- LETTERS FROM FATHER JAMES J. WHEELER, S.J.
- Rev. James J. Wheeler, S. J.
Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe
This is the letter I sent to Ginny and Maria before our meeting in Houston in February 1998.
Dear Maria and Ginny:
We have all come a long way to get where we are today. Conflicts, fears, depressions, have all been the source of our growth. And as we have gone on, each one of us has found and can testify to the deepening presence of Jesus in our lives. One of the things that has been such a consolation through periods of deep darkness has been the slow and sure knowledge that I am growing in Him and with Him. And as I look at you and the other prayer center directors, I sense quite deeply, that you and they have also grown in a remarkable way.
It is this growth in Jesus that is the hall mark of my life and, as far as I know, the signature upon which your life is founded. To enter, every day, more deeply in relationship to Him, and to know, in the darkness or in the light, in depression, survival, and recovery, that He is growing so much larger and wider and deeper in my life. And to my joy, the impossible has occurred, that my ego is, at times, growing smaller is one of great joy.
In this way God has allowed us all to grow bigger. Prayer Centers, through the wind and snow and sleet of our ups and downs, have nevertheless, grown in size and in effectiveness. God has allowed us to utilize ministries that have spread across our countries, the United States and Mexico, and to many other parts of the world.
And yet, now, I suspect, that we are facing the fact, like the Baptist, we are called to enter into our own smallness.
For the ministry is the creation of the Spirit in Christ, and, we, though we have been called to found and fortify it, now found ourselves in a position to limit that founding to the extent of our lives and our mental and physical capacity to continue. I am sixty one, two directors are in their seventies, the rest of the directors of the present prayer centers are in their fifties or sixties.
The question remains: is the call we have to end, with great gratitude for the work we have done, at the point in which we wither die or no longer have the capacity to continue the work?
We have led many people to consecrate their lives to Christ. With others we have led them into that place where we have consoled them but let them know that the deepest place of spiritual growth and psychological healing, indeed, of true wholeness is found at the foot of His cross. The way to the full reality of ourselves, of God and of others, is through the cross rather than avoiding it and medicating our pain with a variety of addictions.
So our call had been to let people see that the profound call into the crucified and resurrected Jesus whom we love is not to stay on the level of an initial euphoria, or to let our lives be fudged over by a series of warm fuzzies, but to enter more deeply into the reality of God and ourselves as He sees us and we are in ourselves. In that difficult and often terrifying journey, we make our way into the fullness of the humanity of the sorrowing Jesus so that, through the participation in His sorrow, we can live in the joy and laughter of his infallible resurrection in our lives.
I feel, then, that there is a call within me to begin to provide for the extension of the ministry beyond my lifetime or the time when I am no longer capable of carrying on the work. My question to you is the same as the one that I put to myself. Do you feel the ministry is to continue past the time of your own capacity to lead and to nurture it?
If the answer is no, then there is not much to do but to sustain, as best as we can, the ministry in which we now find ourselves. If, as some of you have indicated to me, the answer is yes, then I think it involves some deep thought and prayer as to the way we are to go.
Let me give some thoughts as to the way we might go to prepare a proposal. We have ourselves been called into a lifetime of commitment and service. At time has gone on we have learned that our call is to give ourselves more completely to Christ. We have found the way through the School to provide the foundation for that consecration, to let it fully live in our lives. As each one of us has pursued that consecration, we have found many other helps along the way such as the devotion to Divine Mercy or the codependency, focusing and addiction programs in Mexico.
As we have pursued the path on which God is calling us, we have entered into a deeper and deeper consecration and inner and outer relationship to Jesus. Out of the depth of that relationship we have asked others to follow a similar path into a relationship to God.
Out of that consecration and that formation and that service small communities of people who want to form a prayer center to others have emerged.
The time has come, it seems to me, to acknowledge the way that God has called us to see that others are being called in the same way and to open the path for many other lay people to follow that road. We are called to give the opportunity to many others to give their life to God, to serve God, to serve Christ in their spouses and in their families and to develop fully their gifts and skills in a life of ministry.
In that call we are asking God to bring forth the fullness of potential for lay people who wish to serve the Church. Jesus is calling us to open the narrow gate to Him to many others and to widen the possibility in the life of lay people to serve Him completely and totally.
The door that Vatican II offered lo lay people is slowly widening. We want to open it wider but we also want to open it deeper. We want to let people know that the full life of loving Jesus, abandoning oneself to the Father and serving the Church through the gifts of the Holy Spirit is open to them.
And we want to open that possibility of commitment, consecration and service to those, who, through their commitment of the life of the prayer center want to find a possibility and a way of living out their consecration to God. That possibility is open, to those who desire it, by making yearly commitments to the prayer center, perhaps a three or five year commitment and then a full and permanent commitment of the rest of their lives.
We want to open the possibility of aharing with the brothers and sisters who live a consecrated celibate ife, the possibility of deep consecration and sacrifice so ordinarily present in lay life, but now, with the advent of Vatican II brought to a new and different kind of consecration, and yet a form of consecration that, in some sense, equals celibate consecration. It cannot equal the consecration of strict celibacy, poverty and obedience, that is the celibate commitment. But it is equal in the total commitment of one´s life to God the Father through Jesus Christ. And it must be understood that even though marriage of the single life does not have the sacrifice initially and continually given in celibate life, it has, in its living out, a deepening sacrifice and a strong cross. To enter into explicit consecration is to give one´s life over to Christ in the way He intended for all no matter what their call may be.
Thus the act of consecration, of giving our lives entirely over to Jesus Christ, a commitment and consecration that is made in the School, finds its formation in the School, and if the person so chooses, a further formation in the School of Spiritual Direction, and from that point on beginning a life of service for others in the prayer center. The fulfillment of the life of a person can be a desire, over a period of time, to give one´s own life over to God. That commitment would be fulfilled in serving God first, in relation to one´s spouse, to one´s family, and then, in a life of service to the people of God, to the Church and in the prayer center.
Directors referred to in this document:
Maria Esther Barnetche
Sacred Heart Prayer Center
Mercy of God Prayer Center
Austin, Texas, U.S.A
Rev. James J. Wheeler, S.J.
Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe
To the directors of the Prayer Centers
Last year Our Lady invited me to take a pilgrimage to Fatima. It was a long and difficult pilgrimage but also a wonderful time of personal union with God. Many graces seemed to flow from my harried time in Fatima.
During the time in Fatima, Our Lady asked me to do two things: one was, in the next year, to have a meeting with Maria and Ginny. So, as the year went on I arranged that we should meet at Maria´s father apartment in Houston from February 24th to 26th.
Gloria Guerra, from the Mexico Center was there for surgery and for a further meeting with Maria in Washington. So we invited her to join us.
As the time for the meeting approached, I began to pray about the agenda for the meeting. As you know, I have mentioned, many times, the question of whether our ministry is to continue beyond us. It also occurred to me that this was an important question, since two of our prayer center directors are in their seventies, and the rest in their sixties or late fifties.
