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

Were here for You…

http://www.celticcrossministry.com/

Join today… How can we be all God wants us to be if we don’t take action? Be a Christian Warrior for Christ and Join the Christian Warrior Network TODAY… And be blessed for it… God is calling, are you going to answer His call? Now maybe you understand, were here for you!

Celtic Cross Ministry, on the WWW…

Yes folks  CelticCrossMinistry.com  does exist in the world wide web. It has taken several years to get to this point but were here now. And were here to stay. So go ahead and check us out.

It maybe a small presence on the web but it is a start. Call it humble beginnings if you would. We have grown into an international ministry thanks in part from folks just like you. So with you we can only continue to grow. The Holy Trinity has bless Celtic Cross Ministry and with that blessing we will continue to do His will in the world.

If God be for us, who can be against us. Satan and his demons and those that wish to follow them will have their work cut out for them. It is our calling to ready the watchman and prepare the Christian Warrior for battle. Battle everyday and every night around the world. There is to much hate in this world and not enough love. Love of Christ Jesus that is. Well that is going to change right here and right now.

Christ is calling out to you and He is waiting for your answer. You do have a choice, follow the Lord Jesus or follow the devil. It’s your call. It’s your life. It is your eternity. So make the call. Join us and help spread Christianity around the world and in and around you, or stay out of the way.

We are in the time that the Holy Bible states and that being the end of times. We all have our demons to contend with and it’s a lot easier to deal with them when your not fighting alone. Victory and vengeance is the Lords but helping to save souls is something only people can do. You and Christ that is, so pick up the whole armor of God and hold His righteousness in your hand and defend your love for Christ with all you can muster and be rewarded with eternal life in the presence of God the father for eternity.

So folks, follow the link and see what were up to in the name of Jesus Christ and the all’s of heaven. Come and join the ranks of His chosen and faithful, for with your support we can win the battle over evil. And create a place where peace and harmony can and will prevail for all times sake.

Celtic Cross Ministry want you to commit to being a true Christian and a genuine Christian Warrior for God. Now is your chance, now hear the call in your heart and answer that call. There’s plenty of room to grow and use your talents for the glory of God and all of the saints in heaven.

Click the click the link or copy and paste it into your browser and join the world of Christianity and lets give Him thanks and praise for the rest of our lives. Here in the present as well as after death. God loves you and so do we. Celtic Cross Ministry is talking on and meeting the goal that Christ has set forth for us and we will not look back but rather keep our eyes focused on Him. Now and forever, and ever.

Sincerely yours in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

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

http://www.celticcrossministry.com )

Remember, were here for you, today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. In other words, forever more. That sure sounds good. Good to know that your not alone in your love and support for Christ Jesus. Amen.

Just an UPDATE… NEW, CCTV…

Blessings to you today and every day. I just want to take a moment and give you an opportunity to understand what God wants of you. The Holy Bible is not a book of do not, but rather a book of does for your life, so that you will have more of it, abundantly. This ministry of the Universal Life Church of the Celtic Cross, only wants to help you to have a better quality of life. And also to show you a positive direction for your path through it.

In this past month we started an out reach program through the YouTube web site. We call it ” CCTV “, and no it is not closed circuit television, but rather Celtic Cross TV. In setting up this media program it is brought to you from the heart. No it is not a truly professional production. Rather it is me and all of my imperfectness being straight forward with you and trying to help you to look at your life through a different set of eyes, so to speak.

At this moment there are 22 different types of video productions for you to watch and listen to. There are several different themes that have been done so that you may find one more to your liking than another or even all to your liking. And yes maybe even none as well.

What is on this website is an experience that we hope will help you to grow and even encourage you to do more with your life, instead of less. For life is a gift and it should never be wasted.

Anyways, here is the link to the CCTV broadcasts, we hope you enjoy them and keep checking back to see what is new. ( http://www.youtube.com/1celticcrossministry )…

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION THAN PLEASE ASK. YOU CAN CONTACT ME HERE ON MY OPERA OR EMAIL ME AT,
http://www.2010cwn@gmail.com with your comment or concern. Outside of this short message of encouragement, I wish you a truly blessed day, everyday…

Sincerely yours in the service of Christ our Lord,
Bishop Andrew….

