14. Episcopal Conferences constitute a concrete application of the collegial spirit. Basing itself on the prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council, the Code of Canon Law gives a precise description: "The Conference of Bishops, a permanent institution, is a grouping of Bishops of a given country or territory whereby, according to the norm of law, they jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of their territory in view of promoting that greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate which are fittingly adapted to the circumstances of the time and place".(61)
15. The Council clearly highlighted the need in our day for harmonizing the strengths deriving from the interchange of prudence and experience within the Episcopal Conference, since “Bishops are frequently unable to fulfill their office suitably and fruitfully unless they work more harmoniously and closely every day with other Bishops”.(62) It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of the issues which require such cooperation but it escapes no one that issues which currently call for the joint action of Bishops include the promotion and safeguarding of faith and morals, the translation of liturgical books, the promotion and formation of priestly vocations, the preparation of catechetical aids, the promotion and safeguarding of Catholic universities and other educational centres, the ecumenical task, relations with civil authorities, the defence of human life, of peace, and of human rights, also in order to ensure their protection in civil legislation, the promotion of social justice, the use of the means of social communication, etc.
16. Episcopal Conferences are, as a rule, national, that is, they bring together the Bishops of one country only,(63) since the links of culture, tradition and common history, as well as the interconnection of social relations among citizens of the same nation require more constant collaboration among the members of the episcopate of that territory than the ecclesial circumstances of another territorial entity might require. Nevertheless, canonical legislation makes provision for an Episcopal Conference to "be erected for a smaller or larger territory so that it includes either the Bishops of some particular churches constituted in a given territory or those presiding over particular churches belonging to different countries".(64) It follows that there can be Episcopal Conferences of varying territorial extension or of a super-national extension. The judgement on the circumstances relative to persons or things which suggest a greater or lesser extension of the territory of a Conference is reserved to the Holy See. In fact, "after hearing the Bishops involved, it pertains to the supreme Church authority alone to erect, suppress or change the Conferences of Bishops".(65)
17. Since the purpose of the Conferences of Bishops is to provide for the common good of the particular Churches of a territory through the collaboration of the sacred pastors to whose care they are entrusted, every individual Conference is to include all the diocesan Bishops of the territory and those who in law are equivalent to them, as well as coadjutor Bishops and the other titular Bishops who exercise a special task entrusted to them by the Holy See or by the Episcopal Conference itself.(66) In the plenary meetings of the Episcopal Conference, the deliberative vote belongs to diocesan Bishops and to those who are equivalent to them in law, as well as to coadjutor Bishops; and this by reason of the law itself. The statutes of the Conference cannot provide otherwise.(67) The President and Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference must be chosen only from among the members who are diocesan Bishops.(68) As regards auxiliary Bishops and other titular Bishops who are members of the Episcopal Conference, the statues of the Conference should determine whether their vote is deliberative or consultative.(69) In this respect, the proportion between diocesan Bishops and auxiliary and other titular Bishops should be taken into account, in order that a possible majority of the latter may not condition the pastoral government of the diocesan Bishops. However, it is appropriate that the statutes of Episcopal Conferences allow for the presence of Bishops emeriti, and that they have a consultative vote. Particular care should be taken to enable them to take part in some study Commissions, when these deal with issues in which a Bishop emeritus is particularly competent. Given the nature of the Episcopal Conference, a member's participation in the Conference cannot be delegated to someone else.
18. Every Episcopal Conference has its own statutes, which it frames itself. These must however receive the recognitio of the Apostolic See. Among other things these are "to provide for the holding of plenary meetings of the Conference as well as for the establishment of a permanent council, of a general secretariat of the Conference, and other offices and commissions which in the judgement of the Conference will help it fulfil its aims more effectively".(70) Such aims, however, require that an excessively bureaucratic development of offices and commissions operating between plenary sessions be avoided. The essential fact must be kept in mind that the Episcopal Conferences with their commissions and offices exist to be of help to the Bishops and not to substitute for them.
