My Covenant with Love Crucified

On Mar. 12, 2016, [incidentally,  my husband’s birthday,] during our Community retreat, I entered into a long-desired covenant with the Holy Trinity and Love Crucified Community.  LC RETREAT 2016I have referred to our community several times in varied posts, and I have also incorporated reflections of our spirituality in posts, as well.  My call to covenant is a central aspect of this blog.  Let me explain.

After 15 years away from the Church, when I returned in November 2009, God blessed me with many gifts—among them the gift of tears.  I wept for weeks in repentance and gratitude that He had restored my lost faith.  Not only did God restore my faith, He poured graces and many insights upon me—more than I had enjoyed before I left the Church.  Isn’t this so typical of how our good God works—if only we return to Him!  I read voraciously many of the books which I had visited in my youth, especially my beloved ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE by Father Jean-Pierre deCaussade, S.J.  I also discovered many other sources of knowledge of my faith, including the new Catholic Catechism.  I wept my way through the Nicene Creed as presented there, relieved to believe with all my heart in all that the Catholic Church teaches.  I grew in my commitment as my prayer life deepened.

Before my husband died on Dec. 8, 2012, I had already discovered CONCHITA: A MOTHER’S SPIRITUAL DIARY by Marie-Michel Philipon and was drawn to the spirituality of the Cross.  When I discovered that my beloved husband, George, had lung cancer, having fallen utterly in love with the Divine Will, I had no inclination to consider marrying again, but decided that I would devote my life to God after George’s death and began to consider how I would do this.  I began to explore third orders online, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, etc.—so many beautiful communities.  Yet none of them resonated with me.  I suddenly realized that I needed to find out if Conchita—who had established an order of priests and sisters—might have a third order.  I therefore googled “Conchita” + “victim souls” and the Love Crucified website emerged with Father Jordi’s article: “Victim of Love.”

As I read about this community, I realized quickly that Love Crucified was the object of my loving search. On the website I read:  “Our vocation is summed up in His call: “Suffer all with Me, no longer two but one, in My sacrifice of love” (Cf. Eph 2:13-14).

I contacted Father Jordi Rivero, talked at length with him and with Lourdes (together, they founded the community).   I was drawn to the community in so many ways.  One little phrase which appeared on one of the pages of the website explained “domestic monastery”—here I found in the words of Father Ron Rolheiser, O.M.I.:

What is a monastery? A monastery is a place consecrated to God, a place to live in silence, to allow God to speak, and to bring us to intimate union Him; a place where time is not ours; a place where we live for others. Monasteries may be inhabited by celibates. There are also domestic monasteries where this is lived secretly, caring for noisy children and doing house chores. Yet this kind of “monk” finds, in the inner silence of the heart,  union with the interior martyrdom of Christ, which creates the necessary rhythm to find God in the daily routines.” 

I was amazed.  Though I had briefly even entertained the thought that I could enter a religious order, I realized that at my age, I would not likely be accepted; so I had determined to remain at home and make my home my monastery where I could live as a contemplative and victim soul.  These were my precise thoughts, in so many words.

Love Crucified Covenant Community accepted me as an aspirant, and I began “Accompaniment,” our term for intimate sharing and mentoring, with Maria, one of the anointed leaders of our community.  I read and reflected deeply on our manual,  SIMPLE PATH TO UNION WITH GOD, Formation Book for Christ’s Martyrs of Love, and discovered and either read or reread other classics of our community, including the words of Ven. Archbishop Luis Martinez, who was Conchita’s spiritual director for the last decade/s of her life.  My beloved Archbishop is probably best known for his book on the Holy Spirit, THE SANCTIFIER, the central work on the Holy Spirit in the Church, one which reflects more deeply on His role as the Sanctifier of souls.  Other works cherished by our community may be found here:  BOOKS RECOMMENDED.  [Note that many of these resources are in Spanish as well as English.]

As I grew in understanding, I committed to daily Mass, to an hour daily of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, to the daily Rosary, to the Liturgy of the Hours (at least one of the hours daily) and to other recommended practices, all in my domestic monastery!  I participated eagerly in our little Cenacle online each Thursday night.