During trying times.

FOLKS, SOME OF YOU HAVE ASKED TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT MYSELF. SO HERE IS A TRUE STORY ABOUT MY LIFE THAT WAS NOT SO LONG AGO…JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BOX OF KLEENEX HANDY…

As the title of this piece states, I find it interesting that we each handle life’s problems in different ways, with no one way being better than another, but that choice is always the driving factor. Each one is as unique as the circumstances that brought us to the thought in the first place. As for me it is as if I were jumping from rock to rock in the middle of a fast moving river with rapids, trying to stay balanced and focused for the moment on the thought at hand.

While using this form of metaphor it at least to me serves to be the best way to describe certain events that come to our minds when we are in trying times. The symbolizing of a rock as a thought from our past experiences and or circumstances and then jumping from rock to another rock symbolizes how fast our minds can go from one subject to another, as we try to center ourselves with the thought or emotion at hand, balancing ourselves for the next step or leap of faith that will hopefully bring us, peace of mind and or a since of balance or even direction.

The thoughts maybe about friends or family members who have past away, they could be about a special pet that was in your life or even an event that was memorable and all that it may entail. It is because of these thoughts that they should stir up feelings, and emotions that become the focus of that memory. When thinking about such profound and memorable events in ones life, I have noticed that it usually always seems to deal with the emotional side of that thought, or rather that something has influenced the thought that now presents itself in the form of emotion. This by itself is just thought but when the thought is driven by emotion then it is this emotion that motivates action which can cause one to change direction or the path of ones life and give it clarity and focus and meaning or even purpose.

The one that crosses my mind and touches my heart this time was brought on by watching an episode of 7th Heaven, when Happy, the pet dog is in the veterinary hospital. This episode reminds me of Miss Colleen, my pet and companion. She was a beautiful dog of Irish wolfhound and Black Labrador decent. She was in many ways the most genital, loving, devoted, trusting companion anyone could have wanted, and I was lucky enough to be her companion as well. We made a good team, we were meant to be together at that point in our lives together. Everyone who ever met her felt the love and grace that she emanated. Even folks who did not care for dogs or where afraid of them, took a liking towards her, she truly was a very special animal and defiantly one of a kind; she literally was my best friend.

My daughter (Automa), and granddaughter (Truvy) getting a quick shower from Miss Colleen.

Anyhow, to let you folks know I was not and could not be with her in the final moments of her life and as for that I will always hold a bit of guilt in me for the rest of my days. But let me explain, at the time she was put to sleep I was in Florida, handing the final requests of my mothers estate do to her passing away just two weeks before. I was do to leave Florida the next morning after an arduous week and a half of running all over the state but then choosing to do something special for one of my nephews (Steven) and his girlfriend and soon to be wife (Chelsea). That was to take them to meet up with two of my nephews buddies that are in the U.S. Navy, and that they were only in port for a 24 hour furlough for the first time in over 6 months at sea. It was with great pleasure that I was able to help my nephew hook up for the day with his pals giving them a day out on the town rather than having to hang out on base. After all, they deserved it for protecting my family and our life style here at home besides I am a veteran of the US. Coast Guard and I could relate to their needing a day out. But even though we all were having a bit of fun letting off a little steam from the trying times in our own individual lives, the evening would be nothing more than memorable to each of us for the rest of our lives.

That one common memory would be and will always be, the passing of Miss Colleen, for we listened on a speaker phone as my friend (Sabrina), who just happens to be a veterinary assistant, gave the injection that would take her life. In the background we could hear my daughter (Automa) sobbing as she held on to Miss Colleen and as she tried to talk to her letting her know that she would be missed and loved, very much and then thanking Miss Colleen for being part of our family. While on the other hand I was thinking and feeling the whole gambit of emotion that most people would have felt and that was that as much as I wanted to see her one more time, to hold and hug her myself, to touch her face with my own hands and feel the love we had for each other which you would have seen in her eyes and with her demeanor, to let her know how much I loved her and would truly miss having her around and that I appreciated her loyalty and companionship to me. I realized that it just was not meant to be. We all could tell the very moment that Miss Colleen took her last breath as she passed way. I have to say that there was not a dry eye in the truck, for we all were in tears and were swept up with the emotion of what had just taken place.