19. The authority of the Episcopal Conference and its field of action are in strict relation to the authority and action of the diocesan Bishop and the Bishops equivalent to them in law. Bishops "preside in the place of God over the flock whose shepherds they are, as teachers of doctrine, priests of sacred worship and ministers of government. (...) By divine institution, Bishops have succeeded to the Apostles as Shepherds of the Church",(71) and they "govern the particular churches entrusted to them as the vicars and ambassadors of Christ, by their counsel, exhortations and example, but also by their authority and sacred power (...). This power, which they personally exercise in Christ's name is proper, ordinary and immediate".(72) Its exercise is regulated by the supreme authority of the Church, and this is the necessary consequence of the relation between the universal Church and the particular Church, since the latter exists only as a portion of the People of God "in which the one catholic Church is truly present and operative".(73) In fact, "the primacy of the Bishop of Rome and the episcopal College are proper elements of the universal Church that are not derived from the particularity of the churches, but are nevertheless interior to each particular Church".(74) As part of such regulation, the exercise of the sacred power of the Bishop "can be circumscribed by certain limits, for the advantage of the Church or of the faithful".(75) This provision is found explicitly in the Code of Canon Law where we read: "A diocesan Bishop in the diocese committed to him possesses all the ordinary, proper and immediate power which is required for the exercise of his pastoral office except for those cases which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme authority of the Church or to some other ecclesiastical authority".(76)
20. In the Episcopal Conference the Bishops jointly exercise the episcopal ministry for the good of the faithful of the territory of the Conference; but, for that exercise to be legitimate and binding on the individual Bishops, there is needed the intervention of the supreme authority of the Church which, through universal law or particular mandates, entrusts determined questions to the deliberation of the Episcopal Conference. Bishops, whether individually or united in Conference, cannot autonomously limit their own sacred power in favour of the Episcopal Conference, and even less can they do so in favour of one of its parts, whether the permanent council or a commission or the president. This logic is quite explicit in the canonical norm concerning the exercise of the legislative power of the Bishops assembled in the Episcopal Conference: "The Conference of Bishops can issue general decrees only in those cases in which the common law prescribes it, or a special mandate of the Apostolic See, given either motu proprio or at the request of the Conference, determines it".(77) In other cases "the competence of individual diocesan Bishops remains intact; and neither the Conference nor its president may act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent".(78)
What comes to surface is that if the human hearts of the world would allow themselves to be transformed into the Divine Heart, if the Divine Heart would be permitted to inflame all human hearts, it would be a different world, perhaps something like the world that we would have had, had it not been for the fall of our first parents.
This now presents a challenge to every single human being, that of giving up control of one's human heart in favor of allowing the Divine Heart to transform it so that it would be completely under its influence. The human heart would thus be able to act under the influence of the Divine Heart and would thus produce fruits far above its own ability, one of which would be an increase of love power within each person for every other person on the face of the earth.
The human heart, transformed by the Divine Heart, would also begin to enjoy qualities other than love. There would come wisdom, understanding, and knowledge far above human capabilities. Human beings would be able to endure forces, pressures, pains far beyond what the human element could possibly endure on its own. The Divine Heart brings with it Divine Energy and Divine Creativity, in addition to a tremendous intensification of true freedom, the experience of a Divine Peace and a Divine Joy.
The question can now be asked, what about us, about you and me, who have been baptized, who are of the faith, who have received Jesus in Holy Communion year after year. How is it that this transformation of the heart has not taken place, how is it that there are even those of us who have slipped into a humanistic way of life, who profess the Faith of Jesus and still bear grudges, hostility and unforgiveness? What about those of us who have made use of whatever the Church puts at our disposal and still do not reflect the qualities of the Divine Heart? We have been confirmed, have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and yet we don't live in a way which would reflect the operation of these gifts in our daily living.
