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Shepherds of Christ

A Spirituality Newsletter for Priests
and Others Interested in the Spiritual Life

2001 - ISSUE ONE

CONTENTS

  1. What is Grace?
  2. The Graced Christian
  3. Relationship with the Father
  4. Relationship with Christ
  5. Relationship with the Holy Spirit
  6. Relationship with Mary
  7. Relationship with Members of the Church
  8. Relationship with Man and His World

TAPES OF THIS NEWSLETTER 
ARE AVAILABLE

  • Fr. Carter prays the Shepherds of Christ Prayers.
  • Fr. Mike Paraniuk reads Fr. Carter's powerful writing on Grace.

CDs NOW AVAILABLE!


Father Carterís Mission: Newsletters,
Prayer Chapters, and Spiritual Renewal

A primary purpose of the Shepherds of Christ movement is to distribute this newsletter to priests and to begin prayer chapters praying for the priests throughout the world in all their needs and praying for the renewal of the church and the world. A coequal purpose is to provide a spiritual way of life for people interested in the spiritual life.

The Shepherds of Christ Newsletter is currently being translated into Spanish, French and Portuguese. The prayers the people pray in prayer chapters were given by Fr. Edward Carter S.J. They can be found in the Shepherds of Christ Associates prayer manual which is enclosed and in this newsletter. They have been translated into Spanish, French, and Portuguese. All these prayers have the Imprimatur. Prayer manuals are available free of charge. Newsletters and tapes of Father Carter delivering the newsletter are available free of charge.

The English and Spanish newsletter goes to approximately 75,000 priests and 8,500 religious. Internationally, over 245 bishops and 4 cardinals have requested it for their diocese. Funds are needed to help us distribute the newsletter to 90 foreign countries in the world.

The second Newsletter Book is completed and ready for publication. This includes the newsletters of Father Carter from September/October 1996 to Issue 5, 1999. This too will be distributed worldwide to priests and bishops and others interested in the spiritual life. A Spanish version of 12 (July/August 1997 to Issue 5, 1999) of the newsletters in book form will soon be available. Please help us in anyway you can to distribute the newsletter. Help us by beginning prayer chapters, praying for the priests and the renewal of the Church and the world. For more information to order tapes or prayer manuals call or write us at :

Shepherds of Christ Ministries 
PO Box 193 Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193 
Tel: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or
(513) 932-4451.


Chief Shepherd of the Flock

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.

Imprimatur: Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 1997. (applies to this prayer only)


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

Refrain:

A priest is a gift from God.

A priest is a gift from God.

This is My Body,

This is My Blood,

A priest is a gift from God.

 

 

 

Verse 1

Come to Me, My children,

I want to possess your soul,

I love you so tenderly,

I want you to love Me too,

A priest is a gift from God.

I tell you My children,

A priest is a gift from God.

Today is the day the Lord has made,

Wake, My children from your sleep,

come My children to My altar,

A priest is a gift from God.

(Repeat Refrain)

Verse 2:

Come to Me, My little children,

I want to possess your soul.

Give your hearts to Jesus and Mary,

You will be one in Our Hearts,

A priest is a gift from God.

Offer sacrifice My children,

A priest is a gift from God.

One in your heart, one in your mind,

One in this holy banquet,

Come My children to My altar,

A priest is a gift from God. (Repeat Refrain)

 

Verse 3

Come to Me, children of God,

I want to posses your soul,

I give Myself to you

In the Holy Eucharist,

A priest is a gift from God.

I tell you My children,

A priest is a gift from God.

Today is the day the Lord has made,

Wake My children from your sleep,

Come My children to My altar,

A priest is a gift from God. (Repeat Refrain)


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.


Shepherds of Christ Associates Prayer Manual

Imprimi Potest:

Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer, S.J.

Provincial, Chicago Province, The Society of Jesus

Imprimatur:

Most Rev. Carl K. Moeddel

Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Cincinnati

© Copyright 1996 Shepherds of Christ Publications

Rights for non-commercial reproduction granted: May be copied in its entirety, but neither re-typed nor edited.

The Shepherds of Christ Spirituality Handbook is available from: Shepherds of Christ Ministries, PO BOX 193, Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193

Telephone: (toll free) 1-888-211-3041 or
(513) 932-4451 FAX: (513) 932-6791
http://www.SofC.org

Chapter Meeting Prayer Format

The prayer format below should be followed at chapter meetings of Shepherds of Christ Associates. All prayers, not just those said specifically for priests, should include the intention of praying for all the needs of priests the world over.

