Mary has requested that the daily message be given each day to the world. It is read nightly at the prayer service from her Image Building in Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A. This is according to her request. All attempts will be made to publish this daily message to the world at 11 p.m. Eastern time, U.S.A.


We acknowledge that the final authority regarding these messages
rests with the Holy See of Rome.


I appear my children on this former bank building in Florida, Our Lady Clothed with the Sun.

July 30, 2006

July 31st Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 5 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for July 31st are Luminous.

     


Please pray for all urgent intentions.

 

 

 

Talk by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.
given to the Apostles in the 
Shepherds of Christ Movement
   

February 1, 1998
   

    Well, itís been a long time since Iíve seen all of you at once in the same place. Itís a tremendous treat for me. So praise be the Lord. Letís start with the 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.

    ...So after I talk here I will have to depart and leave the praying to you at this place. Iíll be praying with you as I drive away...  

    ...Iím spending much more time on the newsletter now. Our Lord had been calling me to do that for months but it was when I was fully active it was very, very hard to get the time to really spread it around the world like He wanted to, although we had been working with the English edition trying to get that in more and more countries. We are in about eighty or more countries with the English edition... 

    And in cases where it needs translation, for instance, the Spanish edition we translate that up here, we print it up here and we bulk mail it.

    [Note: He talks about the spread of the Newsletter to priests and bishops in Central, South America in Spanish, Africa, India, French speaking, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia]

    ...It is Our Lordís wish along with the prayer chapters that this be considered our primary ministry, the Newsletter. So please, please, please, please pray for itís continued success and expansion. It is so extremely important because as you know, if you can change the heart of one priest, he is in a position to do so, so much good with even thousands of people. And we have received extremely encouraging letters over the years that the newsletters been published from priests, how itís helped them out on their own spiritual life but in their ministries, giving them homilies and so forth. And from bishops which are highly encouraging commending us on the quality and the worthwhileness of the newsletter.

        

Rev. J. Mark Williams
Director of Formation Advising
Pontifical North American College
00120 Vatican City State

     

[He then talks about funds for the Newsletter.]

    I think I came to speak to you today because I think weíre at a very, very significant point of the Shepherds of Christ Movement as it marches into the new era of which was promised by Our Lady of Fatima. And I think the Movement is basically strong, basically healthy but I think we need a recommitment of ourselves to the Movement precisely because much more is being asked of us. We have three centers to staff not only with people but with materials.

    So as we go on in what Our Lord wants us to do, we just need a deeper commitment to the Movement just like the spiritual life in general. You never stand still on the spiritual journey. I mean spiritual masters have always told us this, you either go back or you go forward.

    And so it is with the Movement, we just donít stand still. We have to keep on deepening our commitment to the Movement individually and collectively or itís not going to move forward obviously. So I guess you can say thatís the main reason I thought it was very important that I come here today to speak to you to ask you to renew your commitment to Our Lord in the Movement. And to put some thoughts before (you) which hopefully will help you to renew your commitment.

    Iíll begin by reminding all of us of the great, great privilege it is to have been called to this Movement. Iíve said this before, I say it now even with deeper conviction, I really believe that this will go down in history as one of the great Movements in the history of the Church. And if you reflect upon what weíve been called to do, I donít think itís hard to come to that conclusion. I donít know of any just taking our ministry to the priests with the newsletter and with the prayer chapters whose primary duty is to pray for the priests as well as the whole human race. But I am unaware of any other Movement in the history of the Church which has tried to reach all priests the world over with the newsletter and the prayer chapters to the extent that we are trying to do so. So just those two ministries in themselves I think point to the greatness of this Movement. Then our many other ministries: the rosaries, the consecration of the schools, the nursing home, prison ministries are all our various publications. So much wonderful literature, rosary in the homes, one of our newest ministries, the couples rosary and the spirituality which comes out of that and we hope to work more and more nationally to strengthen marriage and family life through working with couples as couples.

    So if you look at what we are doing with the tremendous amount of materials which are being distributed from the Florida site and through orders from this site and through other sites.  

    So again I think this is one of the great, great Movements in the history of the Church. And we have to pinch ourselves every once in awhile and nudge ourselves and realize the great calling we have been given to work in this Movement. I think there has been a certain, despite all the great work which is being done, I think there is a certain stagnation which has set in to a certain degree and we have to jolt ourselves out of that and recommit ourselves.