We might come to our defense by presenting St. Paul's, "those things which I wish to do, I do not and those that I do not wish, those are the things that I do." (Romans 7, vs. 19). I think that it is a valid defense, but I think too that it is somewhat of a cop out. It would seem to me that what I need to do, as well as everyone else, is to take on the responsibility of my limitations and failures by admitting to myself first that there is still too much human in me and not enough of the divine or that I have not truly given my heart over to Jesus generously and completely enough for Him to transform my heart into His Own. Jesus' loving Mother and ours is asking each of us, among other things, to PRAY WITH THE HEART. Mary is one who truly knows what our world needs, what we of the Faith need and what you and I need. What is so sad is that she seems to be pleading in these days with what might be an agonizing voice. Her plea seems to be so unheeded. Even those of us who are in leadership roles, those of us in administrative positions in our peace groups and centers seem not to be able to reflect the peace that would give evidence to that "prayer with the heart." so many of us may feel that we are May's children and yet by our behavior there is something missing, something quite not right.
As I see it, it boils down to a lack of Love Power. If only each one of us would but increase a desire for an outpouring of that Divine Love into our tired, anxious and weakened hearts, we would do Our Lady a great favor, not to mention what we could contribute to our own life, the life of our family, the life of our Faith com-munity. What a fine prayer it would be if I asked the Lord Jesus to help me first to live in my heart, to allow my heart to be transformed by His and then to be able to truly pray with the heart.
In our times, difficult as they are, we need to tap into Divine Love Power to be able to surmount the mountains of difficulties that stand in the way of our own personal peace. When I can personally be transformed by the Loving Heart of Jesus and live daily inflamed by His Love, I can personally contribute assistance to Our Blessed Mother's crusade in her battle over Satan.
Dear children, I ask each one of you to come now to conversion of heart. I have asked you to dedicate and consecrate yourselves to the Sacred Heart of my Son and to my Immaculate Heart. Now, in this, the age of The Two Hearts, I am also asking you to consecrate yourself to the Holy Spirit. Do not be concerned about the time when you do this. Prepare with a period of meditation and prayer on the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to come and anoint you in His Love, Wisdom and all His Fruits and Gifts. Go to the Sacrament of Penance and worthily receive Holy Communion. Then, with profound faith, hope and love, consecrate yourself to The Holy Spirit, speaking to Him with words from your heart. He, the Spirit and Fire of Love will come and renew you. Through the Holy Spirit you shall receive enlightenment and discernment, that the truth of all my words may be made known to you.
Dear little ones, how vital this is for the plan of salvation. Consecrate yourself that you may persevere as my faithful army in these last days. Chaos breaks upon your world like a tidal wave, but you remain blinded. Come, my children, pray and receive the Holy Spirit that my Immaculate Heart may Triumph.
I love you, my little ones. Please heed my words and pray. Offer your lives in union with my Son's Passion that you may be a living prayer.
Throughout the world shall come great events that shall fulfill all scripture. Only in and through the Holy Spirit shall you be awakened.
I bless you and thank you for responding to my Call!
If you understood God's love you would never cease praying. If you understood God's love you would be of one mind and one heart. My little ones, it is very important that you are little. This is according to God's Plan that He, the Almighty One may receive your prayers, your actions as kisses of your love. Do you think your Heavenly Father is not pleased by your caresses? O! With what Infinite Love and Mercy He responds to your embrace. Do not be deceived that when you sin and refuse God's love and mercy, you cause Him, who created you, so much sorrow!
Dear children, would that you would learn the infinite value of silence. Not only does the inner silence allow God to speak and work within you, but it prevents you from uttering useless words, words that are a sin against charity.
Be charitable above all else. See my Divine Son in everyone, for that is how God sees His children, through their souls. Do not speak lest you damage your own soul and the soul of another. Rather, turn your thoughts at once to God and speak to Him from your Heart. Your flight to eternal life will be swift and sure.
Little ones, I weep because you are lukewarm. You do not want to recognize the signs God is giving, both as a warning and out of Love. Beware the false prophets who tell you that God is all Love and will not punish. I have come to prepare you for the chastisement, and of the many sorrows which will befall all mankind. Pray! Convert your hearts! Fast! Do penance united to my Son. Then you will understand my words.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!