He worked hard to publish the twenty page newsletter. It was a review of the spiritual life. He said he had to do it. He went into surgery September 22, 2000. His funeral was December 22, 2000, exactly three months later.

In these months he struggled with chemotherapy. He wanted the newsletter to continue and directed how it should be done with his writings. This newsletter was reviewed by him in those sick days and finished on October 16, 2000. Here is the holy card from his funeral Mass.

This picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was his favorite one. He said how it helped him to become closer to Jesus. It was on his ordination card and now on his obituary card.

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I Trust in You.

I Give My Heart to Jesus and
Mary with You in Love.

Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.

Born January 15, 1929

Ordained to the Holy Priesthood

June 10, 1962

Was Diagnosed with Cancerc

September 22, 2000.

Founder of the Shepherds
of Christ Movement

A Movement to Pray for the Priests and
Help in the Renewal of the Church
and the World.

Shepherds of Christ Ministries
PO Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
Telephone (toll free) 1-888-211-3041
(513) 932-4451 Fax: (513) 932-6791
Internet www.sofc.org

   

Besides writing those thirty-three years, Father Carter taught over 30 years at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He even taught class in the Autumn semester 2000, until he became so sick he couldnít go.

What will follow is a song dedicated to Father and all priests. The Shepherds of Christ members are committed to praying for the priests. The prayers Father gave us follow, the prayers used in the prayer chapters. Also follows is a very powerful excerpt from his book Response in Christ on Grace, entitled "The Christian Life of Grace". In this section Father considers:

1) What is Grace?

2) The Graced Christian

a) Relationship with the Father
b) Relationship with Christ
c) Relationship with the Holy Spirit
d) Relationship with Mary
e) Relationship with Members of the Church
f) Relationship with Man and His World

Prayer manuals for churches wishing to use the short prayers given by Father Carter can be obtained free of charge by calling (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or (513) 932-4451.

These prayer manuals are available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Also the little morning offering cards are available in various languages.

A Priest is a Gift from God

   

My dear priests and sisters and all men, help all to offer their days in the Morning Offering. Special cards are available for children, youth, and adults. The more we circulate the little card to the elderly and young and to all, the more people with consecrated hearts unite to the Mass all day as they try to live according to Godís will, the more great graces will be released on the world for all souls, for our priests and the Church.

We offer every precious moment of our lives united to the Masses around the world, being one in Jesus. Every moment is a moment of sacrifice united to God. This is what we do in the Morning Offering. The pages of our lives are being written. These moments of our lives are so dear to God, for we offer our lives as a sacrifice for souls.

There is so much grace that can be released as we unite as a body and pray for the priests, the Church and the world. We are all gathered as a ministry praying at 6:30 p.m. We unite to the Mass and pray the prayers in the red prayer manual every day praying as a body for the priests, the Church and the world, followed by the rosary.

Please help lead souls to Jesus Ė fruit for the Kingdom! These are your children, the ones you lead to Jesus in churches, schools and nursing homes. You have so many children, lead them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Send them to the fires of His Heart. He gave His life for their souls Ė they are your children, they are crying and being led astray! The print, radio, television and movie media often depict lifestyles opposed to Godís ways and the Ten Commandments.

Please help us to reach Godís people that they will consecrate their hearts to Jesus and Mary and pray as a body, united to the Mass for the priests, the Church and the world.

What will change the world? What will change hearts? Godís grace. The Mass goes on all day and we as members of the body of Christ need to unite and pray together as a body so that great grace is released for our priests, the Church and the world.

A primary mission of the Shepherds of Christ Movement is the priestly newsletter, the second most important mission is to pray for priests and the renewal of the Church and the world. Besides English, our materials are becoming available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese with the help of priest and lay translators and their bishops.

The priestly newsletter is not just for priests, but also for brothers, sisters, and laity who are interested in the spiritual life. It is centered in consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. It features writings regarding our union with Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit and Mary. The newsletter also stresses the Eucharist, the Church, prayer, and oneís responsibility regarding the social order. The newsletter stresses sound doctrine as found in Scripture, the writing of Popes, and other Church documents. It also presents selected writings from the saints and competent priest-theologians and others. If you would like it sent to you, please call and we will add your name to our mailing list free of charge.

I come to you today also to ask for your help. Will you please help to spread the priestly newsletter and tapes of Father Carter delivering the priestly newsletter to all priests possible? Could you help us to form prayer chapters to pray for the priests and the Church and souls? We need your help!

Here are the prayers that so many pray every day at 6:30, especially for the priests. Prayer chapters have helped many priests in parishes and people in these parishes to grow in greater holiness.

Will you form a prayer chapter in your parish and pray with us at 6:30?

One priest praying the prayers can tremendously boost the prayer power.

These are the prayers Father Carter gave us to pray in the Shepherds of Christ Prayer Manual. The prayer manual is the little red book included.

Once again we remind you that this newsletter is audiotaped. Father Carter very reverently recites these prayers on tape. Fr. Mike Paraniuk reads the powerful writing of Fr. Carter on grace. Tapes are available on request from the address below.

 

end of excerpt from Newsletter 2001 #1

     

End of "To the Reader" and beginning of text

    

  


 

~ April 28, 2000 ~

    So good is our God to give us this visible sign. My heart hungers and thirsts for Him in this great gift given.

    Today at the consecration of the Mass the priest consecrated the Host in a silver dish. My heart longs to see the beautiful white consecrated Host so much I could hardly stand it, I desired it so much. He lifted the dish and took out the beautiful consecrated Host and a see-through Host the same size appeared above the Host. I often see a small transparent halo surrounding the top of the Host. This appeared as such:

    I had such a burning in my heart to see the consecrated Host and I heard the words "are not our hearts burning within us."

    My heart ached with joy and wanting to be in this ecstatic state forever, but I was so aware of souls and the Sacrifice being offered, longing to be so one with Jesus as I dwell in Maryís pure Heart, so that my heart would be so deeply united to Jesusí in this Holy Sacrifice to the Father.

    I want so much in that moment of consecration. I want my sacrifice united to His so deeply so that grace will be outpoured for our needs. I beg and I cry for the souls in the world, all of us who so desperately need Godís grace and mercy.

    Oh, I want to offer such a Holy Sacrifice from the depth of my soul for grace and help from God. Oh, God, I am so sorry for our sins. Oh God, oh God, help us, I plead and I beg and I cry, I want it so much. I want all souls to love Him as I love Him and to unite in this Sacrifice as holy little children of the Father, pleading to God for help.

end of April 28, 2000 writing  

 


 

~ On April 3, 1996, at All Saints Church I wrote: ~

    I was at All Saints, April 3, at the 6:45 a.m. Mass. At 7:00 a.m. the bells rang at the Consecration of the Mass. The Sacrifice of Calvary rings out all over the world and I can be joined at every moment to this Sacrifice. We unite to this Sacrifice praying for ourselves and our brothers. The bell tolls at every moment I live. Whether I am doing dishes, being with my family, or whatever, I make this my offering united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being offered around the world. I make my Morning Offering. United to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being celebrated around the world, I give myself completely to the Father in the name of Jesus in the Holy Spirit with all the angels and saints. I make this offering of my life to help in the salvation of souls. My offering is most pure and holy as I unite to the pure and holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

    What is pleasing to my Father is that at every second I am trying to live in His will operating in love. My heroic or mundane tasks are most important as I give them in sacrifice united to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    I live in this way, always united to the sacrifice of Calvary being made sacramentally present on our altars around the world through the hands of His beloved priests.

    This is the moment of sacrifice. The bells toll all over the earth and Christ, Chief-Priest and Victim, gives Himself in the Mass through the hands of the priest. I give myself in love to help in the work of redemption.

   


 

~ From April 3, continued ~

    We unite in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to help in the work of redemption of souls.

    This is the secret of the contemplative in action. He hears the bell toll and realizes at every moment of his life that he is united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and helping in the act of redemption in his very living. He gives himself as a sacrifice, living according to Godís will.

    The contemplative in action unites in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass wherever it is being offered around the world and becomes one in that offering. The Father looks down and sees the Sacrifice of His Son. This is the most pleasing offering we can make to the Father, the offering of His Son. This is for the redemption of souls.

    Christ lives in us in the world today. We give ourselves selflessly in love. We model our lives after the great gift of love -- Jesus giving Himself as a Sacrifice for us that we might be saved.

    Heaven unites with earth in the Sacrifice that continues in the Mass around the world. Our lives are joined in celebration of Christís redemptive act for the salvation of mankind.

 end of April 1996 writings 

 


 

~ March 10, 1999 ~

Consumed by the Fire of His Love in the Mass

    I adore You, I worship You my beauteous God. I loved Him so intently in this Mass, wanting only to worship and adore Him. My focus was worshipping my beauteous Father. My soul was filled with the presence of Godís love in the Spirit. I had intense oneness with my beloved Spouse Jesus Christ, offering sacrifice to God. I wanted to exist in the depth of union IN HIM, knowing all I know and the struggles, but experiencing all this intently in Him. I want to exist dwelling so deeply in Him. The self unites so deeply with the Almighty God and in that point the self is so completely immersed in the Divine God. My soul was filled with awe for God. He possessed my soul in the Mass and all I crave is deeper union with Him, being existent IN HIM IN SUCH A HEIGHTENED DEGREE. This is joy, to be filled by the Almighty God and living existent in Him in this elevated state in the Mass. Come to me Lord and POSSESS MY SOUL.

    Take me away from this place. I want to be where all I know is myself existent in You. The walls around me drop off and my state is that of an elevated union with my Divine God. He gives Himself to me. I am in awe, I adore and love Him. I want to bend low and worship Him. He is truly all-holy, worthy of all honor and praise. I was consumed with awe for love of Him, wishing only to worship Him and to bend low, filled with awe and thanksgiving for this awesome gift of Himself. God gives us the greatest gift of the Mass. With Christ we offer this most Holy Sacrifice to the Father, wanting only to please Him, worship Him and praise Him. We bend and bow low to our most beauteous God, Lord of heaven and earth. Fill me with Your grace that I will be in awe of You and bend low to Your great wonders in the Mass. My God, I adore You, I worship You, I love You.

end of March 10, 1999 writing

 


 

~ Excerpt from April 21, 2000 ~

    He gives Himself to me so completely in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

    My life is in the state of becoming more pure for Him.

    My white a sign of His undaunted love for the Church, His Bride.

    Children are born, the weary travelers grow to be more perfected in Him.

    Our food is His Body.

    The gift to His Bride - Himself.

    The child is born to adore Him, to be wed to Him.

    Was ever a bride so honored as to be the bride of Christ? No man can compare to this Groom, the perfect One Who waits with such love for His spouse.

end excerpt from April 21, 2000 writing 

 


 

~ Excerpt from March 26, 2000 ~

    At Mass Friday the priest gave a homily. He said we should only live in the present, not the past and future. It bothered me because I am so united to every minute of my life, my journey to Jesus. At Mass I see Him, as I saw Him at the point of death, I see Him transfigured, I am in the ecstasies when He took me into the highest heights and revealed Himself in the Masses. At every moment I live, I live to be possessed by God for all eternity. My thoughts are so deep in prayer in Him. My whole being past and future is one when I offer sacrifice at Mass and all through the day.

    In questioning the priest later, He said that when he offers Mass he is in that moment so one with God, he cannot worry about the work he must do later for God, even if it is a paper that reaches the world. He is in that moment one with God and must put aside worries past and future.

    This is a key in the spiritual life. Although our souls may be so caught up in the sufferings or anticipations of that day, we bring ourselves to the altar and give all to Jesus and focus on Him. After the reception of the Eucharist, sometimes our souls are troubled about other matters and we are not attentive to Him as we should be. In those golden moments the Almighty God is so one with us, and we must embrace the beauty of that moment and give our attention and love to him, the Divine King that comes to us. We cannot even imagine the grace that could be outpoured if we participate so fully in that Mass, giving ourselves over to that great moment of sacrifice.

end excerpt from March 26, 2000 writing 

     

From a Lenten Homily, March 24, 2000

Live in the Moment

    Todayís Gospel in its story certainly points ahead to Jesus in His Passion and death. And as we read passages such as this during the Lenten season, we are reminded once again that the Church in her Liturgy of the Word gives us an opportunity to undergo a purification, an ever deepening cleansing of ourselves so that we may be a more fit instrument for receiving the great graces which are to be given to us at the time of the Resurrection memorial on Easter. And so all in all, Lent is a time of purification to prepare us for ever-greater gifts of the Lord. Itís a time of self-discipline, a time to renew our efforts to be self-disciplined in the service of the Lord. Self-discipline is an aspect of purification. And I suggest that one of the most difficult acts of self-discipline in the spiritual journey is to concentrate on the present moment. We have a very strong tendency to disregard the importance of the present moment by focusing in a wrong way on the past or in a wrong way on the future. There are proper occasions for thinking of the past and the future. For example, we have to learn from the past and we have to prepare for the future, but our great emphasis has to be upon the present. There is a Latin axiom which says, age quod agis, age quod agis, which means: do what you are doing, concentrate on the present. And of course we are familiar with that term in the history of spirituality: the sacrament of the present moment. And so the discipline of Lent certainly encourages us to include in a deeper self-discipline a greater determination to get as much as we can out of the present moment. People with a terminal illness have an opportunity as they prepare for death for increased prayer, contrition, love of God. However, some are taken very, very quickly. But for those who have the opportunity of knowing with some certainty the time of their death, Iím sure as they look back on their lives, they are saddened by the many times they did not use time and opportunities for the service of the Lord properly, and are overjoyed at those times in which they did use the present opportunity properly. A great means we have of living in the present properly is a greater focus upon our Lord. For if I have that awareness of the fact I am united with Jesus here and now, why should I be concerned so much about the future or the past? Yes, a great help in living in the present and deriving all the good we can from it for ourselves and others is an ever greater focus upon Jesus, because the more I focus upon Jesus and the more I live with Him in the present moment, the more I am satisfied with the present moment. And so let us in our Lenten activity resolve to grow in that self-discipline - which is very difficult at times - to really live in the present with the fullness of our being as much as is possible, with the help of Godís grace. Now is the day of salvation. Now is the day of salvation.

end of Father Carter's homily

  


 

~ August 4, 1999 ~

     
About the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

    My God, this is all I care about -- this union with You for all eternity, the rapture of existing in You in the deepest possible, most mature relationship.

    My life is a journey to grow in an always deeper relationship with God here on earth so that my relationship with Him in eternity may be as deep as possible.   Oh, the glory of it all, this rapturous union, existing in such depth with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Since the writings of the day August 2, 1999, morning Mass and 6:20 p.m. prayers (appeared August 3, 1999 Internet), I understand more fully the idea of total consecration. My life was given to Him at Baptism and now there is that complete surrendering of my life, of my will given to Him.

    I identify so profoundly with Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I see the meaning of consecration and the prayer He gave me December 27, 1995, the Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is, indeed, a most powerful prayer, for He acted in my soul so that it would be written for us to pray so we can advance more profoundly to a deeper union in Him in this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
    

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.

                                                                           -God's Blue Book, December 27, 1995
   

   
~ August 4, 1999 continues ~

    I must stop here and define sacrifice. A sacrifice is a consecrated offering. The Mass is a Sacrifice. One of its purposes is to make atonement to our God for man's sins. We are coming to the altar of sacrifice as sinners, connected to one another as creatures of God, going to God and begging mercy and forgiveness for our sins. We are sorry we have sinned and we recognize our dependence on Him and His grace.

    Today I was given great grace in the Mass, including the ability to dwell in Him in great depths. He takes over my being as I exist in Him. It is He Who chiefly pleads in the Sacrifice to the Father. I felt as if the flood gates of heaven opened on the earth as I existed in Him.

    I was with Him on the cross and my heart was consumed with love, the pain and anguish of the body I no longer felt, for the love for the souls He loves consumed my heart.  I felt His love in me and all He wanted was for them to be saved. I wanted them to be loving and as the Father wished from the beginning. The love I felt for each precious soul was so immense, for His desire was that not one be lost, not one, but that every soul be saved . I kept hearing the song One Bread, One Body, as it played within me as my soul joined in.  The emotion was so strong for oneness that it made me cry harder, wanting it so very much. It was as if a chorus sang the song, but it came from the depth of my heart as I was one in Him and existed in Him.

    It is hard to account this, for things happen, so many things happen all at once in the Mass around the Consecration and thereafter.

    A chorus sings as He hangs on the cross. It was as if my soul left my body, for all I knew was love, the love for souls, the fire of burning divine love within my being wanting only creatures existing in Him for all eternity.

    I knew the intensity to a small degree of the offering of Himself completely to the Father. I knew the pleading He did with His whole being in satisfaction for the sins of men.

    I knew more the purity of a God-made Man giving Himself as a Sacrifice and the power of it for all of the vile sins of all men for all time.

    I knew Him in His love, He was consumed for souls. I knew the complete offering of Himself, the begging for souls to be saved. His whole being was consumed with wanting souls saved. From deep within He offered Himself because of the greatness of His love.

    Love is a consuming force.

    God is love.

    I was with Him on the cross, experiencing to a small extent the desires of His Heart for His beloved creatures. I was participating in the Mass in which the Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present for us today. I realized as I participated in the Mass in Him that He in this oneness in my soul was pleading for His beloved souls in Me.

    I begged for mercy, mercy for all generations, for all my ancestors and I could hear Him in the words of the Mass, He being so one in the priest, offering this Sacrifice to the Father for His beloved souls.

    Oh mercy, we plead for mercy from our God. I heard the words of Jesus in the priest and I heard the words, "through Him, with Him and in Him".

    We offer sacrifice, consumed in the deepest love in the holy all-pure Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

    We empty ourselves, for this is what He did.

    He, God, emptied Himself completely and gave Himself for love of His precious souls so that they would be saved.

    We offer ourselves, I emptied myself. I want this most complete Consecration to Them so that I can partake to the greatest possible degree in purity in this Sacrifice and plead as He did for His precious souls. I am pleading in Him for our earth, for all priests, for all souls, as I exist in a place of deepest love for Them, pleading for forgiveness, wanting to make reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the offering of sacrifices that could have been more pure and holy and for ignoring Them entirely many times.

    I plead as I exist in the New Adam, as I am united to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the New Adam and the New Eve.

    I know a little more of this greatest Sacrifice. God gave His Son as our Savior. He came through a human person, pure and spotless, Mary the Immaculate Virgin.

    Help me to spread this knowledge of this most powerful gift, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which the Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present so that we will all partake more fully in this great act of offering Sacrifice. Pray that great grace and mercy will be outpoured on the earth. Unite all your activities to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the Church and the world and the intentions of the Shepherds of Christ Movement, His Movement, by saying the Morning Offering.
    

  
Morning Offering

    My dear Father, I offer you this day all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings in union with Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in the Holy Spirit.

    I unite with our Mother Mary, all the angels and saints, and all the souls in purgatory to pray to the Father for myself, for each member of my family, for my friends, for all people throughout the world, for all the souls in purgatory, and for all other intentions of the Sacred Heart.

    I love You, Jesus, and I give You my heart. I love you, Mary, and I give you my heart.
      

    
~ August 4, 1999 continues ~

    At the end of this little Morning offering say,

    "We offer our day to help in the salvation of souls, for our priests, the renewal of the Church and the world and for the Shepherds of Christ intentions."

    Oh God, Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, HAVE MERCY ON US.
  

    
   
I feel as Lucia in this vision at Mass. Pray with me like this at Mass.

end excerpt from August 4, 1999, Daily Message 

 


 

~ August 2, 1999 ~

CONSECRATION

CONSECRATION - Giving of oneself to God through the Virgin Mary.  This makes the sacrifice a most pure offering through her mediation.

Consecration - We must put aside all the problems and focus on emptying ourselves, giving ourselves as A HOLY SACRIFICE to God.

    The most perfect Sacrifice, Jesus, the Son of God.

    This Sacrifice is made sacramentally present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  

Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

   
   
Today is a special time for devotion to the two Hearts, August 2nd.

      I saw in my heart my friend, Genevieve, before Mass at the funeral of her husband. I saw her so beautiful there and felt deep in my heart her sorrow. I envisioned our Lady behind her and begged her for comfort for my friend. I saw Genevieve as a baby in the arms of our Lady and I knew George, her husband, as a baby also in the care of our Lady. Their lives flashed before me and I thought of the time when they were taken into God's family in a special way through Baptism and brought into the Church. Their lives flashed before me and it seemed so short: babies, married, children, and then an end, and a beginning, that for which we live for: life with Him in heaven for all eternity.

    I was very happy when at the gospel the priest read the gospel of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the temple. (Lk 2:22-32 reference). The priest began:
   

   
Luke 2:22-24

Jesus is presented in the Temple

    And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord--observing what is written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord--and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.
    

    
~ August 2, 1999 continues ~

    Purification, that is what tainted man should seek. Many of us baptized Catholic were baptized as babies.

    Through Baptism we receive a sharing in His divine life. The stain of original sin is removed, but we still have this fallen human nature to contend with. At the end of our lives we go to Him. Our time here is a time to be made more pure.

    In Father Carter's Spirituality Handbook he speaks of consecration.

From the words of Father Carter:

Consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

    To consecrate means to make sacred, to make holy. Only God can make a being holy. So to speak of our consecration is to speak of God's activity in making us holy, His activity of giving us a share in His own holiness. At Baptism we receive a share in God's life, a share in His holiness. Christ is the Mediator of this grace life. We are baptized into Christ, into His death and resurrection. In Baptism we become holy by sharing in the holiness of Christ. We become consecrated, sealed with the divine holiness. We belong to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

    On our part, we must respond to God's consecration of us. We must live out the consecration of Baptism. We must realize what God has done for us in Christ and live according to this awareness. We need to live the life of holiness and grow in it. In other words, we must develop the life of grace, the Christ-life.

    What God has done for us in Christ involves Mary. God has given us a Christ-life, our life of grace, and Mary is the Mother of this Christ-life. Consequently, living out our life of consecration to God-living out the Christ-life-includes allowing Mary to increasingly be the Mother of our Christ-life.

    Consecration to Mary, therefore, is an aspect of our consecration to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is entrusting ourselves entirely to her maternal love so that she can bring us ever closer to Jesus, so that we can increasingly live out our consecration to God in Christ.

    At Fatima, Our Lady asked that we consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. Mary shows us her heart as a symbol of her love for God and us. She asks us to make a return of love to her, to consecrate ourselves to her, to give ourselves to her completely. She wants us to entrust ourselves to her completely so that she may help us love God and neighbor.

    As stated above, consecration to Mary is an aspect of our consecration to God in Christ and she has asked for consecration to her Heart so that she may assist us. Christ, in turn, invites us to live out this consecration to Him through consecration to His Sacred Heart. We see the divine symmetry: consecration to the Immaculate Heart helps us to live out consecration to Christ Who reveals His Heart as symbol of His life of love in all its aspects, including His tremendous love for each of us individually. His Heart also asks for our love in return, a return which ideally is summed up in consecration to Jesus' Heart. Through this consecration we give ourselves completely to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart. In this consecration to Jesus, we promise to strive to live according to His Father's will in all things. (Edward Carter, S.J., Mother at Our Side, Faith Publishing, Milford, Ohio, 1993, pp. 15-17.)
        

     
~ August 2, 1999 continues ~

    At Baptism, we are consecrated to God.

    Our lives are a journey to deepen this life of consecration in the pure, holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

    It takes our wills to give ourselves completely to God. This is what we are doing in the Shepherds of Christ, trying to do as our Lady requested at Fatima, giving ourselves in consecration to God.

    In Father Carter's last newsletter he explains consecration more fully through a quote given.

    From newsletter Issue 4, 1999, A. Boussard's "Theology of Consecration":
   

  
THE THEOLOGY OF CONSECRATION

    A. Boussard gives an extremely fine and concise sketch of the theology of consecration: "By the Incarnation, in and of itself, the Humanity of Jesus is consecrated, so that in becoming Man, Jesus is ipso facto constituted Savior, Prophet, King, Priest, and Victim of the one Sacrifice that was to save the world. He is the 'Anointed', par excellence, the 'Christ' totally belonging to God, His Humanity being that of the Word and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. When, by a free act of His human will, He accepts what He is, doing what He was sent to do, He can say that He consecrates 'Himself'. In Christ, therefore, what might be called His 'subjective' consecration is a perfect response to the 'objective' consecration produced in His Humanity through the IncarnationÖ.

