C.C.R.Ministry P.S.A. 06-29-13

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YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUEST IS NEEDED NOW…

Warriors, I have an ( immediate prayer request ) that just came to me from one of our Reverend Evangelists, Rev. David Reitzes . His niece, Ms Rebecca Bird is being admitted to the hospital for a case of sever dehydration. He states it is around 97 + degrees in Texas today. Also pray for this young lady that she remains sober and free of drugs, for she has been clean now for a year put is struggling with issues of the heart and life in general. And pray for her that she finds our Savior through all of her trials and temptations for she is not saved and stuck in this mortal world without His divine and loving Grace on her.

Thank you in advance for your support. please press the like button to this post if you will actively lift this young lady up to the Lord for healing and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Saving blood. So as to wash over her with the love of His true salvation.

Sincerely yours in service to all Gods children,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD. O.S.A., O.S.P. (4 photos)

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Bishop Andrew Manley PSALM # 32, verses 1 – 5… 1 A Psalm of David. A Contemplation. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
7 hours ago · Like

Bishop Andrew Manley Pray also folks the words found in the book of Romans chapter 10, verses 9 – 13… 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Amen… I lift up to you Oh Lord Miss Rebecca Bird that she may know you and call upon you in this hour of desperate need for your loving grace and mercy… Amen.
7 hours ago · Like

Toni Van Waveren in agreement with you that this young woman will meet her Savior today….and be healed in the mighty Name of Jesus!
6 hours ago · Edited · Like

Bishop Andrew Manley First things first, Thank you Ms. Waveren, God is mighty and He has not and will not forsake her. I do have an update folks, Rebecca, is still on life support and still critical but they have been able to make her stable. Stable enough that they will either transport her to another hospital by ambulance if possible, but most likely life flight her instead to a trauma unit. So please keep her and her family in prayer. She just had a child 4 months ago, and a baby needs her mother… Thanks folks, Your prayers do make a difference…
about an hour ago · Like

Bishop Andrew Manley Warriors, another update from Texas on Ms. Rebecca and the situation has made a turn for the worst. She is at another hospital and is in a trauma unit but her heart beat is racing and the doctors and nurses are having a hard time getting it under control. If they can not get her heart rate down, she very well could pass away yet this evening. If she makes it through the night she will be admitted to the ICU then and another team of cardiac specialists will take over. Folks this is not done. I can say that she has not accepted the Lord in a coherent way as of yet, but I do know that she was baptized when she was younger. But folks, you know as well as I do that this is a critical situation and it should be a wake up call for everyone as to how important ones faith is in times like this. So please pray with all of us, for her as well as her family. They are staying by her side as much as they can. There are believers with her but, this is even taking it’s toll on them. For there are others with them that to, have not excepted Jesus. So please, please keep Ms. Rebecca and her entire family in your prayers. They need our help. And most of all they need your intersessions on this matter… God bless you all who pray for her and those around her… Sincerely, Bishop Andrew

NEW UPDATE 06/28/13 on Ms. Rebecca Bird’s condition…

An afternoon update on Ms. Rebecca’s condition. Well there is good news and some not so good news. The Good News is the the Doctors have gotten her blood pressure under control and at the last message I received, she was having an MRI done. So now on to the not so good news of her condition. She is still in the ICU and the doctors have figured out what is causing the problem with her condition and that is, that she has a major staff infection that is attacking several major organs, from her lungs to her heart, to also include her brain. So folks Ms. Rebecca is far from being out of danger at this time, but I have to say that without you prayers and thoughts to the Heavenly Father on her behalf, I and those close to her didn’t think she would make it through the night. Remember she is still in critical status and that the medical staff that is treating her as well as her family are hope on one had that she will recover, but that a lot of systems in her body are fighting but hope can be fleeting in cases like this. So please keep the medical staff, her family and her in your devotions to the father, for it sounds as if Satan and God are fighting over her and it is through the combined power of prayer from everyone that may be the deciding factor on her well being… So keep praying and you will be blessed for it. For it is an act of love that you pray for Ms. Rebecca and her family… And we know that there is nothing greater than an act of unselfish love even through pray on someones behalf… Thank you and keep up the prayers, God is answering. Amen… Sincerely, Bishop Andrew

NEW UPDATE 06/29/13 on Ms. Rebecca Bird’s condition today…

GM warriors, I want to give you a brief update on Ms. Rebecca’s condition. As of last evening, she is still on the critical list. Rev. David advised me that there are times where they think she is responding to the treatment and then issues keep flaring up. They will be doing a more in depth MRI on her brain today to try and see how much damage the staff infection has done to her. They have been running a lot of different tests on her and that most of those results should be in sometime today. She is still on life support ventilation and she still needs everyone’s prayers. So please folks, even with all of the pre-holiday travel and celebration starting this weekend, I ask you to continue your prayer on her behalf and know that the family is very grateful for your dedication to it. So again thank you for your prayers and support for this young woman and I know you are truly a blessing to all concerned… Have a blessed day everyone. I’ll continue to pass on the news as I receive it… Bp. Andrew

Just for the Ladies…

Weather you are a Non-Denominational Christian Woman or an Independent Catholic Woman, I would like to  Introduce  to you our ministries, Mother Superiors.

