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

In Loving Memory

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This is a picture of Bishop Manley’s faithful companion for many years
He is quoted to say in his prayers,
“Lord Jesus, ask St. Francis to please watch over Miss Colleen and all pets that you have called home to you,
until you call us to unite again. For you brought us together and as you know Lord,
she and all pets are family”

Thy Holy Writ

Romans chapter 8, verses 24 – 28 (NKJV)
“Hope”

24) For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26) Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27) Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

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Hope, what a beautiful word. So optimistic in it’s pronunciation. And the fact that the Holy Spirit speaks on behalf of us, is a blessing indeed. To have hope is to live. But hope in the right things is what we should strive for. Hope in Jesus and hope in one’s self, to do the right things in our choices. The right thing that is pleasing and acceptable to God our Father.

Question is, where is your hope ? Is it in you ? Or is it with Christ ? Only you know if you are right with God. Are there things that you still need to work on ? Then work on them with do haste. For hope can be fleeting, yet hope in Christ “eternal”.

Have a blessed and wonderful day folks and be sure to put your hope in the Lord,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P.
Website: http://www.celticcrossministry.com
E-mail: info@celticcrossministry.com

Thy Holy Writ

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1st Thessalonians, chapter 5 verses 5 -10 (NKJV)

5) You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
7) For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
8) But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
9) For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10) who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

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An organization called the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism post this guideline on their public website and I quoted it here.

” If you are like many Americans, you drink alcohol at least occasionally. For many people, moderate drinking is probably safe. It may even have health benefits, including reducing your risk of certain heart problems. Moderate drinking is one drink a day for women or anyone over 65, and two drinks a day for men under 65.

Some people should not drink at all, including alcoholics, children, pregnant women, people on certain medicines and people with some medical conditions. If you have questions about whether it is safe for you to drink, speak with your healthcare provider.

Anything more than moderate drinking can be risky. Binge drinking – drinking five or more drinks at one time – can damage your health and increase your risk for accidents, injuries and assault. Years of heavy drinking can lead to liver disease, heart disease, cancer and pancreatitis. It can also cause problems at home, at work and with friends.”

There is more on their website to explore and it is a great place for factual information to get help if you or someone you know needs help with this very serious issue. You can find them at this website: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alcohol.htm.

However, here locally in downtown Lorain, Ohio our ministry supports an alcohol and drug abuse group program called the Celtic Cross Chapter of A. A. The group meets this evening and every Thursday evening at 8:00 pm (EST) in the Cafeteria at the Lake View Plaza High Rise Apartment Building, located at 310 West 7th Street and Reid Ave. It is classified as an open meeting, so anyone can come. It is run by Deacon Arlen Glispy Jr. better known as Deacon AJ. There is plenty of parking and refreshments available for those that attend. The Group Motto is: ” A community of individuals helping individuals in our community”. Worth noting here is that it is every type of addiction problem that they aid folks with. Not just alcohol. Family, friends or someone who cares, can get the support they need to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Even if that life is your own. So come and let a community of individuals help you in our community.

Have a blessed day folks…
Bp. Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P.

http://www.celticcrossministry.com

info@celticcrossministry.com

“Thy Holy Writ”

Jeremiah chapter 16, verse 16

16 “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

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Warriors, do you consider yourself to be truly and fully “Christian” ? Do you know what is expected of you that call yourself “Christian” ? Are you prepared to do the work of the Lord as it has never been done before ? Being Christian is not just a word, it is a life style. A life style that is good, decent, loving and kind to all in this world, not just your small piece of it. Although we all have to start someplace.

When I have talked to you about things more important to you than God, what is it do you think I am talking about ? Do you think my words to harsh or not harsh enough ? Do you regard my messages as “whatever” ? Do you think for a moment that I do not love and worry about you, your life, your families and the such ?

I guess every preacher in the world asks themselves these questions from time to time. It is our job as directed by God to help you realize the truth of his will for your life and those that you love and care about.

The Prophet Jeremiah is trying to do his best to relay the message of Chapter 16 to those who need to hear it the most. Those that are lost. So to speak. It is a warning to all who do not follow after the way of the Lord with all diligence and respect. The fishermen in this passage are the increased ministers of the word of God and the hunters are those that are truly righteous and they will make known the truth and force evil out of the darkness and into the light for all mankind to see and know.

As a community of the Christian faithful, we need to make known that we are fishers of men and hunters of righteousness and Godliness. We need to stand firm on the word of God, Christ His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. As well as the lives of those around us.