    St. John of the Cross in one of his writings saysóof course he is one of the greatest mystical theologians in the history of the Church and in one of his writings he says, ďWhat does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.Ē

    Letís read that again together ďWhat does it profit you to give God one thing if He wishes for another? Consider what it is God wants and then do it.Ē

    [Father Carter is speaking to Servants and Handmaids of the Good Shepherdó]

  

  

    [Apostles who dedicate themselves completely to the Shepherds of Christ Ministriesó]

  

   

  

   

    Applying that to our calling to Shepherds of Christóthereís more work to this Movement than any of us, individually or all put together can ever attend to properly. What I am getting at, if you really feel youíve been called to this Movement and especially to the apostle's level, I am suggesting to you very fervently and hopefully, persuasively, the Shepherds of Christ Ministries can use all the spare time, all the ministerial time you have to give to the work of the Kingdom. You donít have to go around looking for other ministries to contribute your time to. You are free to do that, you are free to leave the Movement at any time. We are not forcing anyone to stay, we hope everybody stays but we have had people leave.

    So there should always be that, that sense of freedom if you want to lessen off your commitment or hopefully it would never happen, but if you would chose to leave the commitment, Jesus respects your freewill.

    But looking at it again positively Iím suggesting to youóthere is so much work to be done in the Movement. So this first day of February which happened to be the month of the feast of St. Claude de la Columbiere, February the 15th, who has been one of the greatest apostles to the devotion to the Heart of Jesus in the history of the Church, so in a certain sense itís a type of month of the Sacred Heart because of his feast, so I ask that all of us renew our commitment to the Movement. And again realize the great privilege, thatís one of the first ways to persevere in the Movement and to grow in the Movement, everyday to thank God for the great graces He has given you in the Movement.

    And I ask you just briefly to look back over your lives, now compared to when you joined the Movement. Has not Our Lord through Our Lady drawn you so, so, so much closer to Them. And He in turn has led you so much closer to the Father and the Spirit. The chairman of our theology department, the first departmental meeting when he took over, he said Xavier has been very good to me, now I feel itís payback time and I think I should serve the University being chair of the Theology department. Being chair of a department, itís really a pain of any department. But those words stick in my mind, he says now it is payback time. I should payback Xavier for all the good Xavier has done to me. I suggest we keep that in mind in reference to Jesus in His Movement. Itís always payback time. He does not give us graces and gifts in the Movement just for ourselves. Every gift of Jesus has a social dimension, itís meant not only for my own spiritual growth, but for growth of the Kingdom. And so if we find ourselves becoming somewhat complacent in our gifts received through the Movement and not properly using them at least to the full extent that we could and helping to spread the Movement, helping to spread the Kingdom, then let us resolve here and now to do better.

    Perseverance in the Movementóall vocations, all callings need perseverance. I pray for perseverance as a Jesuit every day of my life. I pray for perseverance. Iím suggesting to all of us that we pray for perseverance in the Movement and not just a status quo type of perseverance, but pray for a perseverance which will allow us to dynamically grow and be greater apostles in the Movement. And we have to take the means to persevere.

    First of all, of course, is Mass and communion, then our visit to the Blessed Sacrament, saying the rosary and listening to at least five minutes a day to a live rosary which Rita receives, praying the hourly prayers without feeling overburdened. If you begin to feel overburdened by the hourly novena just make a 30 second prayer, say Jesus, say the three invocations, ďLord ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, through the intercession of Mary, thy most holy mother I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be grantedĒ and just say we pray for all needs of the Shepherds of Christ Movement and the other two invocations. You can do that in about 30 seconds. And then at times of course when you have the time and you feel moved bring in the specific intentions. But that hourly prayer has great power to keep our motivation up but it should not on the other hand feel burdensome to you. If it feels burdensome to you for any length of time, just use the short form for quite a while.

    [Note: servants and handmaids and apostles of the Good Shepherd of the Shepherds of Christ Movement go to daily Mass and spend one hour before the tabernacle and pray hourly for the priests, the Church and the world.]