Mother Superior
Linda Ann Kreeger O.S.MM.
Director of the Sisterhood of the Holy Order of Saint Mary Magdalene

Mother Superior Linda Ann Kreeger O.S.MM. of the Order of Saint Mary Magdalene of our Non-Denominational Christian Ministry the New Horizons Church of the Celtic Cross & Director of the Sisterhood associated with this part of our ministry… And yes folks we are very aware that we are the ONLY non-denominational ministry that has a sisterhood of nuns. However, Mother Superior made some very strong points as to why we should have our own order in the Non-Denominational Church and so we have it.

Also meet,
Mother Superior Lady Sheila Tracey Sherwood O.S.B. of the Order of Saint Brigid of Ireland of our Independent Catholic Ministry the Traditional Old Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross & Director of the Sisterhood associated with that part of the ministry… And here to ladies, we believe we are the only Independent Catholic Church Ministry that has an order of nun’s as well. And I must say that the dedication shown by these women is second to “none”. ( lol, a little play on words)…

Mother Superior
Lady Sheila Tracey Sherwood O.S.B.
Director of the Sisterhood to the Holy Order of Saint Brigid of Ireland

So, please keep both Mother Superiors in your prayers as they embark on a good will mission to seek other Christian Women who wish to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church around the world. Bringing them to fellowship and service to Him where ever the Lord takes them and and to those He puts in their paths to join the Holy Sisters of the Convent of Divine Faith, Hope, Charity, as well as the Convent of Charity and Prayer…

On behalf of both Mothers, I personally wish to thank you in advance for your remembering these very devout Women of God, for and in their love and service to the Heavenly Father and all mankind.

Sincerely yours in service to Christ Jesus the King,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P.
Celtic Cross Ministry and the Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry

For More information on the Sisters of Cenobite and their respective Holy Orders,

please follow the link below and see for your self what they are all about in Service to Christ the King.

http://www.celticcrossministry.com/sisterhood_of_cenobite.html )

A message from our Mother Superior Sherwood.

The Friendship of Christ-Part 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   It is not good for man to be alone. — GEN. ii: 18.

IT seems inconceivable at first sight that a relationship, which in any real manner can be called a friendship, should be possible between Christ and the soul. Adoration, dependence, obedience, service, and even imitation — all these things are imaginable; but until we remember that Jesus Christ took a human soul like our own — a soul liable to joy and to sorrow, open to the assaults of passion and temptation, a soul that actually did experience heaviness as well as ecstasy — the pains of obscurity as well as the joys of clear vision — until this becomes to us, from a dogmatic fact apprehended by faith, a vital fact perceived by experience, a full realization of His friendship is out of the question.

For just as in the case of ordinary persons the plane of real friendship lies in the communion of the two souls, so it is between Christ and a man. His Soul is the point of contact between His Godhead and our humanity. We receive His Body with our lips; we prostrate our whole being before His Divinity; but we embrace His Soul with ours.

I. Human friendships usually take their rise in some small external detail. We catch a phrase, we hear an inflection of a voice, we notice the look of the eyes, or a movement in walking; and the tiny experience seems to us like an initiation into a new world. We take the little event as a symbol of a universe that lies behind; we think we have detected a soul exactly suited to our own, a temperament which either from its resemblance to our own, or from a harmonious dissimilarity, is precisely fitted to be our companion. Then the process of friendship begins; we exhibit our own characteristics; we examine his: in point after point we find what we expected to find, and we verify our guesses; and he too, no less, follows the same method, until that point is reached (as it is reached in so many cases, though not, thank God! in all), either in a crisis, or after a trying period, when we discover either that we have been mistaken from the beginning, or that we have deceived the other, or that the process has run its course; the summer is come and gone, and that there are no more fruits to gather on either side.

Now the Divine Friendship — the consciousness, that is to say, that Christ desires our love and intimacy, and offers His own in return — usually begins in the same manner. It may be at the reception of some sacrament, such as we have received a thousand times before; or it may be as we kneel before the Crib at Christmas, or follow our Lord along the Way of the Cross. We have done these things or performed those ceremonies dutifully and lovingly again and again; yet on this sudden day a new experience comes to us. We understand, for example, for the first time that the Holy Child is stretching His arms from the straw, not merely to embrace the world — that would be little enough! — but to embrace our own soul in particular. We understand as we watch Jesus, bloodstained and weary, rising from His third fall, that He is asking our own very self in particular to help Him with His burden. The glance of the Divine Eyes meets our own; there passes from Him to us an emotion or a message that we had never before associated with our own relations with Him. The tiny event has happened! He has knocked at our door, and we have opened; He has called and we have answered. Henceforth, we think, He is ours and we are His. Here, at last, we tell ourselves, is the Friend for whom we have been looking so long: here is the Soul that perfectly understands our own; the one Personality which we can safely allow to dominate our own. Jesus Christ has leapt forward two thousand years, and is standing by our side; He has come down from the painting on the wall; He has risen from the straw in the manger — My Beloved is mine and I am His. . .

II. The Friendship has begun then. Now begins its process.

The essence of a perfect friendship is that each friend reveals himself utterly to the other, flings aside his reserves, and shows himself for what he truly is.