    "Through Baptism Christians also are consecrated and 'anointed' by the power of the Spirit. They share, in their measure, in the essential consecration of Christ, in His character of King, Priest, and Prophet...

    "With Christ and through Christ they are 'ordered' to the glory of God and the salvation of the world. They do not belong to themselves. They belong to Christ the Lord, who imparts His own life to them...

    "The vocation of those who have been baptized is to 'live' this consecration by a voluntary adherence--and one that is as perfect as possible--to what it has made of them. Living as 'children of God', they fulfill their objective consecration; like Jesus, they consecrate themselves. This is the deeper meaning of vows and baptismal promises, together with the actual way of life corresponding to them. The baptismal consecration is the fundamental one, constitutive of the Christian. All consecrations which come after it presuppose and are rooted in it..." (Dictionary of Mary, Catholic Book Publishing Co., pp. 54-55)
        

        
~ August 2, 1999 continues ~

    The newsletter is God's enormous gift to reach the priests and the people so that they will give themselves more completely to God.

    When we die, what do we take with us?

    The world was quite different outside of St. James Church this morning.

    The world was busy people going here and there in their busy schedules. But inside the church we were faced with the cold reality of death. The reality hits home when we see here the body of the one who has died.

    By the waters of Baptism he received this special sharing of divine life as a baby as he was washed clean of original sin.

    Christian burial, Christian Baptism, a soul no longer locked in original sin, a sharing in God's divine life.

    God our Father, give to souls of this earth the grace to WILLINGLY serve You and give themselves to You.

    This is consecration, the gift of self to God, the dying of the false self. Jesus gave Himself completely on the cross. He rose victorious on the third day. He came forth from the new tomb, Christ the first-fruits, Christ the Child of Mary. We are the children of Mary. She is our spiritual Mother, we are the children that come forth from her spiritual womb, her Immaculate Heart.

    There is a tape on consecration. "Consecration #2".

    An end, a beginning, a short life here. Some live as if this life is their end. They do not see, their eyes are blinded, they hold on to the world. We need to work more and more to spread the consecration to the world. In the spiritual womb of Mary the Holy Spirit works with His spouse forming us more in the image and likeness of God and giving us lights that we will see. We need to see.

    Mary wants her children to be children of light, that they will walk in the light.
    

             
    "...he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes." (Isaiah 30:20)

    How could we think Christ's last words on the cross were not important to us? In His dying moments, He gave us His Mother.

    He came, our Savior, our King, our Almighty God. He took flesh in her womb, through the power of the Spirit, He was carried in her arms as a helpless baby, He went to the temple and there Simeon said..."Now Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people, Israel." (Luke 2:29-32), and "..You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected--and a sword will pierce your own soul too--so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare." (Luke 2:35).

    Israel, being the holy city in which He built His temple, in which He lived, in which the Blessed Virgin walked and talked and carried the Son of God in her womb.

    For nine long months she carried Him within her womb. Oh children of Mary, some of you listen to His dying words on the cross, some of you do not hear. And darkness covered the earth. For as Simeon predicted, this child is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel. Many would reject their Mother. The Lady, clothed as the sun, the woman that carried the Light within her womb for those long nine months while He was formed within her body through the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Counselor, the One who is forming the Church into all it is to be.

    Christ showed us the way.
      

Consecration

    In the Mass we give ourselves completely to God and unite with the priest and with Jesus, Chief-Priest and Victim, in that Sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally made present.

    There are special graces granted to the whole world when we, baptized members of the Body of Christ, give ourselves to God at the consecration of the Mass. Our lives should be lived united to the Mass at every second. We should willingly give ourselves to God.
   

  
Revelation 12:1-2

    Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.
   

   
Revelation 12:10-11

    Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, 'Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down. They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life.
    

   
1 Corinthians 15:21-25

    As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead. Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but all of them in their proper order: Christ the first-fruits, and next, at his coming, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished every principality, every ruling force and power. For he is to be king until he has made his enemies his footstool,
   

end of August 2, 1999 message

 



~ December 7, 1999 ~

    We unite to Him, He is reigning now, people will partake more fully when He reigns in all hearts.

    He is lifting the veil and reigning in our hearts now, as it will be when there is the reign of the Sacred Heart.

    I am one with Him in the Mass. It overwhelms me to experience this. I am overwhelmed with His love for all in the Mass.

    I feel tremendous, overwhelming love for Him and from Him, I am filled with immense love for all, for all heaven and earth and souls in purgatory as I am one in Him.

    I feel immense unity with all He created and love for all.

    When I am in immense oneness, I an overwhelmed with experiencing the Mass through His Heart and Maryís Heart. I cannot describe it in words.

    I loved God to such depth - loving God from her Heart and His Heart.

    I was overwhelmed with the love of God and all He created because of my union with Him.

    In this oneness great grace is outpoured.

    How tremendously great it is when the priest is intensely one with Him.

    HE LIVES AND REIGNS now - so many are missing it.

    I experience the Mass as He reigns in my heart.
 

  
Zephaniah 3: 9-10, 14-20

Conversion of the nations

Yes, then I shall purge
the lips of the peoples,
so that all may invoke
    the name of Yahweh
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,
my suppliants will bring me tribute.

Psalms of joy in Zion

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,
Israel, shout aloud!
Rejoice, exult with all your heart,
daughter of Jerusalem!
Yahweh has repealed your sentence;
he has turned your enemy away.
Yahweh is king among you, Israel,
you have nothing more to fear.

When that Day comes,
    the message for Jerusalem will be:
Zion, have no fear,
do not let your hands fall limp.
Yahweh your God is there with you,
the warrior-Saviour.
He will rejoice over you with happy song,
he will renew you by his love,
he will dance with shouts of joy for you,
as on a day of festival.

Return of the exiles

I have taken away your misfortune,
no longer need you bear
    the disgrace of it.
I am taking action here and now
against your oppressors.
When that time comes
    I will rescue the lame,
and gather the strays,
and I will win them praise and renown
when I restore their fortunes.

At that time I shall be your guide,
at the time when I gather you in,
I shall give you praise and renown
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
    under your own eyes,
declares Yahweh.
   

        
~ December 7, 1999 continues ~

    I feel every word in the Mass, I am so one in Him, He lets me experience the words.

            As a two edged sword that penetrates the soul.

            We pray to St. Ignatius.

            Oh God, we want to be one in holiest love so we will be Your faithful servants and obey Your will.

            We are a SOCIETY OF APOSTLES of the SACRED HEART ON FIRE with YOUR LOVE.

            Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in Thee.

end of December 7, 1999 message 

 


 

~ September 3, 2000 ~

    Our prayer must be that men do the will of God.
  

   
Matthew 12:46-50

    The true kinsfolk of Jesus

    He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'
    

    
   
We pray more and more that we and all  men on the earth live according to His will.

    We are holy ones praying for this, we are intercessors for Christ.

    We dwell in Their Hearts.

    Within me is a place I go.

    I know that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell within me most abundantly when I am in the state of grace.

    I know He lives in me.

    There is a place that I can connect within myself to the Almighty God-He dwells within me.

    I am united to Jesus as my bridegroom at every second, so it is as St. Paul says...
  

        
Galatians 2:19

    In fact, through the Law I am dead to the Law so that I can be alive to God. I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.
        

        
    As I become one in Him, I unite in deep union with the Father.

    I feel His presence with me. 

    As Jesus served the Father as a Son and did His will, I am an adopted son or daughter of the Father and I live to serve Him by living in His will. 

    This is our prayer:  The Our Father.
        

  
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.
   

   
~ September 3, 2000 continues ~

    We live to give glory to God, to help to bring about the kingdom. Our every action is important to this, teaching our children, changing a baby's diaper, going to work, everything is to give glory to God, helping to bring about the Kingdom of God more alive in us.

    Teaching children to obey is teaching them about the secret of living the spiritual life according to God's will. Our desire as parents or ones in authority is to only do God's will ourselves.

    We are under Him. It isn't that a person in authority is on the top, the head, there is always the realization that God is the head and we are under Him acting in His name to those under us. We are the messengers, so to speak, of God's message to our children.

    We are creatures of God, God is always over us. Children that are willful and get away with it are really hurting themselves. To grow in the spiritual life one must learn to be under authority and those in authority must realize they are under God and try to serve Him and live by His rule.

    It is sad, for example, when a person as one with authority speaks publicly and tries to get others to abort babies.

    God's rules stand-we are under Him.

    The person that rises up against God's rule is like Eve in the garden.

    God Rules.
  

   
~ September 3, 2000 continues ~

    Do you see the wonders of the earth? Oh, God is so good and He gives us a free will to choose Him. If we love and serve Him, we will go to heaven.

    What is love if it is forced?

    God wants love freely given.

    He wants us to grow in the ways of love and to respect Him as Supreme, the One over us.

    But what is love, if we would be forced to do it?

    GOD IS SUPREME, HOLY, ALL PERFECT, ALL LOVING, ALMIGHTY, GOD IS MAGNIFICENT.

    GOD deserves GLORY.

    GOD created us to love Him.

    GOD commands we love Him and others.

    WE ARE NOT ON TOP! GOD IS!

    WE MUST PRAY THAT ALL DO GOD'S WILL.

    WE MUST PRAY THAT ALL MEN MAKE THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS THE KING AND CENTER OF THEIR HEARTS,

    AND MARY THE QUEEN OF THEIR HEARTS.

    Pray the Our Father as a little child with all your heart.

    Pray the Hail Mary to Our Mother, honoring her and asking for help.

    Pray the Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Pray the Rosary, it is the child's prayer...

Our Father...
Hail Mary
and the Holy Spirit works to enlighten us as we meditate on the Mysteries of the Lives of Jesus and Mary.

end of September 3, 2000  message

  


 

~ September 18, 2000 ~

    If I love the whole world and all souls with all my heart, can that deep love in Him help to heal souls? Surely!

    I feel the love Jesus had in giving Himself and His life and I identify with Him.

    Think of all the Masses we attended when we did not let go of so many things and failed to be so intimately one in that Sacrifice.

    Think of the hands of the priest and the Masses offered and the gift given from God in those holy Masses. Were their minds on other things, are our minds on other things? Once his hands are laid to rest he can never offer another Mass. Think of all the grace that was released from the hands of the holy priests that have now passed on to another place. The grace that comes from the Masses is such a gift. When we go to bed tonight we can never live this day's moments again, they are gone forever. We had today to unite to the Mass and lay down our lives. What we deemed so important, was it so important to take us from uniting so deeply and selflessly in the Mass?

    Did we appreciate our priests? Did we cherish the Masses they celebrated?

    Think of all the grace released through the hands of one priest.

    Think of all that is missed by men who are not following their vocation to be priests. The modeling must be there.

    Fred, an important apostle, who is doing work concerning the priesthood, said one saint helped the boys he talked to so much that they all wanted to be priests. God is the One who calls men to be priests. That love of the priesthood in the holy priest will lead him to boast to men of the greatness of the priesthood. If one priest does this, he can affect so many becoming priests. His love of the priesthood and that vocation can lead him to boast of its greatness which can lead men to follow their vocation if God is calling them to be priests.

    WE MUST PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS TO DO THIS. THIS IS SO POWERFUL when a priest promotes the priestly vocation. We MUST PRAY FOR PRIESTS TO LOVE their priesthood and be holy priests and lead others to the priesthood. The priest is in the best position to encourage others to be priests by what he says,  how he shows the joy of his life lived as a priest.

    WE MUST PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS TO DO THIS.
  
  
    To contemplate the miracle of the Eucharist is so pleasing to me and makes me cry. Jesus is truly with us in His Divinity and Humanity.

    I see the great gift in the priest. A human can look down and see bread and through the words of consecration it is changed into the Body of Jesus and he can look at the cup of wine and the wine is changed into the Blood of Jesus through the words of consecration. 

    I cannot say what is in my heart for this great event and to think God in His goodness remains with us truly present through the hands of a man.

    I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that power in my hands and look down at bread, and then there is Jesus' Body; wine, and then there is Christ's Blood.

    I want to ponder this mystery and thank God for this gift of God truly with us in His Divinity and Humanity.

    Oh, my men, do you see the gift given to man, a human person, to consecrate the bread and wine so they become the Body and Blood of Jesus?

    Oh, my men, do you see the sacredness of it all, that a man can forgive sins?

    Oh, do you see how we must pray for our precious priests and why the devil would work to stop men in anyway from following this vocation?

    Oh, my men, it is indeed the most precious gift, this gift of the priesthood, to realize that Jesus Christ is truly present in His Humanity and Divinity after a man, a priest, has said the words of Consecration.

    Oh, my heart is so filled with this great gift of God. I want so much to lie down and worship our God, for He is so good to us, and the priests are so very, very, very important.

    Yesterday at Mass, I watched as a priest looked down after the Consecration. I just gaped with awe and wonder for this mystery and I knew what a gift this was.

    I cannot adequately write about it, it is a mystery and what my heart knows is so deeply embedded in my soul.

    My heart cries to thank God for His goodness and I want to worship and honor Him and be with Him in His Eucharistic presence within me.

    Oh, God, help the schools and the priests to lead men to an appreciation of the Eucharist and our Church.

    We truly are the bride of Jesus.

    I go to the altar of Sacrifice and I receive Him my Divine God, He is my spouse, I am one with Him in this work to help lead souls to heaven, helping in this Act of Redemption.

    My heart is His, my being I give freely, to be used as His messenger for His holy purpose.
  

   
    Think of all the hands of men that didn't consecrate at Mass and administer the sacraments because they didn't answer the call to be priests.

    The present priests can help young men become priests. They must grow in great holiness.
  

 

Prayer for Priests

    Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart You attend to all the needs of Your priest-shepherds throughout the world. We ask that You draw back to Your Heart all those priests who have seriously strayed from Your path, that You rekindle the desire for holiness in the hearts of those priests who have become lukewarm, and that You continue to give Your fervent priests the desire for the highest holiness. United with Your Heart and Mary's Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen

  
~ September 18, 2000 continues ~

    Our struggle is with being earthy - involved all the time at the bottom of the mountain.
  

  
Isaiah 49: 13-15

Shout for joy, you heavens; earth, exult!
Mountains, break into joyful cries!
For Yahweh has consoled his people,
is taking pity on his afflicted ones.
Zion was saying,
   ĎYahweh has abandoned me,
the Lord has forgotten me.í
Can a woman forget her baby at the breast,
feel no pity for the child she has borne?
Even if these were to forget,
I shall not forget you.
   

  
    We need to trust in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and have faith. We can't be so focused on Satan that we do not trust. We will receive benefits from His Sacred Heart depending how we trust in Him.

    We must see His hand in what we are doing.

    We must TRUST IN HIM.

end of September 18, 2000  message

    


 

~ Newsletter January/February 1996 ~

Thoughts on the Eucharist

    The Eucharist is our chief source for growth in the Christ-life. There follow some thoughts on this magnificent Gift of Jesus to us.

- The Catechism tells us: "The Lord, having loved those who were His own, loved them to the end. Knowing that the hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father, in the course of a meal, He washed their feet and gave them the commandment of love. In order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from His own and to make them sharers in His Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of His death and Resurrection and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until His return; thereby He constituted them priests of the New Testament."(9)

- When Jesus speaks of His Blood as the "Blood of the Covenant" (Mt 26:28), we are reminded that blood sealed or ratified the Mosaic covenant at Mount Sinai. Moses sprinkled sacrificial blood upon the altar, which represented God, and upon the Jewish people. Because blood was a distinctive symbol of life for the Jewish people, such an action had a deep significance for them. This action of Moses symbolized the sealing or ratification of the covenant-a new life relationship between Yahweh and the Jewish people.

The sacrificial Blood of Jesus has also formed a covenant-the New Covenant. In the shedding of His Blood, Jesus has established a new life relationship between His Father and the human race. Forming a core, focal point of the redeemed human race are the members of the Christian community, the Church. The Eucharist, in recalling and making sacramentally present the shedding of Jesus' covenant Blood, is the Church's great covenant act. The Eucharist sustains the life of the covenant, nourishes it, causes it to grow. Through participation in the Eucharistic liturgy we should be growing in our covenant life. We should be developing a greater love-union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We should be growing in a sense of community, in a deep love for the Church, in a desire to contribute our share to the building up of the body of Christ. We should be learning to curb our selfishness, this selfishness which deadens a dynamic concern for the Christian community and the entire human race. Participation in the Eucharist should also be curbing divisive jealousy, forming us more and more as persons who want deeply to love all so that it can be more often said of us, "See those Christians, how they love one another." The Eucharist can more radically shape us according to these covenant attitudes if we allow it to do so. We repent over the times we have resisted. We rejoice regarding the times we have opened ourselves to the Eucharist's transformative power.

end of excerpt from Newsletter January/February 1996 

   


 

~ Excerpt from August 13, 2000 ~

REPARATION TO THE HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY

Reparation to Our God

    I am so unworthy to receive the Divine God Who gives Himself to me and comes inside of me and unites me more to Him and gives me Himself and pours out His grace.

    Oh God, the gift of the Mass that man can partake and offer sacrifice and be so one with that Sacrifice of Calvary, sacramentally made present now through the hands of the priest.

    I cried at Mass, feeling so deeply how we have offended our God and trying to unite in such oneness with Jesus, offering a most pure sacrifice dwelling in Mary's Heart. I just wanted the Father to see the Sacrifice of His Son and outpour grace on us and mercy and for the Father to know how sorry I am for my sins and the sins of the whole human race. We ignore Him, and He is so good to us. He is the Almighty, all powerful, all Holy, all good God.

    How can we act this way? We are so blind. I begged and pleaded at Mass with all my soul that God would please forgive us. I just wanted to cry so deep and I saw how we must make reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

end of excerpt from August 13, 2000 message 

     


 

~ May 5, 2000 ~

Spouse of the Lamb

    I longed for you, my Jesus, to receive you within My breast. I've longed to have you inside of Me.

    Oh my Jesus, I want to be with You as You are in the exposed Eucharist, and it is my delight to just be with You, the Almighty God, truly present and sit with You and gaze upon Your splendor.

    Oh, the excitement to know God is really there in the consecrated Host.

    It is so wonderful to just be with Him in such deep union, and my heart is just so filled with love for God and all others.

    The treasure is the Eucharist.

    Oh God, my heart burns to receive you in the Mass and for You to be with me in my heart right now. To just be with Jesus, the Son of God.

    When asked by Jesus to write here, I want to write as He directs me.

    What would I do if I knew today was my last day on earth?

    I would do exactly as I am doing, for I believe I am living according to His will.

    I would do it with the greatest fervor, uniting as deeply as possible every moment to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for souls.

    I would pray as fervently as I could for My family and the Shepherds of Christ family, the Church and God's family.

    I would give my all as deeply as possible to the moment and surrender all else to Him.

    I would go deep inside myself and try to unite as deeply as possible in my heart to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Every moment when lived fully united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can help to release great grace for souls.

    Oh God, I love You so much and I love souls.

    I would tell everyone on the earth about Jesus in the Eucharist, and I wouldn't care what they thought of me because that is such a gift to tell them about.

    I would spend time with Jesus in deep union at Mass and before the tabernacle and I would unite as deeply as possible with all others in my heart.

    I would pray as Jesus has taught us in the Our Father and I would recall the Gospel of John, chapter 17, in my heart, praying and offering up my whole day that the world would be one.

    I would ask God to send love to all that I have ever had a problem with and shower the earth with healing grace.

    Now, my God, there is so much more to write, but I would wish that I could live that day as You will it, deeper than ever, uniting to the Mass and all others in holy prayer.

    I wish that I could give you the greatest love and honor and adoration and I would pray more fervently than ever for our beloved priests and the most wonderful Church and the world, asking God to help me live the day according to God's will to the fullest.

    I love to be with Jesus in the tabernacle. I want to have joy in every moment.

    I love to pray the rosary and think of the mysteries of the rosary before Jesus and pray for my needs and the priests and the Church and the world, especially praying for my beloved family and friends.

    Oh, Jesus, as I go to the rosary today in Florida, I pray for grace for the priests, the Church and the world.

    I ask all to unite with me in praying every day as a body for our beloved priests, the Church and the world, as we are united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Let's feel this connection to one another every moment of the day, praying for grace to be released for souls, for the Church and the world.

    I love you all so much. May God's blessings shower your lives as Jesus takes you ever deeper into His most precious Eucharistic Heart.

end of May 5, 2000

 


 

~ Scripture ~

  
1 Corinthians 15:20-26


    In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the firstĖfruits of all who have fallen asleep. As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead. Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; but all of them in their proper order: Christ the firstĖfruits, and next, at his coming, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished every principality, every ruling force and power. For he is to be king until he has made his enemies his footstool, and the last of the enemies to be done away with is death, for he has put all things under his feet. 

  


    

~ May 10, 2000 ~

The Mass

    Today at Mass I realized how the whole Body of Christ is united in that Mass. I as a member wanted to be so united to the whole Body as one body pleading for grace for the sick earth and giving the greatest honor and love to God, worshipping Him because I love Him so. 

    I am so one with all His creatures in the Mass and filled with such love and appreciation for all He has given us as He dwells so deeply in me, in my heart in Holy Communion. I see myself and Him as a couple. He is the bridegroom, I am the bride and yet I am so one in Him, my bridegroom, my love, my all.

    Now I feel such devotion to Him in the Eucharist and I love to gaze on the Exposed Eucharist and just be with Him. I love this so much. I love to sit for so long and pray my rosary and just be there and be with Him taking everything in my life to Him, recording my special prayers for others as I am with Him so I can remember them hourly and pray for them. He fills me so in those quiet times when I am with Him and those around me add to the joy if they are devoutly honoring Him in quiet prayer. It is a new dimension for me to be with others and be so united to Him, yet feel fullness in my adoration because others are joined with me. I love the Body of Christ. I am one with my fellow members in deep, deep love in Him. I love to pray and intercede to God for our needs. My times of quiet with Him bring me great, heaven-like joy, but I know it is Godís will I work hard in spreading the News of the Kingdom and being loving to all others, serving Him and doing His will. Being loving to others means being as He desires us to be. A mother is not loving when she does not instruct her children or care for them. Being loving means living in the truth, doing what He wants even when it may be easier to ignore some things. Holy Mother the Church must teach the children what God wants them to know so they can be holy and that their souls will be saved. Loving is being as God desires us to be.

    Living every moment according to His will. We must seek to live every moment as He desires. When we do not do what is Godís will, we affect others in the body of Christ and the world. Since we are one body, every person must realize how our every action affects others and strive to do His will. If one person is willful and does not do Godís will, he affects everyone else to some degree.

    In the Reign of the Sacred Heart, all will live according to Godís will in great harmony and love. In our communities of Shepherds of Christ there should be great harmony, if all are trying to live as one body doing Godís will. What one does willfully affects the other members of the body. Like a symphony, the more they follow the conductor and act as one, the more attuned is the beautiful tone that one hears as they unite to play the composition.

end  excerpt from May 10, 2000

 


 

~ August 10, 2000 ~

Our Founder talks about the paschal mystery. 

In every Mass the death-resurrection of Jesus is sacramentally made present.

We die with Him, we lay down our lives to live more fully in the resurrection.

  • Christ died on the cross, giving His life that we would have life in Him through the Resurrection.

  • In the Mass, we give our lives to Him in complete surrender at the Consecration uniting our offering to Him and giving it to the Father, dying to ourselves and being one in Him especially as we eat His Body and drink His Blood.

DYING     -        RISING
DEATH     -        RESURRECTION

He was born - He died - He rose.

WE SHARE IN HIS LIFE.

WE LAY DOWN OUR LIVES.

WE RECEIVE THE RESURRECTED LORD.
   

  
Memorial Acclamation

    Lord, by Your cross and resurrection You have set us free - You are the Savior of the world.
  

  
    We die to ourselves every moment of the day as we unite to Jesus in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

    In dying to the false self we share more fully in His life.

    Jesus was born to die.

    We must give ourselves in total surrender especially at the Consecration of the Mass.

    In the Mass the Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present.

    We die to the false self.
   