I had already, in the fall of 2013, begun sharing with a small group of women at my church, St. Paul the Apostle, in my little  SOUL FOOD MINISTRY.  As this time of sharing phased out, I started my blog:  SOUL FOOD MINISTRIES – food for the journey in January 2015.  All of my original talks, called SOUL FOOD TALKS, I posted to the blog on their own pages, then began new posts incorporating the beautiful sharing with which the Holy Spirit gifted me during adoration, many based on the incredible readings and accompaniment of my community.

Although I wrote my autobiography [and my husband’s biography] in the fall of 2013, although it was published in July 2015 by Pelican Publishing company, although a movie is in development based on the book and I am a co-producer—nothing has deterred me from my Covenant with Love Crucified.

What I felt as I proclaimed my Covenant with God and community, witnessed by many community members, even 14 new aspirants who joined us from Colombia, and signed by me, Father Jordi, and Lourdes, was supreme joy and thanksgiving! I have come so far in Christ.  Years ago as a young girl I was an aspirant seeking entrance into the School Sisters of Notre Dame—yet even after nine years with them, four in high school, then a year as a postulant, a year as a novice, and three years professed, I left the convent, and eventually left the Church.  I felt that I had come full circle through grace, through the pure gift of God.

In the ceremony itself, after the LC cross transp smallCovenant Prayer, Lourdes placed our Love Crucified icon or cross around my neck—[shown here].

Then I received the symbolic chalice [which I had purchased for this purpose] which Father had consecrated and which had held the Precious Blood in the Mass—the chalice which represents the Mother of the Cross, the living chalice which I would become, filled with the blood, the tears, the Divine Mercy that I collect through the prayers, sacrifices, and union of my life with Christ, a chalice spilling over onto my territory of souls, all the precious souls who enter my life, especially all priests and seminarians.

When I came home with my chalice, I framed my Covenant prayer and hung it over the shelf where I placed the paten (which came with the chalice) and the chalice itself.  I wondered,  “What will I do with the paten?  It’s meant to hold the host—the Body of Christ. Transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ, I am the living host.  That’s why my LC cross has no corpus—I am meant to be the corpus.” Therefore, on the paten, I placed my LC cross.

Then I began to cut, one by one, petals from a silk rose, and to write on them one by one, “my territory of souls” and the specific names of groups or individuals whom I then placed in the chalice.

As part of my Morning Prayer, I stand before the chalice, the paten, and my Covenant and as I lift my cross, I kiss it, I put it on, saying:  “Jesus, my Love Crucified, transform me into Your living host to all the souls precious to Your Sacred Heart. “SDC10886

Then I lift my chalice, saying:  “Transform my heart into Your living chalice. For all my territory of souls, let me suffer all with You, no longer two but One, in Your sacrifice of love.”

[To read more about our beautiful emblematic cross, which our covenanted members wear, see the page on our website:  SYMBOLISM OF LOVE CRUCIFIED CROSS ]

 

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9 thoughts on “My Covenant with Love Crucified

  1. I have just found you. Your blog is a balm for my spirit. I cant wait to read it all. But so far I feel what I call “the ring of truth” when I read your words.
    Congratulations to you for making this consecration. God’s timing is so fun!

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  2. Kathy, I am so blessed by the strong faith of your commitment to follow God’s will and purpose for you; I see such a strong protection of spiritual hedges being placed around you in your obedience and fiat to God. I have for a long while placed my heart concerns and blessings in the chalice at Mass; it lightens my load as I share them with Jesus. It is my reminder that He is God; I don’t have to be.
    Kathy, I ask to be considered as one of your souls that could use your prayers. I am struggling at this time with my prayer life which seemed to start with a food addiction keeping me from fasting. I live by myself and it has become a source of consolation that has warred against my desire to please God in my every decision. Spiritual directors are hard to find in my area; the good ones too busy. My thirsting for God is ever before me but my peace and joy is not as it should be. Pray for me, dear Kathy, that I find my way to freedom and obedience in the Holy
    Spirit.