But the important thing was what was happening in my prayer. Whereas I had halted at simply asking the question of succession and others carrying on the work of the prayer centers, because I did not feel the permission to go on, I now felt the Lord was actively requesting that I bring the whole possibility of the continuance of the prayer centers ahead and begin to discuss it as a distinct possibility.
The flow of grace was there to begin discussing the prayer centers as a distinct society of committed people who would consecrate themselves wholly to God in Jesus Christ and through His mother Mary. And the possibility came into being that the consecration of some there would be a specified commitment of a year, three years, and finally, of a permanent commitment to a society of people. Their consecration would be made to God through Jesus and Mary but would include the various commitments to, what I would call, at this point, the Society of Prayer Centers.
As our discussions began we all began to warm to the subject of a deeper commitment first to God, and then, after formation in the prayer centers, a time of service in the prayer centers and, possibly, in some cases, a permanent commitment.
There was a general agreement on what had already been written (the letter to Maria and Ginny included in this document) and we began to venture into other areas where we might decide to set down precepts of a constitution, precepts gained from a quarter century of ministry and from our own prayer life that might be the foundation of a society that includes lay people and religious, but sets down the guidelines and the directions for a lay commitment and a lay consecration of their lives to God.
To this proposal, which we shall bring to the board in April, we began to add the sections on humility, the Eucharist, and the Blessed Sacrament.
Towards the end of our meeting we had a powerful session. We received the Scripture 1st Chronicles 28. This is the story of God´s promise to David that he would build the temple. Because David was a man of war, he could not build the temple, but his son Solomon was to build the temple. In that temple would be housed the ark of covenant.
We began to feel a confirmation that we were being handed a similar mandate by God, that He was calling us to build a structure, a temple, to which future generations might pass to worship God, to experience His consolation, His formation, His healing and His direction.
In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the new Ark of the Covenant, a new people would be formed to proclaim His Word, lo live out the life of Christ within us, to bring consolation to the spiritually and psychologically and physically suffering and in need.
Ginny told us of a vision she had some time ago which seemed pertinent. She was in a desert. As she stayed in a certain place, a group of people appeared on the horizon. They were walking towards her and they were carrying something. As they came close she recognized that they were the Jewish people who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant. They passed over her and continued on their journey across the desert carrying the Ark.
It seemed to us that the vision applied to us. We were the people who were now carrying the Blessed Sacrament across the desert. We were a people joined together in the venture and we were a people who were to carry the Ark of the Sacrament in our hearts and from that we would be formed as a people.
Ginny also mentioned that she thought that the Ark of the Covenant also applied to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
In the litany of Our Lady, Mary is called the Ark f the Covenant because she bore Jesus in her womb. Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb but she also carries us in her womb. Mary was carrying Jesus in her womb but she also carries us in her womb. She is the one who is forming us a s a people and she also places us, in Ginny´s words, under her mantle. Ginny thought that the society might be named after Mary, perhaps Our Lady, Queen of Peace. That name had come up previously and Marie thought that the name would provide a difficulty in Mexico because of the association with Medugorge.
To all of us there is a special devotion and a special consecration to Our Lady. She is the one under whose mantle we have been protected and the prayer centers have been allowed to grow. So, at this time, as we become aware of the Lord´s desire to keep us going in the future, we especially place that desire and that initiative in the hands of Mary, our Protector.
It is through her that the full vision of Jesus in our regard will be fulfilled. If Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the one whom we adore, mary is the principal adorer of Jesus and she will write on our hearts the desires of God and, through her intercession, we will fulfill them.
If we are commited people, and are gradually become people in which consecration to Jesus and Mary and commitment to the prayer centers is possible, then it is aldo possible consider terms of office and the possibility of succession. In facing, as we are, the age of our directors, we all agreed to propose this initiative to the Board.
We wish to start, in prayer centers where this is possible, the consideration of terms of office and the succession of those who are directors or hold other posts of importance and consequence in the prayer centers.
This also involves a consideration of the office of Apostolic Director. Since I am sixty one (I know you can´t believe it) it is time to consider a successor and how we would go about choosing a successor. We discussed this and thought at first that another priest might be the person to take the job. But another priest might mean someone not familiar with our programs or the way of life that we are presently forming. It might mean that a lay person familiar with the society would be the Apostolic Director and a priest would be found to be the Spiritual Director.
If God is calling us to continue the prayer centers, then this would seem the logical way to do it.
So I ask of all of you to consider these ideas and to pray and fast about them. In all these years, we have search for the will of God and Jesus and Mary have led us in a most extraordinary way. Let us, by prayer and fasting, seek the will of God at this crucial juncture in our journeys. Let us open our hearts more fully and generously to Jesus and Mary and see where that opening to deeper love leads us.
Directors referred to in this document:
Maria Esther Barnetche
Sacred Heart Prayer Center
Mercy of God Prayer Center
Austin, Texas, U.S.A
- PRELUDE TO THE CONSTITUTIONS
By Rev. James J. Wheeler, S.J.
We are a people of Jesus Christ brought together by the Hoy Spirit at the initiative of our merciful mother Mary of Nazareth. We have been called to a ministry of prayer, healing and transformation in and through Jesus, Our Lord.
Beginning with a dream in the Spirit that was confirmed by the two people who began this ministry, it began to grow for several years in Syosset and Kings Park in Long Island, New York State in the United States of America. In that time, the formation program, the School of Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing was formulated. The ministry continued in Albuquerque, New Mexico and there the program for the development of ministry, the School of Spiritual Direction was conceived. Through these programs, the ministry of prayer centers spread to Texas and Mexico and, through Mexico, to Spain.
For decades, with the constancy of Jesus and the fidelity of Mary guiding us, we have persevered under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We have discovered, with others, the miraculous and wonderful power of prayer in our lives. This prayer has brought about untold healing of body, soul and spirit in thousands of people. And as we continue in our prayer and ministry, we have found we can be a great help regarding the deeper wounds that occur from abuse, deep grieving, depressions and various forms of mental illness. Our ministry is grounded in prayer but it has deeply integrated psychological and physical principles that we work with, in coordination with psychologists and psychiatrists.
As we have continued in the ministry, the guidance of the Spirit has been revealed to us. Perseverance in working and living with our wounds and sins that remain, has taught us to grow in wisdom and understanding. In this we have avoided the terrible trap of complaining victim and the person enmeshed in codependent relationships with little or no way out.
Through the power of Jesus, the light of the Church has mercifully come alive in us. Though we may be the least and least worthy in the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit has shown us the way to healing, the way to processing our lives in the Spirit and the entrance into eternity on this earth that is promised so clearly in the life to come. In this we have found, in time, the meaning of all the events, good and bad, in our lives.
In the ministry of the Blessed Mother to Juan Diego, we find the continuing presence of the concern of the Father of us all to bring mercy to the poor and justice to us all, for it is only through mercy that healing and transformation occurs. And it is only through personal and social justice that it is solidified. We wish to remember the admonition of Our Lady to Juan Diego in the second visitation. As he is going to visit his sick uncle and thus put that ahead of Our Lady, Mary suddenly stops him and tells him “Where are you going?” Mary tells that she will take care of his uncle…his job is to be obedient. So he goes to see the bishop again, something he has been avoiding and the miraculous presence of the roses and the image on the tilma is revealed.