  1. Hymns. Hymns may be sung at any point of the prayer part of the meeting.
  2. Holy Spirit Prayer. Come, Holy Spirit, almighty Sanctifier, God of love, who filled the Virgin Mary with grace, who wonderfully changed the hearts of the apostles, who endowed all Your martyrs with miraculous courage, come and sanctify us. Enlighten our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgment, set our hearts on fire, and preserve us from the misfortunes of resisting Your inspirations. Amen.
  3. The Rosary.
  4. Salve Regina. "Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, our mourning, our weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen."
  5. The Memorare. "Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen."
  6. Seven Hail Marys in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Mary has promised very special graces to those who do this on a daily basis. Included in the promises of Our Lady for those who practice this devotion is her pledge to give special assistance at the hour of death, including the sight of her face. The seven sorrows are:

(1) The first sorrow: the prophecy of Simeon (Hail Mary).

(2) The second sorrow: the flight into Egypt (Hail Mary).

(3) The third sorrow: the loss of the Child Jesus in the temple (Hail Mary).

(4) The fourth sorrow: Jesus and Mary meet on the way to the cross (Hail Mary).

(5) The fifth sorrow: Jesus dies on the cross (Hail Mary).

(6) The sixth sorrow: Jesus is taken down from the cross and laid in Maryís arms (Hail Mary).

(7) The seventh sorrow: the burial of Jesus (Hail Mary).

  1. Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us (repeat after each invocation).

Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
    spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
    graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
    have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Grant, we beseech You, O Lord God, that we Your servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever virgin, be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

  1. Prayer to St. Joseph. St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste spouse of Mary, you passed your life in perfect fulfillment of duty. You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly turn to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes; and they turn to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too have known trial, labor, and weariness. But, even amid the worries of material life, your soul was filled with deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with the Son of God entrusted to you, and with Mary, His tender Mother. Amen. Ė(Pope John XXIII)

  2. Litany of the Sacred Heart, promises of the Sacred Heart.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us

(repeat after each invocation).

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

God the Holy Spirit,

Holy Trinity, one God,

Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father,

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb

of the Virgin Mother,

Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,

Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,

Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God,

Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,

Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,

Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,

Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,

Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,

Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,

Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,

Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,

Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of

wisdom and knowledge,

Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,

Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,

Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,

Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,

Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,

Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke You,

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,

Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,

Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,

Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,

Heart of Jesus, obedient even to death,

Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,

Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,

Heart of Jesus, our life and reconciliation,

Heart of Jesus, victim of sin,

Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You,

Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You,

Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints,

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,

    spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,

    graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,

    have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,

    make our hearts like unto Yours.

Let us pray: O almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Your dearly beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers You in behalf of sinners and, being appeased, grant pardon to those who seek Your mercy, in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

Promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart (these should be read by the prayer leader):

(1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.

(2) I will establish peace in their homes.

(3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

(4) I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.

(5) I will bestow a large blessing on all their undertakings.

(6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.

(7) Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

(8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

(9) I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.

(10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

(11) Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

  1. 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 Maryís Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
  2. Prayer for all members of the Shepherds of Christ Associates. "Dear Jesus, we ask Your special blessings on all members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. Continue to enlighten them regarding the very special privilege and responsibility you have given them as members of Your movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates. Draw them ever closer to Your Heart and to Your Motherís Heart. Allow them to more and more realize the great and special love of Your Hearts for each of them as unique individuals. Give them the grace to respond to Your love and Maryís love with an increased love of their own. As they dwell in Your Heart and Maryís Heart, abundantly care for all their needs and those of their loved ones. We make our prayer through You to the Father, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary our Mother at our side. Amen."
  3. Prayer for the spiritual and financial success of the priestly newsletter. "Father, we ask Your special blessings upon the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ. We ask that You open the priest-readers to the graces You wish to give them through this chosen instrument of Your Son. We also ask that You provide for the financial needs of the newsletter and the Shepherds of Christ Associates. We make our prayer through Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary at our side. Amen."
  4. Prayer for all members of the human family. "Heavenly Father, we ask Your blessings on all Your children the world over. Attend to all their needs. We ask Your special assistance for all those marginalized people, all those who are so neglected and forgotten. United with our Mother Mary, we make this petition to You through Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Amen."
  5. Prayer to St. Michael and our Guardian Angels:

"St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom Godís love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."