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    • Shirley, I think of you often–after all, you’re in my territory of souls! Prayer life is always the concern of a Prayer Warrior. Yes, I understand about the fasting. I have often compromised on fasting, giving up meat on Wed. and Fri., rather than doing the bread and water. I’ve tried, but so often failed. I have, this year, been able to cut off the cable box for TV, and have settled for a simple antenna. My programming is sharply curtailed–a good thing! Praying for you–you are in my chalice daily.

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      • Kathy, I an indebted to you and will repay you with my prayers for you. When I pray for Pope Francis and all his ordained, religious, seminarians, and deacons, I add those in ministry in my territory; Mark Mallett, Charlie Johnston, Dan Burke, Fr. John Bartunek, Anthony Lilles, Tony Mullen, Ralph Martin ministries, Scott Hahn, Matthew Kelly, and more. Sister Ann, Janet and Kathy make up the last ones in my daily prayers. I believe that God has placed these ministries in my territory of prayer support as well as truth I find in their ministries.
        Kathy, would you consider a bit of Spiritual Direction for me over the internet? I am very conscious of precious time and you well may be one who has very little. I again thank you for your loving response to my cry for help. I have indeed felt your prayers already.

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  3. Shirley, I was so moved by your comment and request. Yes, we have been in one another’s territory of souls for some time. God is so good to have enabled us to find one another. If there is anything I can do to assist you with spiritual direction, I WILL FIND THE TIME. You are always in my heart at Adoration and daily Mass. For a start, let me send you a short article which I found for another friend. It’s a summary and precis (very condensed form) of St. John of the Cross’s DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. God is working so powerfully with His little remnant, purifying us, pruning us to bear more fruit. The needs of the world of souls are so crucial–this word is so remarkable, based as it is on CRUX, cross. I love you, my sister.

    For your privacy, we can work with emails, if you like. To send you any articles and such, I will use email, since I have your address! I have sent the article in your email.

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  4. Praying for any priest who will give a Chalice which is meant for a Priest at the HOLY ALTAR and not for SECULARISM. SO sad how the DEVIL uses GODS chosen and confuses these poor souls. No secular person should lift up a chalice that is meant to be lifted up by Priest in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass.
    So wrong. Please us another SYMBOLISM… and the PATEN ?? OHG… please put it back in the church where it belongs. So sad to see how off track people have gotten. Praying for all of you.

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    • Faith, your comment saddens me. I don’t think you understand the intent. You accuse Love Crucified Covenant Community [a Catholic Covenant community which has several priests and seminarians who are members] of using the sacred chalice for a secular purpose, but that is not true. The chalice has been set apart exclusively for prayer in the most respectful way. Every baptized person is a member of the Body of Christ, and in virtue of our participation in the Eucharist, we become living chalices. Praying with the chalice is as a sign of that reality, without pretending to be priests or to be performing a consecration which can only be done by a priest. The reverent use of a chalice to pray for priests is not unusual.
      The bishops of the United States have the “Chalice Program.” Their official site states:
      ” The purpose of the Chalice Program is to encourage families to pray and promote vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life…. At the end of Mass, the family is called by the priest to come forward to receive the chalice bag and a blessing. (This bag contains a consecrated chalice in a wooden chest, a poster of the seminarians to hang up, the prayer card, and stationery to send notes of encouragement to the Seminarians, Priests and Religious). The family takes the chalice home and puts it in a place of honor.
      Each day for a week, during prayer time (morning, bedtime or at meals), the family prays for an increase and perseverance of vocations. They can also send a note of support to a Seminarian, Priest or Sister. The following Sunday the family returns the chalice bag for another family to take home.” Source: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/vocation-directors/chalice-program-info.cfm
      ***
      The chalice which I received when I made my consecration as a Covenanted member of Love Crucified is used in such a way. It occupies a place of honor in my home and is used only for prayer. In our covenant prayer I offered myself as a victim of love in union with The Victim–Christ Himself, and prayed that He might transform me into His living chalice in order to receive His precious Blood, Tears, and Mercy in order to spill them out to souls. So please do not see this beautiful practice as any kind of desecration.

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