  
John 12:24

In all truth I tell you,
unless a wheat grain falls into the earth
     and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies
it yields a rich harvest.
  

end  excerpt from  August 10, 2000

 


 

~ July 20, 2000 ~

    Our mission is this, to give our lives to God, united to the Mass for souls, with consecrated hearts.

    Our mission is to reach souls so that they offer up their lives united to the Mass for the Church and the world - for all souls. (our own included)
   

 

~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    Christ came as Savior.

    WE WALK IN HIS FOOTSTEPS.

    WE HELP IN THE ACT OF REDEMPTION.

    OUR LOVE IS SO GREAT FOR HIS SOULS.

    HE LOVED THEM SO MUCH HE GAVE HIMSELF TO HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS.

    WE LAY OUR LIVES DOWN FOR OUR OWN SALVATION AND FOR THE SAKE OF SOULS.
   

  
Isaiah 12: 2A, 3A

Look, he is the God of my salvation:
I shall have faith and not be afraid,

Joyfully you will draw water 
from the springs of salvation
   

 

 

Our offering is most pure as we give our hearts to Jesus and Mary

 

 

 
Revelations 12: 1-2

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.
  

 
Matthew 28: 16-20

    Meanwhile the eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
 

  
Words of Surrender of a Soul

Words of Consecration to God

Today Lord, (today's date), I give You my entire will-

I give You all my liberties, I want to love and serve You as You desire.

I surrender myself to You.

I ask You to run my life.

I ask You to help me act like You, Jesus, and like Your Mother Mary.

God, this day I consecrate myself to You.

I am  (name) , Your beloved child, guide me on my way now as I go about my day (or if in Church) as I leave Your Eucharistic presence.
  

 
~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    My dream is to live every moment at the consecration of the Mass where I unite more fully in that moment, and I pray the above words. I pray this prayer, too, after the reception of the Eucharist. It is my gift of giving myself more completely to Him. Is this not what love is?

    The Son of God - God Almighty gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist - in the Mass - should we not give ourselves most completely to Him?
  

 

 

  
~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    This is love - the gift of self to the other - the other gives himself to us. How completely God gives us Himself.

    I see from afar a priest raise the Host, raise the chalice, through Him, with Him and in Him.
   

 

 

   
~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    At every moment the bell tolls reminding me of this precious moment that goes on constantly around the world and that I can unite with that and help in the act of redemption.

    My life is a gift to Him.

    From afar I see the priest now, oh that precious gift. That all would unite to this precious gift as little children of the Father and Mother and pray in this union for our family, our human family on this earth and the souls in purgatory!

    Oh God, help us to see more fully the gift given and as the brides of Christ unite so fully in this act of love, of ourselves given to Him in Holy Sacrifice.

    My life is yours, I am your child, Father. I ask in this Holy Eucharist to do all I can to tell others, especially those in our Church, of the great gift God gives to us.

    Oh, I cry for joy for this gift of God given to us today.

    Through Him, With Him and In Him-

    All things in Him. All things offered united to the Sacrifice of Calvary sacramentally made present now on the altar through our precious priests.
   

 

  

~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    Here is a short prayer to give to the people in nursing homes and prisons.

     God, I give you my life in union with the Mass for souls, the Church and the priests.

    Little cards are available, make your own little cards and give them to elderly and nursing home people so they will offer their lives as a sacrifice to God in union with the Mass.
      

   

Excerpt from the Mass Book

    Oh the Mass, the greatest gift of love between God and man. The Almighty God gives Himself completely to us and we give ourselves to Him. The Bread of Life comes to me and outpours His love, His life to me. The sacrifice is God, He is the Lamb of God, and He gives Himself to us. I love sharing in His divine love. Oh God, open our eyes and give us lights that we may see more clearly the great gift You give us, that we may in this great act of love, give ourselves more completely, that we will worship You and praise You and bow down and adore our most beauteous God. I love You, I love You, oh I love You God, Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Enlighten us that we will treasure this great gift given to us. God gives Himself to man.

 

Here are some thoughts about putting our hearts in the 
right disposition at the Consecration of the Mass.

    Oh God, help me to be so one with you in the Holy Sacrifice. I want to be so deeply united to Maryís pure Heart so I can be so one with Jesus in offering this holy Sacrifice.

    Oh Father, please look down from heaven and see this holy Sacrifice and outpour your grace on our Church and our world and especially on our priests and our youth.

    Oh God, we cry to you to hear us and help us and outpour Your grace and mercy. We love You so much, and we are so sorry for all our sins and the sins of the human race for all time.

    Help us unite as a body at every moment with the Masses going on around the world, and in offering up our lives as a sacrifice, let us help to bring great grace down on the earth for our priests and the Church and the world.

    Oh God we love you so, we pray this prayer from all our hearts united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We offer it to the Father, united to Jesus in the Mass, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary at our side, and united to all angels and saints and the souls in purgatory. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us, protect us, we place our trust in Thee.

    Oh God, help us, We want to make reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the offenses against them. Holy Spirit, fill us.

    Oh God, we plead to You to grant grace for souls. Help us! Help souls Jesus gave His life for. Help us. Help our children and our priests.

 

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.

         -God's Blue Book, December 27, 1995

  

~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    When giving the people the little card give them the card "I give my heart to Jesus and Mary with you in love." 

jesuhrt.gif (34665 bytes)  jesuhrt.gif (34665 bytes)

  
    That makes the offering a most pure offering in Their pure Hearts and all our actions bring down greater grace in Their pure Hearts.

    I love souls so much, a little as He loved them. If I am so united to Him offering my life as a sacrifice united to the Mass to help save souls, it will make a difference. Our lives are so important to His plan. I am one person and my life can make such a difference to help in the salvation of souls when united to His offering of Himself in the Mass through the priest.

    The emotion in my soul is so deep with tear-filled eyes in every word. I am pleading that you help me with the offering of your own lives united to the Mass for the sake of souls and help me reach others to do likewise. I am one person, I give myself as completely as I am able. The body of Christ must realize how important their role is in this in acting in as far as they are able as a priestly people offering sacrifice.
  

  
Revelations l: 5-6

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the highest of earthly kings. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a Kingdom of Priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
   

   
Revelations 5: 9-10

They sang a new hymn:

You are worthy to take the scroll
and to break its seals,
because you were sacrificed,
    and with your blood
you bought people for God
of every race, language, people and nation
and made them
    a line of kings and priests for God,
to rule the world.
   

  

~ July 20, 2000 continues ~

    It is up to us to participate as fully as we can as a body for the sake of souls and to get others to lay down their lives as a sacrifice.

    This means offering up our daily activities united to the Mass. What a waste to not offer up all our sufferings and joys so we can help that great grace can be released.

    My life is centered around the Mass. I am a member of His body, His bride. I offer sacrifice being one in Him for the precious souls He gave His life for.

    I am emotional, for I love so deeply His precious souls and my life here when offered this way can help to bring down great grace for our troubled world.

    Only His grace will change the hearts.

    I want to show you Lucia's vision June 13, 1929.

 

  

    I love St. Ignatius so much. Every July 31,  I have received the most wonderful graces on this Feast at Mass that day. I feel really close to St. Francis Xavier, too. I think we should pray through his powerful intercession and that of St. Claude La Columbiere and St. Margaret Mary.  


   
Our lives here are important. We are intercessors for souls, intercessors praying for the priests, the Church and the world. We love like He loved and we pray like He did with burning love in our hearts for His precious souls.
        

        
Luke 12: 49-50

'I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!
        

         
From the Mass of St. Ignatius
   
     

Timothy 1: 12-17

    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength. By calling me into his service he has judged me trustworthy, even though I used to be a blasphemer and a persecutor and contemptuous. Mercy, however, was shown me, because while I lacked faith I acted in ignorance; but the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus. Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the leading example of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who were later to trust in him for eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
        

    
Luke 9: 18-26

    Now it happened that he was praying alone, and his disciples came to him and he put this question to them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?' And they answered, 'Some say John the Baptist; others Elijah; others again one of the ancient prophets come back to life.' 'But you,' he said to them, 'who do you say I am?' It was Peter who spoke up. 'The Christ of God,' he said. But He gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone.

First prophecy of the Passion

    He said, 'The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.'

The condition of following Christ

    Then, speaking to all, he said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it. What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self? For if anyone is ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
        

My whole life is centered around Him.

The Eucharist is the greatest gift given to us.

Oh that we would cherish this gift and be as He wants.

The Church is His bride.

The faithful are His brides.

We offer sacrifice and partake as we are able in His holy priesthood in being one with Him at Mass.

Lord I give you myself - take all my liberties - my entire will.

Please rule my life, I am your bride, you are the Bridegroom of my soul.

I call You Master.

You are God.

end excerpt from  July 20, 2000 message 

 


 

~ May 30, 2000 ~

The bell tolls and the moment is now.

    Oh, if we do not have a picture of a bell, hear its beauty and let it resound in your heart, knowing every moment is so important for the souls.

    Oh, God, that You love us so much and give us these gifts.

    That God is truly present and with us, and we become so busy we do not hear the clock as it ticks in our life, tick, tick and just as that clock ticks, the bell tolls to remind us of every moment and our lives given in helping in the act of redemption to help save souls.

    Now I know what it truly is to be a Shepherd of Christ, it is to give your life every moment, to lay it down as He did, uniting those moments to Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, being so one in Him as to exist so united to Him, living IN Him, offering sacrifice. A sacrifice is an offering, offering our mundane duties, all we do whether as a sick person lying in bed or a man building a high tower, all having that attitude of laying down their lives for the flock, loving them, wanting all to be one, wanting all to be saved. Oh, God, I wish I had a picture of the Good Shepherd. Envision it, Jesus so beautiful in red and blue garb, a staff in His hand and a sheep in His arms, and He is in a grassy field with sheep surrounding Him, and His love is so great for these little sheep that He would give His life for them. He would lay down His life for His sheep.
  

        
John 10: 11-15

I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd lays down his life
   for his sheep.
The hired man,
   since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
   and runs away,
and then the wolf attacks
   and scatters the sheep;
he runs away
   because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
  

  
~ May 30, 2000 continues ~

    Hear the birds chirp, the tolling bell I cannot hear now, but it tolls in my heart and in my life marking my moments when I lay down my life for Him.

    What is there but this, to be a good shepherd. To love God, to be one in Him, is to love the flock, love each and every one that we would give our life for them. We do this when we offer every moment of our lives to Him as a sacrifice for souls, our own and all His precious souls.

    Now, even though I do not hear the tolling, I must hear it in my heart. The moment in which I help in the act of redemption is at hand. Every moment of my life I want to live in laying down that life for the flock, offering up my activities done according to the Father's will in love, being one in Him, one in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass going on around the world, being ONE IN HIM. This is my offering, MYSELF, IN HIM. I help carry on the work of redemption in my life living IN HIM.

    Oh I cry, I cry, I am enveloped in the precious love of God, He has swept me, little me, off my feet with His presence at Mass. The Good Shepherd offers sacrifice united to His Body the Church at Mass as the sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present in the Mass, through the hands of consecrated priests and we sing.
  

 

 

 

 

~ May 30, 2000 continues ~

THROUGH HIM, WITH HIM and IN HIM, A PRIEST IS A GIFT from God

He has enveloped my soul and I know Him so intimately in this love of God.

I cannot speak or write words to describe it.

 

 

And His presence permeates my soul.

 

 

~ May 30, 2000 continues ~

    God is with us, sound the gong, let the world hear the message of His Shepherds, come to the feast, the Almighty God is truly present.

    Christ the Chief Priest, Victim and King gives Himself in the greatest act of love to His people through the consecrated priest.

    Oh, God, let our hearts sing, let us cry with joy, let us unite in thanksgiving, we beg you to shower your grace on the earth for the souls.

    A good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his flock.

    I hear the bells toll again. My heart skips a beat, and I cry, for I know that in sorrow and joy my life is His, I am created to achieve heaven and to help others get there.

    It is a sacrifice, my offering, my life. I am a shepherd. I do His will, I live to serve Him the way He wants of me.

    Authority comes from God to men. There is a pipeline. All authority will be under His feet. In the Church there is structure, it is His Church, He is the head, all are under Him. One that does not report upward to the top breaks the connection to Him. Likewise, the lines of authority must be well defined so the person underneath knows where to go for the authority coming from Him.

    The devil wants to take out those in authority. The devil wants those in authority to not report upward.

    The power flows from Him, through the lines of authority.

    A person that does his own will, and operates freely as he chooses, breaks the lines of authority to God.

    Those in authority cannot cut themselves off from those over them.

    Jesus has granted great authority to the pope.

    A person always must know to whom they report. If one in authority is removed, another must be designated as the authority.
  

   
Matthew 16: 18

...You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.
    

  
   
A priest is a gift from God.

    Oh, the gift of God, given to us in the Mass, let our hearts sing for joy.

end excerpt from May 30, 2000 message

 


 

~ October 6, 1999 ~

    We are a people endangered by Satan's snare.

    The Mass is the ongoing Sacrifice offered to the Father to reconcile men to God.

 

Jesus on the cross at Immaculata Church

SAVIOR, SAVIOR, SAVIOR, means joy.
   

  
It says in scripture:
  

   
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.
   


~ October 6, 1999 continues ~

    He comes, Jesus, the Son of God, Savior, to reconcile a fallen race to God.

    The Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present on our altars today.

    We pray for the priests offering sacrifice.

    What is the power in this great prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

    The handmaid stood beneath the cross, she knew exactly how to pray to bring down the greatest graces.

    When the Church began, God left Mary on earth, pleading at the altars as the perfect handmaid, the one human person conceived without sin, the New Eve, the sinless one, pleading beneath the altar as the New Adam is the Chief-Priest and Victim.

    A fallen human race, tainted in their hearts with sin.

    A spotless offering, the Body and Blood of Jesus offered to the Father for our sins.

    The connection is with God and the whole human race.

    Participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we can't be like little people disunited from each other.

    We are one body participating in the Sacrifice, pleading for the world.

    We realize that it is:

        THROUGH HIM
        WITH HIM
        AND IN HIM
        we are saved.

    We come as little ones. We go to the Immaculate Heart of the Woman. She crushes the head of the serpent. Jesus' Blood is offered in the Sacrifice.

    He is what?
        SAVIOR of the world!

    We are so foolish to disconnect in our hearts from the Holy One of Israel, from the Savior of the world, from the Woman who stood beneath that tree, the only one who could stand in Immaculate purity in her Heart.

    Why has Mary not been recognized in the Church as she should be?

    The devil knows she is the key.

    What has been hidden from the learned and the clever comes through so clear in the minds of little children.

    He can unlock our minds, lift the veil, give us the light in less than the batting of an eye.

    The children of Mary are brought forth children of light. The Holy Spirit works in connection with His spouse to bring forth the children of Eve into greater light in the spiritual womb of Mary - her Immaculate Heart.

    What is hidden from the learned and clever has been revealed to the merest children.

    God unlocks the mind as He so desires.

    Insight into the Divine Mysteries is not like the study of a history book. It comes from God acting on the soul with His grace.

    What does it say in the Litany of the Sacred Heart?

    "Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    "What does it say in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

    "Mother of divine grace."

    What is the fourth entry in the Litany of the Sacred Heart?

"God the Son, Redeemer of the world"

    What are the 7th and 8th entries?

"Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father,

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother."

    What is the 11th entry?

"Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God."

    Are we not searching? Mary is searching for her little children to lead them to the sacred temple of God.

    Children of Mary come to the light, come to the Immaculate Heart of the Woman. It is there the Light of the world was brought forth. He is the First Fruit. We are to bear fruit in this world. We are to be brought forth as children of light from the spiritual womb of the Lady Clothed with the Sun.
   

  
Revelation 12:1

Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
   


    We are so blind we do not see.

    The word needs to take root in our hearts.

    The word needs to be alive in our hearts.

    We live and dwell in Him in His Sacred Heart.

    He is the Word, the Savior of the World.

  
Revelation 22: 20

The one who attests these things says: I am indeed coming soon. Amen; come, Lord Jesus.

  

 

 

JESUS IS the SAVIOR of the World.

 

THE MASS

The Mass, the most perfect form of prayer.

 

Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

 

end excerpt from October 6, 1999 

 


 

~ April 13, 2000 ~ 

   
Hebrews 9: 15

Christ seals the new covenant
with his blood

This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise.
   

  
John 8: 51-59

In all truth I tell you,
whoever keeps my word
will never see death.

The Jews said, ĎNow we know that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, "Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death." Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?í Jesus answered:

If I were to seek my own glory
my glory would be worth nothing;
in fact, my glory
   is conferred by the Father,
by the one of whom you say,
   ĎHe is our God,í
although you do not know him.
But I know him,
and if I were to say, ĎI do not know him,í
I should be a liar, as you yourselves are.
But I do know him, and I keep his word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced
to think that he would see my Day;
he saw it and was glad.

The Jews then said, ĎYou are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!í Jesus replied:

In all truth I tell you,
before Abraham ever was,
I am.

At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

 

  
~ October 6, 1999 continues ~

    One can see the lack of understanding of the people in this gospel concerning Jesus, and today many men do not understand about the life that goes on after death or they would amend their lives.

SACRIFICE

    Sacrifice. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son. In the Old Testament they offered sacrifice to please their God and to receive His favors. God did not make Abraham sacrifice his son, but He gave us His Son as a sacrifice. Today we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ His Son, the most perfect offering.
   

  
Hebrews 9: 11 - 15

    But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, not made by human hands, that is, not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement, may restore their bodily purity. How much more will the blood of Christ, who offered himself, blameless as he was, to God through the eternal Spirit, purify our conscience from dead actions so that we can worship the living God.
  

        
~ October 6, 1999 continues ~

    We do not sufficiently realize that the human race as a whole has sinned and we must make reparation to God for our sins. We do not offer sacrifice only for our sins. We come as a member of the human race to tell God we are sorry as a race for offending Him and beg His forgiveness and mercy. God is the I Am. We offer sacrifice for our sins and the sins of all men. God is offended by our sins, we want to be reconciled to God. We say we are sinful and are sorry.

    At the consecration I give myself totally to Him to unite in this holy Sacrifice, to be one with Jesus in offering this Sacrifice to the Father for my sins and the sins of the whole human race. I tell God I am sorry we have offended Him. I mount the altar of sacrifice and unite with Jesus Himself, Chief Priest and Victim, in offering myself to the Father. I beg, I plead, I want to be so pure, being united to Him in the Pure and Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary to offer a most holy Sacrifice.

    This is the most pleasing sacrifice we can offer to the Father, the sacrifice of His Son.

    The emotion in our hearts swells, begging God to outpour grace and mercy on the earth.

    I see the youth and all the needs of the people of God. I beg Him for grace and mercy.

    Oh Jesus, I pray I can write more and more completely about this great gift you give in this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Oh that the children would know, the people in the nursing homes, know of this great sacrifice offered continually to our God and the great benefits derived from our recognition of how fully we can unite to it in our daily lives.

    Oh God, help me.

end excerpt April 13,2000 message 

 


 

~ July 2, 2000 ~

    A letter written on the feast of the Immaculate Heart.

    The depth to which I experience oneness and my desire for this deep oneness as God intends with all souls leaves me in a state of enormous hunger always.

    My desire to help souls is so deep and so intense. My whole relationship with God, the knowledge of His vision He has given to me is intense and deep. I feel I cannot express what I know and am unable to grasp it here below. We all must pull together and work really hard for the will of God to be done.

    We have to pray united deeply as a body. We need to feel. I feel so deep His suffering and His joy.

    God is molding our hearts together the more we pray as a body in Him united to the Mass. The devil can try to block this union by trying to keep us separate. The devil uses any means he can to divide. Sometimes words spoken can divide us, and yet our hearts have been united by Him, and there is such pain because He desires us to be one in Him. The devil can use verbal communication to divide us, the devil can create division by differences between men and women and different types of personalities. The devil can use past unhealed hurts that people have experienced in relationships to be as a red flag to divide two people that need to be united for His work, or need to be united to keep the family one and keep the relationships strong relationships.

    The vision of the Reign of the Sacred Heart is embedded in my soul.

    Words can never express the fullness of the love inside which one person has for another. Every Mass I have attended has planted knowledge on my soul. In some Masses He took me to the heaven-like heights in which I knew intense oneness with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (This has not only been done in the Mass. On December 15, 1995, I felt so intently united to the Divine God in a way that I know more fully this deep union with God for all eternity, all three Persons.)

    I have also experienced lack of oneness, separation, in my soul during the Mass that has been an agony I cannot ever account on paper.

    My desire is to reach as many souls as I can so that they will be with Him forever in heaven.

    I feel this deep sensitivity within me to be able to communicate to Him. I know more His suffering in the garden. He had perfect knowledge and perfect love, and the intensity of what He experienced there is inexpressible in words. He loves perfectly. He knows perfectly. It was not wounds to His mortal flesh that was His greatest agony, but wounds to His tender Sacred Heart for the lack of oneness and love of His creatures. He had knowledge of complete oneness. He saw the hatred and division and the sins of all men for all time.

    God is surely good to us. He gives us Himself, He shares His life, He gives us the Mass, the Eucharist, the Church, the priest, the Sacraments, each other, our lives, our breaths.

    I see God is the One Who molds our hearts into deep oneness as we dwell in His Heart. We are united more as a body as we partake more fully in every Mass. 

    The division is so painful when we love someone so much.

    The more we are united in Him through prayer and the Mass and consecration, the more division tears our hearts apart. It is His hand that unites us in prayer and consecration and in the Mass. We are united to the whole body of Christ more and more when we participate in the Mass and unite in Him consciously and consecrate ourselves to Him through Mary's Immaculate Heart in the Holy Spirit.

    Here again, what I write of here is beyond words.

    The more we dwell in His Heart, the more we unite to the Mass. He unites us, it is by His hand. Satan can create division through verbal communication or other ways, but the deep rooted union of the Body of Christ is beyond our complete understanding. We are united in Him in the Mass and in our baptism and life in the Church. It is by His hand. Our participation in the consecration intensifies the more we participate and He outpours His grace.

    If we fail to communicate verbally, this is not the issue. His mission is implanted on our souls by Him in depth through the Masses, the time before the tabernacle, our prayers, living our consecrations.

    He helps us know more and more how to participate more fully in our relationship with Him, how to be one. 

    He helps us grow in our life of consecration which began at baptism.

    Through the purity of Mary's Heart, we can deeply dwell in His Sacred Heart, wherein is found the treasures we seek.

    There is a great depth between souls that unite to the Mass and live their consecration. It is the hand of God that unites the hearts, and the words given here are to lead the Church and the world into deeper oneness in Him.

    It is not in the words alone that we connect, but God is uniting our hearts in Him as we dwell in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He is the Initiator.

    In a world that thinks they control everything, we must feel the air on our cheeks and breathe the fresh air into our lungs, watch the sun rise and set. We do not control these things, the hand of God is upon us.

    We have to let go and have faith. God knows the very hairs of our heads and watches over us.

    Oh God, give us faith and help us to realize You are working in our hearts in our connection to the Mass and in living more deeply our consecration.

    The mission has been planted in our hearts by the hand of God.

    We must spread the consecration as Mary said at Fatima. We must unite to the Mass.

    There will be one flock with one Shepherd.

    The shepherd helps lead the strayed ones home.

    The home for us is the Heart of Jesus.
  

  
John 10: 7-21

So Jesus spoke to them again:

In all truth I tell you,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All who have come before me
are thieves and bandits,
but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me
   will be safe:
such a one will go in and out
and will find pasture.
The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come
so that they may have life
and have it to the full.
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.
And there are other sheep I have
 that are not of this fold,
 and I must lead these too. 
They too will listen to my voice,
 and there will be only one flock, 
one shepherd.
The Father loves me, 
because I lay down my life
 in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me; 
I lay it down of my own free will, 
and as I have power to lay it down, 
so I have power to take it up again; 
and this is the command 
   I have received from my Father.