Our ministry is not grounded on human compassion, that is part of it. Our ministry is grounded in obedience to God and obedience in the community. In that obedience we witness to the mercy and love of God to those in the community and to those to whom we minister. We are witnesses to the power and mercy of Jesus in the life of others. We are witness to the deep maternity and tender concern of our mother, Mary, in the lives of others. It is through them that salvation and transformation and healing are real and continuous.
Over the years we have grown in our relationships to Jesus and Mary. And the consecrated religious among us have seen the power of commitment and holiness so very present in the lay people. For religious, we commit ourselves under the primary commitment we have made to our religious orders. As lay people, we wish to place our lives under the power of Mary and Jesus and the authority of the Catholic Church. This commitment, surrender and devotion has led us to propose that we, who are called in this way, freely consecrate to Jesus through Our Blessed Mother. We commit ourselves to the Society and to the ministry in a specific way. We wish no longer to remain on the fringe, doing good things from time to time. We wish to place our whole lives, everything we do and everything we are, under the consecration and commitment to Jesus through the Mother of the Americas and the world, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
To do this in a serious manner, we have proposed these constitutions as the lifeblood, structure and content of our consecration. We do not wish to simply make a consecration and forget about it. We wish it to become a part of our life and to live that consecration in a set of concrete values that embody it. We do not wish these values to bring us into intense guilt or scruples but, reading them, we wish to live them as best as we can.
- I. INTRODUCTION
Jesus, since the beginning of His mission began proclaiming the Kingdom of God and doing miracles in diferent lines. From the 34 acts of wonder related in the Gospels as miracles, prodigys, acts of power, signs and or works the most numerous ones are the 21 cases of healing the sick.
Miracles are merciful acts of Jesus the Saviour. Participating in the ministry of inner healing we become instruments, so that He may act and “and the glory of the Only Son be manifested” (John).
In the Society of Prayer Centers of Our Lady of Guadalupe that has this ministry as its mission, we face our fallen human nature. Facing this, the vision of Father James J. Wheeler S. J. who understands human nature, with the other prayer centers directors has gifted us with these Constitutions, that are not laws, but guidelines, suggestions, advises to keep us united in the same spiritual purpose and service.
As Paul well said in his 1st letter to the Corinthians: “I urge you, brothers, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say,and there be not divisions among you; but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose”.
To respect freely and with love the Constitutions help us to afirm ourselves in the persons that He created in us and in this way we can be participants in the building of the Body of Christ and proclaim de Kingdom of God.
The Constitutions take us by the hand to keep us firm and to continue the spiritual growth making us better people, servants of God.
We can see that the Constitutions are divided into five big parts:
In the first part we can see clearly which is the main objective of the Ministry of Prayer for Inner Healing, which is the mission we need to look for; the means we can count on and how to use them; and our spirituality, that invite us to live and imitate the love of Jesus with the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and the constitutions explain clearly to us their meaning.
In the second section, this document help us to get to a nearer contact with the Lord. It is through humility that we bond with Christ who suffer the passion, died voluntarily and resurrected for the forgiveness of our sins and for our salvation. And we meet Jesuschrist in the Eucharist and in the Blessed Sacrament.
Studying the third part we are incorporated to the community and we analize the ways to enter into relationships with ourselves and with others. To find our identity is our enter into community and how to be fully present to others.
In the forth section Father Wheeler shows us realities of life that we are going to face and fight as are the solitude and freedom. How to reach the purification as we enter into family or community, but also the need to recognize the existence of boundaries.
As the last part we are told about unity, reaching concience of being and belonging to the mystical Body of Jesus, of the importance to know ourselves as members and to live in that way taking in account all the things we have seen before.
- II. OUR MISSION (1-10)
- Isaiah 42, 1-9
Luke 5, 1-11
John 20, 24-28
Matthew 9, 1-6
1. We are people that have come to realize that the total movement of our heart and the purpose of our life is to praise Jesus with all our heart, to worship the Father with our entire being, and to seek the glory of the Everlasting God under the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. We are people who have been touched and moved by the maternal love of Our Lady, the Blessed Mother of us all, who has touched us with her immeasurable love, her profound concern, and her deep femininity, to follow her into the great love and unending service to her Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
3. As we enter into the heart of Mary, and the story of Guadalupe, we discover the Divine Mercy and Compassion of Her Son for all the poor, the broken, the defeated, the refugees and homeless of this world. We wish, by our intercessory prayer and our action, in Jesus and through Mary, to show them the deep concern of our heart and our strong desire to bring the justice of Jesus to bear upon their hearts and their lives.
4. And we wish to learn from them, even the most abject and disheartened, the lessons of survival and recovery and growth in God that they have known and can teach us by their lives, their words, and ability to suffer through the most extraordinary of situations.
5. In particular, we feel our special mission is to those who suffer the special pain of the heart and the spirit. We want to be present to and reach out especially to those who suffer from mental illness, whose lives of confusion and personal debilitation bear all the marks of the crowning with thorns. We wish to hear with compassion and hope the cry of Jesus spoken continually throughout the earth in the deep pain and, often enough, despair of their lives, the cry of Jesus on the cross, Why have you forsaken me?
6. We desire, with all our hearts, to remedy the deep injustice, the tragic shunning, the wounding indifference that has been done to the mentally ill, the mentally challenged, and the spiritually and mentally deprived.
7. We are their brothers and sisters. But we are also their brothers and sisters because we have often suffered what they have suffered. That mutual bond in the Spirit is a deep encouragement to persevere in times of suffering and to have confidence in the time of recovery.
8. We also want to enter into the healing power of Jesus, for those who have been physically and mentally abused, those who have been struck down by grief, those who have been abandoned by mother and father and by primary caregivers, those who suffer through memories of the past that paralyze their souls, those who are under the slavery of previous ancestral sins, those who are ensnared in the bondage of codependence, in short, anyone who comes to us or to whom we come who are in need of of the intercession of Mary, the healing power of the Spirit, the healing balm of truthful self knowledge and the deep companionship of their friend, Jesus.
9. We also want to be available for spiritual direction to those souls who wish to go further in their walk with Christ, who seek His continual guidance, and the help of the Mother of us all, Mary, and who wish to enter into a deeper union with God, their loving Father, a more total healing in their companionship with Jesus, a deeper realization of their own goodness and the profound love that God has for them, and the deep desire placed in them to give their lives in the service and deepening love of others.
10. And we wish always to realize that we are the instruments of God's love, truth, healing and direction and that it is Jesus, Himself, who performs all this ministry. Though we are to gain all the knowledge that we can, we must, in the surrender of our mind to Him, come to the complete realization of our total dependence on Him to do the ministry.
