Omega Brigade Essentials
1. Transactional spirituality
2. Expectant Faith
3. Baptism in the Holy Spirit
4. Consecration to Jesus through Mary
5. The Rosary and the Divine Mercy
6. Life in Community
7. Formation and Teaching
10. TRUE BLUE leadership
11. Unity of all
12. Financial Support
Transactional spirituality is necessary and is defined as an actual exchange between two or more person where each makes a contribution, and both leave the transaction with a permanent lasting change. In the case at hand, the two persons are God and the individual. As an example, to be a disciple of Christ, Jesus tells us that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. Said in another way, we give up control of our lives and give up our sinful behavior, and Jesus gives us a new life, born again, and the gift of his righteousness. Transactional spirituality is contrasted with “informational spirituality” which we find so often today in the Church where there is a lot of talk and a lot o information, but not much is transacted. No transaction, and no change. The same can be said for “empty ritual spirituality.” Where people go through the outward motions of a ritual, but there is no exchange and no lasting change or transformation. For me the “transaction” occurred on the beach in Goa. I asked Jesus to reveal himself to me, and I said, “If you do, I am all yours.” I was all in. Then in answer to my prayer Jesus did reveal himself to me powerfully, in the Holy Spirit. About a month later in Nepal, I gave my life to Jesus. The transaction was then complete. Each party had contributed something, and there was a lasting change for both. I became a redeemed sinner and a son of God, and Jesus received a new spiritual brother and a new member of the Body of Christ. I still had very much to learn, but the transaction was already complete.
Another way to think about this that is more traditional, is with the concept of covenant. In ancient times, two parties, usually one stronger than the other would come together, and each would contribute something to the new relationship. Both would leave the covenant event with a lasting change, good for the life of the two parties and all their descendants. For example, God made a covenant with Abram. Sacrifices were provided by Abram and faith was provided by Abram who believed God’s promise to him that he would become the father of many nations. And so it was. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, and about 10 years later his wife Sara conceived son, Isaac. God even gave a visual aid to Abraham to help him in his faith by visualizing his children as numerous as the stars in the night, and as numerous as the grains of sand in the daytime; a 24/7 plan. Paul tells us in the letter to the Romans that Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Abraham’s faith qualified him to receive the fulfillment of God’s promise. Abraham was changed now by having descendants, and God was changed now because he had a family through which he would send his son, Jesus, to save the world.
Practical Application Today. Too many of our teachers in religious education today are not truly endued with a transactional spirituality. They may know how to show up for class, read from a book, and ask questions, but, sadly, because they have never received anything themselves, they find it difficult or near impossible to pass on anything of value to their students. Teachers must challenge students to give up their own personal lives to in fact receive the life of Jesus in exchange. How does a teacher do this if they have never themselves made that exchange with Jesus? As Jesus said,
“If anyone would be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” It is not enough to have Jesus as a part of our life. He needs to be our Master and the center of our life. Pray and ask Jesus to become the Lord and Master of your life. Offer him your life in exchange for the new life he wants to give you. You can trust in Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (that’s you and me).
2. Expectant Faith
As we saw with Abraham above, faith is an essential feature and characteristic of our relationship with God. This is not just a mental assent that God exists, but it is expectant faith which is defined as the necessary medium for transactional spirituality. It is much more robust and more demanding that a simple mental assent. Expectant faith is complete agreement with God’s own words whether spoken to us from scripture or from revelation in personal prayer. Complete agreement demands that we align all out thoughts, words, and actions with the reality of what God has spoken to us. This requires significant discipline to live in complete agreement with God’s word. Teaching and practice are required and progress is made over time as we grow in faith. When Abraham heard God say to him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, Abraham took definite action by getting wood and servants and his son, and he traveled to the place God directed him to go on Mount Moriah. Only as Abraham held the knife of sacrifice over his son, did he hear God tell him to stop. Then Abraham found a ram goat caught in the bush that God had provided for the sacrifice. Many times our faith , too, will be tested by God. This is how we grow in faith. Similar to using muscles in a gym to make them grow, we use our faith in times of resistance to make it grow. Paul tells us, “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” Jesus tells us, If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you.” We can see a connection between living closely with Jesus and hearing his words.
One of my early experiences of Expectant Faith came in 1972. I had just moved in with Ralph and Anne Martin for the first time, and we all decided to go to a nearby lake one Sunday afternoon. I have always had huge difficulties with sunburn as I am fair skinned. Without thinking, I sat out in the sun that day and developed a truly extreme Sunburn. I knew the water blisters would come, and then the peeling, and the very bothersome itching as the new skin comes in to replace what has peeled off. I really did not want to go through that process that takes almost a week, and is very, very painful. So I thought and prayed about what God might be able to do to help me. I remembered the passage from scripture that is found in Psalm 121:6. It says, ”The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.” That was enough for me. I took that promise from God, and I made it my own. I began praying and stating that the sun was not going to smite me with this sunburn. To my utter amazement, I did not blister, I did not peel with all the painful itching. Over time all the effects of the sunburn went away. I became a true believer in Expectant Faith from that experience. From there, I began praying for all kinds of things, and began to see my prayers answered.
Faith Makes Miracles Possible
I recall a couple of years later, that I was called to go with Lou Russello to visit a brother in the local hospital. He was Harry Antis, a renowned Christian and wildlife artist. Harry’s blood volume was a very low 11 mililiters per minute instead of the normal 70ML. He was too weak to have a heart bypass surgery. Lou and I prayed and believed (Harry was believeing also), and the next day the blood level in Harry’s heart was a robust 47. That was sufficient and Harry had the surgery, and lived another 15 years or more, and completed a series of Christian paintings he felt led of the Lord to paint. Thank God for Faith that makes the connection to the power of God to get results.