  1. Pause for silent, personal prayer. This should last at least five minutes.
  2. Act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock, I consecrate myself to Your most Sacred Heart. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your companion in this most important work. Help me to always love You in return. Help me to give myself entirely to You. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor! Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!

"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as a member of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a movement created by your Son as a powerful instrument for the renewal of the Church and the world. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."

  1. Daily Prayers. All members should say the Holy Spirit prayer daily and make the act of consecration daily. They should also pray the rosary each day. They are encouraged to use the other above prayers as time allows.

Act of Consecration for Priests

Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, I consecrate my priestly life to Your Heart, pierced on Calvary for love of us. From Your pierced Heart the Church was born, the Church You have called me, as a priest, to serve in a most special way. You reveal Your Heart as a symbol of Your love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for me, whom You have chosen as Your priest-companion. Help me always to pour out my life in love of God and neighbor. Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!

Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. You love me with a most special love as this unique priest-son. In a return of love I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the pierced Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, Who leads me to the Father in the Holy Spirit.



Following is Father Carterís 
powerful writing on grace from his book, 
Response in Christ.

The Christian Life of Grace

In the pattern of death-resurrection, the Church continues the prophetic, kingly and priestly offices of Christ. She does not do this through a merely extrinsic activity, for her external action is an incarnation of a more fundamental reality, the life of grace, the Christ-life. Each member of the Church is called to develop this Christ-life to the fullest. In other words, each member of the People of God is destined for Christian holiness. Vatican II tells us this: "Thus it is evident to everyone that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity...."2 If all are not called upon to live out this life of Christian sanctity in exactly the same way, nevertheless all are called to the same essential holiness. Vatican II states: "In the various classes and differing duties of life, one and the same holiness is cultivated by all, who are moved by the Spirit of God, and who obey the voice of the Father, and worship God the Father in spirit and in truth. . . ."3

All are called to the same basic holiness because the life of grace, which is the life of holiness, is essentially the same for all.


What is Grace?

1. WHAT IS GRACE?

Grace is first and foremost the lavish self-giving or self-communication of God to man through the person Christ. This is the stress of St. Paul. Contemporary theology therefore is correct in describing grace first of all in terms of the special presence of the Triune God. The divine persons are present to give us a participation in their own life, to be a guide of our actions, and to be known and loved by us. This special presence is variously named: the divine indwelling, the indwelling of the Trinity, uncreated grace. "If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him." (Jn 14:23).

Through this special presence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit unite themselves so intimately to us in personal love that their image is left upon us. This image of the Trinity is sanctifying grace. There are, then, two great realities of grace: Godís personal self-communication, or uncreated grace, and created grace, or the life of sanctifying grace.

As we have just mentioned, Godís gift of Himself in a special loving presence is the aspect of grace which should be stressed. But the reality of created graceóthe life God gives usóshould also receive its due attention. Scripture so bids us. The eminent biblical scholar, John L. McKenzie, after commenting on numerous New Testament passages, observes: "Wide as may seem to be the range of these passages, they have in common the conception of grace as something given, received, a reality in the Christian and in the world in which the Christian lives."4 Also, looking at the thought of St. Paul, we have the words of Rondet: "In First Corinthians, Paulís theology of grace takes a big step forward. He continues to speak of grace as a special mercy, a special goodness of God (1 Cor 1,3). But grace now also appears as a created gift, a permanent favor. It is a kind of supernatural power, and charisms in some way embody various aspects of it."5 Rondet speaks further about Paulís theology of grace: "In chapter 4 of Second Corinthians, grace appears clearly as an interior principle of spiritual life. It is no accident that Paul goes on to talk about the interior man, the Ďinner nature which is being renewed every dayí (4,16)...."6 Consequently, the reality of the life of sanctifying or created grace is very clear in the New Testament.

Created grace, or the life of sanctifying grace, actually inheres in us. On the other hand, the persons of the Trinity specially present to us (uncreated grace), despite their mysteriously close union with us, never become a part of our natures. Although the special presence of the divine persons and sanctifying grace always coexist, these two realities are nevertheless distinct.

Sanctifying grace is best described as a life. It is a sharing in divine life. This life is one of the great themes of St. John. In the theology of John the purpose of the Incarnation is precisely thisóto reveal and communicate divine life to men.7 "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full." (Jn 10:10).