The first step therefore in the Divine Friendship is the revelation by Jesus Christ of Himself. Up to this point in our spiritual life, however conscientious or dutiful that life may have been, there has been a predominant element of unreality. It is true that we have obeyed, that we have striven to avoid sin, that we have received grace, forfeited it and recovered it, that we have acquired merit or lost it, that we have tried to do our duty, endeavoured to aspire and to love. All this is real, before God. But it has not been real to ourselves. We have said prayers? Yes. But we have scarcely prayed. We have meditated — set the points before us, reflected, resolved and concluded; but the watch has been laid open before us to mark our progress, lest we should meditate too long. But after this new and marvellous experience, all is changed. Jesus Christ begins to exhibit to us not merely the perfections of His past, but the glories of His presence. He begins to live before our eyes; He tears from Himself the conventions with which our imaginations have clothed Him; He lives, moves, speaks, acts, turns this way and that before our eyes. He begins to reveal secret after secret hidden in His own Humanity. We have known facts about Him all our life; we have repeated the Catholic creed; we have assimilated all that theology can tell us. Now, however, we pass from knowledge about Him, to knowledge of Him. We begin to understand that Eternal Life begins in this present, for it is to “know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”{1} Our God is becoming our Friend.

On the other side He demands from us what He Himself offers. If He strips Himself before our eyes, He claims that we should do the same. As our God He knows every fibre of the being which He has made; as our Saviour He knows every instant in the past in which we have swerved from His obedience: but, as our Friend, He waits for us to tell Him.

It is tolerably true to say that the difference between our behaviour respectively to an acquaintance and to a friend, is that in the first case we seek to conceal ourselves, to present an agreeable or a convenient image of our own character, to use language as a disguise, to use conversation as we might use counters; and in the second case that we put aside conventions and makeshifts, and seek to express ourselves as we are, and not as we would have our friend to think us to be.

This then is required of us in the Divine Friendship. Up to now our Lord has been content with very little: He has accepted a tithe of our money, an hour of our time, a few thoughts and a few emotions, paid over to Him in religious intercourse and worship. He has accepted those things instead of ourselves. Henceforth He demands that all such conventions should cease; that we should be entirely open and honest with Him, that we should display ourselves as we really are — that we should lay aside, in a word, all those comparatively harmless make-believes and courtesies, and be utterly real. And it is probably true to say that in practically every instance where a soul believes herself disillusioned or disappointed with the Divine Friendship, it is not that she has actually betrayed her Lord or outraged Him or failed to rise to His demands in other matters; but that she has never truly treated Him as a friend at all; she has not been courageous enough to comply with that absolutely necessary condition of all true friendship, namely, a complete and sincere straightforwardness with Him. It is far less injurious to friendship to say outright, “I cannot do this thing that is asked of me, because I am a coward,” than to find excellent reasons for not doing it.

III. Roughly speaking, then, this is the course which the Divine Friendship must take. We must consider later in detail the various events and incidents that characterize it. For it is an immense consolation to remember that there is not one such incident that has not been experienced by other souls before us. The Way of Divine Love has been trodden and retrodden already a thousand times. And it is useful, too, to reflect, before going further, that since this Friendship is one between two human souls, it will follow in a great degree the regular lines of all other friendships.

There are moments in it of bewildering bliss, at communion or in prayer — moments when it appears (as indeed it is) to be the one supreme experience of life; moments when the whole being is shaken and transfused with love, when the Sacred Heart is no longer merely an object for adoration, but a pulsating thing that beats against our own; when the Bridegroom’s Arms are about us, and His kiss on our lips. . . .

There are periods too of tranquillity and steady warmth, of an affection at once strong and reasonable, of an esteem and an admiration satisfying to the will and the intellect, as well as to the sensitive or emotional parts of our nature.

And there are periods, too — months or years — of misery and dryness: times at which it seems as if we actually needed patience with our Divine Friend; cases in which He appears to treat us with coldness or disdain. There will actually be moments in which it needs all the loyalty we have not to cast Him off as fickle and deceptive. There will be misunderstandings, darknesses, obscurities.

Yet, as time passes, and as we emerge through these crises one by one, we come more and more to verify that conviction with which we first embraced our Friend. For this is indeed the one Friendship in which final disappointment is impossible; and He the one Friend who cannot fail. This is the one Friendship for whose sake we cannot humiliate ourselves too much, cannot expose ourselves too much, cannot give too intimate confidences or offer too great sacrifices. It is in the cause of this one Friend only and of His Friendship that the words of one of His intimates are completely justified in which he tells us that for His sake it is good to “count all things to be but loss” — “and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ.”III
The Purgative Way
Wash me yet more from my iniquity. — PSALM 1: 4.

THE initial stage of the Friendship formed with Jesus Christ is usually one of extraordinary happiness. For the soul has found for the first time a companion whose sympathy is perfect and whose Presence is continuous. It is not, necessarily, that the soul consciously attends every instant to this new intimate, so much as that she is never wholly unconscious of him. As she goes about her ordinary business, paying to each detail of it as much attention as ever, the fact that He is present within her is never entirely forgotten: He is there as is the sunlight or the air, illuminating, freshening and inspiring all that she experiences. From time to time she turns to Him with a word or two; at times He speaks gently to her. She views all that she sees from His standpoint, or rather from her standpoint in Him; lovely things are more lovely because of His loveliness; painful things are less distressing because of His consolation. Nothing is indifferent, because He is present. Even when she sleeps, her heart wakes to him.