In fact, scripture describes the personhood of God as that of a peaking spirit. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We see how in Genesis that God created everything that exists by speaking and calling it into existence, e.g., “Let there be light, and light was.” We learn also that humans were made in the image and likeness of God. So we are meant to also be speaking spirits. What we say, can come into existence through the power of God’s word, and expectant faith. What would be the use in saying something, if we did not believe in it. When our words, our actions, and our thoughts align with God’s powerful word, we can expect truly great things to happen. The power all belongs to God, and our faith is like a power cord that connects us to the power of God. Our words are like the switch that allows the powerful current of God to flow. We must always remember that God is still God. He is still in charge. We cannot manipulate God to do our will, but we can cooperate with him to see his will done in our lives and in the lives of those we love.
Pray and decide that you will now and forever believe that God’s words are true, above and beyond anything else. Decide to accept that God’s words are true for you, on a personal level. Start to read, pray over, and believe in God’s words. Notice how and when any doubting thoughts may arise in your thoughts or doubting words in your speech. As the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6. Referring to our faith as a spiritual weapon to be used against evil, “the weapons of our warfare are powerful to pull down strongholds. We pull down every argument that is raised and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” We need to be single hearted for Jesus, and single minded for his kingdom. As James says in chapter 1 of his letter verses 6 -8, “the double minded person will receive nothing from God when he prays. Become aware of your thoughts and your words, and make sure they both line up with God’s words.
This is tough at first, but gets easier the more you do it, and you will begin to see your prayers answered. Start with easy things at first, like praying for a parking place at the mall, etc. Continue as your faith grows and as you are led by the Holy Spirit. Start to memorize some of the verses and promises in scripture. As Jesus said, “ Abide in me and let my words abide in you, then ask whatever you will and it will be done for you.” John 15:7. Begin meditating upon the words of scripture as you pray, and then let the Holy Spirit speak those words in your own heart and Sprit, and you will find that you begin to own those words for yourself. Then as a speaking spirit, made in the image and likeness of God, from your own mouth speak God’s words, and see powerful results. In the beginning, keep your faith between you and God. Don’t let others talk you out of your faith, especially if they do not believe.
Later on you will be able to join with others of faith in your prayers, as Jesus said, “Whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it shall be done for you by my Father in Heaven.” Matthew 18:19. Expectant faith has to be practiced to be understood. It is rarely understood before it is practiced with humility and sincerity. So don’t worry about understanding all this at first. Just begin practicing your faith, and the understanding will come over time. Everyone has faith, as Paul said in Romans 12:3, “God has given to each the measure of faith.” So it is up to us to use our faith, to make it grow stronger over time. Determine to start using your faith today, and continue for the rest of your life.
3. Baptized in the Spirit
In all four gospels, John the Baptist is quoted as saying, “I baptize you in water, but he who comes after me will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” Referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus himself told his disciples to “remain in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father.” Why was so much emphasis and importance placed upon the Holy Spirit? Most “Christians” of our day know little if anything about the Holy Spirit. Is this a possible insight into the decline of the Catholic Church and the decline of Western Society? Is this why Pope Leo XIII asked all the church to pray for 9 days for a New Pentecost in the late 19th century? Is this why God poured out the Holy Spirit in the Charismatic Renewal in the middle of the 20th century? Is this what has been missing in the daily life of most Catholics?
IN 1999 The U.S. Catholics Bishops released a document entitled “Grace for a New Springtime” ( a short document worth reading in its entirety) in which the Bishops said of the baptism of the Holy Spirit “…it is part of the normal Christian life.” We know that there are only seven sacraments, and that Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not an eighth sacrament. Nonetheless, Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a real event in the life of a believer that makes a tremendous difference in that person’s life. Just as “conversion” is not a “sacrament,” without it the believer cannot receive all the grace that God has for him or her. We can see in Acts chapter 2: 38 where Peter, our first pope, was addressing a large crowd in Jerusalem just after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Scripture tells us his audience was “pricked in their hearts” when they heard that they had put God’s son, Jesus to death, and that God had raised him from the dead. They asked Peter, “What shall we do?” Peter replied to them, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So we can see the close connection of conversion (being pricked in the heart) and the acts of baptism in water and the reception of the Holy Spirit. Conversion is mentioned in the Catechism of the Church in section 1431 and is defined as a radical reorientation of one’s whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed.” The question remains today, are the religious educators in the Catholic Church able to bring their students to a genuine conversion experience? Without conversion the sacrament runs the risk of being an empty outward ritual. God always does his part; he gives the gift, but does the person use their faith to open and use the gift, or is it simply carried around for decades with paper and ribbons still attached?
So, just what is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? The Greek word “Baptizo” means to immerse, as if putting something underwater. If we are open and say yes (that is like removing a cork from a bottle) then our life ( just like an open wine bottle) can be immersed into the Holy Spirit, with result that out life is then filled with the Holy Spirit. I think of the Holy Spirit as “God’s power to live God’s life.”
Without the Holy Spirit and his power, trying to live the Christian life can be a hard, difficult and awful experience. That would be the case of “living the life of God with my own personal power (which is very limited and feable.) Without the Spirit, Christianity quickly becomes just following a set of rules and moral guidelines. Rarely is anyone able to do this successfully, as is shown in the example of the Hebrews’ repeated failures in the desert with Moses. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can come to experience first-hand the love and the joy and the peace of Jesus Christ. We come to Know in the deepest part of our being that God is for us, he loves us, he cares for us, and he wants and provides good things for us, continually without end. As Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, follow me.” The Holy Spirit was what was missing in my own life, and being baptized in the Holy Spirit was what happened to me on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Goa in India on Friday, January 23, 1970 at 4:30 pm in the afternoon. My life has never been the same since that time.
One very important thing to remember, is that when we are baptized in the Spirit, God does not take over our life in any domineering fashion, rather through the Holy Spirit we find fulfillment in our life as the person we were originally created to be.
Another point to remember is that God wants us to be filled with the Holy Spirit even more than we do. That is why it is easy to be baptized. All we really need to do, is to tell Jesus in prayer (ordinary conversation style is okay) that we want to know him, have him as our savior, promise to obey him and turn away from sin, and then just ask him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is actually that simple, and not really complicated at all. You certainly don’t need to travel to India as I did. You have all you need to know right here on this page. You can stop reading and even do it now if you like. Recognize that being filled with the Spirit is only the beginning. There will be things to do later, but Jesus, the Good Shepherd will lead you each step of the way. You can trust in Jesus, and he will never let you down.