God is bold and daring. Without Godís revelation, who would dare to think that God offers man a share in His own divine life? In Their self-communication to us, and in their sharing of divine life with us, the Trinity truly offers us a daring challenge. They bid us to live life at its fullest, to live a life patterned after their own. Through the new powers which grace gives us, they inexorably call us to go out of our self-centeredness and live a life of dynamic love-relationships with Themselves and man. Through this life of love They ask us to continue the work of Their love, the work of creation and redemption. Through this life of love They ask us to help change the face of the earth. Summarily, our life in Christ is a call to the greatness of love.

To talk of grace, then, is primarily to talk of the personal relationships in love which are established by our Christ-life. These personal relationships we wish to stress in our treatment of grace. First of all, however, we should briefly discuss basic ideas concerning the life of sanctifying grace, which is the foundation for ability to enter into these personal relationships. All things being equal, the more we know about sanctifying grace, the better we can understand and appreciate the nature of these personal relationships in Christ.

Although the life of sanctifying grace is a reality distinct from our natural life, it is not something superimposed upon our nature as icing is added to a cake. Rahner states: "The nature of a spiritual being and its supernatural elevation are not opposed to each other like two things which lie side by side, so that they must be either kept separate or confused. The supernatural elevation of man is, though not due to him, the absolute fulfillment of his being...."8

Our Christ-life permeates our persons completely. Nothing which is good is destroyed. All is elevated to a new level of existence, for through grace we enter a new life. St. Paul affirms: "And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here." (2 Co 5:17)

Why are we able to live on a new level of existence through grace? The answer lies in the fact that we receive a created sharing in the divine nature. Nature, we know, is a principle or capacity of operation according to a certain level of existence. An angel can perform acts of an angel because he has an angelic nature. A man can know intellectually because he has a rational nature. Likewise, through our Christ-life of grace we can perform God-like acts because we have received a new nature. Scripture speaks to us about our participation in the nature of God. In one of the most noted passages of the New Testament on the life of grace, we read: "By His divine power, he has given us all the things we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice." (2 P 1:3-4).

It is not sufficient that we possess this Christ-life, this new vital principle. Also we need the supernatural faculties through which this Christ-life can both express itself and grow. This is evident if we consider our natural life as an analogy. It is not sufficient to possess a human nature. The life of this nature has to express itself and grow through various sense and spiritual faculties. For instance, one expresses his life as a man when he uses his intellect or when he walks.

What are the supernatural faculties through which my Christ-life expresses itself and grows? These faculties are the supernaturally infused virtues, chief of which are faith, hope and love. These virtues give the Christian the capacity to channel his Christ-life into the various areas of his total existence. Or to put it in a slightly different manner, we can say that these virtues allow the Christian to relate properly to God, man and the rest of creation. They are positive modifications of the person, allowing him to act with various Christian attitudes. The virtues, in turn, are activated by actual grace which affects both our intellects and our wills.

God has given the Christian still another gift of grace. We refer here to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are capacities which allow the Christian in a special manner to be receptive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. These gifts, in turn, have as their purpose the perfecting of the infused virtues. Theologians teach that the virtues do not achieve a mature stage of development without the simultaneous activity of the gifts.

Another important aspect of grace is that which is termed external. External actual grace is a person, place or thing which serves as an occasion for internal grace. We must realize the extreme importance of external grace, especially concerning persons. There are many examples. A wife can receive Godís grace through the loving presence of her husband. The witness of a dedicated Christian can inspire us to greater things. The love and encouragement of a friend can spur us to a more generous self-giving in the work of Christ. Yes, persons are extremely important in Godís plan.

How does our Christ-life grow? This growth centers around the themes of love. Our Christ-life grows as we open ourselves up to Godís love in the sacraments, especially the eucharist. We grow in Christ through the love of God and man which is expressed in various types of meritorious actions performed in the state of grace. We grow in Christ when God in His love graciously answers our prayers through which we have petitioned Him to take deeper possession of us through, for instance, an increase of faith, hope and love. In summary, we grow in our Christ-life through the various dimensions of loving relationships with God and others. Love is all important. The other virtues are important to the degree that they are influenced by love and serve love.