These words caused a fresh division among the Jews. Many said, ĎHe is possessed, he is raving; why do you listen to him?í Others said, ĎThese are not the words of a man possessed by a devil: could a devil open the eyes of the blind?í
   

   
John 17: 10-26

All I have is yours
and all you have is mine,
and in them I am glorified.
I am no longer in the world,
but they are in the world,
and I am coming to you.
Holy Father,
keep those you have given me
   true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
While I was with them,
I kept those you had given me
   true to your name.
I have watched over them
   and not one is lost
except one who was destined to be lost,
and this was to fulfil the scriptures.
But now I am coming to you
and I say these things in the world
to share my joy with them to the full.
I passed your word on to them,
and the world hated them,
because they belong to the world
no more than I belong to the world.
I am not asking you
   to remove them from the world,
but to protect them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too
   may be consecrated in truth.
I pray not only for these
but also for those
who through their teaching
   will come to believe in me.
May they all be one,
just as, Father, you are in me
   and I am in you,
so that they also may be in us,
so that the world may believe
   it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory
   you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so perfected in unity
that the world will recognise
   that it was you who sent me
and that you have loved them
   as you have loved me.

Father,
I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see my glory
which you have given me
because you loved me
before the foundation of the world.
Father, Upright One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known
that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them
and will continue to make it known,
so that the love with which you loved me
   may be in them,
and so that I may be in them.
   

    
Ezekiel 34: 11-16

     ďFor the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself shall take care of my flock and look after it. As a shepherd looks after his flock when he is with his scattered sheep, so shall I look after my sheep. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered on the day of clouds and darkness. I shall bring them back from the peoples where they are; I shall gather them back from the countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the inhabited parts of the country. I shall feed them in good pasturage; the highest mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will rest in good grazing grounds; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I myself shall pasture my sheep, I myself shall give them restĖdeclares the Lord Yahweh. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the injured and make the sick strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
   

 

From the LITANY of the Sacred Heart,

Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God

Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven

end excerpt July 2, 2000 

 


 

~ May 29, 2000 ~

    When we come to Mass we make an offering of ourselves, all our sorrows (wounds), joys, our complete selves. We see our lives and we put ourselves in Mary's Heart, ask to make the offering in greatest purity. In His Heart we offer the sacrifice IN HIM and WITH HIM.

    We become one with Him as deeply as possible. We dwell in His most perfect Heart offering sacrifice to God for our sins and the sins of men. Our whole being is very active in the Mass as we realize more the power of this Sacrifice most worthily offered. We want to give ourselves as completely as possible, our past, all of ourselves, now become so one in the moment of sacrifice as we become one in Him pleading and begging to our God for purification, for help, for love of Him and all others. We give thanksgiving, worship and honor to Him, our whole being given as a sacrifice on the altar IN His pure and holy Heart. Being in the Immaculate Heart of our Mother, we offer sacrifice for the Church and the world.

    We offer every precious moment of our lives, united to the Masses around the world, being one in Jesus. Every moment is a moment of sacrifice united to God. This is what we do in the Morning Offering.

    The pages of the book of our lives are being written. These moments of our lives are so dear to God, for we offer our lives as a sacrifice for souls.

    Are we spending the precious moments of our lives offering sacrifice to God for His honor and glory and giving our lives as a sacrifice for souls?

    Write a short page every day or the following day, similar to an examination of conscience, seeing the good (so much good we accomplish we overlook, so many precious moments of joy we forget) and the times we were troubled.

    The devil tries to keep us focused on the problems.

    We are His shepherds, helping to shepherd His flock, there is so much good we can accomplish every day.

    We should write a short page every day, date it, read over it when we are troubled, keep it in a book, see how many joyful moments we have every day.

    Give them to God as a bouquet of flowers placed at His feet on that last day, the pages of the life of our book.

    We will want all pages to be done in love, all for the honor and glory of God.

    We should pray the prayer from Jesus before His bitter passion.
   

  
John 17: 22

I have given them the glory
   you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
   

   
John 17: 11

I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world,
and I am coming to you.
Holy Father,
keep those you have given me
    true to your name,
so that they may be one like us.
   

  
~
May 29, 2000 continues ~

    Jesus' Heart is on fire for love of us.

    God the Father loves us so much, give Him the moments of our lives as a sacrifice.

    Peace, LOVE, ONENESS - ONE BODY IN HIM.

    Our prayers are answered. We must pray from the depth of our hearts. Giving ourselves in consecration to Jesus, consecrating our hearts to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Offer sacrifice.

    Put the flowers as gifts beneath the throne of God.

    Plead and beg for souls.

    Offer sacrifice. Be united as a body.

    And the bell tolls.

    Do you hear the bells toll?

    As I drove away it was 9:30.

    The moments of our lives we cannot live again.

    We are here to love and honor God and to serve Him, to prepare ourselves for the life hereafter and to help others get there.

    He is the Son of God.

    He showed us how to be children of the Father.

    He laid down His life for His flock.

    He is the Good Shepherd.

    We lay down our lives in our Morning Offering.

    We lay down our lives and unite to the perfect Sacrifice of the Savior.

    The moments go by with such swiftness and now here is the day, the kids are grown, the grandchildren have come, and we still say, "TOMORROW I will be about my union with God."

    All the precious moments that could have been united as a sacrifice for special grace for ourselves and others.

    When He was here on earth, He merited grace by His life and death.

    We need to tap into this grace our Divine Savior came to earth to gain for us.

    We must tap into this sacrifice.

 

 

    The moments of our lives tick away. There are millions of souls in nursing homes that could be offering up their lives for souls. We have to unite ourselves and reach them, all the souls that will hear us and unite to this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. He is the Head, we are the members of His body, the Church. We must be united in the Mass, praying every moment together, being one in Him in this Holy Sacrifice so that great grace will be released.

    All our most difficult trials, when we endure them with love, can help to bring down great grace.

    The moment is now.

    The bell is tolling.

    I can only live in this moment.

    I must unite it to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, praying for souls.

 

Through Him, With Him and In Him

 

    This is the message of the Second Mass Book.

    How do the pages of your book appear, the pages that are being recorded whether we write about it or not?

 

              

 

    Do they all carry a smiley face because we carried the cross with Jesus?

    Every moment, whether of joy or suffering, can be a moment of grace being released for our needs, for the salvation of souls, to make reparation to God, to honor and love Him and obey Him.

    OUR LIVES ARE INDEED PRECIOUS, every moment, a moment that our Father gave us as a child of God for His honor and glory.

    Alleluia, God, help us unite as a body.

    Alleluia, God, help us to see ourselves all one as the family of the Father with Mary our loving Mother.

 

    Today when we celebrate and picnic with our family, how will the page of our book look for the Father? Whether we write or not, we lived it as He willed or we lived it against His will.

    Were our moments, moments to give Him honor and glory, to help promote the kingdom, to help save souls and lead others to God? Did the moments help us have a higher place in heaven? Did we mature more in our love relationship with God?

    Here is a basket with flowers.

 

  
~ May 29, 2000 continues ~

    Our precious moments are to be petals of flowers we give to our Father for that last day.

    Let us record the moments so we can see how the pages of our book are reading. They are being written, whether we write about them or not, and He has them all recorded in our book of life.

    August 8, 1946

    Today is the day I was born into the world.

    What a glorious day it was, for I came and had the opportunity to gain heaven and help others do likewise.

    The bell tolls.

    The long night will soon be over.

    A new spring day buds forth.

    In the fall, the leaves give way to winter and soon we see the days are gone and past. How did we love and serve the Lord?

 

 

~ May 29, 2000 continues ~

    The trees are barren, the trees are in full bloom - the years go by, the seasons change, a small sore, a big blockage in the heart, soon the long hard nights come to a close and the glory of the long days waited, arrives. God gives His people what is their due.

    How did we love and serve our God? How did we promote the kingdom on earth?

    How did we live?

    How did we follow in the Good Shepherd's footsteps and lay down our lives for our friends?

 


John 10: 11 - 15

I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd lays down his life
   for his sheep.
The hired man,
   since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
   and runs away,
and then the wolf attacks
   and scatters the sheep;
he runs away
   because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
  

   
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.
  

 

May 29, 2000

Dear Father,

Today I went shopping,
Today I watched television
all day, today I spent
my moments drinking and looking
for momentary pleasures, today
I focused on how I looked,
what I would wear,
how my house looked,
how much money I made.
Today I had illicit sex.
Today at the picnic I got drunk and
hurt others.
Today all I thought about was myself.

 

May 29, 2000

Dear Father,

Today I prayed and I asked You to take my life as a sacrifice offered up to You. I had a good day with my family, I did not agree with the things that would offend You, I lived to promote the kingdom.

Today is the day of the Lord.
When I go to bed tonight, I am happy for the moments I had, joy and suffering, for I gave them to You to help me to get to heaven and help other souls to get there, too.

Oh Father, thank You for life.
I love You, I adore, I thank You,
I am Your little child.
Thank You for Mother Mary and for putting her on the window so we can remember her and how much she loves us and cries out to us to help reach her children.

Mother Mary, help us do your work.
Father, I love You.
Help us to spread the rosary so others will pray the prayers to the Father and Mother asking for help.

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

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are 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 death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Thank You, Father,
I love You,
Your child.

 

 

end excerpt May 29, 2000 

 


 

~ August 17, 2000 ~

    To contemplate the miracle of the Eucharist is so pleasing to me and makes me cry. Jesus is truly with us in His Divinity and Humanity.

    I see the great gift in the priest. A human can look down and see bread and through the words of consecration it is changed into the Body of Jesus and he can look at the cup of wine and the wine is changed into the Blood of Jesus through the words of consecration. 

    I cannot say what is in my heart for this great event and to think God in His goodness remains with us truly present through the hands of a man.

    I cannot imagine what it would be like to have that power in my hands and look down at bread, and then there is Jesus' Body; wine, and then there is Christ's Blood.

    I want to ponder this mystery and thank God for this gift of God truly with us in His Divinity and Humanity.

    Oh, my men, do you see the gift given to man, a human person, to consecrate the bread and wine so they become the Body and Blood of Jesus?

    Oh, my men, do you see the sacredness of it all, that a man can forgive sins?

    Oh, do you see how we must pray for our precious priests and why the devil would work to stop men in anyway from following this vocation?

    Oh, my men, it is indeed the most precious gift, this gift of the priesthood, to realize that Jesus Christ is truly present in His Humanity and Divinity after a man, a priest, has said the words of Consecration.

    Oh, my heart is so filled with this great gift of God. I want so much to lie down and worship our God, for He is so good to us, and the priests are so very, very, very important.

    Yesterday at Mass, I watched as a priest looked down after the Consecration. I just gaped with awe and wonder for this mystery and I knew what a gift this was.

    I cannot adequately write about it, it is a mystery and what my heart knows is so deeply embedded in my soul.

    My heart cries to thank God for His goodness and I want to worship and honor Him and be with Him in His Eucharistic presence within me.

    Oh, God, help the schools and the priests to lead men to an appreciation of the Eucharist and our Church.

    We truly are the bride of Jesus.

    I go to the altar of Sacrifice and I receive Him my Divine God, He is my spouse, I am one with Him in this work to help lead souls to heaven, helping in this Act of Redemption.

    My heart is His, my being I give freely, to be used as His messenger for His holy purpose.

    The miracle of the Eucharist is a mystery that we can ponder with such joy. Joy fills our hearts for this treasure. This is a great gift from God.

    The Shepherds of Christ Movement is to help lead men into greater holiness. Jesus wants our hearts more like His. He desires holiness. He wants our hearts pure.

    The Mass is the gift He gives us. He wants us to unite to this sacrifice. Mary takes us to His Eucharistic Heart. The rosary is an aid to help us grow in our spiritual life. It is a tool against Satan, it is the Mother's prayer given to her children to lead them into insight into knowing more the Mystery of God's love through the grace especially given in lights by the Holy Spirit when we pray the rosary. 

    The Movement, Shepherds of Christ, is to help renew the Church and the world. The Movement must be strong, one that will last, made up of apostles, servants, handmaids and future priests, associates and others that act as intercessors praying for the priests, the Church and the world, and living firmly their life of consecration to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart, united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at every moment of our lives.

    We want the Movement to be a strong pillar to help the world.

    Jesus is Chief Shepherd of the Flock.

    We are united in this network of prayer, united as one praying united to the Mass.

    We must turn our lives to consecration, we must unite to this great sacrifice of the Mass.

    His plan is perfect. We must unite to the Chief Shepherd.

    Mary leads men to the Eucharistic Heart of her Son Jesus. 

    Jesus is Chief Shepherd of the Flock.
  

 

  

ABOUT HIS PASSION

    God loves us so much, we do not fully comprehend how He suffered for the sins of pride and hardness in the hearts of men.

    Jesus was beaten for our sins, crowned with thorns for our lack of love and for the hatred in our hearts.

    Jesus paid the price for our sins and His Heart hurt so much because of His most perfect love. We are responsible for hurting Jesus in the passion when we are haughty and prideful and do not tell the truth and do not forgive.

end excerpt August 17, 2000 message 

 


 

~ Newsletter 1998 Issue 5 ~

  

Mother at Our Side

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)

Yes, the Good Shepherd has laid down His life for us. As He was near death, an awesome episode in the work of redemption took place: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, this is your son". Then to the disciple he said, "This is your mother." And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home." (Jn 19:25-27).

     

    Speaking of Mary, Vatican II tells us: "In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace." 2

    Mary is the Mother of Jesus. She is also our Mother. The above words of Scripture and of the Second Vatican Council attest to this.

    Yes, Jesus has given us Mary as our spiritual Mother. As He hung on the cross, Jesus told John to look upon Mary as his Mother, this John who represented all of us. In His moment of deepest anguish and suffering, Jesus was thinking of us. As the undescribable physical pain racked His body from head to toe, as the unfathomable spiritual anguish penetrated to the depths of His magnificent Heart, Jesus was thinking of us. If we allow this scene to penetrate into our hearts, if we take the time to contemplate the depth of Jesus' and Mary's love for us as their Hearts were pierced with grief, we are truly overwhelmed with the magnificent greatness, sorrow, and tenderness of the scene.

    The fact that Mary is our Mother, the fact that she has such a powerful role to play in our salvation in no way detracts from the mediatorship of Christ. Vatican II states: "The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. For all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on men originate, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. They flow forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rest on His mediation, depend entirely on it, and draw all their power from it. In no way do they impede the immediate union of the faithful with Christ. Rather, they foster this union." 3

    In her loving, maternal role, Mary cooperates with the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us. Pope John Paul II tells us: "The Church knows that 'all the saving influences of the Blessed Virgin on mankind originate... from the divine pleasure...' This saving influence is sustained by the Holy Spirit, Who, just as He overshadowed the Virgin Mary when he began in her the divine motherhood, in a similar way constantly sustains her solicitude for the brothers and sisters of her Son." 4

    Mary, our Mother is ever with us, guiding us, teaching us, caring for us, protecting us, loving us. With her maternal assistance we go to the Father through and with Christ in the Holy Spirit.

    Mary nourishes our growth in Christ with a very tender and specialized love for each of us. She regards each of us as a precious, unique individual. John Paul II again speaks to us: "Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. For each child is generated in a unique and unrepeatable way, and this is true both for the mother and for the child." 5

    The Holy Father then applies these ideas to Mary and us: "It can be said that motherhood 'in the order of grace' preserves the analogy with what 'in the order of nature' characterizes the union between mother and child. In the light of this fact it becomes easier to understand why in Christ's testament on Golgotha His Mother's new motherhood is expressed in the singular, in reference to one man." 6

    This is the awesome and consoling truth-you and I are very precious to Mary. She shows us her Heart as a symbol of her life of love, including her most special, unique love for each of us individually. Yes, she loves each of us much more than we can ever fathom. It is our great privilege and responsibility to love her in return. She asks for this love, she asks for our trust, she asks us to come to her maternal and Immaculate Heart, so that she can lead us ever closer to the Heart of her Son, Jesus.

    Are we sorrowful, anxious, troubled? Let us go to Mary our Mother and ask her to console us. Let us ask her for the grace to handle our sorrow, our anxieties, our troubles properly-according to God's will. In this way our suffering will bring us closer to Christ as it simultaneously allows us to contribute to the ongoing Christianization of the world.

    Are we especially joyful, happy, basking in the glow of a goal successfully accomplished? Let us go to Mary and ask her to help us handle our joy, our happiness, our success as God intends. Let us petition her not to allow our joy to make us forgetful of God, our God Who is the source of all true joy, success and happiness.

    Yes, Mary invites us to come to her in all circumstances-whether it be in joy or sorrow, success or failure, laughter or tears. Mary wants us to share in her maternal wisdom so that we may understand how to use our various experiences to come closer to God in Christ. Sharing our lives with Mary in this fashion, and on a consistent basis, requires that we love her, that we trust her, that we surrender ourselves to her maternal love.

    Help us, Mother Mary, to probe ever more deeply into the depths of your love for us. Help us to realize more and more that to be loved by you is to experience a sweetness, a warmth, a tenderness, a serenity, a security, which makes us cry out, "O Mother, how good and loving you are!"


NOTES:

1. Scriptural quotations are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday & Co. 
2. The Documents of Vatican II, "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church", America Press edition, no. 61 
3. Ibid., No. 45. 
4. Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, The Mother of the Redeemer, United States Catholic Conference, No. 38. 
5. Ibid., No. 45. 
6. Ibid., No. 45. 

end excerpt from Newsletter - 1998 Issue 5

 


 

~ Newsletter 1998 Issue 5 ~

 

Mural over Altar in China, Indiana

The Eucharist

  • Pope John Paul II reminds us: "The Eucharist is above all else a sacrifice. It is the sacrifice of the Redemption and also the sacrifice of the New Covenant...

    "It is therefore very opportune and necessary to continue to actuate a new and intense education, in order to discover all the richness contained in the new liturgy. Indeed, the liturgical renewal that has taken place since the Second Vatican Council has given, so to speak, greater visibility to the Eucharistic Sacrifice. One factor contributing to this is that the words of the Eucharistic Prayer are said aloud by the celebrant, particularly the words of consecration, with the acclamation by the assembly immediately after the elevation.

    "All this should fill us with joy, but we should also remember that these changes demand new spiritual awareness and maturity, both on the part of the celebrant-especially now that he celebrates 'facing the people'-and by the faithful. Eucharistic worship matures and grows when the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, especially the words of consecration, are spoken with great humility and simplicity, in a worthy and fitting way, which is understandable and in keeping with their holiness; when this essential act of the Eucharistic Liturgy is performed unhurriedly; and when it brings about in us such recollection and devotion that the participants become aware of the greatness of the mystery being accomplished and show it by their attitude." 7
  • He gave His last breath! He gave the last beat of His Heart for love of each one of us! How can we refuse Jesus who spread His arms on the cross and gave His life for you and for me? 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 endured all this for love of each of us, and that same love has prompted Him to still be with us in His Eucharistic presence-in the Mass and in the tabernacle. And we can at times take His Eucharistic presence so lightly!

        Death has no power over our Savior. Locked in the tomb, He rose triumphant on the third day as He had foretold. He has come to give us life. He gives us the sacrament of Baptism that initiates us into His life. This life He gives us is centered in love-love of God and neighbor. He came to show us the way and His way is love. He died for love of us and He rose for love of us! Each day He calls out to each of us to be His close companions, to march on a world that has to a large degree forgotten God, that has forgotten how to love. It is a struggle to live in the world, but the battle is won with hearts that are filled with His love, hearts that are empowered by the grace that He pours out in the Eucharist. He calls out for us to come to the Eucharistic Sacrifice and be fed with His very flesh and blood! He invites us to converse with Him as we pray before the tabernacle. The Eucharist is our greatest source of spiritual nourishment. It is Jesus' great gift to us-the gift of Himself. This is the love He gives. This is the love He asks us to share.

        Yes, the Eucharistic Christ calls out ever so gently in His tender voice and with His burning Heart. He calls out to us and says, Come to me, all you who labor and are over burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt 11:28). But in our blindness we can turn away, forgetting to realize the true treasure in our midst. Jesus remains with us this day in the Eucharist, really present, body and blood, soul and divinity, as really present as He was when He walked this earth. And He calls out in a gentle voice, with a burning Heart, "My beloved friends, I long for your love. Open up your hearts to Me. I am the Son of God! I have all the power! You cannot do anything without Me!"

NOTES:

7. Pope John Paul II, Letter, The Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, Pauline Books and Media, No. 9. 
8. Robert M. Schwartz, Servant Leaders of the People of God, Paulist, p. 154.
 

end second excerpt from Newsletter - 1998 Issue 5 

 


 

~ January 3, 2000 ~

 


    OH GOD, I COME TO YOUR ALTAR AND I WANT THE OFFERING OF MYSELF TO BE MOST HOLY. OH FATHER, LET GRACE BE POURED OUT ON THE EARTH THROUGH THE MEDIATION OF JESUS, MY BELOVED SPOUSE, THE LAMB, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.

    HOLY SPIRIT, FILL US, WORK IN THE PURE, SPOTLESS HEART OF MARY IMMACULATE.

    FATHER, HEAR A CHILDíS PRAYER.

    THE ROSARY IS A CHILDíS PRAYER, A CHILD SO IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST AND HIS LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION, SO ONE WITH MARY, experiencing her sufferings and joys.

    Yes, He is alive. He is not a textbook Jesus, He wants a real loving relationship with us His body, the spouse of Christ.

    The role of the handmaids and servants and all of us in the Shepherds of Christ is to live this life of union with Him, pleading and begging as His spouse for the souls, pleading and begging for grace and mercy for the priests, the Church and the world.

    Be with Jesus in the garden and know more fully about the souls that would go to the eternal fires of hell and be damned forever despite His life given as a sacrifice. His anguish was so great He sweat blood.

end excerpt from January 3, 2000 

 


    

Words from Fr Edward J. Carter, S.J.
from the Pain and the Joy - chapter 5

~ EucharistóMass ~

    "The Eucharist (The Mass) is a multi-splendored reality. It is, for example, a narrative. In the Liturgy of the Word we listen to the greatest love story of all time. It is the story of God's lavish self-communication in love to the human family throughout the course of salvation history. This story includes certain central figures, such as Moses, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Mary, Joseph, the Apostles, and, of course, Jesus Himself. The entire Liturgy of the Word focuses upon Christ, delineating from various perspectives this most important figure of all human history.

    "There are other dimensions to the Mass. The Eucharist is a memorial, as it calls to mind the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord. The Eucharist is likewise a sacrifice, an offering. This particular aspect includes all the other dimensions, and gathers them together in a wondrous unity. The Eucharist, then, is the sacramental renewal, the sign-renewal of Jesus' earthly offering. This sign-renewal contains what it signifies. Very importantly, to Jesus' offering of Himself to the Father, we add the offering of ourselves. The closing of the Eucharistic offering highlights another dimension of the Massóthe fact that it is a meal. The Eucharist as meal is rich in symbolism. Here is Jesus' self-giving love to us. Here is symbolized our commitment to Jesus, as we are intimately united to Him in the reception of the Eucharist. Here is signified our union with one another as we receive the one Christ, the sign and cause of unity among ourselves. Furthermore, the Eucharist is also a celebrationóthe joyous recall of the Christ event. As with all celebrations, the Eucharistic Liturgy, through its ritual, reminds us that this is a special occasion. These are some of the varied aspects of Jesus' great gift to us, the Eucharist.

    "From whatever perspective we approach the Eucharist, we see that participation in it involves personal contact. First of all, the Eucharist brings us into special union with God in Christ. In each Eucharist, God's communication occurs through Jesus, and this God-gift is supremely personal. God offers us love, tenderness, mercy, and a sensitive concern for our personal uniqueness, strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and fears. God invites us to come closer, and not to be afraid of the divine transforming touch. God wants us to allow the Divine Will to guide our existence amid all the myriad aspects of life within the human condition. Strengthened and inspired by the Eucharistic Christ, we are moved to say "yes" to God's invitation. With Jesus we feel warm and secure, encouraged to live out our "yes" with Him and through Him. Our fears fade into the background as we thus meet Jesus in the Eucharist, as we experience His loving embrace reach deep down where we really live. From past situations, we know that living out our response will have its share of pain, frustration, and hardship. Each Eucharistic meeting with Christ, however, reminds us that if we can do nothing without Jesus, with Him we can do all He wants of us. As our union with Jesus deepens, we come to realize with increased conviction that His love for us and ours for Him can surmount all difficulties:

    For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39).