As a practical matter, anyone who desires to serve Jesus, really needs to be baptized in the Spirit. We need his wisdom, his power, his inspiration, and all the gifts he gives. This may be one reason that Catholic religious education has failed so miserably in the last 2 or 3 decades. Those who were doing the teaching in most cases were not baptized in the Spirit. The apostles were hiding in a room with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, until trhe day of Pentecost when the Spirit rushed down upon them. After that, we see Peter standing in the Temple square, unafraid as he proclaims Jesus as the risen savior of the world, and 3000 were baptized and added to the Church in one day. When one is baptized in the Spirit, thereis a spiritual anointing on their words that accomplishes what the words say. That is the power of God. Without it we are hopeless to do the work of God, no matter how hard we may humanly try.
Read and pray over the passages in the beginning of each gospel about Jesus coming to baptize in the Holy Spirit. Read the scriptures in Luke chapter 11 and verses 9 through 13. Read the account of the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. Understand that the Father in heaven wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Decide that you want to have Jesus as the Lord of your life. Tell Jesus that you believe in him, that you are sorry for your past sins (whatever they may be. And realize there are none that he cannot and willnot forgive), and ask Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. He will do it. He always does. Contact the Omega Brigade through our website, Omegabrigade.com and tell us of your experience.
4. Consecration to Jesus through the heart of Mary
If one is fully committed to Jesus as the Lord of their life, why is there any need to have a relationship with Mary? That is an excellent question, that many people grapple with and never find the answer. I think the answer has two aspects to it. One is natural, and the other is spiritual.
On the natural level, it is only normal that we would want to know and relate with the Mother of our savior who died and rose to save us. Mary spent more time with Jesus while he was on earth than anyone else. She knows him better than anyone else. Mary helps us to know Jesus better. Jesus tells us that if we know him, then we know the Father in heaven. So, we always want to know Jesus as much as we can. As the brothers and sisters of Jesus, once we are born again in the Spirit, we become the children of Mary and she is our Mother in the Spirit. So now we have a complete family with a Father, God the Father, and a Mother, Mary the mother of Jesus, and our Mother too. Just as single parent families are always lacking in something in the natural level, so it is in the spirit as well. God does not want us to be lacking anything, so he gives us a mother in Mary. A mother is one who cares for us with tenderness and special consolation. This is how Mary relates to us.
Now let’s look at the benefits on the spiritual level. The Church tells us Mary was conceived without sin. “How could that happen you say?” Doesn’t Paul in Romans 3:23 say “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Well Mary’s sinless state was not achieved apart from the redemption of her son, Jesus. The grace of redemption was just applied to her prospectively (in advance) rather than retrospectively (after the fact) as it is with the rest of us who were conceived after Jesus’ saving work. God lives in eternity, and not in time, so, for God to apply the grace from Jesus to Mary at the time of her conception was not difficult for God. You see, Jesus needed to be sinless, if his sacrifice for all the world was going to be a sinless sacrifice. Jesus could only be sinless if he was conceived in a womb with no sin. Perfectly logical, right?
Since Mary never sinned, she is considered by many to be the ideal disciple. So thought Saint Louis DeMontfort who lived in France about 300 years ago. He was searching for who to model his life after. He then wrote the book on Consecration to Mary which gives instruction on how and why to make the consecration to Jesus through the heart of Mary. This book was written 300 years ago, originally in French, and then translated into English. This was the important book given to me by John McDevitt. There are some more recent publications authored by Father Michael E. Gaitley and Father Donald H. Callaway who are members of the Marian Fathers of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. My good friend Father George Kosicki from Detroit, who was a friend of the community in Ann Arbor, moved there in the mid 1970’s, and I never knew why until I read this book, and Sister Faustina Kawalska’s diary which explains Divine Mercy.
Jesus received all his human DNA from his mother, Mary. So when we go to the Eucharist to receive the body and blood of Jesus in Holy Communion, there is a special connection with Mary. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the sinless womb of Mary. So, we may say that Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Often in western society, when a woman marries a man, she will take the last name of the man. For example when Miss Jones marries Mr. Smith, she will then be known as Mrs. Smith. Applying same logic to Mary, we can say that Mary is in fact, “Mrs. Holy Spirit.” Since we know how important the Holy Spirit is in the life of a Christian, then why would we not want to be close to Mary who was in fact present with the disciples when the Holy Spirit fell in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Many Christian writers state that the Holy Spirit rushes to be with Mary whenever a disciple praying invokes her name, such as “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” So, if we are praying with Mary, then the Holy Spirit rushes to be with us, just as He did on the Day of Pentecost when Mary was praying with the disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem.
The apostle Paul tells us in his letters, that as we gaze upon Jesus, we become like him. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Since the heart of Mary is pure with no sin, it is through the heart of Mary that we can best see Jesus so clearly. Meditating upon the life of Jesus while in prayer with Mary and the Holy Spirit is an excellent way to grow in the Spirit. This can be done by praying the Rosary which is precisely a meditation upon the life of Jesus done in prayer with Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Mary is more than the ideal disciple who never sinned, and more than the natural mother of Jesus. We see from Revelation chapter 12 that Mary has been exalted in heaven and made to be the Queen of heaven and earth, enthroned at the right side of her son, Jesus, who is the King of heaven and earth. As Queen, Mary has actual authority and great position to take our prayers and present them to her son the King.
We can see a precursor to this relationship at the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle in his ministry by turning water into wine. Mary knows our needs and she presents them to Jesus upon a platter of gold.
This does not mean that we cannot approach Jesus on our own, but it does mean that we have support, help, and wisdom in approaching Jesus when we go through his Mother whom he dearly loves. When Jesus was dying upon the cross with Mary and the apostle John at the foot of his cross, Jesus said to them, “Woman behold your son, and John behold your Mother.”