The Graced Christian

2. THE GRACED CHRISTIAN AND VARIOUS RELATIONSHIPS

Our life of grace establishes various relationships between the Christian, God and the rest of creation. The first to be considered is that between the Christian and the persons of the Trinity.

We should first give brief attention to certain theological principles and truths which have a relevance to any discussion involving our relationship to the three divine persons. One of these theological principles is that of appropriation. This is a mode of predication by which the properties and activities common to the three divine persons are especially attributed to one of the persons because of a property peculiar to this particular person. For instance, because of His fatherhood, we refer to God the Father as our Creator, although all three persons equally create. Therefore, we really have no proper relationship to the Father as our Creator, but only one based on appropriation. The process of our sanctification is also an action common to all three persons. But because it is a work of Godís love for us, and since the Holy Spirit is the love existing between Father and Son, we appropriate sanctification to the Holy Spirit.

This principle of appropriation preserves the traditional Catholic teaching that all divine activities ad extra (outside of God) are common to the three persons. At the same time it manifests the differences between the divine persons and properties.

Yet many contemporary theologians are not satisfied in appealing only to the principle of appropriation as they strive to explain the relationship between the Christian and each of the divine persons. They maintain that scripture does not always seem to speak in an appropriated sense in describing our union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Consequently, while adhering to the above principle concerning Godís activity outside Himself, contemporary theologians are discussing the question of proper relationships between ourselves and each person of the Trinity. They do this by appealing to other than efficient causality. For instance, certain theologians, such as Karl Rahner, appeal to a quasi-formal type of causality in explaining the theology of the indwelling of the Trinity in the justified man.9 Such an explanation, not based on the principle of appropriation, allows for a proper and more personal relation between the justified man and the three distinct persons.

Let us also note that in speaking of the Christianís union with Christ as man, there is the question of a proper and special relationship. This is true because among the divine persons only the Son possesses a human nature.

We have constructed our framework of reference for discussing the role of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our lives. Having once established it, we are consequently relieved of the burden of describing in each instance the type of relationship we are discussing, whether it is based on appropriation or not.


Relationship with the Father

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. Godís 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 Fatherís will. The Fatherís 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 lifeís 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 lifeís task is always commensurate with my Fatherís 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 Fatherís 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 Fatherís 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 Fatherís will. If I correspond to Godís grace, His will as it permeates my total being and existence will unfailingly transform me.

As the Fatherís 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 Fatherís will. The degree of success depends upon the degree of conformity. " ĎIt 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!í " (Mt 7:21-23).

The above described Christian life is certainly impossible without Godís 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 Fatherís 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 manóthough 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 Godís anger?" (Rm 5:6-9).

We have, therefore, an irrevocable and overwhelming testimony of the Fatherís love for us. Because of this love, the Christian can increasingly assimilate the Fatherís 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 Fatherís 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).


Relationship with Christ

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. . . ."10

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 Christís 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 Christís life of sanctifying grace. Through such a procedure we thereby understand various characteristics and thrusts of our own life of grace.

First of all, Christís life of grace was filial. The dynamism of this particular modality always led Christ to a perfect, loving service of His Father. His Fatherís 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 Fatherís 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 Fatherís will was Christís 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: " ĎMy Father,í he said Ďif this cup cannot pass by without my drinking it, your will be done!í " (Mt 26:42).

Christís life of grace was also salvific. His life always had that very obvious dimension of being orientated in love to manís good. All of Christís 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 manís stance before the Father. He was bringing man from a state of enmity to a state of friendship and sonship with the Father. Christís life, then, was magnificently selfless. Guided by love of His Fatherís will, He gave Himself completely to men. He gave until there was nothing more to give. This is the poignant beauty of Christís life.

Christís 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.

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

Christís 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 Christís life of grace. These modalities, in turn, were concretely expressed through the various mysteries or events of Christís 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 Christís 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. . . ." 11

Consequently, as Christís life of grace was filial, salvific, social, communal and ecclesial, so must be ours. As Christís 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. Paulís 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).


Relationship with The Holy Spirit

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 Christís 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 Christianís 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 Christianís 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, ĎAbba, Father!í " (Rm 8:14-15).


Relationship with Mary

d) Relationship with Mary

Karl Rahner tells us that devotion to Mary is one of the great signs of final perseverance.12 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.13

Maryís 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 Maryís 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, ĎWoman, this is your soní. Then to the disciple he said, ĎThis is your mother.í " (Jn 19:26).