A very dear friend asked me to comment on this verse and at first I was reluctant but when you do as God wants everything falls into place and the message becomes clear. Clear at least to those that want to do His will in their lives. And there are many, many of you out here that do and for this I am pleased and so to is the Father. So please bring your questions concerning the scriptures to me. For I know that you are wanting to know the ways of our governance, our lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that sometimes it is best to read an entire chapter or two to understand His meanings and mostly pray. Pray before during and even after and ask the Father what it is He wants you to learn and may even do with the new-found understanding that He has given you. You just might be surprised of how He will use you to do His work, either as a fisher of men or maybe a hunter of the truth for His sake for all mankind.

Pray for those that need prayer like the lost throughout the world in places like North Korea, and the Middle East. I fear it is they that this scripture is in reference to. Them and all mankind that do not accept the Fathers teachings. Just remind folks if need be that Christ was not just a prophet like Jeremiah or any other, he “IS” the Son of MAN and GOD, for all mankind. Not just one group of believers that think they are right and all other people’s are infidels or the such.

Have a blessed day folks and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
God bless…

Sincerely your servant in the name of the Christ, Jesus

Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P.

http://www.celticcrossministry.com

One of Seven Holy Sacraments…

The Seven Sacraments
Honored and held in Reverence
by this ministry and our church affiliations of
The Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry, The Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, The Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and
The Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross

By Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., Th.D., M.R.Php., B.D.,    O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., S.O.BB.

The Sacrament of Baptism

The Sacrament of Penance or known as Penitents

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist also known as Communion

The Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Matrimony which is Marriage

The Sacrament of Holy Orders other wise known as Ordination

The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

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They are to be classified as an outward sign given and instituted by Christ as examples of giving grace. Jesus Christ is the sacrament. For he gave his life to save mankind. He and His gift to the world was an outward symbol of his love, grace, mercy, humility and humanity to the generations of mankind. It is fitting and proper that we continue to pass on through the generations these examples which are the foundation of all Christian Faith. It is Christ that intercedes with the giving of the sacraments which allows His grace to continually effluence mankind.

In the days of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles so to help them to govern over the flock as He did. He was and still is today the good shepherd and as a good shepherd watches over and still tends to His chosen through the means of the Holy Sacraments.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 17, verses 18, 20 & 21 is quoted as “ As the Father has sent me, even so I send you”. Christ is the head of all Christian faith and churches. This is reaffirmed through the scriptures of the book of Colossians, chapter 1, verse 18 which states that, Jesus is the head of his body the church. So that makes the church itself a sacrament, instituted by Christ to give grace to all Peoples.

These sacraments are the holy examples given to the body of His church so to aid one to lead a good life in this world and help save mankind by giving us all the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus put forth and instituted the sacraments as part of the Liturgical of early Christendom and are now tradition to be passed on for all future generations. We celebrate in the mysteries of Christ’ life. Through His sacrifice on the cross, in His dyeing and through His resurrection. The word Sacrament is derived from the Greek word for mystery and was translated in the Latin to be sacramentum, now in the English translation to be sacrament.

The following forgoing are exemplified in reference to Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 19, also chapter 3, verse 9 as well as in Colossians, chapter 1, verse 27. With the grace of salvation given to mankind by Christ’s Crucifixion are now formally expressed through the giving of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Communion, Penitent’s the Anointing of the Sick and Dyeing along with the granting of Ordination or as some call it, Holy Orders and Marriage. Keep in mind that the word Sacrament still means and is called the Mysteries of faith in tens of thousands of Christian Churches around the globe even today.

Many Christian Churches recognize these seven sacraments and hold steadfast on their inherent value or rather importance to what the early Christian leaders felt was to unify all followers of Christ’ and the Apostolic teachings. Think of it this way, if we were to break down the sacraments into say three distinct categories their inherent value can be understood in better relation as to why they are so important to all Christians. One, the initiation. The Initiations are the Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. Two, restorative or rather restore. The Restorative attributes are the sacraments of Penance as well as the Anointing of the Sick. I say restorative because both offer one healing and a renewal in life and even after life. That leaves us with two more and they are classified to some as inherent vocation. Which means that they are life altering in that they both unite two into one meaning to unify or join together unto the Holy Trinity. The are the vocation of Ordination / Holy Orders and Matrimony / Marriage.