For centuries, theologians have taken this passage to mean that Jesus was giving Mary, not just to John, but to all believers as the mother of all who believe in Jesus. What a gift. Scripture goes on to say that John took Mary home and cared for her. As Christians, we do not want to miss a significant gift that God intends for all of us. The gift of Mary as our Mother, counselor, consoler, intercessor, and friend is one of the best gifts that God has in fact given to us. While scripture does not have a lot to say about Mary, she has been revered and honored since the second century, if not earlier, in a special position within the body of Christ. My own experience is that it is primarily through reading the writings of others, and through personal revelation in prayer that one truly comes to know and appreciate the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Additionally, the Trinity has sent Mary to us many times in various apparitions where she has appeared to the human race and spoken to us to reveal who she is and her important role as chief evangelist, and chief intercessor for all the humans on the earth. That is to say, Mary did not just decide independently on her own that she was going to appear. For example, Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette at Lourdes in France, and there declared, “I am the Immaculate Conception..” A few years earlier, Mary had already appeared to Saint Catherine Labore’ in the Chapel on Rue de Bac in Paris and directed Saint Catherine to have a medal struck, manufactured, and distributed stating, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have refuge to thee.” This has become known as the Miraculous Medal since so many various miracles has been attributed to those who wore it or prayed with it. In fact Mary came to North America over 200 years before the United States was founded. In 1531 Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a poor Mexican Indian, at Guadalupe. She expressed her motherly concern for Juan Diego, she healed his uncle who was near death, she provided a miraculous image on Juan Diego’s Tilma (poncho), and provided miraculous roses in the middle of winter.
To show the power and place of Mary’s role as Chief Evangelist, over Nine million (9,000,000) Mexican Indians were converted and baptized within ten years following her appearance and miracles at Guadalupe. A large church building has now been constructed on the site where Mary appeared, and it is the most visited Catholic shrine in the world today.
In summary, do not neglect to come to know and love your spiritual mother Mary. You will never regret any time spent learning to know Mary and praying with her. Mary gave 15 promises to Saint Dominic, and one of them is that you will always receive whatever you ask in prayer when praying the rosary. That is quite a promise, and one you do not want to miss. The other promises are also very special and you will want to check them out for yourself.
Any and all success of the Omerga Brigade is dependent upon the prayer, intercession, and grace of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the one who has inspired this organization, and she is the one who will lead it to victory in its mission.
Obtain a copy of the book, True Devotion to Mary by Saint Louis DeMontFort, or one of the other books of the Marian Fathers and read it and pray about it. Seriously consider making the consecration to Jesus through Mary. You will then want to begin daily praying the Rosary as explained below.
5. The Rosary and Divine Mercy
The Rosary and the Divine Mercy are two of the most important prayers in all of Christianity, ranking right up there next to the Our Father given to us by Jesus himself. I will take up each prayer separately to give the history and the reason for its importance. Let’s start with the Rosary. In the earliest days of the Christian faith it was common for followers of Jesus to pray the 150 psalms of David and other writers. However, not everyone in those early days was literate, so many many prayed 150 Our Fathers, or Patra Nostri, as it was known. Then in the eleventh century Mary appeared to Saint Dominic and gave him the Rosary, much as we know it today. Dominic was engaged in spiritual warfare with a group of heretics, and he was having a difficult time to defeat them. When he prayed and asked for help, he was given the Rosary and quickly gained the upper hand in his conflict to defeat the heretics. The Blessed Mother also gave 15 precious promises to St. Domonic as well. The promises apply to anyone who faithfully prays the Rosary. But first, what is the Rosary prayer? It is basically a meditation on the life of Jesus. Originally there were 15 mysteries or meditations, and Saint John Paul II gave us an additional five more. Here are the original fifteen.
Add Rosary Diagram here
1. The annunciation by Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive the Savior of the world, Jesus the son of God.
2. The visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.
3. The birth of Jesus.
4. The presentation of Jesus as a child in the Temple at Jerusalem.
5. The losing and finding of Jesus in the Temple at about age 12.
These first 5 mysteries are called the Joyful mysteries. The next 5 mysteries are the luminous mysteries (mysteries of light) given to us by Saint John Paul II. These five are as follows.
1. The baptism of Jesus in water by John the Baptist at the Jordan river.
2. The wedding feast at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine.
3. The preaching of the good news by Jesus.
4. The transfiguration of Jesus before Peter, James, and John.
5. The institution of the Eucharist by Jesus at the Last Supper.
The next group of mysterious are called the sorrowful mysteries.
1. Jesus agony in the garden the night before he died.
2. Jesus flogging at the pillar by Roman soldiers.
3. The crown of thorns being placed upon the head of Jesus.
4. The carrying of the cross to Galgotha by Jesus.
5. Jesus crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.
The fourth group of mysteries are called the Glorious mysteries.
1. Jesus resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.
2. Jesus’ ascension to the Father carrying his blood as the sacrifice for all the sins of all of humanity, past, present and future.
3. The descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost upon the disciples in the upper room.
4. The assumption of Mary into Heaven, body and soul.
5. The coronation of Mary in heaven as queen of heaven and earth.
The typical order to pray the mysteries is joyful, sorrowful, light, and glorious. So you can see that the Rosary is actually a meditation upon the life of Jesus, prayed with Mary his Mother. AS some have asked, why is the rosary prayer so repetitious. One good answer is that the primary substance of the rosary prayer is the meditation, while the hail mary prayers are simply the background music. I think it is some of both. As we grow closer to Jesus, we also grow closer to Mary as well. There is much material available on actually how to pray the rosary prayer, so I will not elaborate on that here.