    "The Eucharist is a special source of union not only with God, but also with the members of the Christian community. Through the Eucharistic Christ we should become more aware of the bonds of faith and love that unite us. Through the Eucharistic Christ we derive the light and the strength to work against those forces which disrupt the love and unity of the Christian communityójealousies, pettiness, callous unconcern for the other, ruthless politics, backbiting, lack of teamwork, refusal to love because of wounded feelings. In union with the Eucharistic Christ we receive the light and the strength to develop those forces which build up communityóselflessness, a desire to see others succeed, the supportive word, a willingness to give sincere praise for a job well done, a sense of compassion and empathy, a deep-rooted desire to really love others as one loves himself or herself.

    "The Eucharist, then, deepens our union with God and with the members of the Christian community. The Eucharist also deepens our union with non-Christians. The Eucharistic Christ enlightens us, strengthens us, inspires us to give of ourselves in order that the entire human family may better achieve its destiny. The Eucharist takes quiet hold of us and makes us firmly realize that everyone really is our brother or our sister. The Eucharist allows us not only to realize this awesome truth, but also gives us the desire and strength to live accordingly.

    "In summary, the Eucharist deepens our relationship with God, with one another, with the entire human race. The Eucharist accomplishes this in each of usóto the degree that we open ourselves to its transforming influence."1


NOTES:

1. Edward Carter, S.J., The Pain and the Joy, Chapter 5

end of excerpt from The Pain and the Joy

 


 

 

~ Ash Wednesday, February 25, 1998 - 1st Day (Excerpt) ~

Spouse of the Lamb

     Jesus is always with us even in deep suffering.

     He gives us the greatest graces to know His love. He acts on our soul. He is the Bridegroom of our soul.

     Oh Jesus, He took me to the heights of ecstasy in Him in realizing how He is the Initiator and He acts on my soul. How foolish I am indeed to think it is I who control the workings of God on my soul, when in fact He is the Bridegroom of my soul.

     I envision Him looking at me with the greatest love. I am dressed in white. He is my Bridegroom, He loves me so much. He thinks I am beautiful. I am the little child of the Father. He is the Bridegroom. I envision Him dressed in black, tall and handsome, and He looks down with the most loving eyes upon me. I know the love of the Divine Creator.

     Today I knew how it was, how He acted on my soul.

     I see how it is when someone really acts in love and does something for me because that person loves me.

     I see myself as open, letting go, putting myself entirely in the hands of the Creator, the God I love, and the Bridegroom comes with the greatest love and His grace. He gives me Himself. My job is to be, just to be, a soul, waiting for the Bridegroom to just give me Himself in the greatest love. I know it is He Who acts, and when He acts His presence overtakes my soul. I let go and I reminisce about all the times He just overtook my soul.

     Little do I do, for it is the Bridegroom loving me, loving my soul and acting most intimately on my soul.

     I sit and surrender myself entirely to Him. He is the Initiator. He is the One Who acts with His grace and NOTHING - no intimate experience, nothing here can fill the soul with this love and satisfaction.

     For the Bridegroom acts and the soul is satisfied, the only desire is that it will never end. Sometimes there is such a longing and realizing the temporariness of it all. Sometimes He gives my soul such satisfaction, comfort and love, and I am filled with the greatest peace and satisfaction with less awareness of the temporariness, just peace.

     He gives me His peace. He is the Sacred Heart. He acts on my soul. I am His spouse. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. He is my Spouse. This book will be entitled the Spouse of the Lamb. He acts on my soul most intimately.

     The key is surrender. We are His spouse, we know His love. We must pray for this grace, to be possessed by the Lamb, the Bridegroom of our soul. What lesson did He teach us this day but that it is He Who acts upon us. We surrender to Him. A grace is given, a grace is received.

     Our surrender is the way to allow the Bridegroom, the Lamb, to act on our soul.

     Yielding, so we allow ourselves to just be in Him.

     Oh my God - how to explain that which happens when You act on my soul and what I experience. Are there any words that could do this justice when the Almighty God finds favor with me most intimately, and gives Himself to me?

     We must be open. We must empty ourselves and let Him act on our soul. We want Him to possess our soul. We want to experience our Divine Lover most intimately. We must surrender to Him in the Mass, give ourselves to Him.

     We will know days of darkness and joy as the shadows and lights fade in and out of our lives. He reveals Himself to us more and more in the moments we spend with Him in the Eucharist.

     Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom of our soul. This is the marriage of our soul to the Lamb.

 

 

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.
    

end of excerpt from Ash Wednesday, February 25, 1998 

 


 

~ Spirituality Handbook ~  

The Mass and the Sacraments

    The best way to return love to Jesus is through participation in the Mass. Indeed, the Mass is the chief source for growth in our life of consecration. Everything in the life of the Church, including the sacramentsócenters around the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

    All the faithful are privileged to be able to enter into the offering of the Mass:

    The sacrifice of the Mass, as we well know, makes truly present the sacrifice of Calvary. At His sacrifice on Calvary, Christ was Priest and Victim. We obviously did not offer together with Him. At the Mass, however, Christ, although He is the chief Priest and Victim, does not act alone. Through God's gracious design, at Mass all the members of the Church are priests and victims together with Christ. To be sure, there is a very significant difference between the priesthood of bishops and priests and the priesthood of the faithful. The point we wish to stress, however, is that the universal priesthood, given in Baptism to all the faithful, is a real participation in Christ's priesthood.

    Vatican II has stressed this concept of the priesthood of all the Church's members. Speaking of the Mass, the Council says: 'The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a proper appreciation of the rites and prayers, they should participate knowingly, devoutly, and actively. They should be instructed by God's word and be refreshed at the table of the Lord's body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn to offer themselves too. Through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn, day-by-day, into ever closer union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.'

    During all our Christ-like activities, we are living the Mass. Working, recreating, laughing, weeping, enjoying success but also experiencing failure, enjoying the beauties of natureóthrough all such activities, we are living the Mass. We are continually offering ourselves in loving conformity to the Father's will. From time to time during the day, we should make a conscious act of uniting ourselves and our activities with the sacrifice of Calvary as it is made present throughout the world through the Mass.

    A very precious time during the Mass is, of course, our reception of Jesus in Holy Communion. We should make the most of these special moments. Let's properly thank Jesus for coming to us with His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Let's thank Jesus for the tremendous suffering He experienced in order to be able to give us the Eucharist. As Jesus dwells within us in this precious way at Communion time, the very Heart of Christ--this Heart which is symbol of His great loveódwells within. This Heart cries out for our love in return.

    One of the great means God has given us to help prepare ourselves for better participation in the Mass is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Lady of Medjugorje asks us to go to Confession at least once a month.

    Indeed, we should use all available means to prepare ourselves for a more fruitful participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. It is a great privilege to be able to be present at, and to participate in, the Mass. We should show Jesus our appreciation for such a great gift by preparing ourselves as best we can, and in this way we will gain the greatest possible benefit from the Mass, both for ourselves and for others.

    Included in our devotion to the Eucharist should be our desire to make Eucharistic reparation. One way to do this is to say often the following Fatima prayer: 'Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and (the intercession of) the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of sinners.'" (4)

    Besides saying the above prayer, there are other acts of Eucharistic reparation we can make. One of these is to be sure we make adequate thanksgiving after Mass. One of the intentions we should have at this time is to help make reparation for the lack of proper thanksgiving on the part of many. Pope Pius XII speaks about the duty of spending the proper time in thanksgiving:

    When at Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received Holy Communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself and, in intimate union with the Divine Master, hold loving and fruitful converse with Him. Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that, when Mass has ended, no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass is itself a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community." (5)


NOTES:

4. Edward Carter, S.J., The Spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje, Faith Publishing, 
        Milford, Ohio, 1994, pp. 89-92. Vatican II quotations are from The Documents 
        of Vatican II, America Press edition.
5. Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, No. 123.

end of excerpt from the Spirituality Handbook 

 


 

~ March 1, 1998 - 5th Day ~

The Marriage of the Lamb

     What do I write today? Since that day, February 25th I have experienced the Bridegroom as He stands above me and strengthens me in this trial I have experienced. It has been a hellish experience to do the Fatherís will, to stand firm for the truth when it would have been so much easier to laugh and to play as the world danced and I cried inside to stand behind the truth in this "Godless" world.

     They danced and played and whistled a tune on the flute and the Bridegroom was ignored at His own wedding. How indeed would it be if at the marriage the bridegroom was treated as if he were not present?

     We went to the altar, we received Him, the Lamb, the Bridegroom of our souls and then we ignored Him and went to laugh and play. We ignored Him and fed our faces.

     The tenderest love Our Divine Captain gives to us in giving Himself in the Mass. The Almighty God, the King of heaven and earth, gives Himself to us in the deepest spousal relationship and what happens here? We ignore Him and talk to mere humans with God in our breast.

     Let us make reparation to Him, Our Savior, for the ingratitude and indifference given to the King, the Lamb of God, Who was slain for our sins. They now have roped off my pew with a red chord and asked me to move my jacket as I prayed. Several ladies stand at the end of my pew and talk openly in church of the bishop to come in this church today. All the priests, the royal bridegrooms, anointed by the Lord, came out immediately after Mass and talked to the people, right in church. There was conversation and laughing at the beginning of Mass and at the end. A royal banquet, the Lamb was slain for our sins, now sacramentally made present here and who pays Him heed?

     They worship Him with fan-fare and trumpets, flutes and tambourines, but when the banquet is served, they all get up and rush from the table. Little focus is given to the King and royal Bridegroom of the soul. He is really ignored. Oh precious King, we love You, we worship You, we adore You, forever.

     I was unable to be intimately connected to Him today in a way that gave me happy feelings, but in my heart I know in the suffering there is no place to go but to Him.

     Preparation must be made. Time must be set aside for a person who is important in our lives. Time must be set aside to prepare for the Lamb, the Bridegroom of our soul. It begins with acts of surrender, saying the "Prayer for Union with Jesus", the consecration, and the "Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass".

     I love You, Jesus. In this suffering, I unite in Your passion and death. I love You, my Divine Lord, the Bridegroom of my soul.

 

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

 

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.

        -God's Blue Book, December 27, 1995

end of March 1, 1998 writing

 


  

Words from Fr. Carter from Now Is the Time

~ 28. Experiencing the Eucharist ~

"Then, taking bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying: 'This is my body to be given for you. Do this as a remembrance of me.í He did the same with the cup after eating, saying as he did so: 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.í (Lk 22:19-20)

    "The Eucharist has many dimensions, all profoundly and beautifully united. For example, the Eucharist is a narrative, relating God's love story. It is a sacrifice, an unbloody or sign-renewal of Christ's earthly sacrifice. The Eucharist is also a covenant meal. These and other aspects of the Eucharist comprise a rich and diversified gift of God, one we are meant to encounter again and again.

    "From whatever perspective we consider the Eucharist, we see that it is a personal encounter. Through the humanity of Jesus, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit communicate themselves to us anew. Through the intimate gift of the Eucharist, they strikingly manifest their love for us, and ask for our response of love. In, with, and through Jesus we respond. Each Eucharistic encounter is meant to strengthen our love-bond with Jesus, so that we can say with increased meaning along with St. Paul: "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Trial, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword?ÖFor I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor. principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Rom 8:35-39).

    "The Eucharist is not only a personal encounter with God in Christ. In Christ we also encounter the other members of the People of God. In receiving the Eucharist we pledge ourselves to deepen our love-union with all the members of the Body which is the Church. We pledge to use those means which foster union; we determine to void that which causes selfish divisiveness.

    "The Eucharist also reminds us of our relationship with all mankind. Jesus died and rose for all; the Eucharistic renewal of this paschal mystery nourishes our determination to assist in the work of on-going redemption. The light of the Eucharist points to what we should be doing; the strength of the Eucharist assists us to so act in behalf of the brethren.

    "The Eucharist, then, possesses a rich capacity to help us maintain and develop our personal relationships with God, the People of God, and all mankind. And it will do just this-if we so allow it."1


NOTES:

1. Edward Carter S.J., Now Is the Time, 1975

Imprimatur: Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop of Cincinnati, June 4, 1974
Copyright 1975 by the Society of St. Paul, Canfield, Ohio 44406.
Excerpts from the New American Bible © 1970, used in Now is the Time by permission of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, copyright owner.

end of excerpt from Now Is the Time 

 


 

~ March 5, 1998 - 9th Day ~

Spouse of the Lamb

     My dear Bridegroom,

     I see now the plan of the Father and that we are all children in His holy family. This is how we must see the world. It is His, we are one, He is our Father. We would not talk about our brother, we would love him. Always love him, as a brother in the holy family of the Father. We must keep our family pure. Each family is a little family of the Father's family, we are all related as the children of Eve, but this life in the Spirit, this relationship is all in the Spirit. If we understand generations and blood lines, we should clearly understand the connections of this family living as children of God. As we read in John 1:13, "who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will, but from God Himself."

     He is the Initiator. We are the ones responding to His initiative. He is the life. He is the light.
    

     
John 1:3-8

Through him all things came into being,
not one thing came into being
    except through him.
What has come into being in him was life,
life that was the light of men;
and light shines in darkness,
and darkness could not overpower it.

A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
to bear witness to the light,
so that everyone might believe
    through him.
He was not the light,
he was to bear witness to the light.

     Thus it states: The witness of John (John 1:23)

So he said, 'I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

A voice of one that cries in the desert:
Prepare a way for the Lord.
Make his paths straight!'
   

         
    All division will be finished, the hills leveled, the valleys filled in for there will be one flock and one Shepherd, one family of the Father.

     The Son, the Word, reveals the Father, thus: John 1:1,3 he begins,

In the beginning was the Word:
the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

Through him all things came into being,
not one thing came into being
    except through him.

     Zachariah was struck dumb for not believing, John was the voice to prepare the way of the Lord.

     I saw John the Baptist in Conyers, Georgia April 14 or 15, 1993. I had experienced the loss of my voice, I was struck speechless.

     The voice that came forth was His to prepare the way for the Lord of Hosts.

     His voice speaks in these teachings, the voice of the Good Shepherd in Father Carter's and my revelations.

     Here is John's testimony: '...Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.' (John 1: 29)

end of March 5, 1998 writing 

 


 

 ~ First Friday, March 6, 1998 - 10th Day ~

Spouse of the Lamb

       My beloved Spouse, the Bridegroom of my soul,

    The days go by with such swiftness, yet my focus is entirely on being one with Thee. The days fade in and out in shades of lights and darks, some days I receive immense insight into Your mysteries, some days I am left to tremendous suffering, wanting You so deeply in my soul and not experiencing Your favor.

    On this First Friday, I recall vividly the vision of Your precious Heart I hold in my heart. I see it clearly, red and filled with fire, and I know the warmth and glow of Your sacred divine love.

    Oh, my Sacred Heart, indeed, Thy love is most sacred. Yet even though I do not ponder as I should on the endless fires of love emitted from your treasured Heart, I have a constant awareness of this love which leads me to march forth in this battle of helping to win souls over for the Kingdom.

    Little is accomplished if I nurse my wounds on those dark days and sit in a corner waiting for a great favor from You.

    I walk those shaded days as You walked with the cross on Your back, but my awareness of Your Father and His plan for salvation is so limited, and I struggle tremendously as I am pressed on as I travel on my journey to the end of the day.

    And then a day of glory comes and You look upon me, my Bridegroom, and give me great favors and allow me to have a day of resurrection from the doom and the struggle.

    And how did He walk the earth? He walked it too, in dark and light days. Days in which they chased Him and wanted to kill Him, in which they called Him crazy, in which He sweat the saving Blood because of His anguish, in which He was tempted, in which He wept, in which He loved Mary His Mother and Mary Magdalene, in which He raised His dear friend Lazarus from the dead, in which He preached about the Kingdom to His followers.

    Days of light, days of darkness, but He entered the tomb and came forth victorious in the end.

    He rose to give us life, His wounds were glorified, the victory was won.

    My Bridegroom, You give to me Yourself this day. I am one in the glorified Lord in the most intimate way. The banquet is prepared. The Lamb has been slain. Now we reap the glory of the risen Lord. We receive the gift of life in Him.

    LIGHT and darkness. He is the Bread of Life, He comes to feed the starved soul with Himself. Our most treasured gift, our most treasured Friend, Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom of our soul, gives Himself as a sacrifice that we will share in His life most abundantly.

    I love You, Jesus Christ my Bridegroom, come and possess my soul.

end of March 6, 1998 writing 

 


 

~ October 21, 2000 ~

 

 

Excerpt from Spirituality Handbook

Devotion to St. Joseph, Other Saints and the Angels

St. Joseph is Patron of the Universal Church. His power of intercession is indeed great. Joseph, while on earth, enjoyed extraordinary closeness to Jesus and Mary. And His union with them in heaven is even greater. Let us each day pray to St. Joseph to obtain for us the grace to come ever closer to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

We should also pray to the other saints in heaven, especially our favorite saints. The saints are members of the Church triumphant. We should also pray for the souls in purgatory and to them (they can help us). The souls in purgatory are members of the Church suffering. We, who are members of the Church militant here on earth, make up one Church with the saints in heaven and the souls in purgatory. We should be aware of the common bond which unites us in Christ.

We should also pray to the angels for help, especially to the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, and to our own guardian angels.

end excerpt from Spirituality Handbook  

 


 

~ March 7, 1998 - 11th Day ~

Spouse of the Lamb

My dear Spouse,

    You take us to Your mountain top and show us Your light and the world slumbers and sleeps and the throng below the hill shakes the tree and the dead fruit falls, but they do not see it.

    We hear the voice of the Father speak, "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." and we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd speak as He reveals His Father to us and His plan for the salvation of all men living according to His will.

    The voice of the Good Shepherd will be heard as men listen to Jesus. In this Movement, Shepherds of Christ, we pray for our priests, the Church and the world.

end of March 7, 1998 writing

 


 

~ Excerpt from March 19, 1998 ~

Spouse of the Lamb

Passion

    Passion is a way the devil can lead a holy soul to death. Jesus calls us to holy love. He calls us to brotherly love, love rooted in God.

    Passion is a way the devil uses to drive a holy soul to death.

    When appropriate, for example at certain times when we pray together, Jesus wants us to hold hands, to join in unity and to touch one another in a proper way. Satan works in the thoughts of holy souls to create passions and desires that are not to God's liking.

    Jesus gives us the Commandment, "Thou shall not commit adultery." He asks us to relax and be one and then asks us to be on our guard. He asks us for love as the Virgin Mary had for St. Joseph and for others. Holy love is holy. It is not rooted in passion and desires, it is rooted in love of God and Godly love for each other. If one truly loves himself and another, he would not put himself and the other in an occasion of sin that could lead to the death of the soul. One that loves would not wish the other to sin.

    Time spent before the tabernacle is to give honor and glory to God. God is the focus of this time before the tabernacle. God is there to unite hearts to Himself and to others.

    God gives us the Commandment to love God and one another. We are to love in holy love.

    Satan can create passions, lights, feelings that will lead a holy soul into sin. Satan creates appetites within the soul to be improperly satisfied with food, alcohol, sex, indulgence. Jesus does not want us to be fearful. He wants us to help to bring about the Reign of the Sacred Heart. You must ask yourself, does this relationship have as its primary purpose to give honor and glory to God? Anything that would lead to anything sinful is not giving honor and glory to God.

    I state clearly. Satan will try to lead some astray with passions. Our role is to help bring the world into oneness in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Satan can trick a couple engaging in prayer by passions and feelings. We must focus on the work at hand. Being led away by Satan harms the whole Movement. Be diligent, thrifty, and loving, praying always for the gifts of the Spirit.

end of excerpt from March 19, 1998 writing

 


 

~ February 25, 1999 ~

Spouse of the Lamb

     He is our Spouse. In such oneness, we come to the altar of sacrifice to offer sacrifice to the Father in His name. We can understand the great intimacy between husband and wife. Christ uses the spousal relationship to denote oneness. There is a deep mystical union between Christ and His Church. We have a deep mystical union with Him. It is not the same as a relationship between a husband and a wife. It is a much deeper relationship, one on a mystical level between the Divine God and His people, between Christ and His body. And so we offer a profound sacrifice to our God, through Him, with Him and in Him, so intently one with the Chief Priest and Victim. This is indeed a deep mystical union and a divine mystery. It is to our benefit as His people to beg for greater union with Him as His spouse and to identify more with our Master, Chief Priest and Victim, in every Mass and in all our actions all day, united to the Masses being celebrated around the world. We are one body in Him. He is the Head, we are the members of His mystical Body. He is alive. He is alive. He is alive. He lives in us in a special way when we are in the state of grace. He has given us this sharing in His life. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, our God.

end of February 25, 1999 writing 

 


 

~ Excerpt from February 23, 1997 ~


Sacrifice

    When I go to Mass I offer a sacrifice. God wants our all. He wants to be first in our life. He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son.

Gen. 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18:

    It happened some time later that God put Abraham to the test. "Abraham, Abraham!" he called. "Here I am," he replied. God said, "Take your son, your only son, your beloved Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, where you are to offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall point out to you.

    When they arrived at the place which God had indicated to him, Abraham built an altar there, and arranged the wood. Then he bound his son and put him on the altar on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

    But the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven. "Abraham, Abraham!" he said. "Here I am," he replied. Do not raise your hand against the boy," the angel said. "Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your own beloved son." Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.

    The angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. "I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, that because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All nations on earth will bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command.

    The Father gave His Son for us. This is how great the Father's love is for us.

    When we go to the altar many times we are suffering. We want something really bad, but we know we love God the most. What the Father asks for us is to offer that which we are so attached to as a sacrifice, united to the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. If we offer this sacrifice to Him, the Father will pour out blessings that will be divine blessings, greater than anything we could have here on earth.

    The Mass is the perfect sacrifice we offer to the Father, in which God pours out His blessings and we are one with Him and with all others in a profound expression of love. God shares His divine love with us and we partake in an intense way in His divine loving capacity. In order to become one in Him and to feel His love like this, we must surrender ourselves and be open.

    He told Abraham to offer his son. God gave him his son back. He wanted Abraham to love God above all things and people.

    Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice to the Father. This is the most pleasing sacrifice to the Father. If He gave His Son Who died for love of us, will He deny us when we unite our petitions with Jesus and offer these at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

    He took them to the highest mountain and He was transfigured before them in the greatest light.

Mark 9:2-10:

    Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus, "Rabbi," he said, "it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him." Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

    As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean.

    We go to the altar of sacrifice. The mountain to come, in which so many graces will flow, is the altar of sacrifice where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered through the hands of consecrated priests.

end of excerpt from Apostles' Manual  

 


 

~ Newsletter 1999 Issue 3 ~

The Eucharist


NOTES:

11. The Documents of Vatican II, "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy", America Press Edition, No. 47.
12.
Ibid., No. 48.
13. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, AAS, XXXV, pp. 232-233.

end excerpt from Newsletter 1999 Issue 3 

 


 

~ October 26, 2000 ~

HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS

Sacrifice - interior offering.

See the altar of sacrifice.

See the priest offer sacrifice to God.

See Lucia's vision.

 

 

~ October 26, 2000 continues ~

    The Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally made present.

    See the Father and the Holy Spirit and the most pure, sinless, human person - Mary stands by the altar with her Immaculate Heart.

    See Lucia, a human person tainted by sin beneath the altar.

    See the grace and mercy as she saw in the vision flowing from Christ, the Mediator, between us and God.

    At every Mass we offer the bread and wine, and listen to the words at the Mass.

    The bread and wine are changed to His Body and His Blood through the hands of the priest.

    We want our offering, our sacrifice to be a most pleasing offering to the Father.

    We offer sacrifice to the Deity for our sins.

    At every Mass see that we are coming to God to offer the most pleasing sacrifice to the Father, the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, for our sins.

    We want to make reparation to our God for our sins.

See this:  
 see the altar
 see the sacrifice
 see our act of offering ourselves united to His pure offering of Himself
 see the offering is most pleasing to our God
 think of God's joy that we come and offer sacrifice

    In the Morning Offering we unite everything we do as a sacrifice (an offering), united to this most pleasing sacrifice, offered to the Father in all the Masses going on around the world.

    What is your role as a  SHEPHERD OF CHRIST ó

    TO BE AN INTERCESSOR PRAYING FOR THE PRIESTS, THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD.