Yet this is only the initial stage of the process; and it is sweet largely because it is new. Certainly she has experienced a tremendous fact, yet so far she has but just entered upon it. There outstretches before her a road that ends only in the Beatific Vision; but there are countless stages to be passed before that end is attained.

For the Friendship, as so formed, is not an end in itself. Christ’s desire is indeed to consummate it as soon as may be; yet it cannot be consummated by His mere desire. The soul herself must be educated, must be purified and cleansed so perfectly as to be united with Him by nothing except His grace. She must be first purged and then illuminated, first stripped of herself and then adorned with His favours, before she is fit for her final union. These two stages are named by spiritual writers, the Way of Purgation and the Way of Illumination, respectively: and our subject now is the Way of Purgation.

I. At first, as has been said, the soul takes extraordinary pleasure in all those external things which, it appears to her, are sanctified by Christ’s Presence, and more especially by those which are most directly connected with His grace. For example, a soul that has just formed this Friendship — that has, perhaps, either just entered the Catholic Church by conversion, or has, for the first time, consciously and deliberately awakened to the glories of Catholicism, or even to some imperfect form of Christianity, as that system through which Christ has approached her — finds an overwhelming joy in even the most exterior details of that system. The human organization of the Church, her methods, her forms of worship, her music and her art — all these things seem to the soul as wholly heavenly and divine.

And, extremely often, the first sign that the Way of purgation has been really entered, lies in a consciousness that there is beginning for her an experience which the world calls Disillusionment. It may come in a dozen different ways.

She may, for example, be brought face to face with some catastrophe in external matters. She may meet with an unworthy priest, a disunited congregation, some scandal in Christian life, in exactly that sphere where Christ seemed to her evidently supreme. She had thought that the Church must be perfect, because it was the Church of Christ, or the priesthood stainless because it was after the Order of Melchisedech; and she finds to her dismay that there is a human side even to those things that are most associated with Divinity on earth. Or it comes to her, perhaps, in forms of worship. The novelty begins to wear off, and the sweetness of familiarity has not yet had time to form; and she finds that those very things which had seemed to her to be the most directly connected with her new Friend are in themselves external, temporary and transitory. Her love for Christ was so great as to have gilded over all those exterior matters which He and she had in common; now the gilding begins to wear thin, and she sees them to be but earthly after all. And, the more acute her imaginative love at the beginning, the more acute her disappointment now.

This then is usually the first stage of Purgation; she becomes disillusioned with human things, and finds that however Christian they may be, they are not, after all, Christ.

Immediately the first danger presents itself; for there is no cleansing process which has not within it a certain destructive power; and if she is, after all, but a superficial kind of soul, she will lose her Friendship with Christ (such as it was), together with those little gifts and enticements of His with which He wooed and pleased her. There are wandering souls in the world who have failed under this test; who have mistaken human romance for an internal love, who have turned back again from Christ so soon as He has put off His ornaments. But if she be stronger than this, she will have learned her first lesson — that Divinity is not in these earthly things, that the love of Christ is a deeper thing than the mere presents He makes to His new friends.

II. The next stage of Purgation lies in what may be called, in a sense, the Disillusionment with Divine things. The earthly side has failed her, or rather has fallen off from the reality; now it begins to seem to her as if the Divine side failed her too.

A brilliant phrase of Faber well describes one element in this Disillusionment — the “monotony of Piety.” There comes a time sooner or later when not only do the external things of religion — music, art, liturgy — or the external things of earthly life — the companionship of friends, conversation, business relations — things which at the beginning of the Divine Friendship seemed radiant with Christ’s love — begin to wear thin; but the very heart and essence of them begin to fail also. For example, the actual exercise of prayer becomes wearisome; the thrill of meditation, so exquisite at first, when every meditation was a looking into the eyes of Jesus, begins to cease its vibrations. The sacraments, which, she has been informed, work ex opere operato, — (confer solid grace, that is to say, apart from the fervour of the soul’s own action) — become wearisome and monotonous, and, so far as she can see, do not fulfil their own promises. The very things that were intended as helps, seem to become additional burdens.

Or she sets her heart, let us say, on some grace or favour, some positive virtue which she knows it must be her Friend’s will to confer upon her; she prays, she agonizes, she strives, she pleads — and there is no voice nor any that answers. Her temptations are what they have ever been; her human nature, she perceives, after all is unchanged. She had thought that her newly formed friendship with Christ altered once and for all her old self, together with her relations with him; and, behold! she is the same as ever. Christ has cheated her, it almost seems, with promises He cannot or will not fulfil. Even in those very matters in which she trusted Him most, those very provinces in which He must obviously be supreme, it seems that, after all, He is no more to her than He had been before she knew Him so intimately.

Now this stage is an infinitely more dangerous one than the preceding; for while it is comparatively easy to distinguish between Christ and, let us say, ecclesiastical music, it is not so easy to distinguish between Christ and grace — or rather between Christ and our own imaginative conceptions of what grace should be and do.