- III. THE MEANS (11-27)
- John 9, 1-6
1st Corinthians 12, 4-11
1st Corinthians 3, 59
11. We are open to all those who come to us in need of healing, of support in their suffering, who wish to enter into a life of prayer and conversion, and, with the help of Jesus, have a sincere and honest desire to face themselves and who they are.
12. For those who desire to enter into a more total healing experience or who wish a more complete spiritual formation our primary program for formation, healing, and transformation is the School for Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing.
13. For people who desire psychological healing, and not a strong conversion into the life of Jesus, we can recommend places of therapy that are more in common with what they desire.
14. This school is dependent, in its essence, on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
15. This school and its primary source in the Exercises are recognized as the key to formation. Thus entrance into the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe is dependent on the recognized completion of the School for Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing.
16. For each one of us there is an interior response to Jesus and Mary that is one of continuous conversion. We are asked to grow in the process of continued and consistent response to the interior graces that the Lord is constantly giving to us. We are also called with the help of Jesus to an increasing self knowledge and self acceptance.
17. Part of that conversion process is an annual retreat. Everyone who is a member of the above Society is required to make a five day retreat each year. This retreat should be in the Spiritual Exercises or in the steps of the School for Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing.
18. The Society can develop many ministries to the mentally ill and the mentally and spiritually deprived. But the means of formation for the counseling ministry to mentally and spiritually deprived is the School of Spiritual Direction. Before entering into any ministry of counseling or spiritual direction, it is necessary to be certified in the above School as well as the School for Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing.
19. For entrance into the Society and the making of consecration, a formation period of at least half a year is required in which the candidate can study the documents of the consecration and these constitutions.
20. The formation period and the discussion of the Consecration material and the Constitutions for at least half a year should include at least two weekends or eight meetings to discuss, internalize, and personalize the material.
21. During this time the formation director, in concert with the director of the center can begin to discern the specific ministry of that person in the community.
22. The formation director should be on the lookout for those who can do the prayer ministry of Inner healing and the ministry of spiritual direction.
23. In the same manner the formation director should be keenly observant for the ones who have other gifts in the community such as visiting people who are sick, companioning and visiting people who are mentally ill, visitation of prisoners, of those passing through grief or intense periods of inner healing, healing of abuse, and many other areas of helping the mentally ill or mentally or spiritually deprived.
24. The formation director should be aware of those whose proficiency is found in the necessary and practical works of the community such as secretarial work, management work, computer work, chauffeuring work, or any other works that are necessary for the well being of the community.
25. All works in which community membership is recognized require the School of Spiritual Growth and Inner Healing.
26. Many works may not require the School of Spiritual Direction, but may require other types of school or preparation.
27. Though there are different ministries in the community and different kinds of authority, we must all observe the deep reverence that is due to every person in the community. No ministry should be seen as superior to any other ministry.
- IV. OUR SPIRITUALITY (28-46)
- Luke 8, 9-15
Matthew 16, 24-28
Ephesians 3, 14-19
28. We wish to not live lives of simple external righteousness and respectability but we wish to live lives of complete inner surrender and obedience to Jesus in the Father.
29. We have a deep respect for the gift of celibacy and the sacred consecration of men and women to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We hope and pray that many will be called to that sacred way of life and to the essential gift of ordained priesthood in the Church.
30. But we also wish to recognize by the full depth of our consecration to Jesus and to Jesus through Mary that the vocation to the married life and the single life is a sacred call from God and a call that is deeply respected within the Church.
31. Accordingly we wish to give our lives completely for the sake of Jesus Christ and consecrate the rest of our days to the love and service of the Father.
32. We wish to give our lives to Jesus Christ so that we might live totally and completely for the love of God the Father through Jesus, who is for us, and lives within us to show us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
33. With Christ we wish to live lives of forgiveness and love so that we might be the witnesses to the justification of all in Jesus.
34. So that we all might be justified through the mercy and love of Jesus, we seek a real accountability for our faults and defects so that we might be forgiven and come into the fullness of justification of Jesus. Part of that accountability is coming into a mutual accountability (that is exercised without final judgment) so that we might come to forgiveness and be justified in the eyes of one another.
35. Though we live our lives in the forgiveness and love of Jesus for all we recognize that we must all meet the demands of Justice in and through Jesus. So the forgiving and loving of someone needs to recognize the accountability of those who wrong others.
36. We realize that all the gifts we receive and all of the good that we do comes from a total reliance on the mercy of God. We cannot rely on ourselves to justify ourselves. We cannot rely on our own self righteousness, our own sense of holiness but, through the grace of the Spirit, we are in the generosity of the Trinity, made right and just through the compassionate mediation of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
37. As we come to know ourselves through the help and mediation of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we wish to discern the difference between the false self and the real self, the true self, that is found in the Word of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
38. Though we may gain something from other forms of meditation, such as the difference between objective and subjective knowledge, our prayer is always in the context of a personal encounter with God through Jesus and with the aid of our Mother Mary.
39. In that honesty and transparency and through the gift of love and truth given by the Spirit, and enhanced by the presence of Mary in our lives, we seek a genuine and real transparency between Jesus and ourselves. Our prayer enters into the mystery of God through Jesus and by the power of the Hoy Spirit. In that encounter we enter into the mystery ofod, the mystery of ourselves and the mystery of one another that is beyond words.
40. As time proceeds we wish to rid ourselves of inordinate attachments and addictions that pull us away from a complete love of God and a genuine, unselfish love of one another.
41. To rid ourselves in the process of our lives, of the inordinate attachments and addictions, can not be done simply by the power of our own will, but it must come through a humble placing of our faults in the hands of Jesus, and asking Him for the power to overcome our faults, our inordinate attachments and our addictions.
42. Though this is our goal we realize we must be patient with ourselves, accepting of who and where we are, so that self condemnation doesn't poison our lives. Rather it is through a constant admission of our faults to Jesus and Mary, a constant forgiveness of ourselves, a genuine attempt to persevere, and a humble admission of our desire to be released and our own inadequacy to accomplish it that will gradually bring us into the freedom we so desire.
43. Though we place God and other people ahead of ourselves, we must realize that to find the legitimate grace to love ourselves for God's sake is essential to obeying the second commandment to love others as we would love ourselves.
44. In that way, as in the case of Peter, the process of conversion involves a deep self forgiveness and self love in and through Jesus and Mary, so that the witness of that love and self forgiveness in our own lives may be a true and living witness to our family and to those whom we minister. Unless we first attempt to live the graces that we ask for others, our life and our ministry are not authentic.
45. As we are not afraid to be honest with ourselves and as we enter the truth of ourselves in the Word so that the image of ourselves is who we truly are, we can overcome the gravest fault in the mind of Jesus, that of hypocrisy. In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, the deep and continuing repentance of the publican brings him into the deep love of Jesus and eventually a legitimate love of himself. Whereas the Pharisee loves a false image of himself, a self righteous image, a pretense that he can attain perfection on His own that is essentially different from who he is, the publican in his sincerity and humility brings the deep attraction of the love of Jesus. He loves the publican because the publican is transparent in revealing his weakness and his true self to God. God continues to love all of us but He cannot love the fabricated self, the pretentious self, the false self.