This last one mentioned, Marriage is no less sacred as that of any other one of the six sacraments. It is for this reason and backed by the Holy Word of God, that marriage is and always will be, between a man and a woman. No other union is acceptable to the Holy Trinity and sacred values passed down to mankind through Christ, Himself. He made it what it is. Mankind has no right to perverse this sacred sacrament. No matter what man sanctions as rule in the land. God rules of the Church and the sanctity of these sacraments. Especially the sacrament of marriage.

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The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination are given but once. Once for they are sufficient as a seal upon one’s soul as affirmed in the following scriptures. 2nd Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 21 & 22, Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 30 and the book of Revelations offer us a firm relation to it as a permanent seal in chapter 7, verse 3. There by making each sacrament an individual link to an external showing of public and even privet ritual or rite such as in a rite of passage, which it is. The symbolization of water used in baptism becomes a physical sensation that is felt by the element itself. By purifying and or cleansing ones person of past iniquities. It offers a renewed spiritual enlightenment of being “born again” pure and without sin.

This is essential for all persons of any era. Meaning the Past, Present and even Future. Every act of any of the sacraments offers a special ecclesiastical understanding and acceptance on the individual going through the ritual. It therefore becomes, the key which unlocks the proverbial closed heart and mind of mankind and opens it to the deity known as the Heavenly Father. It is the very basis of a foundation which builds on faith, communication and trust between man and the Holy Trinity.

It is no longer that man is alone in this world, but rather that through these rituals, one can begin to grow and see the world for what it really is and with a newness that only the grace of God on that person can give and even experience. It becomes for that person a form of continued growth in spirit and enabling them to begin to finally transform and unlock and let free, the true heart and soul that is unique to a lasting relationship between man and God.

The word baptism from the Greek means to immerse, dip or plunge. If the individual is an infant or adult it is customary to anoint them with Holy Oil. The Holy Oil is called the oil of catechumens. And so to give you a little better understanding of this I refer to the reference of Wikipedia which states that, the “oil of catechumens is to help strengthen the person about to be baptized, and prepare them for the struggle (ascesis) of the Christian life”. And that it “is the ointment of those preparing for baptism. It wards off what is evil. It brings wisdom and strength.” It also is to be blessed by a Bishop during the Holy Week and given to each congregation by the minister or priest. It is primarily used during baptism, and any occasion which requires a sanctified blessing. Such as with the other sacraments.

Allow me to also note here for further clarification, on the tradition of the baptismal rite. The ritual is usually witnessed by the parents, godparents, or individual making the profession of faith. The importance of the parents being present is to offer them an opportunity to reaffirm not only themselves of their own baptism but rather to solidify that they promise to bring the child up in the Christian way of life and guiding them along the path of life aiding the child to grow spiritually and firmly grounded in the Christian doctrine of the Holy Word of God. Not mankind and its many denominations. Though there is a place for all Christian denominations and non-denominations as long as what they teach is the true Holy word of God and not conjecture of theology or philosophy.

The presence of the “God Parent is to affirm that if, something untimely were to happen to the parents, that there will be another member of the Christian family (ie; fellow brother or sister in Christ, be they blood or not) that is trusted and respected by the parents and the church to step in if necessary and continue to raise the child within the organization and instruction of the body of Christ.

The traditional ritual of the baptism consists of a duly appointed and ordained minister immersing the baby or individual in water or by pouring water on their head, while saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Then the baby or elder individual is anointed with the blessed chrism oil.

The sacrament of baptism is the basis of the whole Christian experience. The very foundation if you will. It is a requirement and completely necessary for the saving grace of God to take place in one’s life. I refer to the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 5, which conveys that the person is a new in Christianity and is but a child no matter what age one takes the sacrament and then becomes by doing so, a child of God. Belong to Him and His family, for eternity.

I have to make mention here a note as to how special the rite of baptism truly is. In order to come to this phase of commitment with your spiritual newness, you must first be sent to Christ and accept all that He is and then you have to be accepted by Him (Christ Jesus), to warrant the calling to be baptized. For no one can go to Jesus unless the Father sends them and no one can come unto the Father unless Christ send them. That alone shows how special any individual (infant or adult) is to the Holy Trinity.

Also, before someones says, well the infant didn’t have a choice to accept what baptism is or even means and that it is not right to force it upon them. Wrong ! God and Christ with the Holy Spirit touched the parents and Godparents as well as the Church leaders. They, meaning the Holy Trinity and those called upon by them, had them ( the parents and godparents) bring forth the child and  given the sacrament. Remember, No One, means NO ONE, comes unto them, God or Christ unless they themselves invite you (infant or not) and then they send their loving and graciously merciful, Holy Spirit upon all of them and cause them to act and carry through with the ritual and rite of baptism on behalf of the said infant or child.