To understand the importance of the Rosary, one must look beyond the actual prayer, and examine the source of the rosary and what God has to say about it. The first words of the rosary actually come from scripture where Mary was greeted by her cousin Elizabeth who said, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with You. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” (Luke 1:42 & 43) Scripture tells us that Elizabeth was inspired with the Holy Spirit when she spoke those words. So, in that sense those words came from God himself through Elizabeth. It takes revelation from God to understand that the Rosary is not just a simple prayer, but it is actually a weapon of spiritual warfare to be used to defeat the forces of evil. Mary herself tells us that in many of her apparition appearances. There are other instances as well in history where the Rosary was used to defeat evil. At the battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, in the Adriatic Sea, the Christian mariners were greatly out-numbered by a Muslim fleet that was determined to defeat the Christians and overrun the Vatican in Rome. With a copy of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on board the ships and with the prayers of the Rosary as requested be the Pope at the time, the Muslim fleet was defeated in a miraculous manner. In more modern times, when the Muslims in Nigeria where being persecuted by the Muslim group known as Boku Horun were raping, killing, and pillaging and imprisoning the Christians. The Catholic Bishop of that area Oliver Gomez was praying to Jesus and asking how to deal with the situation. In prayer, Jesus appeared to Bishop Gomez and Jesus held a sword in his hand and offered it to Bishop Gomez. When Bishop Gomez reached to take the sword, it became a set of rosary beads. Bishop Gomez realized from this that he and his people were to pray the rosary. They did pray the Rosary, and the Boku Horun ceased they mistreatment of the Christians in that region.
In the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII wrote 11 encyclicals about the importance of praying the Rosary. Before he died in 1903, Pope Leo said that it would be the Rosary that would defeat Modernism which was already beginning to rise up as a strong philosophy in Europe.
In 1917 at Fatima (a small village in Portugal), Mary appeared to three young shepherd children over a period of six months. Mary told the children to urge the people to pray the rosary. She also said that the Pope and the Bishops should all together consecrate Russia to Jesus through her. She went on to say that, if this consecration did not occur, that Russia would spread its errors all over the world. At that time, Russia was only a second rate nation, and no one took the words seriously. Then later that year the Bolshevik revolution occurred and the words of Mary came true as communism was spread all over the world. Chairman Mao of China is quoted as saying in China that “The Rosary is public enemy number one.” Perhaps Chairman Mao knew something about the Rosary that even many Christians did not know. Mary urged people to repent of sin and pray. She said that if they did not, that great wars would break out and there would be great suffering. And again, we see the truth in Mary’s words as a loving Mother. Both World War I and World War II came and indeed brought many deaths and suffering.
Eyewitnesses attest to the truth of the message of Fatima
The children asked Mary for a sign as many of the adults did not believe in the messages. So, before 70,000 eye witnesses there in Fatima, the sun was seen to dance in the sky as was reported by the local newspaper and other writers of the time. There is no greater proof than an eye witness, whether in a court of law or in spiritual matters. Mary has been quoted as saying that “through the Rosary and through the brown scapula (a Carmelite Marian devotion given to Saint Simon Stock in the 13th century which symbolically expresses relationship with Mary), the entire world will come to faith and salvation in her son.”
Indeed, Mary seems to have been assigned the role in the Kingdom of God as being the Chief Intercessor, and the Chief Evangelist. This is not a role that she took upon herself, but is a role that God and Jesus have assigned to her. Now the question arises, if the plan of God himself is for Christians to first intercede for others, and then evangelize others using the Rosary, Why, then, would any Christians be trying to create, dream up, or use any other plan to accomplish this work. Can we not first use the plan that God has given to us? Do we think we are smarter and wiser than God to be doing God’s own work? This is a question that needs much discussion certainly among church leaders, and among the laity as well as any missionary societies or other groups. While there can certainly be room for different formats and different platforms, nonetheless the content needed is the Rosary. As disciples of Jesus, we want to make sure that we are praying the Rosary each and every day because the Rosary is a spiritual weapon of mass destruction designed by God himself to destroy evil and set his people free from sin and the curse of death.
Divine Mercy is like a cousin, a sister, or a shorthand version of the Rosary. Nonetheless it is separate and distinct and very valuable in its own right. The Divine Mercy Prayer was given directly from Jesus to Sister Faustina Kowalska of Poland just before World War II. Jesus also instructed her to have a painting prepared. You may have seen it. It is a picture of Jesus with a red ray and a white ray extending from the heart of Jesus. The words “Jesus I trust in you.” Are written at the bottom of the painting. The red ray represents the blood flowing from the heart of Jesus, and the white represents the water that flowed from the heart of Jesus when he was on the cross dying for each of us. The divine mercy prayer takes about 8 minutes to pray, and the Rosary takes about 16 minutes to pray. Together, they take about 24 minutes a day to pray. Can we not give back 24 minutes each day to the loving generous God who gives us 24 hours each day, along with his only Son, Jesus, and so many other daily blessings. Will you make a commitment to spend 24 minutes a day in prayer, perhaps before you rise each morning, or before you retire each evening. I personally pray these prayers both each morning and each evening just to make sure that I don’t miss a single day. These are my favorite times of the day. The Divine Mercy prayer is a plea to God the Father to have Mercy upon the world that has turned away from him, but, yet needs him and his mercy so much. Online, you can find a very powerful dramatic presentation of the vision that Saint Faustina had of the people who don’t repent falling into everlasting hell and suffering, forever separated from the loving God who created them and loves them. Search on You Tube for Saint Faustina Kowalska vision of hell. This presentation is indeed very moving and is not for the faint of heart. You owe it to yourself to watch it. Always remember that God only created Hell for the Devil and his fallen angels. He never intended or wanted any humans to go there. People only go to hell because they refuse God’s offer of life in heaven through Jesus. There are only two choices. There is no middle ground. You may want to obtain and read a copy of the diary of Saint Faustina and experience first-hand the messages she received directly from Jesus. This diary has been approved as authentic by the Vatican.
Go online and find one each of the many available guides to pray both the Rosary and the Divine Mercy prayers. Pray these prayers each day for 3 weeks, and keep a diary of your thoughts, insights, and revelations that come to you during the time. Consider making a lifelong commitment to continue praying these prayers each day.