46. So a deep and continuing appeal to the Jesus of Divine Mercy is the source of our continuing life in God.
- V. OBEDIENCE (47-63)
- Matthew 26, 36-46
John 7, 16-19
47. In opening ourselves to God under the mediation of Jesus, we realize that the surrender to God our Creator is the full and continuing surrender of our mind, heart and spirit and sall our relationships to Him.
48. The finding of our true self lies in the surrender of selfish love, and self interest to God the Holy Spirit so that we may be deeply purified.
49. Who we are is found in the surrender of our mind, our heart, and our will to God the Almighty Father, Our Creator and Lord. Without this surrender we live in a world where the need to adore is misdirected to the adoration of ourselves or others.
50. We are called to find the truth of who we are as created human beings. That truth is lived out in the obedience of our mind and heart and will to the Father through Jesus. The discovery of who we are is the discovery of obedience.
51. As we open ourselves to a deep obedience of our mind and heart and will, the darkness of our own self will, our own selfishness, is pierced. We abandon the following of our own light to allow the light of God to enter into our personhood and reveal to us who we are in the mind and will of our Creator.
52. The continuing openness to obedience and conversion is the way we find the true self in God and leave the false self to dissolve in the error of this world.
53. The continuing surrender to Jesus Our Lord also includes the discovery of the rebel within. Whether that rebel comes from our childhood, our adult years, or our ancestry we are asked to confront it, to find the way for it to surrender to Jesus, and to transform the energy of rebellion into the energy of obedience.
54. The transformation of the energy of rebellion is also to find the legitimate rebellion of Jesus to sin, hypocrisy, evil, injustice and oppression. That rebellion stems from a deep obedience to the Father and a desire to maintain the holiness of His Creation.
55. In our longing to give ourselves totally to God in a continuing complete and total abandonment of ourselves and our lives, we must humbly ask the Lord to reveal to us the ways in which we are, both unconsciously and consciously, resisting Him.
56. If we do not discover the sources of our resistance to God and to the totality of surrender to Him, either in our self will or our wounds we can pretend that we are obeying but we are, in reality, going against Him.
57. Our resistance may be self will or willfulness but also past wounds that have weakened our trust in Him and added to unconscious resistance to the entreaties of love and selfless service that is made in the depth of our heart by the Holy Spirit. The full healing of those wounds involves the restoration of trust in Jesus and in God Our Father.
58. The way of obedience is not only in our obedience to the continuing revelation of our inner conscience in its relationship to the Word of God but in the humble submission of our will to Jesus in His Church.
59. The authority of the Society is grounded in submission to the present apostolic director of the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe and to the individual Bishops in the place where the prayer centers are located.
60. So that we may not be victims of self delusion in our personal discernment of the will of God, we are called to an accountability and obedience to the Church and to the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe and those in position of responsibility in the Society.
61. In our obedience to those in authority in the Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we find the concrete manifestation of our deep desire to obey the Divine Will and to overcome our own self will.
62. Though we should always be committed to obeying, there may nevertheless be times when we are asked to do something that violates the law of God or a strong prohibition of our own deep conscience. In that case we should inform the person in authority that that is the case so, if it is possible, some sort of agreement can be reached that satisfies the authority of the Society and the individual conscience of the person concerned.
63. Those in authority in the Society should be careful to consult with the members in the process of decision-making. Though they need the freedom to exercise the power of leadership and authority, they should be careful to avoid any type of over control or domination.
- VI. POVERTY (64-86)
- Matthew 5, 3
Mathew 6, 19-22 24
James 2, 1-9
64. Poverty is the recognition that the over- attachment to material things can produce a deep sickness of avarice, gluttony, and possessiveness in the person.
65. Poverty is the letting go of the inordinate attachment to material things, so that they do not separate us from God and from others.
66. Poverty of spirit is recognizing that the poorer in spirit that I am personally, the closer I can be to God and the freer I am in relationship to others, and the key to my own inner freedom.
67. The richer I try to be by personally possessing money and material things, the more I shut God out, the more I shut others out, turn them into objects, and the more I see myself as a product or a thing and block the way to myself as a person and a son or daughter of God.
68. As I enter into generosity with regard to the things that I own, and in all other areas of my life, the more the Lord can be generous with me in giving me what I need and giving to me out of His own great bounty.
69. The more I enter into parsimony or stinginess the less the Lord can provide for me.
70. Poverty demands both legally and personally that, though I present my legitimate needs to a prayer center and have them addressed, I do not, in any sense, look to the prayer center as a place to establish personal wealth or aggrandizement.
71. In order to keep a prayer center a place where poverty is lived, the directors, the ministers, and the workers, should not own any of the prayer center's property, offices, or dwellings, or any of the prayer center's goods.
72. If anything, the prayer center should be a place where each one, though I am bound to consider my legitimate needs and have them met, it is a place where each one, corporately and individually, can find ourselves poor before the Lord.
73. Poverty is the accepting of fiscal responsibility for my family and for the prayer centers.
74. In order to do the job I am called to in the prayer center, I can present my financial needs to the prayer center in order to more reliably and responsibly have the freedom to do my job.
75. Only if the prayer center has the means to help and deems the request sincere and honest should it reply to such a request.
76. The more I desire to serve the poor the more I can be healed myself.
77. Poverty is allowing a person to have separateness and solitude in order to grow.
78. Poverty is entering my own solitude and confronting my own aloneness so that I can grow.
79. To exercise poverty demands that we exercise responsibility and ownership over our lives.
80. A mature poverty is to continue to surrender our responsibility and ownership in the process of exercising it.
81. Poverty is the gradual realization of my real needs, the presentation of those needs to God and the differentiation between those needs and the false needs or wants I have created for myself.
82. If I am placed in a place of real poverty, where one of my legitimate needs is deprived, starved, or stymied, I can us this poverty as a deep place to enter into the cross of Christ who was starved of all his legitimate needs on the cross.
83. Poverty is the acceptance of the cross that God permits in this life.
84. Poverty is standing with and being compassionate to those who have been unjustly deprived of their real needs.
85. Poverty is the acceptance of the cross of old age or sickness or debilitation and, as my poverty grows as life goes on, my growing dependence on others can be a way of giving my entire spirit into the hands of God.
86. In the living out of a deeper poverty of spirit and stronger detachment in the Lord, the riches of the present moment, of grace, of the word that surrounds us with God´s presence, the riches of the kingdom of God, become real and present to us.
- VII. POVERTY IN FAMILY LIFE (87-94)
- John 17
Ephesians 6, 1-4
Ephesians 3, 14
87. Poverty in family life is letting God into the center of the family.
88. Poverty is the exercise of stewardship and parenting as it comes from the Lord and not fearing that exercise.
89. Mature poverty is the total surrender of the stewardship and parenting roles while continuing to exercise them.
90. Poverty is the continuing exercise of love and forgiveness in the family life
91. Poverty in family life is the realization, that, many times we do not have the ability or the right to speak to children and grandchildren. There may be times when we are called to speak or to discipline but there are other times when we must allow them to suffer or make mistakes that are quite visible to us and about which we can do nothing except praying and offer our life for them.