There is first the danger of gradually losing hold on religion altogether, during a long lapse of discouragement; of turning with bitter reproaches upon the silent Friend who will not answer. “I trnsted You; I believed in You; I thought I had found my Lover at last. And now You too, like all the rest, have failed me.” A soul such as this passes often, in a burst of resentment and disappointment, either to some other religion — some modern fad that promises quick and verifiable returns in spiritual things — or to that same state in which she had been before she ever knew Christ. (Only, it must be remembered, a soul that has once known Christ can never be quite as one that has not known Him.) Or there remains one further state more outrageous and unnatural than any — the state of a cynical and “disillusioned” Christian. “Yes, I too,” she tells some ardent soul, “I too was once as you are. I too, in my youthful enthusiasm, once thought I had found the secret. . . . But you will become practical, some day, too. You will understand, too, that romance is not truth. You will become ordinary and workaday like myself. . . . Yes, it is all very mysterious. Perhaps, after all, experience is the only truth worth having.”

Yet, if all goes well; if the soul is yet strong enough still to cleave to what seems now a mere memory; if she is confident that an initiation so bewilderingly beautiful as was hers when the Friendship of Christ first came to her, cannot, in the long run, lead to barrenness and cynicism and desolation; if she can but cry in her sincerity that it is better to kneel eternally at the grave of the buried Jesus than to go back and mix again in the ways of the world; then she learns at least one lesson when Jesus rises again (as He always does) — that she cannot hold Him in the old way, because He is “not yet ascended to His Father,” and that, in one word, the object of religion is that the soul should serve God, not that God should serve the soul.

III. There follows, however, a third stage before the Way of Purgation is wholly passed. The soul has learned that external things are not Christ; that internal things are not Christ. She has become “disillusioned,” first with the frame of the picture, and next with the picture itself, before she has reached the original. She now has to learn the last lesson of all, and become disillusioned with herself.

Up to now she has always retained a belief, however faint and humble, that there was something in herself, and of herself, that attracted Christ towards her. She has been at least tempted to think that Christ had failed her; now she has to learn that it is she who, all along, in spite of her childlike love, has been failing Christ; and this is at once the real essence and object of Purgation. She has been stripped of all her coverings, of her ornaments and her clothes; now she has to be stripped of herself, that she may be the kind of disciple that He wishes.

She begins then in this third stage to learn her own ignorance and her own sin, and to learn, too, that which ought to have been wholly incompatible with her ignorance and her sin — her amazing self-centredness and complacency. Up to now she has thought to possess Christ, to hold Him as a lover and a friend, to grasp Him and to keep Him. Her previous mistakes came from this very thing; now she has to learn that not only must she relinquish all that is not Christ, but she must relinquish Christ — leave, that is to say, her energetic hold on Him, and be content, instead, to be altogether held and supported by Him. So long as she has a shred of self left she will seek to make the friendship mutual, to give, at least, a fraction of what she receives. Now she faces the fact that Christ must do all, that she can do nothing without Him, that she has no power at all except what He gives her. What has been wrong with her up to now, she begins to see, is not so much that she has done or not done this or that, that she has grasped at this or that . . . but simply this, that she has been herself all along, that she has sought to possess, not to be possessed . . . that she has been herself, and that that self has been hateful because it has not been altogether lost in Christ. She has been endeavouring to cure the symptoms of her disease, but she has not touched the disease with one finger. She sees for the first time that there is no good in herself apart from Christ; that He must be all, and she nothing.

Now if a soul has come so far as this, it is extremely rare that sheer pride should be her ruin. The very knowledge of herself that she has gained is an effectual cure of any further real complacency; for she has seen plainly, at any rate for the time being, how utterly worthless she is. Yet there are other dangers that face her, and of these one at least may be pride under the very subtle disguise of extravagant humility. “Since I am so worthless,” she may be tempted to say, “I had better never again attempt those high ifights and those aspirations after friendship with my God. Let me give up, once and for all, my dreams of perfection, and my hopes of actual union with my Lord. I must sink back again to the common level, content if I can keep myself just tolerable in His sight. I must take my place again in the ordinary paths, and no longer seek an intimacy with Christ of which I am evidently unworthy.”

Or her self-knowledge may take the form of despair; and it is a burden which before now has broken down even the mental faculties themselves. “I have forfeited,” cries a soul such as this — a soul which has lost the excuse of pride, but yet clings to its substance — “I have forfeited the Friendship of Christ once and for all. It is impossible that I who have tasted of the heaveniy gift should be renewed again unto repentance. He chose me, and I failed Him. He loved me, and I have loved myself only. Therefore let me go far off from His Presence. . . . Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”{1}

And yet, if the soul only knew it, now is the very moment to which all the preceding stages have led. Now is the very instant in which the beloved soul, having learnt her last lesson of the Purgative Way, is fit to “cast herself into the sea”{2} to come to Jesus. And this she will do, if she has learnt her lesson well, and is conscious that it is exactly because she is nothing in herself, and because she knows it, that Christ can be her all. No longer can pride, whether whole or wounded, keep her from Him, for her pride at last is not wounded, but dead. . . .