 

 

THROUGH HIM, WITH HIM AND IN HIM

 

    We unite everything we do to Jesus, the Mediator, between us and God.

    A most pleasing sacrifice, offered for our sins and the sins of the world.

    WE LAY DOWN OUR LIVES LIKE THE GOOD SHEPHERD LAID DOWN HIS LIFE.
    WE DO IT IN THE MORNING OFFERING UNITED TO THE MASSES GOING ON AROUND THE WORLD.
    WE LOVE TO ATTEND MASS.

    WE SHOULD SEE THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE AS SOON AS WE ENTER CHURCH.

 

 

 

  

~ October 26, 2000 continues ~

SEE THE PRIEST BEHIND THE ALTAR.
JESUS OFFERS THE SACRIFICE THROUGH THE HANDS OF THE SPECIALLY ANOINTED PRIEST.

JESUS IS THE CHIEF PRIEST.

SEE JESUS AT THE MASS.
SEE JESUS OFFERING SACRIFICE.
SEE JESUS IN THE PRIEST.

JESUS IS THE CHIEF PRIEST AND VICTIM.
JESUS IS GOD.

WE OFFER SACRIFICE TO THE DEITY.
WE OFFER OURSELVES UNITED TO JESUS.

THE FATHER LOOKS DOWN AND SEES THE SACRIFICE OF HIS SON.

THROUGH HIM, WITH HIM AND IN HIM
__________________________________

WE UNITE WITH OUR DIVINE BRIDEGROOM--HE GIVES HIMSELF TO US IN HOLY COMMUNION.

The words of the Mass are so beautiful.

We see how we tell God we are sorry for our sins in the beginning of Mass. We want to offer a pure sacrifice.

The priest washes his hands at the offertory.

OUR OFFERING WILL BE MORE PURE AS WE OFFER SACRIFICE THROUGH MARY'S IMMACULATE HEART. OUR SACRIFICE WILL BE MORE PURE, THE MORE WE GO THROUGH THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS.

AS WE OFFER OUR LIVES WE MUST:

    1.  CONSECRATE OUR HEARTS TO THE HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY.
            WE WANT A MOST PURE AND HOLY OFFERING. 

    2.   UNITE EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES TO THE MASS.

We help in the act of redemption by uniting to the Mass.

Now I refer to our founder's chapter on the Mass.

The last 5 days we have presented an in depth discussion by our founder, from his book, Response in Christ.  

It must be studied and read and reread and one must pray for grace to understand what God is revealing through his writing. Reading his book will help us understand, more and more, insight into the divine mysteries.

So too, all should study the chapter on grace presented October 16, 2000. Study these two chapters.

God speaks to us through them.

end excerpt October 26, 2000

 


 

~ October 30, 2000 ~

November 1st is All Saints Day.

    More and more I realize my connectedness to God and the power in the Mass. The Mass is going on all over the world at every moment. We want to unite our whole life to the reservoir of God's grace, praying for souls.

 

 

    The saints are one with God.

    We need to pray through their powerful intercession.

    God may answer our prayers when we pray through a particular saint because He wants us to honor that saint.

    I pray through the intercession of the Jesuit saints, St. Ignatius, St. Xavier, St. Aloysius, St. Robert. Pray through St. Boniface and all apostles, and especially St. Joseph, all popes in heaven and all priests, Padre Pio, St. Rita, St. Edward, St. Margaret Mary, St. Claude de la Columbiere, St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Philomena, St. Bridget, St. Bernadette, St. Cecilia. Pray through the powerful intercession of Jacinta and Francisco, especially for the building.

    Let All Saints Day and All Souls Day be great days to be united in a new way in our lives to all the saints and all the souls in purgatory and all souls on the earth.

    Let us utilize the great gift of uniting to the saints and angels and praying through their powerful intercession united to the Mass. We are one in Him.

 


 

Excerpt from Response in Christ

by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.


Chapter 3

This is also on tape and on disc recorded by Father Mike Paranuik.
 

The Christian Life of Grace

      a) Relationship with the Father

    The Heavenly Father has put each of us upon this earth because of His singular love for us as individuals. There is a countless number of merely possible human persons existing in the divine knowledge. Why has the Father given existence to me rather than to these "possibles" who will never exist? The ultimate answer lies in the mysterious free will of the Father. He has chosen to love me, to give me existence, to give me a grace-life.

   In His love for me the Father has entrusted me with a great purpose. I have a loving service to give to God, to the Church, and to the worldóa service which no one else can render. Each of us has been put here to fulfill a mission, to use our lives, not only for ourselves, but to labor through these lives for the glory of the Father and the benefit of men.

   We tend to underestimate the value of our lives. Perhaps this is so because our faith is not what it should be. We would be astounded if we could see the potential of our lives as does our heavenly Father. We are great, not because of what we are in ourselves, but because of what our Father has already done for us, and because of what He wants to do for usóif only we allow Him.

   Perhaps we would not be constantly tempted to underestimate the worth of our lives if we more often reflected upon some of the great examples of what God can accomplish through the life of one person. There has been a St. Augustine, a St. Dominic, a St. Francis of Assisi, a St. Thomas Aquinas, a St. Elizabeth, a St. Ignatius Loyola, a St. Thomas More, a St. John Vianney and many others. In and through their various vocations they have contributed profoundly to the work of Christ. Coming closer to our own day we have the example of Pope John XXIII and Dr. Thomas Dooley. These two lives, have they not left an indelible imprint upon the world of men? Can one life make a great difference to Church and world? The answer is obvious.

   And yet, you might object, the examples just cited are lives of outstanding men and women. After all, how many are destined to walk across the stage of life in such dominant display before the eyes of men? We acknowledge, not very many. But there could well be numberless lives, almost completely hidden to the world, which have also contributed greatly to the cause of Christ. Perhaps, even, these hidden lives have at times given more to Christ and the world than have the lives of the canonized saints. God's ways are not always our ways, nor are His thoughts always our thoughts. Our heavenly Father can make use of the most obscure and insignificant life to accomplish great things.

   Each Christian must strive to grow in the realization that the Father calls him to greatness. He accomplishes this purpose by the gradual development of his Christ-life. Whatever our particular purpose or mission in life may be, it will be authentically accomplished in proportion to the development of our grace-life in Christ. For our destiny in Christ includes all else. Our life of grace, in turn, develops around the all-embracive theme of the Father's will. The Father's will for me is what gives unity to my life. If I embrace this will, it holds together all the multitudinous threads of my existence, weaving them into a meaningful patternóthe achievement of my life's purpose.

   Consequently, to grow in Christian holiness and to achieve my mission in life are supremely possible for me. Why? Because growth in the realization of my life's task is always commensurate with my Father's will for me here and now. His will for me is always proportionate to my present weakness on the one hand, and, on the other, to my present degree of spiritual maturity. Finally, His will for me always carries with it the necessary graces for accomplishing what He here and now asks.

   As I reach out for my Father's will in love day after day, I am thereby dynamically developing my Christ-life, achieving my destiny, making my very important contribution to the evolving redemptive work of Christ.

   The Father's will touches everything in my life. It wants to make all contribute to my growing maturity in Christ. Joy and sorrow, success and failure, work and play, ecstatic happiness and deep suffering, all of these are to be related to my Father's will. If I correspond to God's grace, His will as it permeates my total being and existence will unfailingly transform me.

   As the Father's will transforms me, it thereby makes my life a success for myself and others. The only true measure of a successful life, despite possible appearances to the contrary, is whether or not it is conformed in love to the Father's will. The degree of success depends upon the degree of conformity. " 'It is not those who say to me, "Lord, Lord", who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. When the day comes many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, work many miracles in your name?" Then I shall tell them to their faces: I have never known you; away from me, you evil men!' " (Mt 7:21-23).

   The above described Christian life is certainly impossible without God's grace. We must be deeply aware that grace is a gratuitous gift which we cannot achieve by our natural efforts. But God offers grace in abundance. Our problem is that we do not respond to grace as we should. We tend to minimize the Father's great designs for us. We are tempted not to take His words at face value, those which tell us of the fathomless love He has for each one of us, and what that love can accomplish in us. To help ourselves maintain the proper perspective in these matters, we should often remind ourselves of these words of St. Paul: "We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good manó though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to dieóbut what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely he would now fail to save us from God's anger?" (Rm 5:6-9).

   We have, therefore, an irrevocable and overwhelming testimony of the Father's love for us. Because of this love, the Christian can increasingly assimilate the Father's will in his own response of love. Through this mutual self-giving, God and the Christian are meant to be united in the deepest possible love.

   The above passage from St. Paul not only tells us of the Father's great love for us, but it also tells us that this love has come to us through Christ and continues to do so. There is no other way. This is the eternal design of the Father. Our grace-life as well as all creation takes its meaning from Christ: "He has let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning to act upon when the times had run their course to the end: that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth." (Ep 1:9-10).

       b) Relationship with Christ

    Scripture, then, indicates the necessity of seeing our grace-life in its relationship with Christ. It is rather amazing that dogmatic theology in its treatment of grace has traditionally said so little about Christ. With a bit of sarcasm, Rahner says: "The tractate de Gratia is commonly entitled de Gratia Christi. Commonly it contains little else about Christ. And yet we only have a Christian understanding of grace when it is conceived of not only in the most metaphysical way possible, as a divinization, but rather as assimilation to Christ. And the existential transposition of this is the following of Christ. . . ."9

   How is this assimilation to Christ which Rahner speaks of initiated? Our life in Christ begins in a formal, ecclesial manner with baptism of waterónotice, we are not saying that the grace of Christ cannot be had without baptism of water. As baptism marks us as members of the Church, it also indelibly imprints upon us the image of Christ.

   The life of the Christian, consequently, is a development of the image of the Incarnate Word given in baptism. The Christian, as he grows in grace, is being shaped more and more after this image of Christ: "We know that by turning everything to their good God co-operates with all those who love him, with all those that he has called according to his purpose. They are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers." (Rm 8:28-29).

   The Christian requires motivation if he is to allow this Christ-likeness to permeate his existence more and more. The Christian must strive to catch a glimpse of that burning vision of St. Paul. For Paul, Christ was the fiery center of an intense existence: "Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would bring me something more; but then again, if living in this body means doing work which is having good resultsóI do not know what I should choose. I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and be with Christ, which would be very much the better, but for me to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need for your sake." (Ph 1:21-24).

   Each Christian, according to the graces God gives him, can model his life after the example of Paul. Each of us also can make Christ the dynamic center of our existence. If we dare to live in this way, Christ will fulfill us; for in Christ we possess everything else. In Him we are deeply related in love to God, man and the whole of creation. To develop as fully as possible the image of Christ implanted through baptism is to exercise the only fully true life. So has the Father willed it.

   You will remember that we also spoke of the persons of the Trinity imprinting their image upon us as they communicate the life of sanctifying grace. What is the connection between the image of Christ and the image of the Trinity, both imprinted upon the Christian? The connection between the two lies in the fact that the life of grace, the image of the Trinity, comes to us through Christ and is to be lived according to the pattern established by Christ. Our life of grace is indeed a share in Trinitarian life. But we must live out this Trinitarian life according to the basic manner in which Christ lived out the grace-life in His own human nature. Here we emphasize the fact that Christ as man possessed His own life of sanctifying grace.

   Why must our life of grace be modeled on Christ's grace-life? We cannot give others sanctifying grace. But the man Christ, head of the human race, does give men a share in the life of sanctifying grace which He possesses within His human nature. Theologians call this grace to be given to His members the grace of Christ the Head. Our life of grace, consequently, since it is the grace of Christ, has been structured according to the modalities or characteristics implanted by Christ. Christ established this structure as He exercised His own life of grace in His human, historical existence. While not claiming to be exhaustive, we will now examine various characteristics of Christ's life of sanctifying grace. Through such a procedure we thereby understand various characteristics and thrusts of our own life of grace.

   First of all, Christ's life of grace was filial. The dynamism of this particular modality always led Christ to a perfect, loving service of His Father. His Father's will was all in all to Him. It was the guiding principle of everything He did, of everything He thought, of everything He spoke. Zeal for His Father's glory consumed Him. He would not rest until the work of the Father which he had been sent to accomplish was fulfilled in every detail. To love the Father's will was Christ's attitude towards life. He would cling to this principle even at the expense of a death of excruciating agony in body and soul. The words which Christ uttered in Gethsemane perfectly sum up His existence as man: " 'My Father,' he said 'if this cup cannot pass by without my drinking it, your will be done!' " (Mt 26:42).

   Christ's life of grace was also salvific. His life always had that very obvious dimension of being orientated in love to man's good. All of Christ's life as man, swelling up from the unfathomable depths of the most intense love, was redemptive. Everything He did was gradually accomplishing a change in man's stance before the Father. He was bringing man from a state of enmity to a state of friendship and sonship with the Father. Christ's life, then, was magnificently selfless. Guided by love of His Father's will, He gave Himself completely to men. He gave until there was nothing more to give. This is the poignant beauty of Christ's life.

   Christ's grace-life was also social, communal and ecclesial. His redemptive work was directed towards drawing all men together in a deep bond of love as brothers of a common Father. The establishment of His Church would perennially guarantee that there would be a visible source of grace for a growing sense of community among men. At the same time, this Church, the People of God, is intended to give a visible example of how the Lord desires men to be united in mutual bonds of love.

   Christ's life of grace tended toward an epiphany. That is, it tended toward sacramentality, toward a manifestation of divine realities in space and time. Christ's grace-life, working through His sacred humanity, used the ordinary events and conditions of human existence and the created things of man's world to reveal the Father and the Father's plan for men.

   Christ's life of sanctifying grace was also transfigurative. Christ did not come to suppress, but to elevate. He came to transformóto transfigureóman and his world. Anyone who considers Christianity to be a negative religion does not really understand the work of Christ.

   These are some of the chief modalities or dimensions of Christ's life of grace. These modalities, in turn, were concretely expressed through the various mysteries or events of Christ's human life. Central to these mysteries were His death and Resurrection. We will discuss these mysteries of Christ at greater length in the chapter devoted to the liturgy. For it is within the eucharistic liturgy that we encounter the mysteries of Christ in a very special manner.

   At this point we again remind the reader of the connection between Christ's life of sanctifying grace and our own. Rahner puts it very succinctly: "And yet every grace has analogously the same structure as its source, viz. the structure of the Word become man. . . ." l0

   Consequently, as Christ's life of grace was filial, salvific, social, communal and ecclesial, so must be ours. As Christ's grace-life was sacramental (tending toward manifestation) and transfigurative, so likewise must be ours. Finally, let us remember that the Christian expresses these various dimensions of grace as he relives the mysteries of Christ, especially those of death-resurrection.

   We have briefly considered the relationship between the graced-Christian and Christ. As this relationship grows in mutual love, the Christian understands with maturing penetration what it means to be incorporated into Christ Jesus. He becomes more aware of the full implications of St. Paul's words: "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." (Ga 2:19).

       c) Relationship with the Holy Spirit

    After the glorified Christ was established in power and glory with the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify the world. The task of the Holy Spirit is to imprint the mystery of Christ ever more deeply upon the whole of creation. The Holy Spirit gradually is leading man and his universe to a greater Christo-finalization. This Christo-finalization will reach its completion at the time of Christ's second coming. Then creation will receive its final transformation. Then the movement of creation to the Father, in Christ, by the Holy Spirit will be complete.

   As this process evolves, the Holy Spirit concentrates His action upon the Church of Christ; for this evolutionary movement of creation in Christ has as its dynamic center the evolution of the Church. The Church progressively evolves by assimilating more perfectly the mystery of Christ. The Holy Spirit guides this process. He is the soul of the Church because He constantly labors to unite the diversified elements of the Church into a more perfect image of Christ.

   The Holy Spirit as sanctifier not only guides the entire Church, but He also guides each member of the Church. Here again His task is basically the same. He strives to deepen the image of Christ which has been indelibly imprinted upon the Christian. He labors to Christo-finalize more radically all areas of the Christian's existence. In this regard we notice the biblical distinction of living according to the Spirit rather than according to the flesh. To live according to the flesh does not refer only to sins against chastity. It refers to anything in my life which is not according to the Spirit. Therefore, intellectual pride, something very "spiritual," would be living according to the flesh in the biblical sense.

   On the other hand, to live according to the Spirit can include the most intense involvement with material creation or use of the senses. All of this can be profoundly Christian as long as we are following the lead of the Holy Spirit. In this context we again emphasize that everything about the Christian has been elevated by grace, not merely his spiritual nature.

   To live fully according to the Spirit demands a growing realization of the manner in which the Holy Spirit leads the Christian to a greater Christ-likeness. This involves discernment of spirits. This concept will be developed at some length in a later chapter.

   In summary, the Holy Spirit promotes the process of our becoming sons in the Son. The Christian's response to the Spirit measures his degree of incorporation into the adoptive sonship of the Christ-life. "Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, 'Abba, Father!' " (Rm 8:14-15).

       d) Relationship with Mary

    Karl Rahner tells us that devotion to Mary is one of the great signs of final perseverance.11 By such a statement Rahner emphasizes for us the great role Mary exercises in the life of the Christian. Really, the emphasis of Rahner is merely a continuation of the great importance attributed to Mary by the Fathers, doctors, and saints of the Church throughout the ages.

   Mary assumes such a concrete importance in the life of each of us because she is the mother of the Church and the mother of each Christian. She is a mother to all men, but in a special way to the Christian.12

  
Mary's spiritual motherhood toward us had its beginnings at the time of the Incarnation. As Mary conceived Christ in a physical manner, she at the same time conceived us in a spiritual manner. In her holy womb she bore both Christ, the Head, and us, His members.

   The second great stage in Mary's maternal relationship toward us was accomplished upon Calvary. There, in extreme spiritual suffering, she offered Christ to the Father. From the pierced side of Christ the Church was born. Mary, in the extreme anguish of spiritual childbirth, brought us forth to supernatural life. "Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, this is your son'. Then to the disciple he said, 'This is your mother.' " (Jn 19:26).

   The third and final phase of Mary's spiritual motherhood is a continuing process. Under God, she gives us our life of grace. In her maternal love she protects and nourishes this life. She intercedes for all the graces necessary for its proper growth. As Mary cooperated with the Holy Spirit in first giving Christ to men, so she continues the same cooperation in regard to each Christian. Through the life of grace Christ is meant to take deeper and deeper possession of each one of us. Mary and the Holy Spirit continually labor to achieve this. Mary's only desire for us is that we grow more and more into the full stature of Christ. Her overwhelming love for us is evident. We manifest our love for her by committing ourselves to her maternal love and care so that she can achieve her desired purpose. That purpose, again, is to form Christ in us.

       e) Relationship with Members of the Church

    There is but one true Church of Christ. Yet this one Church has three different states of existence. There is the pilgrim Church, the Church of this world, composed of members who have received the grace of Christ and strive for its development. They have not yet obtained the goal of their efforts, as have the members of the heavenly Church, who enjoy God in eternal happiness. The Church suffering is an intermediate state of existence necessary for those who had not achieved the required purification as members of the pilgrim Church. Although there are these three phases of the Church's existence, there is a profound union existing between all the members. All these members possess the same basic life of grace in Christ, and this common life establishes the most intimate bonds of love. In our preceding chapter, we discussed the pilgrim Church. Let us now consider the Church suffering and the heavenly Church.

   The members of the Church suffering are those who have departed from this life in an incomplete state of Christian development. Their development is incomplete in the sense that grace has not fully taken possession of them, and, as a result, they are yet closed in upon themselves to a greater or lesser degree. They as yet cannot open themselves out in complete love to the Triune God in the beatific vision. They must undergo a further purification, a purification which could have been achieved upon earth with merit. Now the purification must be achieved with no merit attached. The pain of this purification is mixed with the certain expectation of achieving the vision of God. We can hasten the advent of this vision for this people by the offering of prayers and other good works. Scripture itself refers to our action on behalf of those in purgatory in Chapter 12 of the Second Book of Maccabees beginning with verse 38.

   The members of the heavenly Church are those in whom the life of grace has taken full possession and has reached its completion in the life of glory. Faith now is unnecessary, as the light of glory gives the human intellect a new strength and capacity for seeing God face-to-face. While the Christian was a wayfarer, he received the imprint of the indwelling Trinity as he shared in God's own life. Now in heaven that grace-life and possession of God reaches its completionóthe absolute completion is not achieved, however, until the resurrection of the body. The divine persons give Themselves to the beatified in a profound union far surpassing that of the indwelling of the Trinity experienced here below.

   This life of heaven is still the Christ-life, for just as we possess a share in Trinitarian life here below as mediated by Christ, and exercise this grace-life as structured by Him, so also in heaven is the mediation of Christ present. In the words of Rahner, "One always sees the Father through Jesus. Just as immediately as this, for the directness of the vision of God is not a denial of the mediatorship of Christ as man."13 And not only does the humanity of Christ unite the blessed to God, but also, in some way, to the whole of creation. This is merely a completion of what is begun here below, namely, the union with Christ in His humanity establishing the Christian in a special relationship with God, with other men, and with the whole of creation. We have a glimpse, therefore, of the fullness of life which members of the heavenly Church possess.

   The heavenly Church, as St. Thomas says, is the true Church.14 The Church of this earth and the Church of purgatory are, each in its own way, reaching out in loving hope for the heavenly Jerusalem. Vatican II puts it very simply: "The Church, to which we are called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain her full perfection only in the glory of heaven."15

   The members of the heavenly Church can help us in living our life of grace until we too share its fullness with them. Their power of intercession on our behalf is but another ramification of the communal aspect of Christianity. We are meant to help others grow in Christ. We, in turn, are intended by God to receive aid from othersóyes, from members of the heavenly Church, as well as from those with whom we dwell here below.

   Not only can we be aided by the saints' intercession, but the example of the canonized saints can also be of great value to us. They have concretely proved that full holiness is possible. Such an inspiration is of real worth when we are tempted to think that Christian sanctity in its higher degrees is impossible of attainment. Moreover, the canonized saints, in their diversity, teach us that there are many authentic versions of Christian holiness. They can be innovators in showing us that there are numerous possibilities in assimilating the mystery of Christ, although the basic assimilation remains the same for all Christians of all times. In the opinion of Rahner this is one of the chief roles the canonized saints exert in the life of the Church.16

       f) Relationship with Man and His World

    The Christian's Christ-life also establishes a special relationship between himself and all other men and the world in which both are situated. This is so because of the basic nature of graceóthe fact that it is a share in God's life. The object of life in God is not only Himself, but also His creation. The Christian, through his life of grace, shares in this double dimension of God's life. Just as God not only loves Himself, but also His creation, so also must the Christian love both God and His creation. The Christian is called in a special way to further the creative and redemptive work of God.

   This aspect of the Christian's grace-life is also mediated by Christ. Christ, through His human enfleshment, has immersed Himself into man's world. Through His humanity he unites all men and all authentic human and temporal values to Himself. Through His redemptive love Christ has elevated the Father's creation to a new level of existence. Christ has initiated a process of gathering up all of creation for the glory of His Father. This process will reach its completion at the parousia. Meanwhile the Christian labors with Christ to further this evolutionary process of creation and redemption. Consequently, in faith, hope and love, the Christian assumes a new responsibility and privilege toward man and his world.

   He must take this privilege and responsibility seriously. Men of our era such as Bonhoeffer and Teilhard de Chardin have strikingly placed this responsibility before Christianity. Christianity has to show the contemporary world that it is profoundly interested in all its authentic values and aspirations. Christianity must further demonstrate that the principles of Christ are the only ones which can guarantee the true progress of man's world. The world belongs to Christ and it is impossible for it to develop authentically outside of Christ.

   We have traversed a rather wide area in this chapter dealing with the life of Christian grace. Grace, in its inner reality, and in its various relationships and ramifications, is complex to a certain extent. But ultimately it has a profound simplicity and unity. Christ is the one who gathers up and unifies. He is the one who makes grace tangible, concrete and personal to the Christian. Radically, the life of grace is life in God as mediated by Christ. "We can be sure that we are in God only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived." (1 Jn 2:5-6).