Well, for now I will leave you with these thoughts and over time I will write about the other six sacraments in detail as the Holy Trinity touches my heart to do so. However, for now this is enough meat for you to digest (so to speak). Until next time, may the love of God be with you and the calling of Jesus Christ upon your life lead you straight to Heavens gate and may it be opened unto you upon your arrival. In Jesus’ Holy and Blessed Name. I pray for you. Amen

God bless you always, sincerely your servant in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., O.S.MM.
Founder of the Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry and the Evangelical Church of the Celtic Cross, Old Universal Church of the Celtic Cross and the Independent Catholic Church of the Celtic Cross
03/2013

“Now is your Opportunity”

Psalm: # 90, verse 13 & 14
1st Reading: Jeremiah, chapter 18, verses 1 – 11
2nd Reading: Matthew, chapter 4, verses 16 – 25
Gospel Reading: Luke, chapter 16, verses 19 – 26

Co Lecturers: Mother Superiour Linda Kreeger o.s.mm.
and Deacon Arlen Glispy Jr. o.s.a.
Celebrant: Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD., o.s.a., o.s.p.

Note: All readings are read from the New King James Version Holy Bible by Thomas Publishing
Music Selection comes from the Gathers, The Old Rugged Cross Album

The Legend of St. Valentine

Saint_Valentine_February_14thThe history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival in February
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Typical Valentine’s Day Greetings
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

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This story of St. Valentine is brought to you courtesy of the History Channel.
http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Happy Saint Valentines Day Everyone…

City Club Cleveland, Ohio – On the Vatican…

title=”City Club Cleveland, Ohio”>City Club Cleveland, Ohio

City Club of Cleveland Ohio

My personal comment and thought to this broadcast.

If you are a member if the “Catholic Church”, you need to listen to this. The good, the bad and even the ugly of what is at the very core of the Church today. And yet, though we the many are frustrated with the Vatican, we still very much love our Faith. There is a difference between the two. The Church is changing and so must the “Faithful”.

I have my own personal view and feels as to the Roman Catholic Church and by choice and by being lead by my heart, which by the way belongs to Jesus Christ. I have chosen to be an Independent Catholic / Universalism, which is Catholic. Yes I do operate two fold ministry and I take great pains to break down the barriers that hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit among the masses. We folks, you are the masses.

The love of Christ is not denominational. At least, not any more. If we do not begin to work together as a family of the Holy Trinity I have to say that billions of souls will be lost to Satan and his demons which oppose “Christianity” and the Church / God’s Church with all the vigor it can from in fighting to miss guided philosophies of the Gospels of Jesus Christ. The answer to it all is You! The masses, individuals that can see through and past the rose colored glasses that are distorting the love of the world and it’s hope for salvation. That is Our Lord and the worlds Savior, Jesus Christ.

So take a few moments and listen to this wonderful insider message to the goings on of the Holy City, one of the oldest religious institutions left in the world and which most every Christian faith that is in existence today owe their  understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ to. Weather they chose to believe it or not, it is the facts.

There is room for all peoples in the love of Christ Jesus, in this world, but not if we just stand back and let it “Christianity” fall to rune. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are reaching out for your help. Are you just going to sit back and ignore what is happening, or are you going to listen to your heart for once maybe, and know what God is wanting of you.  And be willing to do it at all cost?

It’s not hate, it’s not anger, it’s not frustration. It is however, unity! True Christian brotherhood as well as sisterhood. We can make a difference and for God’s sake, we must make a difference NOW!!!

Sincerely yours in the fellowship of our Lord Jesus,

Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley DD.

Just food for thought !!!

If it is the littler things in life that make it better, than what of the big things??? A little brotherly love can go a long way but, a lot of love can heal most everything.

Isn’t it wonderful to know how much the Holy Trinity loves you. You might even say the love that you receive is three times as much love as opposed to not knowing the love of Jesus Christ in your life. Just food for thought !!!

May you always have three times as much love around you all the days of your life,

Bishop Andrew R. M. Manley  DD., O.S.P., O.S.M.  Universal life Church of the Celtic Cross, An Independent Catholic Church and Non-Denominational Christian Church Ministry