Yes, I did have a choice and I thought hard about having my friend (Sabrina), try to keep her alive for at least another 48 hours but then reality set in and I thought of her, Miss Colleen, instead of myself. That choice was made do to the constant communications with (Sabrina and Automa) during this period. I was very knowledgeable about the pain and suffering that she was experiencing do to the Lyme disease transmitted from a tic bite she got while I took her for a walk on the battlefield just a few weeks prior to her illness. Then including the many trips back and forth to the animal hospital over the past two weeks, the countless days and nights she must have felt that I did not care about her because I was not there with her in her hour of need and suffering. All the personal care, and professional attention and the drugs and the blood transfusion that (Dr. Mark, Sabrina’s husband) gave her.The several times that my daughter and granddaughter were there to visit her while she was in her cage or placed in a small room so that they could show her some love and attention.

For the anguish I personally felt being separated from her during this time in her life just hoping and praying that she would somehow pull through and knowing that I could not take having another pet put down. See Miss Colleen was the first dog I had rescued since I had to put my Alaskan malamute to sleep some 19 years before. His name was Sire Teddy Bear or Sire for short. But no, I had to make the decision to go through with the euthanasia procedure the night before I would leave Florida knowing that within another 20 hours from that time, I would be home.

I felt that it was the most humane thing I could do and the greatest physical act of love that I could give to her, as well as being the least selfish thing for me. How I thought and how I felt deep inside of me did not matter. All I could think about was what I was going through in the present tense. Trying not to spend much time thinking about how things were going to change, but not really knowing how or really caring about how my life in so many ways would be affected by these events to this point. By being kept in the loop of communications and knowing all of these things somehow all the while thinking I could handle the decision to do what needed to be done, not giving a second thought as to how I would feel or handle her not be home when I got back.

For a few moments I could only feel the pain of suffering that I was going through, that being the passing of my mother in Florida, a nephew in Ohio, my father in Texas and now my companion and best friend in Pennsylvania, 4 deaths all very personal and all in just two weeks time. Within another two weeks I would have to face the reality of one more death and that would be a dear friend and com-padre also from Pennsylvania making the total of 5 deaths to deal with. My heart was broken; my feelings were in turmoil and my emotions almost out of control. It was only by the grace of God and because of the respect and love from those in the vehicle with me that I maintained my composure. For that I will always be thankful to my family and his friends as well as my family and friends in Pennsylvania.

Everything seems to be intertwined with each other it is through these circumstances as well as my past life experiences that will have such a profound influence on who I am and what I choose to do with my life. The emotions I feel are real and the loss of them hurts deeply. Somehow I know I’ll be OK because time truly does heal and because of adversity comes strength to ones character. I’m sure I’ll be a better person when everything settles down and I regain control of my life.

But for now all anyone can do under these circumstances is to have faith, hope and love because these are truly gifts form God. The ability to except adversity and face it head on and to make the best out of a bad situation is what a lot of life is all about. What separates us from other men and women in this world that decide to follow a path that leads to self destruction is our ability to except and embrace change and how we perceive the course that has now become our path.

Folks say that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle all I have to say to them is that God must think I have very broad shoulders, because I feel the weight of the world pressing down on me in my life and I thank him for the understanding and wisdom that I have about life and for the enlightenment he has shown me through adversity and the ability to persevere. I also know that he must have something pretty big planned special for me to accomplish with my life just because of all the things he has brought me through.

I guess the old saying is true and that is that he is the potter and we are the clay. I’m learning patients and dependability but I am also ready to regain and embrace my new life. This ability or strength or insight should give us all the courage to rely on ourselves and that would truly be a gift from God and with that being said, it truly would be our very own and very personal Independence Day.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and I hope you will explore your thoughts and memories with a new perception that brings you closer to where you want to be.Oh and one more thing, Valentines Day would be Miss Colleens birthday and yes she was a LOVE, puppy.

God Bless and Thanks Again,

Bishop Andrew