The way of the spiritual path is strewn with the wrecks of souls that might have been friends of Christ. This one faltered, because Christ put off his ornaments; this one because Christ did not allow her to think that His graces were Himself; a third because wounded pride still writhed, and bade her be true to her own shame rather than to His glory. All these stages and processes are known; every spiritual writer that has ever lived has treated of them over and over again from this standpoint or from that. But the end and lesson of them all is the same — that Christ purges His friends of all that is not of Him; that He leaves them nothing of themselves, in order that He may be wholly theirs; for no soul can learn the strength and the love of God, until she has cast her whole weight upon Him.

In our Lords unity, reverence and service,
Mother Superior Lady Sheila Tracey Sherwood. O.S.B., O.S.S.
Traditional Old Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
Director of the Sisterhood Order of St. Brigid of Ireland
http://www.celticcrossministry.com

A message from our Mother Superior Sherwood

The Friendship of Christ-Part 1
It is not good for man to be alone. — GEN. ii: 18.

THE emotion of friendship is amongst the most mighty and the most mysterious of human instincts. Materialistic philosophers delight in tracing even the most exalted emotions — art, religion, romance — to purely carnal sources; to the instincts of the propagation or sustentation of physical life; and yet in this single experience at any rate — when we class together, as we can, all those varied relationships between men and men, women and women, as well as between men and women, under the common title of friendship — materialistic philosophy wholly breaks down. It is not a manifestation of sex, for David can cry to Jonathan “Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women”; it is not a sympathy arising from common interests, for the sage and the fool can form a friendship at least as strong as any between two sages or two fools; it is not a relationship based on the exchange of ideas, for the deepest friendships thrive better in silence than in speech. “No man is truly my friend,” says Maeterlinck, “until we have each learned to be silent in one another’s company.”

And this mysterious thing is as mighty as it is mysterious. It is bound to rise, so far as it is true to the laws of its own development, to a pitch of passion far beyond that of ordinary relations between the sexes. Since it is independent of those physical elements necessary to a love between husband and wife, it can rise mysteriously higher in certain respects, than the plane which those elements sustain. It seeks to win nothing, to produce nothing — but to sacrifice all. Even where the supernatural motive is apparently absent, it can reflect on the natural plane, even more clearly than does sacramental wedded love, the characteristics of divine charity. On its own plane, it also “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things … seeketh not her own … is not puffed up.”{1} It is the salt of perfect matrimony, but it can exist without sex. It takes its place with those other supreme departments of human experience — art, chivalry and even religion — and it is not the least noble of the company.

On the other hand, there is hardly any experience more subject to disillusionment. It deifies beasts, and is disappointed to find them human after all. When my friend fails me at a crisis or when I fail my friend, there is hardly any bitterness in life so bitter. And, again; while friendship itself has an air of eternity about it, seeming to transcend all natural limits, there is hardly any emotion so utterly at the mercy of time. We form friendships, and grow out of them. It might almost be said that we cannot retain the faculty of friendship unless we are continually making new friends: just as, in religion, in proportion as we form inadequate images and ideas of the divine which for the time we adore, and presently change for others, we progress in the knowledge of the True God. I cannot retain true Childhood unless I am continually putting away childish things.

Here then is one of the more princely passions which, while feeding upon earthly things are continuously dissatisfied with them; which, themselves white-hot, are never consumed — one of the passions that make history, and therefore look always to the future and not to the past — a passion which, perhaps above all others, since in its instance it is impossible to resolve it into earthly elements, points to eternity only for the place of its satisfaction, and to the Divine Love for the answering of its human needs. There is but one intelligible explanation then for the desires which it generates yet never fulfils; there is but one supreme friendship to which all human friendships point; one Ideal Friend in whom we find perfect and complete that for which we look in type and shadow in the faces of our human lovers.

I. It is at once the privilege and the burden of Catholics that they know so much of Jesus Christ. It is their privilege, since an intelligent knowledge of the Person and the attributes and the achievements of Incarnate God is an infinitely greater wisdom than all the rest of the sciences put together. To have a knowledge of the Creator is incalculably a more noble thing than to have a knowledge of His Creation. Yet it is a burden as well; for the splendour of this knowledge may be so great as to blind us to the value of its details. The blaze of the Divinity to him who sees it may be so bright as to bewilder him with regard to the humanity. The unity of the wood vanishes in the perfection of the trees.

Catholics then, above all others, are prone — through their very knowledge of the mysteries of faith, through their very apprehension of Jesus Christ as their God, their High Priest, their Victim, their Prophet and their King — to forget that His delights are to be with the sons of men more than to rule the Seraphim, that, while His Majesty held Him on the throne of His Father, His Love brought Him down on pilgrimage that He might transform His servants into His friends. For example, devout souls often complain of their loneliness on earth. They pray, they frequent the sacraments, they do their utmost to fulfil the Christian precepts; and, when all is done, they find themselves solitary. There could scarcely be a more evident proof of their failure to understand one at least of the great motives of the Incarnation. They adore Christ as God, they feed on Him in Communion, cleanse themselves in His precious Blood, look to the time when they shall see Him as their Judge; yet of that intimate knowledge of and companionship with Him in which the Divine Friendship consists, they have experienced little or nothing. They long, they say, for one who can stand by their side and upon their own level, who can not merely remove suffering, but can himself suffer with them, one to whom they can express in silence the thoughts which no speech can utter; and they seem not to understand that this is the very post which Jesus Christ Himself desires to win, that the supreme longing of His Sacred Heart is that He should be admitted, not merely to the throne of the heart or to the tribunal of conscience, but to that inner secret chamber of the soul where a man is most himself, and therefore most utterly alone.