As believers and disciples of Jesus, we are called to be in close meaningful relationships with other believers and disciples. This is important for at least 3 reasons and probably more. First we are called to be the “body of Christ,” and just as a body has different members for different functions such as the eye, the hand, the foot, etc. so in the body of Christ we have different members for accomplishing the work of the Body of Christ in the world. On an even more basic level, we are first called to faithfulness. This is best achieved with both support and accountability that we receive from other Christians. Belonging to the same parish and seeing one another from a distance once a week is not nearly enough. So, how do we best constitute the Body of Christ platform we are called to? The best way to do this is by organizing into small disciple groups that meet on a regular basis.
Don’t worry if you are the only person in your city or town who seems interested in the things of God of a deeper level. While it is good for these disciple groups to be organized locally, it is also possible to organize the groups at a distance by using such technology as Skype, Google hangouts, etc. Even a shared conference call line can work, such as 1-800 conference call. Video is preferred because it is better to communicate than voice only. Be open to different platforms. Try different ones, and go with the one that works best for every one in the group. Usually about four to five persons is an optimum number for a group. You have enough people to have some diversity and you have enough time each meeting for everyone to participate. Groups can be smaller or larger. There is no hard and fast rule on this.
The group needs to have one person who will serve as an administrative leader. He will remind everyone of the time for the meeting. He will monitor the discussion to see that everyone gets an opportunity to participate. He will take note of any decisions reached by the group etc., and be the hub for group communication.
All of the members need to support the leadership role of the leader and respect one another. Everything shared in the group is agreed to be kept confidential and not shared with anyone outside the group. The level of sharing in the group will naturally descend to deeper levels over time as the trust of the members in the groups also naturally develops and grows.
The purpose of the group is to both support and hold accountable each member in their life of faith as a disciple of Christ. In the beginning, it can be helpful to have a set a questions that each member can answer one at a time. Questions could be like these:
1. Did I pray every day? If not, why not?
2. Which time of the week did I feel closest to God, and what have I learned from God this past week.
3. Who have I shared the gospel with this week, and what result occurred? How can I improve?
4. I would like to ask prayer for the following intentions.
With a one hour meeting, and five members, each member should have about 9 minutes to answer these questions with some feed-back from other members. The other 15 minutes can be used for opening prayer and announcements, and closing prayer. It is important to respect each member’s time schedule to start the meeting on time and end on time. If members want to socialize or fellowship after the meeting, that can be done by individual mutual consent.
Each member needs to make a commitment in the beginning to show up for the meeting each week. If some member knows in advance he cannot make the meeting, he should advise the leader in advance of the meeting. Obviously, there will be a few occasions over a year when someone cannot attend, however; this meeting time needs to be considered “highest priority” for everyone. If someone misses a meeting without notice in advance, they should ask the forgiveness of the other members, and recommit to attend, so as to keep the integrity of the group intact. Good times to meet are early morning, lunch, or evenings so as not to conflict with work or family commitments. Weekends are another possibility if early enough so as not to conflict with other activities. Design a meeting time for the success of the group and not the failure of the group.
Over time, but not in the beginning, the group may want to do certain activities together such as attend a conference, or some evangelistic activity. This depends upon distances, etc. This should not be done for at least the first 6 months or even a year as it is important to get the group established for its initial purpose. There can be flexibility from one group to another as long as the basics are tended to. For distance groups, the goal for each member should be to eventually evangelize and recruit enough other local members, so that eventually there will be a local group for everyone. A member can belong to more than one group, time allowing. For example, a member could belong to both a distance group and also a local group. The overall plan for the groups is to eventually divide and multiply as a means of growing the membership overall. It should be pointed out that all of the members in the group should be members of The Omega Brigade, so there is a commonality and unity in the group. There are no topics that are off limits, and the richness of the time shared together by the members will be some of the best times in a person’s life.
Start thinking about who you can invite into the Omega Brigade, or who you know that is already in the Omega Brigade. If you are at a loss to come up with any potential members of a Disciple Group, then contact the offices of the Omega Brigade, and we will help you find a group, or start a group. Make it your goal to be in a Disciple group as quickly as possible.
7. Teaching and Formation
After one makes Jesus the Lord of their life, is baptized in the Spirit, and consecrated to Jesus through Mary, there is still a lot to learn about the life of a disciple and the mission of the Omega Brigade. This is one place where the Omega Brigade is available to support its memberss with regular teaching and formation in the Christian life. These teachings will be distributed and given initially through live webinars, usually weekly. The webinars will be recorded and catalogued, so members coming in later can refer to them. They will also be available for review for existing members.
Some of the topics to be covered will be:
1. developing a consistent daily prayer life
2. studying and learning from scripture
3. Spiritual Warfare
4. The gifts of the Spirit
6. Service in the Body of Christ
7. Emotions in the Christian life
9. Growing in faith
10. The Mind as a Battlefield
13. One in Christ
14. State of Life: single, married, or religious
15. Disciple Groups
There are many other subjects that can and will be covered over time and as needed. Certainly, the essential elements of the Omega Brigade will be covered as well as listed above initially in this chapter, such as transformational spirituality, expectant faith, Baptized in the Spirit, etc. throughout the list.
Obtain a notebook, and a study Bible, and begin the lesssons available on the Omega Brigade website. Take notes on the lessons, and look up and read the scriptures referred to in the lessons. Start your formation today.
8. Spiritual Warfare
Understand that the Christian life is one of spiritual warfare. Do not be naïve and uninformed about what is going on. Satan and his legions rebelled against God and were thrown out of heaven onto the earth. Satan hates God, and all humanity who are made in the likeness of God. Jesus has come to the earth and defeated Satan forever. However, Satan has not been completely put away. Even though defeated he roams and prowls about the earth seeking who he can devour like a lion. We share in the victory of Jesus over Satan, and we have the authority of the name of Jesus to use when we need it. Satan’s only weapons are deception and lies.