The third and final phase of Maryís 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. Maryís 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.


Relationship with Members of the Church

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 Churchís 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 Godís 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."14 And not only does the humanity of Christ unite the blessed to God, but also, in some way, to the whole of creation. This is merely a completion of what is begun here below, namely, the union with Christ in His humanity establishing the Christian in a special relationship with God, with other men, and with the whole of creation. We have a glimpse, therefore, of the fullness of life which members of the heavenly Church possess.

The heavenly Church, as St. Thomas says, is the true Church.15 The Church of this earth and the Church of purgatory are, each in its own way, reaching out in loving hope for the heavenly Jerusalem. Vatican II puts it very simply: "The Church, to which we are called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain her full perfection only in the glory of heaven."16

The members of the heavenly Church can help us in living our life of grace until we too share its fullness with them. Their power of intercession on our behalf is but another ramification of the communal aspect of Christianity. We are meant to help others grow in Christ. We, in turn, are intended by God to receive aid from 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 saintsí intercession, but the example of the canonized saints can also be of great value to us. They have concretely proved that full holiness is possible. Such an inspiration is of real worth when we are tempted to think that Christian sanctity in its higher degrees is impossible of attainment. Moreover, the canonized saints, in their diversity, teach us that there are many authentic versions of Christian holiness. They can be innovators in showing us that there are numerous possibilities in assimilating the mystery of Christ, although the basic assimilation remains the same for all Christians of all times. In the opinion of Rahner this is one of the chief roles the canonized saints exert in the life of the Church.17


Relationship with Man and His World

f) Relationship with Man and His World

The Christianís 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 Godís 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 Godís 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 Christianís grace-life is also mediated by Christ. Christ, through His human enfleshment, has immersed Himself into manís 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 Fatherís 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 manís 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).


Act of Consecration

"Jesus, You show us Your Heart as symbol of Your life of love in all its aspects, including Your most special love for each of us as unique individuals. Out of Your great love for us, You died a brutal death, nailed to the wood of the cross. Out of Your great love for us, You rose gloriously from the dead.

"From Your pierced Heart the Church with her life-giving Sacraments was born. In the Eucharist, Crown and Center of the Churchís life, You continue to give Yourself to us with the deepest, most tender, most on-fire, most complete love.

"Jesus, since in Your great love You give Yourself so completely to us, it is only fitting that we make a gift to You in return. It is entirely fitting that we give ourselves completely to You. Yes, we consecrate ourselves to Your most loving Heart. Each of us says to You, O Lord, our Savior and our Friend: ĎJesus, take me wholly, take me completely to Your magnificent Heart. Out of love I give myself to You. Live in and through me. In love You give Yourself completely to me. In love and in a spirit of reparation, I want to give myself, with the help of Your grace, entirely to You. Take me, Jesus, to an ever closer union with the Father, in the Holy Spirit, with Mary my Mother at my side. Pierced, Glorified, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus I place my trust in You.í "

"Dear Blessed Virgin Mary, I consecrate myself to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, this Heart which is symbol of your life of love, including your most special love for me as this unique individual. You are the Mother of my Savior. You are also my Mother. In a return of love, I give myself entirely to your motherly love and protection. You followed Jesus perfectly. You are His first and perfect disciple. Teach me to imitate you in the putting on of Christ. Be my motherly intercessor so that, through your Immaculate Heart, I may be guided to an ever closer union with the Pierced, Glorified, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the flock."


A Prayer for Priests

Many of the laity pray for us priests, and consistently so. Is it not also fitting that we priests pray for all our brothers in the priesthood, and consistently so? There follows a prayer that can aid us in this endeavor.

"Lord Jesus, Chief Shepherd of the Flock, we pray that in the great love and mercy of Your Sacred Heart that 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 Maryís Heart, we ask that You take this petition to Your heavenly Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen".

The above prayer is taken from the prayer manual of Shepherds of Christ Associates, a facet of Shepherds of Christ Ministries. The associates are members of prayer groups which meet regularly to pray for all the needs of the entire human family, but most especially for priests. If you would like a copy, or copies, of this prayer manual, and further, if you would like information on how to begin a Shepherds of Christ prayer chapter, contact us at:

Shepherds of Christ

P.O. Box 193

Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193 U.S.A.