    Reading the Blue Book messages, at least just a few minutes a day, can do wonders to help us persevere in the Movement. Renew your love and commitment to the Movement. Included in that renewed love and commitment I think should be a resolution that we donít bad mouth the Movement, certainly not to those outside the Movement, certainly not even to those within the Movement. We have problems, we always have had some, we always will, the universal Church has monumental problems. But we have to learn how to handle the problems responsibly. If you have a significant problem please contact John or Rita, talk it over with them, with me if you feel so called. They usually report problems to me. Iím in constant contact with them. Currently I talk to them each day about the Movement, whatís going on, strong points, weak points and so forth. If you have problems with the Movement, donít spread your problem with the problems to somebody else who starts to think negatively also.

    I mean go to Jesus, of course, first of all, but then bring your problem to somebody who has the authority in the Movement to handle it. Thatís very, very important, 'cause our loyalty and love for the Movement, I think are significantly harmed when we donít take that approach. Obedience in the Movement is going to become more and more important as the Movement grows. Any organization needs a certain structure, a hierarchy of command, obedience to legitimate authority. When John asks you to do something, please try to answer his request. If you canít, just tell him I canít do it now. When he directs you to do something, which is stronger than a request, donít give him a hard time. Jesus wants obedience in the Movement. No Movement can survive or progress without obedience, without a structure of command. John has a terrifically difficult job. Donít make it more difficult for him by, as I say, giving him a hard time or by never answering his request for help.

    I understand that the level of volunteerism here at the center has gradually slackened off over recent months, and it is very difficult to get people together to do our mailings. We canít keep depending on just a few people all the time. Here again itís payback time. I mean everyday is payback time. You can never fully repay Jesus for what He has done for us or what He continues to do for us. Now we have to use Christian prudence in all this, weíve got family duties; weíve got other duties thatís Godís will for us. We have to take care of those. But granting all those other calls on our time and our energy, if Jesus has called you to this Movement, Heís called each and every one of you, then He expects you to live up to your commitment. And if itís always looked upon, if you feel itís always more of a burden than a privilege, then I think a person has to consider, 'Shall I stay in the Movement?' Jesus loves a cheerful giver. Suffering is involved, is it not? Any following of Christ involves suffering. Any non following of Christ brings suffering, and a greater sufferingóthose who donít believe, who donít have any religious faith or conviction. They end up suffering much more than we who suffer in the following of Christ.

    I would like to read you something that Iíve written on suffering that will appear in the next newsletteró

   

FATHER CARTER'S VOICE WAS VERY SAD
and VERY LOVING.

      

        Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter 1998 Issue 1

Suffering

To follow Jesus entails a willingness to suffer for Him and His cause. The furthering of any worthwhile cause demands a spirit of sacrifice, a willingness to endure a variety of hardships and difficulties. We cannot expect it to be otherwise regarding the cause of Christ. To help further the process of ongoing redemption demands a price.

There is an almost endless variety of pains, sufferings, and difficulties which can arise in following Jesus and promoting His cause. At times seeing few, if any, visible results of our labors, feeling unappreciated, experiencing opposition, sometimes comprehending that we are being hated precisely by some of those whom we are striving to help, at times being laughed at and ridiculedóthese are some of the ways we experience the sufferings of an apostle.

The suffering involved in contributing to the process of ongoing redemption is not, however, the complete picture. The happiness resulting from commitment to Christ and His mission far outweighs the hardships. To be aware that one is so intimately loved by Jesus, to experience the satisfaction that one is contributing to a cause that cannot fail, to play a role in helping to bring to others the love and peace of Jesusóall of this makes for a life that has no equal. The committed follower of Christ, experiencing what it means to be closely associated with Jesus, realizes why St. Peter said, Lord,Öit is wonderful for us to be here. (Mt. 17:4). 

  

Father Carter's talk continues

    So in Godís plan in the following of Christ, suffering is always meant to lead to greater life here and hereafter, not only greater life for us as we grow in Jesus through the proper handling of suffering, but also greater life in the sense that we become more apt instruments for channeling His life to others, as we are purified by His suffering, so that we may more and more allow Him to live in and through and for us. One of the greatest Apostles of all times of suffering showing us the place of suffering in the Christian dispensation is St. Paul. He brings out this theme of death-resurrection of Jesus and our participation in it in various places in his writing. I think one of the most dramatic of those places is in

   

2 Corinthians 4: 7-11

         The hardships and hopes of the apostolate

But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is Godís and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.