See how full are the Gospels of this desire of Jesus Christ! There were indeed splendid moments when the God within the Humanity blazed out in glory — moments when the very garments that He wore burned radiant in His Divinity: there were moments of Divine energy when blind eyes opened through creative to created light, when ears deaf to earthly noises heard the Divine Voice, when the dead burst their graves to look on Him who had first given and then restored their life. And there were august and terrible moments when God went apart with God into the wilderness or the garden, when God cried through the lips of desolated humanity, “Why hast Thou forsaken Me?” But for the most part it is of His Humanity that the Gospels teli us; a Humanity that cried to Its kind — a Humanity not only tempted but also, as it were, specialized in ali points like as we are. “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus.”{2} “Jesus, looking upon him, loved him”{3} him it seems with an emotion distinguished from that of the Divine Love that loves all things that It has made; loved him for the ideal which he in particular might yet accomplish, more than for the fact that he merely existed as did others of his kind — loved him as I love my own friend, and as he loves me.

It is these moments, probably, above all others, that have endeared Jesus Christ to humanity — moments in which He displayed Himself as truly one of us. It is when He is “lifted up” — not in the glory of triumphant Divinity, but in the shame of beaten Humanity, that He draws us to Himself. We read of His works of power and are conscious of awe and adoration: but when we read how He sat weary at the well-side while His friends went for food; how in the Garden, He turned in agonized reproach to those from whom He had hoped for consolation — “What? Could you not watch one hour with Me?”{4} — He turned once more and for the last time used the sacred name to him who had forfeited it for ever — “Friend, whereto art thou come?”{5} — we are conscious of that which is even dearer to Him than all the adoration of all the angels in glory — tenderness and love and compassion — emotions to which friendship alone has a right. Or again; — Jesus Christ speaks to us more than once in the Scripture, not merely in hint and implication, but in deliberate statement, of this desire of His to be our friend. He sketches for us a little picture of the lonely house at nightfall, of Himself who stands and knocks upon the door and of the intimate little meal He expects. “And if any man will open — (any man!) — I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me.”{6} Or again, he tells those whose hearts are sick at the bereavement that comes upon them so swiftly, “I will not now call you servants … ; but I have called you friends.”{7} Or again He promises His continual presence, in spite of appearances, to those who have learned His desires. “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst.”{8} … “Behold, I am with you all days.”{9} And, “as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me.”{10}

If then there is anything clear in the Gospels it is this — that Jesus Christ first and foremost desires our friendship. It is His reproach to the world, not that the Saviour came to the lost, and that the lost ran from Him to lose themselves more deeply, not that the Creator came to the Creature and that the Creature rejected Him; but that the Friend “came unto His own, and that His own received Him not.”{11}

Now the consciousness of this friendship of Jesus Christ is the very secret of the Saints. Ordinary men can live ordinary lives, with little or no open defiance of God, from a hundred second-rate motives. We keep the commandments that we may enter into life; we avoid sin that we may escape hell; we fight against worldliness that we may keep the respect of the world. But no man can advance three paces on the road of perfection unless Jesus Christ walks beside him. It is this, then, that gives distinction to the way of the Saint — and that gives him his apparent grotesqueness, too — (for what is more grotesque in the eyes of the unimaginative world than the ecstasy of the lover?) Common-sense never yet drove a man mad; it is common-sense that is thought to characterize sanity; and common-sense, therefore, has never scaled mountains, much less has it cast them into the sea. But it is the maddening joy of the conscious companionship of Jesus Christ that has produced the lovers, and therefore the giants, of history. It is the developing friendship of Jesus Christ and the passion that has inspired those lives, which the world in its duller moods calls unnatural, and the Church, in all her moods, supernatural. “This priest,” cried St. Teresa, in one of her more confidential moments with her Lord, “this priest is a very proper person to be made a friend of ours.”

II. Now it must be remembered that while this friendship between Christ and the soul is, from one point of view, perfectly comparable to friendship between man and man, from another point of view it is incomparable. Certainly it is a friendship between His Soul and ours; but that Soul of His is united to Divinity. A single individualistic friendship with Him therefore does not exhaust His capacities. He is Man, but He is not merely A Man: He is The Son, rather than A Son of man. He is the Eternal Word by whom all things were made and are sustained… .

He approaches us therefore along countless avenues, although it is the same Figure that advances down each. It is not enough to know Him interiorly only: He must be known (if His relation with us is to be that which He desires) in all those activities and manifestations in which He displays Himself. One who knows Him therefore solely as an Interior Companion and Guide, however dear and adorable, but does not know Him in the Blessed Sacrament — one whose heart burns as he walks with Jesus in the way, but whose eyes are held that he knows Him not in the breaking of Bread, knows but one perfection out of ten thousand. And again, he who calls Him Friend in Communion, but whose devotion is so narrow and restricted that he does not recognize Him in that Mystical Body in which He dwells and speaks on earth — one, in fact, who is a dévot, an individualist, and does not therefore understand that corporate Religion which is the very essence of Catholicism; or, again, who knows Him in all these ways, yet does not know Him in His Vicar, or in His Priest, or in His Mother — or, again, who knows Him in all these ways — (who is, in popular language, an “admirable Catholic”) — but who does not recognize the right of the sinner to ask for mercy, or the beggar for alms, in His name: or again, who recognizes Him under sensational circumstances, but not under dreary ones — who gives lavishly to the first beggar who pleads in Christ’s Name in the street, but fails to find Him in the unappealing dullard — those, in short, who recognize Christ in one or two or three or more aspects, but not in all — (not, at least, in all those of which Christ Himself has explicitly spoken) — can never rise to that height of intimacy and knowledge of that Ideal Friend which He Himself desires, and has declared to be within our power to attain.