92. In the living out of a deeper poverty of spirit and stronger detachment in the Lord, the riches of the present moment, of grace, of the world that surrounds us with God's presence, the riches of the kingdom of God, become real and present to us.
93. Poverty is the surrender of the family over to God, the consecration of the family over to God, so that God can take possession of the family.
94. By my personal surrender of control and power over the family, I allow God to use me as a channel of grace to the family and to strengthen my own and each person's stewardship in the family.
- VIII. CHASTITY (95-103)
- Matthew 15, 19
Galatians 5, 16-26
1st Corinthians 3, 16
95. We are called to have a profound respect and reverence for each and every person we know, we minister to, and with whom we associate.
96. Jesus is the only Saviour and the only one who can completely preserve our personality. We are called to help people not to save them.
97. We are called to help people preserve their freedom not to opress them.
98. We are called to respect the freedom, space and boundaries of others.
99. Although we all need profound relationships and friendships, we ought to adore only God and not establish dependent relationships which are a subtle form of adoration between people which severely diminishes the legitimate freedom and personality of the other person.
100. Although we are called to exercise the responsibilities that the community gives us, we need to realize that we are not called to opress or limit the legitimate freedom of others in an attempt to control or allow others to control us.
101. We are called to respond to others and to try not to react because of our addictions or our anger and irritability.
102. We must acknowledge that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. To loose the reverence for others and establish relationships of sexual dependency that result in fornication, adultery or manipulation, would be a violation of the sacred freedom and sacred body of another.
103. Due to our reverence for the masculinity and femeninity of ourselves and others, and the affirmation of said masculinity and femeninity, we can help each other to develop a healthy and holy respect for our sexuality.
- IX. HUMILITY (104-120)
- Luke 14, 12-14
John 17, 7-10
Isaiah 53, 1-7
Mark 9, 34
104. As we experience our sinfulness and our fragility in our ordinary life, so we experience the depth of His mercy in our ordinary life.
105. We are always to be aware of the dangers of pride or spiritual pride, so we need to remind ourselves that we, who experience our sinfulness more deeply than anyone else's, are the persons that are most in need of His mercy.
106. We regain the deep sense of God's love for us not by being better than others but by being less than others (Mark 9:30). (Phil2)
107. Having admitted our deep need for mercy and love, we experience the deep personal love and mercy in our own hearts as individuals.
108. Not in the time of perfection and power but in the time of and the depth of our lowliness, the lowliness of Mary our Mother, we have been mercifully loved again and again in the depth of our being.
109. We have been brought to this lowliness, which is the gift of Our Lady, by the simple afflictions and the cross we have been asked to bear.
110. We desire to be constantly aware of the ever recurring dangers of spiritual pride, of the interior altar where we secretly venerate the idol of ourselves and give ourselves the primary veneration for the things that we do or are. In that we take away from ourselves the total gratitude and praise to God that can give us such great joy.
111. Though we need to have a deep love of ourselves in God and a proper acknowledgment of the things that we have done, we must realize, in the deepest humility, that, without God, we can be and do nothing.
112. To help the afflicted or those who bear the cross in an extraordinary way, we have experienced the burden of affliction and the bearing of the cross.
113. If God allows further afflictions and suffering, something we do not ask for, but receive, we know that these are being given as a power of intercession for the ministry and a way of understanding and having empathy for the sufferings of those who are sent to us.
114. To help those who are wounded we have been wounded ourselves.
115. We bear the wounds of Christ in our own body, so that those who are similarly wounded might realize that we are also wounded. In the sharing (but not projecting or burdening the other) of the wounds of Christ, we find the continuous process of mutual acceptance of the wounds of the broken body of Christ and eventual healing.
116. Though we are learning to have a definite competence in our profession of praying for people, who come to us for healing, we are not coming from a place of superiority but lowliness as brothers and sisters who have experienced the wounds of Christ in our body.
117. Though those who come to us should be confident that we have the tools of prayer and counsel and maturity to help them, we can never project to them a simple doctor-patient relationship. In that the client begins to think of himself or herself as the wounded, and we as the completely healed, a mutual illusion.
118. Client and Spiritual Director or prayer minister can be deluded by beginning to think that real healing is by some process of self perfection rather than by personal lowliness and forgiveness.
119. Only by being real about the continuous place of the Mercy of God in our own lives can we help the client to humbly accept the forgiveness and mercy of the Lord in theirs.
120. Having experienced the mercy of God in our own lives and having continued to experience it, we witness to that mercy in the lives of others.
- X. EUCHARIST (121-135)
- Matthew 26, 26-29
John 6, 25-58
121. It is a place and event where we can be touched and transformed in our body and spirit, an encounter where God and man intersect in the Body of Christ and in our own body, so that the process of transformation into Christ can fully take place in our body and in our spirit.
122. The Eucharist is an encounter where men and women can fully meet the Redeemer every day of their lives.
123. An encounter where the full responsibility taken by men and women for their own existence can be transformed by Jesus into the work and life of the Spirit.
124. An encounter where the brokenness of men and women in their body, soul and spirit in the Body of Christ, can meet the healing and unifying power of the Spirit.
125. A place where the poor can go, where the addicted, the oppressed, the broken hearted, the abused and the sinner can go to find deep reconciliation with God and with themselves as well as the grace and energy to seek reconciliation with others.
126. A place where those who have suffered injustice and rejection can go and find the strength to be healed and to seek the energy and wisdom to deal with that injustice or that rejection.
127. A place and an encounter where they can find meaning and understanding with regard to their own suffering and the suffering of those whom they love.
128. An encounter where we can come to recognize that we are the people of God, the body of Christ, and the one community, nurtured by the Spirit of God.
129. A place and an encounter where the brokenness of the body of the community can be healed by the broken and risen body of Jesus.
130. Where growth and purification of relationships can take place by the mystical action of Jesus' body and blood on the body and blood of the community. We enter into the Word of God in Jesus Christ, and thus enter into eternal life and the deep absorption of our humanity into the humanity of Jesus. In that assimilation, we become the person we truly are in the Holy Spirit.
131. Fortified by the deep nourishment of the body and blood of Jesus, we are sent forth by the Spirit to fulfill God's will and His mission for us in our daily lives.
132. Where the prayer and the asking for repentance for the sins of our ancestors can heal and redeem the sins of past generations and of our own past life, so that we can be freed of the vicissitudes of the past in the present and the future.
133. A place where we can pray in adoration and communion to Jesus and before the Father with the angels and the saints who have gone before us.
134. As the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, and the body and blood of Jesus are assimilated into our own body, so we are assimilated and transformed into the person of Jesus.
135. We are encouraged to go to the Eucharist daily or as often as possible
- XI. BLESSED SACRAMENT (136-147)
- Psalm 150
Psalm 63, 1-4
Matthew 11, 28-30
136. In the reserved and exposed Blessed Sacrament, we find the sure and certain sign of Christ's presence to His broken body, to the abused, the sorrowing, the depressed, the broken hearted, the handicapped and the mentally ill.