NOTES:

    9Cf. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Helicon, 1965), p.199.
  10Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. II (Baltimore: Helicon, 1960), p. 33.
   11Cf. Karl Rahner, Spiritual Exercises (New York: Herder & Herder, 1965), p. 283.
   12Cf. Edward Schillebeeckx, Mary, Mother of the Redemption (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1964), p. 128.
   13Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. III (Baltimore: Helicon, 1967), p. 44.
   14Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In Ad Ephes., c. 3, Lect. 3.
   15Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church, No. 48.
   16Cf. Karl Rahner, Op. cit., pp. 100-101.

    


   

   

Excerpt from Response in Christ

by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.

  

FOUR The Sacraments
and the Mass

The life of grace just described expresses itself most perfectly in the Churchís liturgy, and at the same time it is from the liturgy that the Christian chiefly derives strength for his life in Christ. Central to the Churchís liturgy are the sacraments, and, most especially, the eucharistic sacrifice.

1. The Sacraments in General

A sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible, divine reality. Christ, therefore, is the primordial sacrament given to men by God. In His historical existence Christ was the visible, tangible manifestation that God has irrevocably entered the world of man with His merciful, salvific grace. At the same time Christ contained within Himself this divine reality which He externally manifested.6

We have previously described the Church as the continuation of Christ. Consequently, flowing from the idea of Christ as primordial sacrament, the Church is also a sacrament. The Church continues the visible presence of Christ which was attached to His historical existence. The Church, through her union with the glorified Christ, both externally symbolizes and contains within herself the divine reality of Godís grace which has been irrevocably communicated to man.

The Church as sacrament is a perduring reality. This perduring sacramentality of the Church is actualized in a special manner through the seven sacraments. As the Church is the general, visible continuation of Christís Incarnation, so the individual sacraments can be considered as particular, visible extensions of Christís Incarnation.

It is evident, therefore, why the sacraments are special encounters with Christ. For Christ unites Himself with the sacramental sign as He offers His grace to the recipient of the sacraments. In this sense Christ and His sacraments become one. The sacrament and its minister are merely instruments which Christ employs to give Himself anew. The primary sacramental encounter is between Christ and the Christian.

Christ offers Himself to men through the Church and her sacraments so that men may become ever more united to Him. This incorporation into Christ begins at baptism, through which the Christian is made both a member of Christ and a member of His Church. This incorporation into the life of Christ means primarily to be incorporated into His paschal mystery, since death-resurrection was the essential and summary mystery of Christís life. It was the central mystery whereby He gave us life. It is the central mystery which the Christian must relive in Christ.

Each of the sacraments deepens our incorporation into Christís death-resurrection. Each achieves this in a somewhat different manner according to the primary purpose of each sacrament. Finally, and very importantly, each of the sacraments deepens this incorporation into Christ within an ecclesial framework. The sacraments, because they are the sacraments of Christ and His Church, intensify the Christianís relationship not only with Christ, but also with the members of the Church, and ultimately with all men.

The death-resurrection of Christ, encountered in a special way through the sacraments, is most especially renewed in the eucharistic sacrifice. Thus we can see the logical connection between the sacraments and the Mass. All of the sacraments point to the Mass. All of them, according to their own particular finalities, allow for a more perfect participation in Christís paschal mystery as sacramentally renewed in the eucharistic liturgy.

2. The Mass

How is the paschal mystery and all the related mysteries of Christ renewed in the Mass? As a preliminary step to answering this question, let us first give a more detailed analysis of the mystery of Christ which was briefly described in the chapter on the Church. Put very briefly, this mystery is Godís concrete plan of redemption centered in Christ. The expansion of this idea leads to the theology of mysteries, a much discussed topic since the time of Casel.

The following is one manner in which we may conceive of the mystery of Christ. God Himself is ultimately the mystery Ė holy, completely transcendent, completely other. God in His inner life is thus hidden to man, unless He chooses to reveal and communicate Himself. He has so acted, giving Himself to man in word and action in Christ. Thus, because the ultimate mystery, God Himself, has communicated Himself in Christ, we have the mystery of Christ, the Christian mystery. It is legitimate to speak in the plural, designating the mysteries of Christ rather than simply mystery, because all that Christ did was part of the one unified mystery. In all the events of Christís life God was communicating Himself and redeeming man in Christ.There are other ways of describing the mystery of Christ, yet we find a common denominator in our original statement: the mystery is Godís concrete plan of redemption in Christ.

How is this mystery of Christ contained in the liturgy? We can explain this presence as follows.7 Christís mystery of redemption has a twofold aspect, one temporal and historical, the other eternal. We first consider the historical, temporal aspect of this mystery.

Christ is God present among us in human form, the entry of eternity into time. Because of Christís humanity, the acts He performed while on earth were subject to the limits of temporal historicity. Consequently, the unique historicity of these acts of Christ cannot be repeated, even sacramentally; no, not even by God Himself. This would be asking the impossible of God, for to reproduce a past act now in its temporal historicity is a contradiction in terms. Hence Caselís theory of sacramental presence cannot be held if it posits an exact reproduction of temporal historicity.8

Granted, then, the temporal-not-to-be-repeated aspect of Christís earthly life and actions, there is another aspect to be considered. Christ, although possessing two natures, is only one person, and that divine. Consequently, the historical redemptive acts of Christ are the acts of a divine person. Necessarily, then, these acts partake of the eternity of the divine person and therefore are perennial. They endure eternally in the glorified Christ.9

Through the medium of His glorified body, this eternal aspect of Christís redemptive acts can be made present sacramentally. In the eucharistic liturgy the very person of the glorified Christ, containing within Himself all His redemptive acts, is sacramentally present. In very brief form we see the manner in which all the mysteries of Christís life are reproduced in the eucharistic liturgy. It is within the Mass, then, the heart of the liturgy, that the Christian encounters the person of Christ and His mysteries. This encounter takes place chiefly through the medium of the theological virtues. In faith, hope and love the Christian, encountering the eucharistic Christ, receives the supernatural strength to reproduce Christ in Himself. For through contact with Christ in the eucharist, the Christian receives the grace to relive Christís mysteries in his own life. How true it is to say that the liturgy, centered in the Mass, is aimed at transformation in Christ.

Granted the primary importance of the Mass, we will now examine in greater detail the eucharistic sacrifice. In discussing the mystery of Christ and its presence in the eucharistic liturgy, we have already said much concerning the Mass. Yet we believe a schematically complete outline of the Mass will provide a more desirable framework for our purpose of demonstrating the Christianís eucharistic participation, a participation which is at the heart of contemporary spirituality.

Our presentation will necessarily be only relatively schematic. At the same time we hope it will not be superficial. We will make a fourfold division, for we believe this is necessary for an intelligent discussion of liturgical participation. First, we will treat of the notion of sacrifice in general. Then we will consider Christís sacrifice within the framework of sacrifice in general. Next we will treat of the sacrifice of the Mass. Finally, we will consider in some detail the individualís participation in the eucharistic sacrifice.

a) Sacrifice in General

There are various ways of developing the structure of sacrifice. Some authors include more constituent elements than others. We will give a structure which we believe includes the essential elements commonly given. This structure of sacrifice is a traditional one, yet it is one which can well be harmonized with modern theological, liturgical and scriptural studies. A leading scripture scholar, F. X. Durrwell, gives us assurance on this point by telling us of the value of considering Christís redemptive activity within the traditional structure of sacrifice developed over the centuries: "But first it will be useful to look once more at the drama of the Redemption, placing it in a framework Ė a framework adequate to contain its rich reality which God Himself had prepared throughout the history of mankind: Sacrifice."10 We enter upon our discussion of sacrifice in general by considering the first of five constituent elements.

1) Interior Oblation

The first duty of man is to surrender himself to God out of love. This fact flows from the truth that God is the Creator and man is His creature. Man, if he is ideally to fulfill his creaturely role must respond as perfectly as possible to the loving demands of His Creator. God asks that man give himself completely to Himself. This is only proper since everything that man has, whether of the natural or supernatural order, has been given to him by God. Man, in turn, perfects himself by developing these various gifts according to Godís will or, in other words, by giving himself completely to God. Manís gift of self to God is centered in loving conformity to the divine will. Consequently, one can understand why the will with its decision-making capacity is the crucial faculty in man, a point emphasized by contemporary thought.

Man directs himself to God by the virtue of religion. This is not to say that this particular virtue ranks above the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. These are the most excellent, since they unite man directly to God. We are merely stating that the virtue of religion directs all manís actions to the honor of God.11

This virtue consists especially in acts of adoration, thanksgiving, petition and reparation. These interior acts can manifest themselves in many ways, but they are especially expressed through sacrifice. Here, then, we have the first constituent element of sacrifice: manís interior offering of himself to God. This giving takes place chiefly in manís will, under the guidance of the virtue of religion. This first element of sacrifice is of prime importance, for it deals with interior dispositions. This importance can be recognized concretely in the history of religion. For example, the Jewish people were convinced that the principal value of sacrifice was centered in the dispositions of the people.12

2) Exterior Offering

Man is not a pure spirit. He is a rational animal, composed of body and soul. Consequently, he desires to manifest exteriorly and concretely the interior offering of himself which has been made to God in the first movement of sacrifice. He does this by the exterior offering to God of some material gift. Such a gift symbolizes the interior offering of man himself. St. Augustine says: "A visible sacrifice, therefore, is a sacrament or sacred sign of an invisible sacrifice."13

Justification of this exterior oblation is also found in the fact that man is not only in part a corporeal being, but also a social being. It is fitting therefore that man exteriorize his interior gift of self in order that he may give worship to God in a social manner. For his exteriorization enables many to partake in the sacrificial ritual.

This exteriorization of his inner offering also helps man to deepen his interior acts. Precisely because man is a composite being, his various exterior acts of worship can profoundly influence, among others, his interior acts of love, adoration, thanksgiving, reparation and petition.

Here, then, we have the second constituent element of sacrifice: the external, ritual giving to God of some material gift which symbolizes manís interior offering of himself.

3) Immolation of the Victim

In the history of religion there is contained a third element of sacrifice, that of immolation. In order to make the external offering worthy of God, man has been accustomed to accompany his offering with a ritual that removes the external gift from profane use. The victim is immolated so that its former existence might cease, and that it can thus become something sacred to God. This immolation should not be looked upon as a destruction, but as a fitting preparation of the external gift. Such a preparation is the negative element in the transferral process of the gift from profane use to divine ownership.14 But because the external gift symbolizes the gift of man himself, the consecration to God of this external gift through immolation represents the consecration of man himself to God. In other words, the immolation has a special significance by indicating manís union with God.

Within this consideration of immolation it will be profitable for us to refer to three basic types of sacrifice common to the Jews of the Old Law. Such a consideration will have its special significance in our treatment of Christís sacrifice. The three sacrifices in question are those of the paschal lamb, of the covenant, and of expiation or atonement. In our initial chapter we discussed the first two types. It is sufficient to recall here that each of these, through sacrificial blood, was instrumental in uniting the Jews with Yahweh as His people. The blood of the paschal lamb contributed to the Jewish exodus from Egypt, an exodus which attained upon Mount Sinai a central point of its progress toward the promised land. Here upon Mount Sinai the sacrifice of the covenant took place as the blood sealed the new life relationship between Yahweh and the Jews.

In the sacrifice of expiation or atonement we again see the key role of sacrificial blood. In this sacrifice the blood was sprinkled seven times over the propitiatory. The purpose of this was to purify the sanctuary from all the sins of Israel. In turn the altar was sprinkled seven times with blood in order to achieve its purification and sanctification.

The purpose of the sacrifice of expiation or atonement, then, was purification and divine reunion. The land of Israel together with the tabernacle, the altar, the sanctuary and the throne of Israel, had been stained by the sins of the Chosen People. Through these sins God had been driven from their midst. In the sacrifice of expiation God returns to Israel through the purification of the tabernacle. The tabernacle symbolized the souls of the Jews, so we note that God returns to a purified people. Here we see a simultaneity of purification and reunion.15

Taking together these three main sacrifices of the pasch, covenant, and expiation, we see the role of the shedding of blood in the history of the Israelites. The shedding of blood purified and united to God, and indeed played a most positive role.

4) Acceptance of the Sacrifice by God

In order that the sacrifice might reach its extrinsic consummation God on His part must accept it. Godís acceptance of sacrifice has been shown in various ways. Among the Hebrews assurance of the divine acceptance was seen in the phenomenon of fire falling from heaven and consuming the victim of sacrifice. In the absence of such a heavenly token, there was at least some assurance that God accepted the sacrifice because of the duly consecrated altar itself. The altar received the gifts of sacrifice, and in doing so symbolized Godís acceptance of the same.

5) Partaking of the Sacrificial Victim

In the history of sacrifice men have habitually shown a desire to accept Godís invitation to partake of the offered victim. God must invite men to participation in the sacrificial meal, for the victim of sacrifice becomes divine property, and the use of it contrary to the divine will is sacrilegious. If God is pleased to admit His friends to the divine banquet, this is a manifestation of the divine goodness.

Since the victim has in a certain way become divine through its being offered to God, the partaking of this victim has a deep significance. Through such a participation in the divine banquet one shares in the sanctity of the victim.16 This sharing in the holiness of the victim is actually a participation in Godís sanctity, since the victim is holy with the holiness of God to whom it has been offered.

Thus the cycle of sacrifice has been completed. The interior giving on the part of those offering the sacrifice, exteriorized and symbolized by the ritual offering of an immolated victim, has brought down from on high a divine communication.

We have briefly seen the general economy of sacrifice, the authenticity of which has been borne out by history. This structure of sacrifice is authentic because it is partly rooted in the very nature of man. At the same time, this structure has been modified by the demands of positive law. With this general structure of sacrifice serving as a background, we are now in a position to consider the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and finally, that of the Mass.

b) Christís Sacrifice

We will consider Christís sacrifice according to the same constituent elements of sacrifice already discussed. In this treatment we will follow the theory of the unicists, who hold that Our Lord offered only one complete sacrifice as opposed to the dualist theory which says Christ offered two complete sacrifices, one at the Last Supper, and one on Calvary. The Church allows either position. We prefer to follow the position of the unicists, since this seems to give a greater unity to Christís sacrifice, and indeed to the total mystery of Christ. This profound unity of Christís mystery has become more and more apparent with the scriptural, liturgical and theological renewals.17

1) The Interior offering of Our Lord

The sacrifice which Christ offered for the redemption of the world was first and foremost an interior moral act. Christís life possessed its great value because of His interior dispositions. His entire life was a constant gift of Himself in love to the Father and to mankind, and Calvary was the supreme expression of this gift. This gift of self was regulated by a perfect conformity to His Fatherís will.

Christ not only was constantly living out this interior disposition of sacrifice, but He strove to inculcate the necessity of it in the Jews of His time. He constantly opposed a false and legalistic concentration on the mere externals of Jewish purifications, for such an attitude tended to diminish the necessary internal dispositions. The synoptic theology of sacrifice stresses this attitude of Christ. Bernard Cooke states: "This insistence of Jesus on internal dispositions characterizes the Synoptic theology of sacrifice, which continues and completes the prophetic emphasis on the moral and individual aspect of sacrifice...One must be careful, however, not to exaggerate the opposition (either in the prophets or in the Synoptic Gospels) between cult and internal dispositions of soul."18

2) Ritual Oblation

As we have said, man, because of his corporeal and social nature, has always desired to express the interior oblation of sacrifice in an external, ritual oblation. So it was with Christ. Unlike the dualists, who maintain that Christís interior offering was sufficiently exteriorized during the passion itself, the unicists maintain that the only place where we can locate a ritual oblation is at the Last Supper. This ritual oblation cannot be found in any other phase of Christís sacrifice Ė from the Garden to the Cross Ė despite the efforts of some to do so. Notice, too, that in the case of Christís sacrifice, the ritual oblation of the Last Supper is of a victim-to-be-immolated rather than of a victim already immolated... Christís ritual oblation at the Last Supper possessed a many-faceted signification. We will comment on several aspects. We begin by recalling the social implications of the ritual oblation. This social element is present in Christís actions at the Supper. He told the Apostles to do what He was doing in commemoration of Him. This would assure that in the future the head and members of the Church would sacramentally renew Christís redemptive, sacrificial act. In this manner the members of Christís Body would not passively receive the graces of Christís sacrifice, but rather would assimilate these graces by actively entering into Christís act of atonement. Consequently, Christís sacrifice, in its perennial, sacramental renewal down through the ages, was to be of a social, corporate nature.

Closely related to this social aspect of Christís actions were the covenant significations of the Last Supper ritual. This is brought out by observing the connection of Christís actions with two of the chief types of Jewish sacrifices we have previously mentioned, the sacrifice of the pasch and that of covenant. In both of these the concept of sacrificial blood enters in.

The Last Supper was a paschal meal, or at least had a paschal significance. The Jewish paschal meal commemorated the Jewish peopleís delivery from Egyptian slavery, which, in turn, symbolized their deliverance from sin. The enslaved Jews had been freed from Egyptian tyranny with the aid of the blood of the paschal lamb. For this blood, we recall, had exempted Jewish homes from the visit of the exterminating angel. How fitting, then, that at the paschal supper Christ instituted the eucharist in which His blood is sacramentally shed. He is the new paschal lamb whose blood frees us not from Egyptian slavery but from slavery to sin. The old pasch, a covenant communion between Yahweh and His chosen people whom He delivered from Egypt, gives way to the new pasch, the new covenant communion between God and His people.

These ideas concerning covenant lead us to a consideration of the second type of Jewish sacrifice linked with Christís actions at the Last Supper. We recall that in the sacrifice of the covenant Moses sprinkled sacrificial blood on both the altar representing Yahweh and the people. This blood, considered to be source of life, united Yahweh and His people in a union, a common life, or, in other words, a covenant. We understand, consequently, the deep significance of Christís words at the Last Supper when He referred to His blood as being that of the new covenant. This is the blood which establishes between God and men a new union, a new covenant.

3) Immolation of the Victim

The central importance of Christís sacrificial blood is evident. It is the blood of the new paschal lamb. It is the blood of the new covenant, the blood which redeems man. The shedding of this blood occurred during the immolation of Christís passion-death. Schillebeeckx points out the significance of this immolation in blood: "The Blood of Christ is a theme that is truly central in the primitive Church, as Scripture shows it to us. This death sanctifies mankind, reconciles, establishes peace, redeems, constitutes the Church, and therefore unites man in communion with God and his fellow men. We are redeemed in sanguine, through the blood of Christ Ė this we find on almost every page of Scripture. It is impossible therefore to spiritualize Christís sacrifice, to make it merely an internal act of love. There was indeed the act of love, but it was embodied in the sacrifice of blood."19 At this point we also note the profound unity of Christís sacrifice. We observe that priest and victim are one and the same. At the Last Supper, Christ is chiefly priest; on Calvary, He is chiefly victim. Yet He is always priest and victim. Christ does not perform the immolation. He rather endures it. However, this is sufficient since it is not necessary for the priest of the sacrifice to achieve the immolation himself.

4) The Fatherís Acceptance of Christís Sacrifice

We have demonstrated that one of the constituent elements of sacrifice is its acceptance by God. In the case of Christís sacrifice, this acceptance by the Father was accomplished in a most glorious fashionĖthrough Christís Resurrection and Ascension. The Father glorified His Son for the perfect, whole-hearted sacrifice of Calvary. This glorification shall endure for all eternity, since Christ reigns at the right hand of the Father as eternal victim, as eternal, glorified victim. Through this glorified Christ the treasures of His sacrifice are distributed to all men: "Christís glorification is the mystery whereby the treasures of his divinity flow to us, through the opening of his mortal life."20

In the union of these last two elements of Christís sacrifice, His immolation in death and the acceptance of His sacrifice through the Resurrection and Ascension, lies the essence of Christís redemptive act Ė of course, in saying this we presuppose the first element of Christís sacrifice, His interior disposition or oblation; this is the essential element. This union of Christís death and Resurrection is called His paschal mystery, His passover. In what did this passover or transition consist? In our initial chapter we briefly described this passover of Christ. We will now expand to some extent upon this basic reality of Christís life.

The divine love, or agape, descended into this world for the salvation of men. This saving force manifested itself to men through the redemptive activity of the Word made flesh. By becoming man, Christ, although free from sin, submitted Himself to the conditions and circumstances of a sinful world. His redemptive activity consisted in a struggle with the forces of evil. As this struggle developed, Christ at the same time was returning to the glory of His Father. He finally conquered completely through His paschal mystery. Through His death He liberated Himself completely from a world impregnated with sin and passed over into the new order of the Resurrection. Moreover, Christ experienced this transition process not just for Himself. By His own passover Christ achieved for all men the opportunity to pass from death to life, from a life of sin to a new life as sons of God. In the words of Lyonnet, "The redemption is essentially the return of humanity to God. The return is accomplished first of all in Christ who died and rose again as the first fruits of this humanity (objective redemption), and then in each Christian who dies and rises again with Christ in baptism (subjective redemption)."21

Consequently, we have observed, in terms of sacrificial elements, the most intimate union which exists between Christís death and Resurrection. They are inseparable, and lie at the heart of the total mystery of Christ. This paschal mystery is central, therefore, to the liturgy and to the whole Christian life.

5) The Banquet in Christís Sacrifice

The cycle of sacrifice is strikingly completed by God graciously extending an invitation to partake of the offered victim. This element of sacrifice is miraculously fulfilled in Christís oblation. By the words of consecration the bread and wine become Christ. In this manner Christ gives Himself to His disciples at the Last Supper. We will further develop these ideas of eucharistic communion in our consideration of the Mass.

We hereby complete the consideration of the elements of Christís sacrifice. According to the unicists there was but one sacrifice of Christ. The Last Supper, death and Resurrection each contributed essential elements. This one sacrifice of Christ endures in its efficacy for all time. In itself it is not to be repeated. Its sacramental renewal, however, is repeated daily on our altars in the Mass.

c) The Sacrifice of the Mass

Some contemporary authors, while not necessarily de-emphasizing the sacrificial nature of the Mass, are giving a renewed emphasis to the concept of the Mass as banquet or meal. This is all to the good, as long as the sacrificial structure is not allowed to recede to the background. In this regard it is well for us to recall the mind of the early Church. Jungmann says: "The first centuries of Christianity, which had built the framework for the celebration of the Eucharist which is still followed today, had laid down two basic thoughts: The Mass is the memorial of the Lord, and it is the sacrifice of the Church. These two thoughts are expressed just as clearly and simply today: Ď...calling to mind the blessed passion Ė we offer to your sovereign majesty Ė this pure sacrifice.í "22 We should always unite the concepts of the Mass as sacrifice and the Mass as meal by realizing that the eucharistic meal is an integral part of the sacrifice. It is its conclusion.

We should also be aware that the Mass is a covenant sacrifice. It is the sacramental renewal of Christís covenant sacrifice. The Mass is the central act of our covenant life in Christ, and therefore it embraces the four great dimensions of covenant love. In Christ, by the action of the Holy Spirit, we open ourselves in a special manner during the eucharistic liturgy to the Fatherís love and we respond to that love. In Christ and His Spirit we also pledge ourselves at Mass to go out in a deeper love to the members of the People of God and to all men. We also commit ourselves anew to be open in receiving the love of others. According to these various perspectives, the Mass above all is an action of love.

1) Interior Oblation of the Mass

The chief priest and victim of the Mass is the same as the priest and victim of the Last Supper and Calvary, Christ Himself. Christ makes this interior offering of Himself in the Mass for the same ends as were present in His own unique sacrifice Ė adoration, thanksgiving, petition and satisfaction. However, Christ is not the only priest at the Mass as He was at the Last Supper and upon Calvary. All the members of the Mystical Body are priests along with Christ. To be sure, there is a difference between the hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests and the universal priesthood of the faithful. This difference is one of essence and not merely degree. The point we wish to stress, however, is that the universal priesthood is a real participation in Christís priesthood given through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.