Phone (toll free):1-888-211-3041, Phone: 1-513-932-4451

Fax: 1-513-932-6791


Letters

I am a regular reader of "Shepherds of Christ". It is a theologically designed and pastorally oriented magazine. It renews the spirituality and the pastoral approach. True becoming is inherent in human person. Human personality needs to develop to its full potential. The articles in the Shepherds of Christ are spiritually motivating and pastorally stimulating.

Jesus wants us to relate to things, persons and places with a new perspective. Jesus sustains us. Eucharist is the entire of Christian life and activity. The Shepherd of Christ helps to develop an authentic spiritual life. I congratulate the editor and the team for their fabulous and stupendous work.

I humbly request you to send me the free copies of the book, newsletter and cassettes. I hope to receive the copies of the books, the newsletter and cassettes at the earliest.

With kind regard,
Yours sincerely,

Rev. Fr. Valerian Mascarenhas
Karnataka, India


Gratefully I received eighteen copies of Shepherds of Christ sent by your Reverence and benevolent charity. Many, many thanks prayerfully. I distribute them to all my priests, deacons and seminarians. Sometimes we priests might promise, we should offer the Mass according your intentions afterwards. God bless you all.

Augustine Thas Jing Nong
Bishop of Tianshui Diocese
Tianshui Cansu, China


His Lordship Bishop F. Marcus Fernando, my bishop gave me your address with some information about your Movement "Shepherds of Christ". Iím interested in receiving more information about this Movement. Please be kind enough to send me the newsletter too.

I have got 72 seminarians at the moment for our diocese (Diocese of Chilaw). For the coming year, thank God I have received 60 applications. But I can take only 30 of them. I shall be taking the best 30 students.

m sure your newsletter will be helpful to our seminarians and to the Fathers. Thank You. My prayers will be offered for you and for the success of your Movement. May God Bless you and your ministry! Yours in Jesus,

Fr. Bengt Shantha Fernando
Marawila, Sri Lanka


Prayerful wishes from Pathein, Myanmar!

I want to thank you sincerely for your fine little newsletter for priests: "Shepherds of Christ" that we are receiving regularly for all our priests. We have enough copies to share among all the Diocesan Priests. They provide points for meditation and for spiritual reading. In a place like ours where religious literature is very scarce your newsletter is very precious indeed!

There is another thing that I want to request your help for. Would it be possible to help provide us with audio cassette tapes for my priests and religious who are stationed out in the remote areas of our missions? Perhaps we could also contribute something towards the expenses.

Thank you so much for this invaluable help. We deeply appreciate all the help you are giving us.

Assuring you of our continued remembrance and fervent prayers.

Sincerely yours in the Lord,

Mgsr. Charles Bo, SDB (Bishop)
Pathein, Myanmar


Peace of Christ!

I am reading your Shepherds of Christ Newsletter. I find it very much useful and enriching for my spiritual life as a priest and for my ministry.

I am very much interested in your book titled Shepherds of Christ Newsletters. I request you kindly to send me a copy of this book. As my contribution I assure you the support of my prayers for your wonderful work. Also may I request you kindly to send me the Shepherds of Christ Newsletter whenever the issue is printed. With my Prayers and Best Wishes,

Yours Gratefully,

Fr. Maurice DíSouza
Morning Star College
West Benjai, India


m interested in received your magazine in Argentina and in Tampa, Florida. I find this magazine very informative and I will love to share it with my society brothers.

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. I will keep you in our prayers especially in the Holy Mass.

In Christ and Mary,

Pbro. Mauricio M. Zarate
San Luis Rey de Francia, Argentina


May the grace and peace of Jesus our Lord be with you in full measure. Praise God and complement of the season.

I wish to request for your Newsletter Shepherds of Christ which after going through it from a copy I got from my priest, I found it very interesting and helpful.

I request for my enrollment into your mailing list. I also need any other books that will be helpful in the spiritual growth. I look forward to receiving every issue from now. Thank you and God Bless.

Yours sincerely,

Bro. Raymond Okoro
St. Augustineí
s Catholic Church
Taraba State, Nigeria


I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude for your continuous support in sending me copies of the Shepherds of Christ Newsletter which I use as a tool in reaching out to the men in prison.

We are starting a prayer group and will be submitting their names to your office soon. I would like to request if you could possibly send a copy of the newsletter to a priest-friend of mine in California.

I would highly appreciate your kind attention and immediate assistance. Please be assure of our prayers for you and the whole ministry.