137. In the Blessed Sacrament we find a continuous and ever present oasis to all men and women so that those who have suffered injustice, rejection and unbearable hurt, can find a place of healing, transformation, and peace.
138. In contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament we find the place of inspiration and energy to encounter the difficulties of our life and find the way to grow continually in the Spirit.
139. In this continuous encounter face to face with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we find the deep and honest unveiling of the self before Christ, who as the Word of God, can slowly mirror to us the persons whom we really are.
140. For those in the desert and the great darkness of the passages of the spiritual life, where only naked faith is sufficient, the Blessed Sacrament is a place of reprieve and consolation, and a deep support to strengthen that gift of faith that has been stripped of just about everything else.
141. The Eternal Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is a deep reminder of God's presence in all of the events of our lives both positive and negative.
142. A place where deep communion between the Body of Jesus in the tabernacle and the body, mind and spirit of the one in adoration and prayer can take place.
143. A constant reminder of the deep humility and worship that is my ever present relationship to the Father.
144. A place of healing for our bodies and a place of relieve and consolation and understanding when we are not healed.
145. To be present as community before the Blessed Sacrament so that the relationships of this particular Body of Christ as well as the whole Body might be healed and grow.
146. To be present to the Blessed Sacrament is be in intercession for the broken people of the world, to pray for the salvation of Jesus Christ to come to the whole world, and for peace and Justice to enter the world.
147. To be present to the Blessed Sacrament is to experience the deep impetus of the call of the Spirit to respond to the needs of the people of God and to act to bring the presence of Jesus concretely into the lives of everyone, and, through that presence to bring peace and justice to the world.
- XII. OUR RELATIONSHIPS (148-155)
- John 20, 11-18
John 17, 16-23
John 15, 6-17
148. In allowing Jesus to be created as man, God entered into an ineffable and undying bond with the human community.
149. As man, Jesus, the Son of God, accepted the cross of living in the community of men and women, He, as a man, was made whole through His mission and the fullness of his relationships with each one of us and with all of us.
150. By becoming one with us, Jesus entered the cross of persecution of His own personal integrity in conflict with the demands of the community and of the family.
151. The full image of who Jesus is as man is contained in the Word of God as that Word proceeds from the Father. The realization of that image is found in the obedience of Jesus in entering into the fullness of His life, into the cross and resurrection of relationship to each one and all of us.
152. In the life of Jesus, He led but did not dominate, did not take away the freedom of another: He was the Messiah but did not take away the choice, the destiny or the free working out of their salvation. Even though He was our Savior, He did not rescue us from the cross we would bear and the free working out of our relationship to Him and to others. Nor did Jesus allow people to enter into a dependency with Him where they would let Him do all the work, face all the danger, accomplish all the mission.
153. He would call his followers to go out on their own to make a decision to follow Him, to recognize who He was, to evangelize, heal and drive out demons on their own, and, without His physical presence, to go through out the world to evangelize it.
154. He would break all the dependency bonds, whether they are of the family, or to the powers that be, either Roman or Pharisee.
155. Through His disappearance so that Mary Magdalene and others could not cling to Him, he broke the bonds of enmeshment and gave us bonds that would bring us life. We were to live in the Mystical Body of Christ and live in the bonds of freedom, the bonds of the Holy Spirit, from which we were to support, strengthen and energize one another to reach our individual completion and our individual and communal destiny.
- XIII. OUR ENTRANCE INTO COMMUNITY (156-161)
- 1st John 4, 7-21
1st John 3, 18
156. We enter community and a relationship to God to discover the avenue where, through deep obedience, we, like Jesus, can come to the realization of who we really are, and we, through the help of Jesus, can be stripped of the delusions and the lies of the person we are not.
157. The finding of who we really are, which is the salvation of our own freedom, is the continuing desire to make the right choices in profound obedience to the Will of God and a desire to live for the greater glory of God.
158. That profound obedience is a deep obedience to one another, to living with the faults and gifts of one another, of continuing to forgive, continuing to love, and, at times, continuing to endure.
159. The depth of obedience is the continuing desire to find the will of God in our lives.
160. That desire is met through a desire to find the will of God in community and to be obedient to those who are placed in authority.
161. In short, we want to live as Jesus lived.
- XIV. FULLY PRESENT (162-165)
- John 8,1-11
162. Jesus learned to be fully present to each individual as He encountered that individual.
163. As Jesus encountered each person and give the gift of himself to that person we, through Jesus will try to give the gift of presence and individual attention to each person.
164. Jesus tried to understand each person as they were in the Word of God. We try to understand each person through Him, the Word of God.
165. Though we are not Jesus, we can try to understand another person through the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
- XV. SOLITUDE (166-173)
- Matthew 6, 5-6
Matthew 4, 1-11
Matthew 14, 22-24
166. Jesus spent much time in prayer and solitude.
167. We ask Jesus for and find the gift of our own solitude and with His help overcome the difficulties of loneliness.
168. As we find the gift of our own solitude through Jesus, we deeply respect the solitude of another person.
169. Though we also need others in our life, we learn to confront our own loneliness with Jesus and not to project it on to others.
170. As we come to understand ourselves, we become aware of the needs that we are projecting towards others. With Jesus we come to understand those needs and become aware of those projections.
171. We come to understand, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the legitimate need s that we have, or that spring from being this particular human person, and separate them from the wants and desires that are illusory or deceptive and may lead to destructive behavior.
172. In the union of the Spirit in community, we can express those legitimate needs as we see them in and through Jesus.
173. To indulge our codependence means to run into our addictions for other people or things and to run from the gift of our own solitude.
- XVI. FREEDOM (174-183)
- Matthew 19, 16-31
Matthew 26, 69-75
John 21, 15-19
Luke 1, 26-38
174. Each person needs to enter in and claim their own freedom.
175. To be a mature person is to distinguish between the right use of freedom and the freedom that leads to license, to sin, or to injure and trample on the rights of another person and community.
176. To claim our freedom is to enter into the maturity of freely following Jesus, to lay down our lives for Him, to die to ourselves, and to enter into every good and wonderful place that He wishes to lead us to.
177. To enter into our freedom is to trust Jesus to lead us far from sin and anything that bring us into condemnation. Even those who are caught in addictions that lead to sin call with great hope and faith upon the mercy of Jesus who, in the Spirit, loves each one of us as His creations in the Father.
178. The gift of freedom is found in the total following of Jesus so that I may enter into His divine and filial love for the Father.
179. Jesus respected the persons and the personal freedom of those whom He has called, we wish to allow a person to make their own choices and not to take away the dignity of their personal freedom.
180. With each person Jesus entered into negotiation with the tension of the claims of the Father and His own Messianism and the claims of their personhood, their individual personality, and their personal freedom.
181. With each person, the person in authority in the community, negotiates with that person the claims of legitimate authority and their claims as a person.