Let us then consider the Friendship of Christ under some of these aspects. Truly we cannot live without Him, for He is the Life. It is impossible to come to the Father except by Him who is the Way. It is useless to toil in pursuit of truth, unless we first possess It. Even the most sacred experiences of life are barren unless His Friendship sanctifies them. The holiest love is obscure except it burns in His shadow. The purest affection — that affection that unites my dearest friend to myself — is a counterfeit and an usurper unless I love my friend in Christ — unless He, the Ideal and Absolute Friend, is the personal bond that unites us.

In our Lords unity, reverence and service,
Mother Superior Lady Sheila Tracey Sherwood. O.S.B., O.S.S.
Traditional Old Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
Director of the Sisterhood Order of St. Brigid of Ireland
http://www.celticcrossministry.com

P.S.A…Official Notice…Be it here by KNOWN to all…

Attention: Ladies and Gentlemen, Boy’s and Girls, Christian Warriors, one and all of Gods loving, an God fearing brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, June 15th, 2013, this ministry and I personally were put on official notice to cease and desist with the using of the Universal Life Church name in all affiliations, from our former Bishop, Brother Michael J. Cauley of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters in Carebelle, Florida.

He stated to me that he alone owns all rights to the name of the Universal Life Church and though we have not been associated with Brother Michael since December of 2012, he has given me little choice but to comply. Though I have not spoken with any other U.L.C. Organization at the time of this message, I feel that with Brother Micheal’s past track record of suing other major U.L.C. Affiliations who are much larger and longer established in all forms of ministry, Christian and not. That I am officially breaking all ties with all U.L.C., organizations world wide. Forthwith.

It saddens my heart to see a fellow Christian ministry threaten and strong arm his authority and power over, now smaller Christian Churches like us. It leaves me little choice. We have been providing services to many around the world, our nation and herein the community of Lorain, Ohio.

Without going in to detail or specifics of his and my conversation, I ask only that in the Love and Grace that is the Heavenly Father, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, that you pray for Brother Michael as well as all of his ministers, clergy and missions around the country and the world by asking Jesus to bless him and the entire U.L.C. Companies with nothing more that well wishes and good health for the task at hand for the ministry of Jesus Christ.

However, at every end of a journey there are new paths, and so you all know that we are blessed by God and not mankind, in the calling that is upon myself and all of us, we will continue to spread the Holy Word of God to all who wish to come and be sanctified with this ministry. Under a new banner and affiliation that was being set up with us as a new communion and affiliation, weeks ago.

Late into the hour last evening God placed a light of His hope and blessing upon us. I like to think of it as Gods Saving Grace has shown solidarity and unity in the face of utter destruction. Strong words, I know, but from where I sit in communion with the our Lord, His Peace is our blessing.

You may have noticed starting a few weeks ago our recognition of a Christian organization called the New Horizons Church, Traditional Old Catholic Church across the big pond as we say, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. As of last evening, after praying and speaking with a quorum of our Ministerial Council Board, an olive branch of brother and sisterhood was offered and we excepted graciously and with loving arms stretchered towards the Heavens giving praise to the Lord for His faithfulness to our mission here with you and others around the world.

Knowing full well God is with us, so who can be against us. I have to say honestly, no one can tear apart what God joins together. When all we do and have ever done was to enlighten you and glorify Him, who called me and others to minister to his flock of lost and mislead children.

So as of this message, our Non-Denominational Ministry as well as our Independent Catholic Church Ministry will remain forever in the hands and loving protection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as with our brothers and sisters of the New Horizons Church, Traditional Old Catholic Church in the United Kingdom and around the world.

So expect changes, and know that these charges are necessary and with most anything new, there will be bumps along the way but nothing we can’t together through the love of Christ and Prayer overcome and forgive.

So starting right now, officially we are now the,

New Horizons Church of the Celtic Cross on the Non-Denominational Christian side of the ministry.

As well as the,

Traditional Old Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross on the Independent Catholic ministry side.

There will be growing pains and stumbles along the way and we hope you will embrace this new direction for this ministry and know that it is in loving hands and hearts lead by God and His called to minister and lead forever more.

Until my next up date, may the Lord we all love and worship keep you and increase your faith so that you to, will remain on the righteous path He and only He has sent you.

Sincerely your fellow servant to the Savior Jesus Christ, now and forever, and still your Bishop in His service.
Bishop Andrew Robert Moses Manley O.S.A., O.S.P.
The Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry and
Celtic Cross Ministry

http://www.celticcrossministry.com