    

Father Carter's talk continues

    So we suffer with Jesus, so that here below and in eternity, so that we may live more with Him, and that we may become more fit instruments for helping to channel His life to others. We have a particular way of doing that, a magnificent way within the Shepherds of Christ Movement. He hung upon a cross on a hill called Calvary. He had already suffered so much, had He not? He had been brutally scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, laughed at, ridiculed, without sleep. He had to carry the heavy cross up the hill, upon reaching the hill He was mercilessly nailed to the cross. He hung there in that agonizing suffering until death came. His side was pierced and from His pierced Heart flowed blood and water, symbols of sacramental life in the Church, Baptism and the Eucharist. And as He hung on that cross nearing death in that brutalized suffering, St. Francis de Sales, who was a Doctor of the Churchóa Doctor of the Church means that the Church recognizes not only the great holiness of the person, but the great learning, the great wisdomóin one of his classic works, St. Francis de Sales, his work Treatise on God's Divine Love, he says, ďAs Jesus hung upon the cross there in that brutal suffering each of us was present to Him. He knew each of us intimately and the perfect one gave His last drop of blood for you and for me.Ē So if we ever have problems with our motivation in the Movement, I suggest that we come to the foot of the cross and we realize what Jesus has done for me and continues to do. It is payback time. St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, has left us this beautiful prayer, ďLord teach me to be generous, teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing that I do your will.Ē  

      

    Now I will give the blessing. May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.

end of Father Carter's talk February 1, 1998

 

    

Click to Mass from July 13, 2006
Dialup Click For Mass

     

July 13, 2006

Homily by Fr. Mike

 

    Hey, Rita. The building down in Clearwater - You got it free, right? You don't have to pay a dime for it, is that correct? No way, right? No way, it's not correct.

    I look out and - what about the houses and homes that you all own. They were all given to you, right? You don't have to pay a dime for them? No way, right?

    Are there any cars amongst us? Do any of us own cars? We all got them free, right? Yeah, right.

    What about, what about the shoes on your feet? Were they free? I mean, okay, even if they were a gift some Christmas, were they free to the person who gave them to you then?

    All things in life, then, are things we have to pay for to get them? I think that our lives kind of teach us that. And I think, sometimes, that idea then spills over into our spirituality, and our concept of faith.

    That there's a startling proclamation, a tremendous bit of good news that is given to us today in the Gospel, which of course means Good News.

    "Without cost, you have received."

    Let's think about that for a second. I want to ask a question. Without cost, you have received. What is it that Jesus is referring to? I think that He is referring to what the disciples have received. They have received the Good News. They have received Christ in their life. They have received salvation.

     "Without cost, you have received."

    So, this is the question. How much does it cost to get salvation? How much does it cost to be a member of the Church? How much does it cost to receive?

    What do you think?

    You know, it's interesting. When I have asked a similar question of people who are away from the Church, or people who are struggling being in the Church because of an issue akin to this, these are some if the answers I get.

    "Well, the Church wants, well, 10% of everything I make or maybe even more, because they talk about a sacrificial gift. It's too costly." They don't need that. Ever heard someone say that to you before, or heard other people talk about that?

    Or here's another one. "You know what? They just want all of my time up there at church. It costs too much to be a member of the Church."

    Or if you have people that have incredible talents, you know like builders or plumbers. It's true, they get tapped on a lot. "Hey, do you think you could fix this?" And so they will say, the cost is too much. The cost is too much.

    Or here's another one I hear: "The cost for salvation is my life! I gotta give my life! It's too much." Or here's a great gripe I hear: "You know, in order to be a Catholic, in order to be a disciple of Jesus, I gotta give up my freedom. Costs too much!"

    But Jesus says, "Without cost, you have received."

    It's very important that we ponder these words, and allow them to take deep root in our hearts and in the depths of our souls, and to capture our minds. Because it will transform our lives as God wants them to be transformed.

    "Without cost, you have received."

    All that we have, all that we are, even the salvation and its completeness that we long for in the glories of heaven, all of it is gift. We have done nothing to merit it, nor is there anything we can do to merit it. It is pure gift given to us. No payment needed. Without cost, we have received.

    I'm going to ask you a couple of questions, then. What did you do, how much did you pay for your life, and how much do you continue to pay to have it now? Nothing. It's a gift, a gift from God.