I am, Sincerely in Christ,

Brother Rene O.S.F.


I wish to express my delight in your sending of some copies of Vols. I, II and III issues of your newsletter which I received recently. At the moment I am making arrangements to get them distributed to those who will be able to make good use of them.

In addition, I am still making arrangements to form a prayer group around here. As soon as I am through with the arrangements, I will communicate to you.

Finally, I wish to commend you on the content of that newsletter and the quality of its production. Indeed it is a treasure for all those interested in the Spiritual Life. Also, could you send me the audio cassettes of the first 12 issues of the newsletter, I will be glad if you did. I will also love to receive the book form.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Emmanuel Avi C.S.S.P.
Spiritan International School of Theology
Enyeri, Nigeria


I am enjoying your newsletter, Issue Three-1999. Would be so grateful to have copies of your back issues if this possible. The readings are beautiful and I am enjoying the excerpts from Cardinal Neuman and Romano Guardino, two of my favorite spiritual writers. So happy these can be copied and passed on to others. I have a prayer group who will certainly enjoy this issue as our theme in keeping with last year of the Jubilee is the Eucharist.

The many materials you sent to me will be put to my good use in trying to draw souls to the Lord.

You have a wonderful ministry.

I feel God has blessed you and will continue to do so. Iím now teaching part time after 38 years in the classroom. My work is called Religious Enrichment. I go to grades K through 5 once a week and try to give the little children a love of God and teach them some prayers and devotions. Let us pray for each other as we try to bring Jesus to others. God Bless you. Keep up your wonderful work for the Lord.

In Maryís Immaculate Heart,

Sincerely,

Sr. Theresa Regina Steines, IHM

Somerville, NJ


NOTES:

  1. Scripture quotations are taken from The New Jerusalem Bible, Doubleday.
  2. Constitution on the Church, No. 40.
  3. Ibid., No. 41.
  4. John L. McKenzie, Dictionary of the Bible (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1965), p. 325.
  5. H. Rondet, The Grace of Christ (Westminster, Maryland: Newman, 1966), p. 37.
  6. Ibid., p. 39.
  7. Cf. E. Fortman, The Theology of Man and Grace: Commentary (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1966), pp. 34-53.
  8. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. IV (Baltimore: Helicon, 1966), p. 183.
  9. Cf. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. I (Baltimore: Helicon, 1965), pp. 319-346.
  10. Ibid., p. 199.
  11. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. II (Baltimore: Helicon, 1960), p. 33.
  12. Cf. Karl Rahner, Spiritual Exercises (New York: Herder & Herder, 1965), p. 283.
  13. Cf. Edward Schillebeeckx, Mary, Mother of the Redemption (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1964), p. 128.
  14. Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. III (Baltimore: Helicon, 1967), p. 44.
  15. Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In Ad Ephes., c. 3, Lect. 3.
  16. Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church, No. 48.
  17. Cf. Karl Rahner, Op. cit., pp. 100-101.

Excerpt on Grace from Response in Christ by
Father Edward J. Carter, S.J.

Imprimi Potest:  Robert F. Harvenek, S.J. Provincial, Chicago Province
Nihil Obstat:  Edward B. Breggemen, S.J.
Imprimatur:  +Karl J. Alter, D.D.
Archbishop of Cincinnati

Masthead

website: http://www.SofC.org
E-Mail: info@SofC.org

2001, ISSUE ONE
Shepherds of Christ

Shepherds of Christ Ministries
P.O. Box 193
Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193
U.S.A.

Shepherds of Christ, a spirituality newsletter for priests, is published bi-monthly by Shepherds of Christ Ministries, P.O. Box 193, Morrow, Ohio 45152-0193. While distribution is free of charge, donations are still very much appreciated. Inquiries and comments are welcome, as are address changes and addresses of the newly ordained. Permission to reproduce intact is granted for non-commercial use. Editor Father Edward Carter S.J. was Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. John Weickert is President. Good Shepherd illustration is by Brother Jerome Pryor, S.J. Layout and design are by Joan Royce. Also dedicated to the spiritual advancement of priests is a worldwide network of lay/religious prayer chapters, Shepherds of Christ Associates, headquartered at 2919 Shawhan Road, Morrow, Ohio 45152, U.S.A., telephone toll free 1-888-211-3041, fax 513-932-6791.


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