182. To reach the fullness of freedom is not simply to choose or not to choose. It is to choose to be as totally obedient in mind, heart, and will with Jesus to the Father. As Jesus was obedient to the Father and to the authorities of his time even to death on the cross, so we are obedient to legitimate authority in the Society.
183. As individual persons in relationship to Jesus, we negotiate, with Him and through Him, the rights and differences of our personal claims with the rights and personal claims of another person.
- XVII. PURIFICATION (184-192)
- Luke 8, 4-8 12-15
1st Peter 1, 22
James 3, 9-12
184. As we enter into family or community, we enter into personal purification and the revelation of where we need to be purified.
185. In this purification in community, we recognize our own sins and faults, especially with regard to obedience, but we also recognize where we need to stand in justice and our own rights.
186. In the tension of personal relationships and through our relationship to the Word and to Jesus, we must not miss the opportunity, by simply focusing on the obvious faults of others, to enter into the purification of our spirit and the discovery of who we are in Christ.
187. We enter into that purification with great peace in the unconditional love and choice of Jesus for us.
188. In that way we avoid the dilemma of a rigid, judgmental and scrupulous conscience and can remain in the peace of the Lord as he brings us into the fullness of who we are by the quiet revelation and eventual healing of our sins, our vices, and our delusions about ourselves.
189. The fullness of our salvation involves the deep purification of our consciousness and our unconscious. To allow the Lord to do this within us is the key to moving our spirit into a stronger humility and a more total union with His Spirit.
190. As we allow God to change and transform us, we are slowly aware that He is changing us, in a way that we cannot fully see, into the particular image that we were created to be in the Word of God.
191. Again, purification involves a great deal of patience with ourselves. The revelation of our faults and vices should never allow us to lose sight of the infinite love of the Father in Jesus for each one of us, and a humble realization of who we are in Him and what he has been able to do through us.
192. Perhaps we could look upon our lives as a series of chapters in a book. As we grow from one chapter to another we ask the Spirit to show us how to live in that particular chapter, the gifts of that chapter and the purification of that particular chapter and how that chapter is different from others.
- XVIII. BOUNDARIES (193-204)
- Matthew 16, 23
Mark 8, 23
John 2, 12
Luke 2, 41-50
Luke 8, 19-21
193. In the life of Jesus we are aware that He set particular boundaries in every relationship.
194. At Cana He told His mother that His mission had not yet come. As He was waiting for His mothers and His brothers, He reminded the crowd that the bond between Him and them was one of doing the will of God, of a deep obedience to the Will of God that brought them into the bond of the Spirit.
195. He constantly reminded the Pharisees of the need for honesty and sincerity in relationships. He could not accept hypocrisy.
196. He reminded Peter, that his seeming good intentions to protect him would prevent Him from doing the will of God.
197. He was a person who had a mission and that was not to be compromised by people capturing His will and framing it according to their own will and desires.
198. Unity with Jesus and with one another occurs when an individual knows and discovers the personal boundaries that stem from their own creation in the Father and their own following of Jesus.
199. Boundaries stem from the understanding of the person that he or she have been created by God. It is a realization of his or her particular gift of personhood which cannot be violated.
200. Boundaries are necessary to keep a person from dominating another, oppressing another, or being dominated or captured in his or her freedom and integrity.
201. Boundaries are necessary to keep one person from rescuing another, or letting someone else continue to perform the free responsibilities to which that person is called.
202. Good boundaries enable one to escape from the persecution of final judgments that we place on one another. To know that I am a person in Jesus is to be able to come to Jesus to verify the truth and falsity of any statement. That prevents us from being the victim of another person who is assuming that God´s judgment is their own. That keeps us or other persons from acting like God or taking the place of God´s judgment.
203. Boundaries enable each person to enter into legitimate detachment from another person based upon the freedom and dignity of their personhood in Jesus. They enable us to look upon another person without entering into idolatry or putting them on a pedestal.
204. Boundaries enable a person to distinguish between a real and genuine bond of self giving friendship and a codependent and clinging bond.
- XIX. UNITY (205-225)
- Luke 9, 49-50
Matthew 12, 25
James 4, 1-3 10-12
James 5, 9
1st John 3, 11
205. Unity in the community is based on our common love, praise and thanksgiving that we give to God Our Father.
206. Unity in the community is based on our common desire to follow Jesus.
207. Unity in the community is based on the growing personhood of each human being in their own quest for a full and complete union with Jesus.
208. Unity in the community is based on our love for each person and the desire for them to reach the goal of their own personal destiny in the Spirit.
209. Unity in the community is the humble realization that we need the agape love, the unselfish love, the support and friendship of others to reach our own personal communion with God and our own destiny and purpose to fight for mercy and justice in our world.
210. Unity in the community is to realize that the agape love, the love of persistence, patience, and fidelity, in Christ, is the ground of our union.
211. Though there is a familial unity, a love of family that is necessary for the growth of human life, that unity must be first owned and then surrendered to the Lord.
212. The basis of unity is not to make an idol of the family but to finding our unity in the Spirit of God and our bond as rooted in the same Spirit.
213. Friendship is a necessary part of the human riches and the development of the community.
214. Friendship involves a deep respect for the freedom and autonomy of another person, and thus the desire not to encourage dependency, or to enter into dependency.
215. Friendship that excludes others from our love and community can prove divisive and disintegrating to community life.
216. Integrity in the community is the discovery of the legitimate ways in which we depend on one another and the respect that we owe to one anther by not entering into dependency.
217. Integrity is the respect for another person’s solitude and their ability to solve their own problems and to try not to rescue them from that integrity.
218. Integrity in community is to find the legitimate ways we can help other persons to find their real selves, and the ways in which we decline to rescue them and take away their freedom, individuality and power to grow.
219. To be in community with on another is to accept the cross of living and bearing with one another that is part of the unity.
220. The cross is the center of the life of the community. To try or rob the community of the cross is to rob it of its authenticity.
221. In the cross of the community life, while we try to eliminate the difficulties of codependence, or of the faults and sins of one another, we are still subject to their irritation as the community moves forward.
222. In the acceptance of the cross, the respect of the boundaries of personhood, and the slow elimination of our addictions and codependence, we begin to discover the deep bond in the Spirit that is between us as persons, that bind us in the Spirit to one another, and is eternally in the Body of Jesus and can never be broken.
223. Such a bond leads to a genuine love for one another, of the brothers and the sisters in the emerging experience of communion.
224. In this unity in community we experience the strength, solidity and security of the bond in the Spirit that frees us all to grow in the presence of the love of one another in and through Jesus.
- XX. CONSECRATION
- Mary we thank you for giving us your son, Jesus
We thank you
For being born
For living for us
For teach us
For healing us
For giving unconditional love to us
For die for us
And for resurrect
So we can resurrect too
In response to that:
I wish to give myself completely
to you, Lord Jesus Christ
consecrating my life,
my work and my relationships
to you, through Mary, my mother
and to live my life
In a constant pattern
of conversion to Your life
and to the love and service
of my family
and to all the people of God.