    Did you eat today? Will you eat later today? What did you pay, in order for the seed and the animal to grow, which will nourish you? Nothing. You can't do it, God does it. It's a gift from God to us.

    Salvation. What did you do to merit salvation?

    It's not true, what you're thinking, it's not true. Jesus says, in describing this He says, "You know what, there was a servant. And the servant does exactly what the master wants him to do."

    You know what Jesus says about that servant? He's useless. He's useless, he's only done what he's supposed to do. And so when we do what God wants us to do, what are we doing? We're only doing what we're supposed to do! We're not doing anything extra!

    When do you normally give someone a merit, a reward? Or as we used to call it when I was working as an engineer, an "Atta boy" or an "Atta girl", "Keep up the good work." Are they not normally given, and indeed, are given when we have done something over and beyond what we're supposed to be doing? That's what merit is about. That's what reward is about.

    But when we do what God wants us to do, all we're doing is what we're supposed to be doing, nothing more! We can't go around, "Waaah! Look at me! I did such great things today for God! And now, you know what, God owes me." Wrong, it's not true. We've only done what we're supposed to do.

    So we're not useless in the sense of, well you know, we didn't do good. But we're useless in the sense, that we haven't done anything more than we are supposed to do, and need to do.

    And so salvation, also, is a wondrous gift from God. "Without cost, you have received." It's been given, and it has been accepted. And all of that, in the giving, and in the accepting, it is done without cost. In the giving and in the accepting, it has been done without cost. What you have received, you have received without cost.

    Now think about this along the terms of our human relationships. Think of those people in your life, and I'll think about the people in my life, that really are incredible givers, if you will, in your life - in my life. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. Those people where it's like, wow, if that person wasn't in my life, my life would not be rich, it wouldn't be full. It wouldn't be complete.

    And when we think about those people in our lives, what we recognize is they're giving to us and we're receiving those gifts from them, right? It's true, isn't it? And it's not just the matter that they're giving us gifts like material gifts, it's the matter of sharing life, and enriching our life with their presence, most of all. And that's what salvation ultimately is, it's God's presence in our lives.

    So when we think about our human relationships, about those people who enrich our lives like that, what is our normal response in those relationships? Don't we want to reciprocate as best we can? Aren't we pulled into the relationship in such a way that we give back, in the way that we can give back, out of gratitude? I think that's what happens, and we do it not expecting anything back. Because we have recognized how incredibly enriched we have been by that person's life, in our lives.

    "Without cost, you have received. Without cost you are to give." This, my dear friends, is what stewardship is about in our lives.

    Many times we get the proverbial cart before the horse. We think stewardship is about funding projects, like paying for a building in Clearwater. We think that stewardship is about putting in our time, so that the Newsletter gets out. We think stewardship is about using our talents, so the grotto gets built and the plumbing gets put in. That's not what stewardship's about.

    Stewardship is a way of living. It's a matter of recognizing that without cost we have received, that everything that we are, we have, everything that we hope to have, is gift from God. And that our God loves us so much, that God will continually, always and forever uphold us and provide for us - through the gift of, yes, material goods, but also through the gift of friends. And most of all through the gift of spiritual goods that are poured into our lives, like this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the gift beyond price, so we can't pay for it.

    And when we realize, indeed, that without cost we have received, and that means everything, that it moves us to that point of gratitude so we do things out of thanksgiving. We do things to express how much we are grateful to God.

    We live our lives in accord to God's Word, according to God's plan, according to the commandments of God - not because we're fearful of condemnation, and not because we're earning our salvation, but because we are grateful to God and we want to live in accord with the God Who loves us and saves us, out of thanksgiving.

    And the reason why we reach into our pocketbooks, and give of our time, and give of our talents, is for the same reason - out of gratitude.

    And yes, for some of us it takes on another dimension. It's a matter of giving of our time and our lives in such a way, that they are dedicated in a unique way, in religious life and priesthood. But still lived out of thanksgiving to God, Who has given us all that we have, including life and breath, and salvation, as gift.

    And so on this day, let us take some time to ponder more deeply, so that our lives might be transformed more completely. Let us the ponder the fact - without cost we have received, so that we might be invigorated to live our faith-lives in every aspect of our living, in a way that without cost, we give.

 

                   
                      
                   

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