Like a good householder, we hope to bring from our “storeroom both the new and the old” (Matt 13:52). What follows is a word Fr. Bob received in prayer on Wednesday, September 20, 1978:
I am going to bring it all together and I have a word for you now, my ancient people.
I want you to get ready. I want you to get ready for what I am going to do.
As I put my people together, I want you to bring with you what I have done with you over twenty centuries. What I have taught you is for all.
You can learn from one another, my people. My ancient people, you can learn from the others.
You can learn from the Evangelicals and the famous world-wide ministries the importance of calling people to faith, how essential it is to make a personal faith decision, to accept Jesus, my Son, as Saviour and Lord, for so he is.
You can learn from the Pentecostals how to be open to all the gifts of my Holy Spirit, how to have great expectancy of me, of how I will intervene in your lives.
You can learn from the Anglicans how to be a body submitted to authority and yet comfortable with allowing all believers to have part in coming to decisions and in choosing leaders.
You can learn from the Orthodox in the profound beauty of their worship.
You can learn from the Baptists how vital it is for adults to make a real profession of faith.
You can learn from the Presbyterians the riches that lie in lay ministry, what it means to be a royal priesthood.
You can learn from the Lutherans how salvation is my free gift, that you don’t earn it.
And you can learn from these and from many others, much, much more. For they are my people too and I have not been idle in their midst.
But, my people of the ages, my ancient people, my Catholic people, know too that these others need to learn from you.
I have been with you over the centuries. Don’t back out on me now. Don’t water down what I have done with you. Share your riches.
Teach them what it is to be a Eucharistic people to be united and healed around the table of my Son.
Teach them what I have taught you about community, sharing life, about celibacy, about poverty.
Teach them about the role of Peter. My Son, Jesus, asked three times about his love and told him: “Feed my lambs”, “Feed my little sheep”, “Feed my sheep”. Show them how Peter’s ministry continues today.
Teach them of the union you have with those who have gone before of Mary, the chose mother of my Son. Do not be afraid to call her Queen of Heaven, for so I have made her and so she is.
Teach them what I have spoken to you down through the ages through Benedict, and Augustine, and Jerome, and Basil, and Catherine, and Thomas, and Theresa, and John, and Gregory, and Francis, and Dominic, and Ignatius. Show them that my people, all my people, stand on the shoulders of giants, giants that I myself have raised up.
Teach them how I speak to my people, that only in the body of my Son can my word discerned and authentically and surely known.
Come together, my people. Be together. Pray together. Work together. But come in fullness, with all that I have given you. Find out who you are, my people. Search out your roots.
But be guided by your shepherds for each step along the way. For I have chosen them well, with great care, and have invested them with wisdom and sensitivity and have given them and will continue to give them a prophetic word fo you.
Do not pass them by. For you will risk in doing so the further fracturing of the Body of my Son. It is broken and wounded now. You need to weep for that. You need to experience the pain of your divisions.
I did not divide the Body. But I will bring good out of the division. I am doing it now. I will continue to do it. I will perform a mighty work of healing in the Body of my Son on earth. I will forge a oneness the world will not be able to ignore. I will make of the Church that light on the mountain top, that light to all the world.
But to do this I need you. You are a part of my plan. Find out who you are and bring that with you as you walk and work with me in this faith adventure.