Our defense is to know and use the Truth in Jesus. We need to know the truth about Jesus, and also the truth about what Jesus has done, and also the truth about who we are now in Christ with a new identity. We join with Jesus now in his continuing battle against evil that we might work with Jesus to free up others who have not yet experienced the truth in Jesus. Knowing the truth in Jesus will protect us from doubt which is a weapon of our spiritual enemy. As we go about living our lives, regular prayer and scripture reading of God’s truth, as well as support and accountability of disciple groups are large mainline defenses against the work of the Evil One.
Read the following scriptures: Ephesians chapter six, 2 Corinthians 10, the book of Revelations. Know something of the dynamics of being in a spiritual warfare. Before you became a committed Christian, in a sense, the Devil could have cared nothing about you. Now that you are “in the army of Jesus Christ,” you just painted a large bullseye on yourself, and the Devil will try to discourage you, make you afraid, cause you to doubt, and just about anything else he can to make you give up your faith and your calling to serve God and reach heaven with a great reward. Don’t be foolish. Tell the Devil to go away, whenever he comes around trying to cause you problems. Command him in the Name of Jesus to be gone. Stay faithful to daily prayer and scripture. The Devil is greatly afraid of the Rosary, and also the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus tells us, “Fear not,” and also tells us “that the whole world is in the control of Satan, but to fear not because Jesus has overcome the world.” 1 John 5:19 and John 16:33.
9. Evangelization of individuals and groups
Most Catholics have had no training at all in sharing their faith. Even if a situation did arise when one could share their faith, most Catholics do not have the words at hand to speak, so the opportunity arranged by the Holy Spirit ( in most cases) slips by and is lost. Evangelization is a large topic, and books have been written about it and will continue to be written about it in the future.
Here is a simple system to have some thoughts and words that can be used as the Spirit leads. There is a concept called “Friendship Evangelization.” First a friendship is created by spending some time together with another individual and getting to know them. Then Jesus can be introduced into that friendship with patience and timimg, something like fishing for a trout. One cannot just slam down the bait, which scares away the fish, but one most use cunning and tact (with respect) to catch the fish at hand.
My fifth grade Sunday School teacher, Paul Virgil Sims, who worked on the Manhattan project and was also a private pilot, taught us a memory system. He said it was from Dale Carnegie. There is a helpful way to remember how to go about the process. Author and speaker Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People developed a memory system to remember a list of any items. In his system, he used numbers and rhyming images as a basic structure. went like this:
One Run, Two Zoo, Three Tree, Four Door, Five Beehive, Six Sick, Seven Heaven, Eight Gate, Nine Dine, Ten Den.
This system can be adapted to help one remember the points to cover when presenting the good news of Jesus to anyone. For example:
1. One Run, think of the Father running to embrace the prodigal son from Luke Chapter 15. The point is, “God loves you.” Just communicating this one fact to someone can greatly change their life and make them open to hear more. Most people do not know that God loves them.
2. Two Zoo. Life without God is like living in a zoo. There is sin and sadness everywhere. People constantly hurt each other. And we are imprisoned in this zoo by cages and bars that keep us imprisoned.
3. Three Tree. It was the cross (tree) of Jesus that freed us from sin and the curse of death. Jesus rose to give us a new life of eternal love.
4. Four Door. For us to benefit from what Jesus did, we have to choose it. That is, turn from sin, and turn toward Jesus. Scripture says in Revelation 3:20, “ Behold I stand at the door and knock,”
5. Beehive. The beehive is where the honey is, and the sweetest part of the Christian life is being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Think of the Spirit as the honey. Jesus wants everyone to be baptized in the Spirit, and all we have to do is ask for it. Luke 11:9-13.
6. Six Sick. If we remain alone we become weak and sick. God gives us community with brothers and sister, scripture and prayer to use each day like vitamins and food, and he gives service opportunities to help others, To be a healthy Christian we need all four items and more.
7. Seven Heaven. Once we make Jesus the Lord of our life, we become citizens of heaven living still on the earth. We have a new identity, a new future ahead of us, and a new job to do.
8. Eight Gate. As Christians, we should be ready and prepared to show the gate of life to others. What we have been given in Jesus, we should be ready to share with others.
9. Nine Dine As Christians, we should regularly attend mass and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus at the Eucharist to give us food for the journey. This is a celebration of the covenant god has made with us to forgive our sins, and take us to heaven.
10. Ten Win . As Christians, we win over death. (Alleluia!!!) Sin and death are conquered in Jesus, and we will live forever with God in heaven.
The ten steps above can be memorized so one is ready to share the good news of Jesus at any time.
If one wants to add more you can say
11. Leaven AS Christians we are to be the leaven in society to rebuild society so the Kingdom of God can grow and flourish.
12. Shelf. As Christians, we cannot stay on the shelf, we need to venture out into society as the pray and are led by the Holy Spirit to do the work of God and spread his mercy to all.
13. Hurting. The world is hurting, and desperately needs our help. Let us go to them now.
14. More Teens. Let us never forget about our young people. The teens of today will be the leaders of the Kingdom tomorrow. Let us teach them and set a good example for them.
One could go on further, but the first 14 are probably the most important.
Alternatively, you can use A,B,C’s if that is easier for you than numbers.
A. Adam ate the apple, and brought the curse of death on all humanity.
B. The BEE sting of death was the result for all people.
C. Christ redeemed us all on the cross of Calvery.
D. a Decision to choose Christ is required by everyone.
E. Everyone is qualified for Jesus’ Gift.
F. Forgiveness of sins is Jesus gift.
G. God’s gift of grace cannot be earned, but received as a gift.
H. Heaven is our new home with God forever.
I. This is something “I” must choose to invest in.
J. Jesus is the only way to God.
K. Kingdom of God is our new home.
L. Love is the law of the new life.
M. Mary is our new spiritual Mother by God’s mercy. Millennials for God.
N. No one can ever be excluded from God.
P. Purpose and power are now in our life.
Q. Quickly is how we should spread the good new of Jesus
R. Risen is Jesus to bring us new life
S. Salvation is in Jesus, and in none other.
T. Telling others is our new passion.
U. Universal is the Catholic Chjurch
W. Winning is our new position in life.
V. In victory is how we now face the challenges of life.
X. X-Generation are the people God wants to reach to rebuild his church.
Y. Yes are all God’s promises in Jesus. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Z. Zoom is the speed of light in Jesus!