This concept of the priesthood of all the Churchís members is being stressed today in a special manner.23 Jungmann, the outstanding liturgical theologian, gives us reasons why this concept of universal priesthood became relatively obscure for so many years. He states that the concept of the Mass as the Churchís sacrifice faded into the background as a result of the Reformation. The Reformers maintained that there was only one sacrifice, the one which Christ offered upon Calvary. To counteract this heresy the Council of Trent and the theology consequent to it had to clarify that the Mass is a true sacrifice, but not an absolutely independent one. It is a sacrifice relative to the absolute one of Calvary and a representation of it. It was emphasized that the priest of Calvary is also the chief priest of the Mass. Because of such doctrinal controversies, the concept that Christ offers the Mass was alone considered important. The concept that the Mass is also the sacrifice of the Church practically disappeared. Finally, Jungmann notes that today we are returning to the balanced view which meaningfully recognizes that the Mass is not only the sacrifice of Christ, but also that of the Church.24 This stress on the Churchís part in the Mass is logically connected with the contemporary emphasis on the priesthood of all the members of the People of God.

As Christ is not the only priest of the Mass, neither is He the only victim. Again, all the members of the Church are victims along with Christ. Various Church documents attest to this. For instance, Pope Paul VI officially calls attention to this: "It is a pleasure to add another point particularly conducive to shed light on the mystery of the Church, that it is the whole Church which, in union with Christ functioning as Priest and Victim, offers the Sacrifice of the Mass and is offered in it."25 Therefore, the members of the People of God, united as priests to Christ the high priest, offer a combined victim to the Father: Christ and themselves. Such then in all its deep meaning and beauty is the first sacrificial element of the Mass.

2) Ritual Oblation of the Mass

Just as Christís interior offering of Himself was externalized in a ritual oblation at the Last Supper, so is there an external, liturgical rite of the Mass. The importance of this many-faceted exteriorization is brought out by Vatican IIís Constitution on the Liturgy.

As mentioned before, this exteriorization of the internal oblation is according to manís social and corporeal nature. That it is in harmony with the social part of man is evident from the fact that the external rite assembles the People of God to worship together as a community. The individual members are consequently enabled to help one another to achieve the proper worship of God. The Constitution gives stress to this social aspect of the liturgy. It states that the very nature of the liturgy demands that all the faithful be led to a full and active liturgical participation. Such is in keeping with their vocation as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation" (1 P 2:9). The Constitution emphatically states that such full and active participation on the part of all the people is the chief aim of the liturgical renewal.26

As also previously observed, the external rite is likewise according to manís bodily nature. In the case of the Mass (and the sacraments also) we observe that the very validity of the sacrifice depends on having the proper materials for the offering Ė bread and wine Ė and on the use of the proper form of consecration. The external, the ritual, the sensible, are indeed indispensable. In all this we note the great law of incarnation. The Incarnation established a set pattern for the redemption of the world, redemption taken both objectively and subjectively. Christ redeemed the world through His sacred humanity. This humanity is, then, the gateway to the divinity, to eternal life.

As Christís created humanity was indispensable for accomplishing the sacrifice of the objective redemption, so are created things necessary for the eucharistic sacrifice of the subjective redemption. This fact calls to mind the thought of Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard holds a world concept in which all things, natural and supernatural, spiritual and material, are united in a single and organic unity. The pole of this unity is the person of the Incarnate Word, towards whom the whole of creation converges.27 In such a concept the law of incarnation is developed to the utmost, a fact brought out by the following words of Teilhard: "Let us remember that the supernatural nourishes itself on everything."28

At various times in the history of Christian spirituality, the Church has been plagued with an exaggerated spiritualism rising out of various sources. Such a spiritualism, looking upon material things as more of a hindrance than a help, is foreign to the true Christian spirit. A true theology of the Incarnation, a theology which the Church so well concretizes in her liturgy, can lead to no other conclusion.

It is no accident that a meaningful incarnation spirituality is developing concomitant with the liturgical renewal. Although we would not want to say that the incarnational element outweighs the transcendent element in the Churchís portrayal of the Christian life, yet she is leading the faithful of all vocations to a deeper incarnationalism. The Church is accomplishing this through a variety of ways. She is achieving this incarnationalism, for instance, through the great social encyclicals, through the documents of Vatican II, and, in reference to our present topic, through a revived liturgy.

There is a deep significance, and a rich world of thought connected with the second sacrificial element of the Mass: the ritual oblation which incarnates the interior oblation.

3) Immolation of the Victim

Christ, the chief victim of the Mass, has been immolated once and for all in the offering of His own unique sacrifice. And yet, since the Mass is a true sacrifice in its own right, we logically look for an unbloody immolation of Christ the victim. Where do we find this immolation? Traditionally it has been seen to be present in the double consecration of bread and wine. This double consecration symbolizes the separation of Christís blood from His body, and, consequently, symbolizes His death. Pius XIIís encyclical, Mediator Dei, states: "Thus the commemorative representation of His death, which actually took place on Calvary, is repeated in every Sacrifice of the altar, seeing that Jesus Christ is symbolically shown by separate symbols to be in a state of victimhood."29 Jungmann reminds us of the importance of this sacramental immolation of Christ. While admitting and even stressing the importance of giving the "meal symbolism" its proper place in the Mass, Jungmann calls for a priority of sacrificial symbolism: "It is quite another question whether or not it is necessary or even correct to regard the meal symbolism as the decisive and fundamental thing in the outward transaction of the Mass. If the Mass is a sacrifice then this must find appropriate expression in the outward picture too; for sacrifice is essentially a demonstrative action, the symbolic representation of inward readiness to give oneself."30

Durrwell, a biblical theologian, also highlights the importance of the Massís immolation. He seems to say that Christís immolation is symbolized by the very words of consecration. He says that the Last Supper and its commemoration, the Mass, are sacrificial meals. Consequently, "...Christ appears in the victim state. He gives them to drink "the blood of the new covenant, shed for manyí (Matt, Mark), blood of sacrifice as the establishment of the old covenant required (Exod xxiv, 8) shed at the moment of drinking."31

However, as we have said, Christ is not the only victim of the eucharistic sacrifice. The members of His Body, the Church, are also victims along with Christ. Those members must also be in a state of victimhood. As with Christ, they cannot undergo a bloody immolation. Their immolation must also be a mystical one. How is this accomplished? We can look to two passages of the encyclical Mediator Dei for thoughts on such a mystical immolation. In one passage we read that pride, anger, impurity and all evil desires are to be mystically slain. As the Christian stands before the altar, he should bring with him a transformed heart, purified as much as possible from all trace of sin.32 Positively considered, such a transformation means that the Christian is striving to grow in the supernatural life by all possible means, so as to present himself always as an acceptable victim to the heavenly Father.

In another passage of the same encyclical this mystical immolation of Christís members is further developed. To be a victim with Christ means that the Christian must follow the gospel teaching concerning self-denial, that he detest his sins and make satisfaction for them. In brief, the Christianís victimhood means that he experiences a mystical crucifixion so as to make applicable to his own life the words of St. Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ... (Ga 2:19)33

Jungmann has a beautiful passage concerning the Christianís eucharistic immolation. He states: "Every sacrament serves to develop in us the image of Christ according to a specified pattern which the sacramental sign indicates. Here the pattern is plainly shown in the double formation of the Eucharist; we are to take part in His dying, and through His dying are to merit a share in His life. What we here find anchored fast in the deepest center of the Mass-sacrifice is nothing else than the ideal of moral conduct to which the teaching of Christ in the Gospel soars; the challenge to an imitation of Him that does not shrink at sight of the Cross; a following after Him that is ready to lose its life in order to win it; the challenge to follow Him even, if need be, in His agony of suffering and His path of death, which are here in this mystery so manifestly set before us."34

Summarily, then, we become victims with Christ by lovingly conforming our wills to the Fatherís will in all things. Such conformity was the essence of Christís sacrifice, of His victimhood, and of His immolation. A similar conformity must be in the victimhood and the immolation of Christís members. This mystical immolation is a lifelong process. The ideal is that each Mass participated in by the Christian should mark a growth in his victimhood. The true Christian desires to die more and more to all which is not according to Godís will so that he may become an ever more perfect victim with Christ.

4) The Fatherís Acceptance of the Eucharistic Sacrifice

It has been observed that if sacrifice is to have its desired effect, it must be accepted by God. That the Father always accepts the eucharistic sacrifice is certain. For the principal priest and victim is Christ Himself, always supremely acceptable to the Father. As for the subordinate priests and victims, they are, taken together, the People of God, the Church herself.

There is always an acceptance on the Fatherís part even as regards this subordinate priesthood and victimhood of the Mass. For even though the Mass may be offered through the sacrilegious hands of an unworthy priest, there is always a basic holiness in the Church pleasing to God. Because of such holiness the Father always accepts the Churchís sacrificial offering, for the Mass is the sacrifice of the whole Church, and cannot be fundamentally vitiated by the unworthiness of any particular member or members, even if that member be the officiating priest.

What do we say concerning the Fatherís acceptance of the sacrificial offering of the individual Christian? Such an offering will be acceptable in proportion to the Christianís loving conformity of will to the Fatherís will. Speaking of the Christianís participation in the Mass, Jungmann says: "It follows that an interior immolation is required of the participants, at least to the extent of readiness to obey the law of God in its seriously obligatory commandments, unless this participation is to be nothing more than an outward appearance."35

Having considered in successive sections the immolation and acceptance elements of the Mass, we should consider the vital link between these two. For just as the two are inseparably connected in Christís sacrifice, so are they also united in the Churchís sacrifice of the Mass.

In Christ we equated the immolation of His sacrifice with His passion-death, and the acceptance element with His Resurrection. Uniting these two mysteries of death-resurrection, we spoke of Christís paschal mystery. We have seen that this mystery had been prefigured by the Jewish pasch and exodus, component parts of the Jewish peopleís transition to a new and more perfect life. In the case of Christ, we considered His paschĖHis passoverĖto be a transition from the limitations of His mortal life to the state of resurrected glory. We speak of Christís mortal humanity as having exercised limitations upon Him in this sense, that, although He Himself was completely free from sin, He had exposed Himself to the conditions of a sin-laden world through His human nature. In His death-resurrection He changed all this as He conquered sin, as He redeemed us, as He passed to the state of glory with His Father.

What happened in Christ also occurs in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Church and Her members experience their own transition from death to resurrection. The entire Church and the individual Christian express, through the Mass, a willingness to grow in the participation in Christís death. The Father accepts this willingness and gives an increase in the grace-life, a greater share in Christís Resurrection. This process happened within a short span of time in Christís life. In the life of the Church it continually takes place until Christís second coming. The Church, with her grace-life of holiness, has already partially achieved her resurrection, but not completely, even though she continues to grow in grace. St. Paul bears witness to this: "...but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free." (Rm 8:23).

Vatican IIís Constitution on the Church beautifully portrays this fused state of death-resurrection which the Church in her members experiences here below as she awaits the fullness of the resurrection in the world to come: "For this reason we, who have been made to conform with him, who have died with him and risen with him, are taken up into the mysteries of his life, until we will reign together with him... While still pilgrims on earth, tracing in trial and in oppression the paths he trod, we are anointed with his sufferings as the body is with the head, suffering with him, that with him we may be glorified..."36

5) Partaking of the Eucharistic Meal

The cycle of the eucharistic sacrifice is completed as the priest and faithful partake of Christ the paschal lamb. The People of God have given Christ to the Father. Now the Father gives Christ to the Churchís members in the eucharistic meal. Although the priest alone must communicate to assure the integrity of the sacrifice, it is highly desirable, of course, that all present partake of the eucharist.

In the sacrifices of old, the victim of the sacrificial banquet was considered in some sense divine by the fact that it had been offered to the divinity. In the sacrifice of the new covenant we receive divinity itself through the sacred humanity. With such a marvelous conclusion to the eucharistic sacrifice, the fruits of Christís sacrifice of Calvary are continually experienced.

There are other truths to be considered under the paschal meal aspect of the Mass. One of these is the concept of the eucharist as sign and cause of unity. Von Hildebrand comments on this: "All receive the one body of the Lord, all are assimilated into the one Lord. Even if we leave aside the supreme ontological supernatural unity which is realized here, the very act of undergoing this experience represents an incomparable communion-forming power."37

Through the sharing of the one paschal lamb, the Christian assembly has thus been vividly reminded of their oneness in Christ. Yet this is a oneness in plurality. For each Christian is a member of the one Body of Christ in his own unique way. He has been called upon to assimilate Christ according to his own personality, vocation and graces. Consequently, just as the members of the People of God are reminded of their unity at Mass, so are they made aware of their own uniqueness as they depart from the eucharistic assembly, each carrying Christ to his own particular environment according to his own individual personality.

We have considered the Churchís eucharistic sharing in the mystery of Christ according to a sacrificial structure. With the general structure of the Mass established, we will now enlarge upon the concept of the participation of the individual.

d) The Christianís Participation in the Mass

God has created man a social being. This fact has relevance as regards manís salvation and perfection. Man does not go to God alone, but rather is saved and perfected with and through others. This is evident in the study of salvation history as one observes God communicating Himself to man in the framework of community. As we have seen, this social dimension is also readily evident in the liturgy.

As we now discuss the individualís participation in the liturgy, we in no way intend to underestimate the communal aspect of the eucharistic sacrifice. We constantly presuppose it and its importance. Liturgy as communal is the indispensable framework and background for any discussion of the individualís liturgical participation.

Granted all this, it is still useful and necessary to speak of the individualís participation in the Mass.38 Ultimately it is the individual as individual who accepts or rejects Godís offer of salvation and sanctification. Therefore, to speak of the individualís response to God in the liturgy is highly significant. Despite all the communal helps the individual receives in the liturgy, despite the fact that the individual must always be deeply aware that he is a member of the community, the People of God, it is still true to say that it is within the depths of his own mysterious, individual personality that the Christian either becomes a mature Christian through the liturgy or fails to do so. With such preliminary ideas established, let us now consider the Christian and his role in the Mass.

1) The Baptized Christian and the Mass

Once again the reader is reminded that through baptism the Christian becomes incorporated into Christ and His Church. Confirmation perfects this incorporation. Although baptism incorporates us primarily into Christís death and Resurrection, we again stress that it also unites us with Christ in all His mysteries. This is so because all Christís mysteries are essentially one mystery, for none of them stands separately by itself. Consequently, one cannot be initiated into Christís paschal mystery without simultaneously being incorporated into all of His mysteries.

The fact that all of Christís various mysteries are contained in the total mystery of Christ enables the Christian to encounter the entire Christ in the liturgy. Mention of this fact brings us to our next point.

In baptism the Christian first encounters and relives the mystery of Christ. He thereby receives a new life. But this life must be nourished. The Christian must constantly re-encounter the mystery of Christ, and this he does chiefly through the eucharistic liturgy. Here the Christian is daily privileged to encounter Christ in the most intimate fashion. Here above all he exercises his priesthood and consequently grows in supernatural vitality. We use the word exercise purposely, since the liturgy is primarily an action, an exercise of the priestly office of Christ.

Since the baptized Christian is sacramentally participating in the mystery of Christ at the Mass, his priestly act must be modeled after that of Christís. This is true because the life of grace flowing out of the seals of baptism and confirmation is structured according to certain modalities or characteristics based on the life of Christ. This truth was developed at some length in the previous chapter. There we stated that Christ, the head of the Mystical Body, has determined, through His own life of sanctifying grace, the general lines of development according to which His membersí lives of grace grow and mature.

Therefore it is evident that the whole of the Christianís life must be orientated to the Mass and be centered about it; for in Christ we see His entire life centered around His priestly act of Calvary. This is true because His interior sacrificial disposition, the essence of His priestly act, permeated everything in His life.

The baptized Christian should also bring his daily life, his whole life, to the eucharistic sacrifice. The Church which assembles about the altar is not a nebulous, ethereal entity, but the Church of this earth. It is the Church of men and women who are immersed in the work of this world. As they gather for the eucharistic sacrifice, they are therefore not removed from the world of their ordinary daily lives to an unreal world of ritual which has no connection with their temporal cares and activities. Rather it is the reality of this ordinary daily life which they bring to offer as priests and victims in union with Christ, priest and victim. In such a manner, then, the eucharistic sacrifice looks to the past life of the Christian.39

Yet the Mass also looks to the future of the Christian. By his participation in the Mass he receives grace to assimilate in a more perfect manner the mystery of Christ. Ideally, each Mass participated in by the Christian should mean that he leaves the eucharistic assembly with a greater Christ-likeness. Thus he takes up his daily life as a more fervent Christ-bearer.

The Mass as it looks to both the past and future embraces the Christianís entire life. It is meant to be lived each minute of the Christianís life. Durrwell says: "The Mass is said in order that the whole Church and the whole of our life may become a Mass, may become Christís sacrifice always present on earth. St. Francis of Sales resolved that he would spend the whole day preparing to say Mass, so that whenever anyone asked what he was doing, he might always answer, ĎI am preparing for Massí. We also could resolve to make our whole lives a participation in the divine mystery of the Redemption, so that when anyone puts the question to us, we can always answer, ĎI am saying Massí."40

2) The Mass lived out

As the Christian lives out the Mass, he is consequently daily laboring with Christ in furthering the work of the subjective redemption. This is so because Christís sacrifice was a redemptive act, and the Churchís reliving of this act in the Mass is also redemptive. In this regard we must remember that the entire universe Ė not merely manĖhas been redeemed. The nonrational and rational world alike await the furthering of the redemption. St. Paul tells us: "From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free." (Rm 8:22-23). How does the Christian help Christ redeem the world? (Henceforth the term "world" is to be understood as including both rational and nonrational creation.) As previously stated, the Christian helps Christ redeem the world by reliving Christís mysteries. The same "events" or mysteries which accomplished the objective redemption further the subjective redemption also. Since at the heart of Christís mysteries are His death and Resurrection, it is especially these that the Christian must relive. As the Christian dies mystically with Christ through loving conformity with the Fatherís will, he rises with Christ to an ever greater share in the Resurrection, in the newness of life, in the life of grace. As the Christian in this manner relives the paschal mystery of Christ, he is accomplishing not only his own redemption, but he is also, in a mysterious yet real manner, helping Christ redeem the world.

Although Christís life was summed up in death-resurrection, it also included various other "events" or mysteries. Each of these in its own manner contributed to the redemption. So it is with the Christianís life. His participation in Christís death-resurrection must be "broken down" into the other mysteries of Christís life.

The Christian must always remember that he carries away from the Mass not only the Christ of the death and the Resurrection, but also, for example, the Christ of the hidden life and the Christ of the public life. As the Christian lives out his Mass in the exercise of his Christ-life, all these various mysteries should therefore be present.

Before we give examples of how the Christian can relive these saving events of Christís life, it is well that we first distinguish the two different levels on which the Christian assimilates the mystery of Christ.

Christ, through His death and Resurrection, has transformed us. This transformation is a "new creation," a new life of grace. Through our baptism we are initiated into this life and consequently we exist as new creatures. As long as we possess the life of sanctifying grace, which is our share in the mystery of Christ, we are living according to this new existence whether or not this life here and now incarnates itself in a concrete, supernatural act. In this sense the life of grace, the "new creation," is fundamental, radical and transcendent, a share in the transcendent holiness or mystery of God Himself.

However, God expects that our life of transcendent holiness incarnate itself in concrete supernatural acts. It is in this respect that we speak of reliving the various mysteries of Christ through specific supernatural attitudes and acts. This may also be called imitation of Christ, but with a certain precaution, namely, that the imitation in question is to be considered primarily as interior rather than exterior. By this we mean that although the Christian can to a certain extent imitate Christ according to what was His external mode of conduct, it is primarily through adopting the mind of ChristĖHis interior dispositionsĖthat the Christian puts on Christ. With this said we now offer suggestions as to how the Christian relives the mysteries of Christ whose presence and transforming influences have been encountered in the eucharistic liturgy. For instance, each member of Christ, whether he be bishop, priest, religious or layman, can accomplish much of his redemptive work by an intense reliving of Christís hidden life. Certainly our heavenly Father would have us learn a great lesson from this fact, namely, that His Christ lived out so many years of His earthly life in a hidden manner, doing the ordinary tasks of the ordinary man. In assimilating this particular mystery of Christ the Christian must say with Rahner: "Let us take a good look at Jesus Who had the courage to lead an apparently useless life for thirty years. We should ask Him for the grace to give us to understand what His hidden life means for our religious existence."41

Christ did not lead only a hidden life, but a public life also. All vocations within the Church are likewise called upon to reproduce this part of Christís life in some manner. One aspect of Christís public life that should be common to all Christian vocations is the selflessness, the constant concern and love for others which Christ constantly and vividly displayed. This concern for others cost Christ much in fatigue of body and mind. Nevertheless, He continuously gave Himself completely to others.

Another characteristic of the public life which all can imitate is that of Christ as witness. Here, then, we reemphasize within our present context that which was stated in an earlier chapter concerning the Churchís continuation of Christís prophetic role. Christ was a witness to the Father, a perfect manifestation of the Fatherís truth and love. He bore this witness not only through His formal teaching but also through His actions, His attitude, His gestures. All members of Christ are called to give witness also. The Christianís entire life should be a witness to the truth he holds. The world comes to know Christ through the Christian. Schillebeeckx comments on this aspect of being witness: "Our life must itself be the incarnation of what we believe, for only when dogmas are lived do they have any attractive power. Why in the main does Western man pass Christianity by? Surely because the visible presence of grace in Christians as a whole, apart from a few individuals, is no longer evident."42

St. Paul sums up the redemptive work of Christ under the mysteries of death-resurrection.43 These are the principal mysteries which the Christian must assimilate from the eucharistic liturgy and reproduce in his own life. More and more the Christian spiritual life is being considered as a process of death-resurrection. It is obvious why this is so, for if Christís entire life was summed up in His death-resurrection, so also is that of His members.

Christís death and Resurrection are so closely united that they are two facets of one mystery rather than two separate mysteries.44 It is likewise with the Christian. The death aspect of his supernatural life is intimately connected with his life of resurrection, and in various ways. For instance, his very life of grace is his life of resurrection, but his continual growth in spiritual death Ė death to selfwill in all its numerous manifestations Ė is achieved through grace. Consequently, the Christianís life of resurrection always accompanies his life of death. We also see the two connected more obviously in the sense that a growth in the death element always results in a growth in the resurrection element. The daily life of the Christian, then, is a combination and antithesis of death-resurrection. As he gives himself in love to the Fatherís will, manifested to him in so many ways, the Christian is achieving both death and resurrection. Christís ultimate goal, as man, was His Resurrection. Resurrection, a greater share in the divine life through grace, is also the goal of the Christian.

These few remarks give examples of how each member of the People of God is called upon to relive Christís entire life as centered in death-resurrection. More could be said. But we think our remarks have sufficed to indicate how the Christian is to live out these various mysteries of Christ. Moreover, let it be recalled that all the mysteries ultimately make up the one mystery of Christ.

What we have said thus far applies in general to all vocations. But since there are different vocations within the Church, we must also say that each of these projects Christ in a somewhat different manner. Each Christian must study how in particular he is called to put on Christ. Essentially, of course, all put on Christ in the same manner. Yet there are accidental differences according to the vocation, work and individuals involved. For instance, the lay person, in general, is called to a deeper involvement in temporal affairs than is the religious.

Each member of Christ, according to his particular vocation, work and personality, has something special to take away from the Mass.45 Each Christian, as he lives out the mystery of Christ, projects Christ to the world in his own way. Each Christian, as he himself grows in Christ-likeness, is also helping Christ to redeem the world in a manner commensurate with his total Christian person. For holiness is necessarily apostolic whether the Christian at any particular time is engaged in an external apostolate or not.

Each Christian, according to Godís plan for him, must have a vital and dynamic desire to help Christianize the whole world. Perhaps he can do very little through direct, external apostolate. But his prayers and sacrifices Ė indeed, his entire lifeĖcan touch the whole world. Through an intense Christian life the individual can help Christ further the redemption of the family, the business world, the social structure and the like. The Christian is called to have this deep desire: to see the whole universe imprinted with the name of Christ. How true it is to say that the Christianís vocation, rooted in the liturgy, calls for deep involvement in this sacred activity.46 In schematic outline we have discussed the manner in which the baptized Christian extends his Mass to his daily existence. As he so lives out his Mass, he is becoming more Christlike. He becomes a more perfect priest and victim for his next participation in the eucharistic sacrifice.47 The beautiful cycle which the Mass contains lies exposed before us. As part of this cycle the Christian is intimately involved in the process of continued redemption. The Mass is the center of the Christian life: "...the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fount from which all her power flows."48