Memorize the different steps and then find a
Christian friend and role play, going through the different steps until you are comfortable. Eventually put this training to work. Remember, transactional spirituality. The new convert must make a decision, and a commitment to have Jesus become the Lord of their life. Follow up can also include baptism in water, baptism in the Spirit, and Roman Catholic Initiation for Adults, and any other sacraments that might be lacking.
The mission of the Omega Brigade is to raise up an army of both intercessors and evangelists to rebuild the Catholic Church and in so doing to rebuild Western Society to the end that all of humanity can be saved from the curse of Death, and life eternally in hell instead of being in heaven with God and Jesus and all of God’s people. To accomplish this task, the first stage is to recruit 10,000 men who will join and commit to the Omega Brigade to become warriors for God in the spiritual battle against Satan and all his forces of darkness. For the operation to succeed, it is important that the chosen men are recruited first to become the foundation of the organization. Just like building a building, it is important to have the correct large stones in place early on for the foundation, so that the building can continue and reach the height necessary for the purpose of the building. Some call this the 80/20 principle. If you recruit the proper 20% first, then those 20% will be successful in recruiting the additional 80%. Some have even gone so far as to call this the 95/5% principle. So, initially, Omega is looking for men with proven leadership ability and gifts to carry out the work to fulfill the mission. This leadership ability may have been previously demonstrated in a number of ways such as sports, business, the arts, entrepreneurship, and many other different ways. There is no one certain mold that applicants must come from. We are looking for those whom God is calling at this time. If someone is not chosen initially, that does not mean that they may not be chosen at a later date. Eventually we want everyone to be a member of the Omega Brigade.
Those chosen will be trained in both intercession and in evangelization. God truly has persons already chosen, who when they hear of the Omega Brigade, they will respond positively. Just as in other times in history when the Church needed to be rebuilt or defended, God raised up leaders who would make the call, and God would send the members.
Two examples are worth considering. Francis of Assisi established the Franciscan order in 1209 because in prayer he heard God say to him, “Francis, rebuild my church.” Saint Ignatius Loyola was a soldier who heard God call him to serve the church while he was recovering from a broken leg received as the result of a cannonball wound in battle. This was in 1534 in Spain, and later in 1540, the Jesuit Order was established. The Jesuits were an important force to defend the Church during the Reformation attacks against the unity of the Church. Their work was known as the Counter Reformation. In the United States, the Jesuits are associated with 28 colleges and universities and 61 high schools. (world wide 172 colleges and 324 high schools) Today in 2018 the Church is under serious attack both within and without. Philosophies of this age have done great damage to undercut the faith of many. Corruption and unfaithfulness within the Church have weakened it and caused many to doubt and or leave the Church.
Now is the time for another great move to renew, rebuild, and defend the faith. That move is The Omega Brigade and the time is now. We cannot delay any longer.
Where do Millennials and Gen-Xers fit into the picture?
But how is it that the Millennials and Gen-Xers will be the ones to rebuild the Church and Western Society at this time? Yes this is an interesting question.
These two groupings of society include just about everyone from age 18 to age 55. So, if not these generations, then who? Those remaining are mostly too young or too aged, but there are always interesting and exciting exceptions. Basically, there is no one else left. So, if the work is to be done, it will be these groups, and God has already chosen some within these groups for this task, whether they realize it yet or not. When the message goes out and is heard, they will know it.
Here are the facts we know. First, God definitely wants to see his Church renewed and rebuilt to accomplish its purpose in the world. Secondly, the only people who are truly available for this task are the Millennials and Gen-Xers. Therefore, it must be these generations that God will use. In actual fact, Millennials and Gen-xers (hereafter M & G) are not that much different from any other generation. They have many of the same needs and desires for respect, recognition, identity, belonging, and self-importance. Many say that the M &G are lazy and not motivated. They go on to say that the M & G do not accept or participate in the institutions of today. After close examination, one can say that many of the institutions of today may not be worthy, in the eyes of some, including M & G, of acceptance because of their shortcomings and in some cases hypocrisy. The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is one vivid example.
In one sense the M & G were short-changed by their parents, the Baby-boomers. In many cases the Baby-boomers were not able to successfully pass on their faith to the children for many reasons. Perhaps their faith was not strong enough, or was not practiced strongly enough for the children to pick it up. At the same time, the Baby-boomers had to face particular challenges as parents that were more difficult than most other generations. Things such as drugs, the sexual revolution, rock and roll, and a highly developed media technology that was used by the forces of evil as never before.
This means that in many cases the M & G have never actually heard the good news of Jesus Christ in a manner which is acceptable to them. The power of the gospel is always available to every generation, without fail. When the M & G hear it, they will respond. The power of the Holy Spirit is no different in this age than in any age before.
In fact M & G are not lazy. Often they actually want to work hard in some activity that will make a positive difference in the world in which they live. Everyone needs to be open to different platforms and venues for the work of the Spirit. Just as after Vatican II we saw a move away from the church organ and a move toward the banjo and the guitar in worship. So the details may be different, but the basic content is the same. As Jesus himself says in Matthew 13:52, “Every teacher of the law who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of house who takes new and old things out of his storeroom.” So, as Jesus said, we need to be prepared to see both new and old things with the inclusion of the M & G. We need to be ready to step aside at the right time as the M & G move into leadership with the mission of the gospel. Who in this world is more appropriate to carry the gospel to the M & G than their own contemporaries.
We know already that the M & G are excellent with technology and communication with video and social media and other means as well. We know that the M & G are familiar with the concept of community because they have essentially existed in their own community for decades now.
What cause is more worthwhile than to help one’s fellowmen and women to escape the curse of death and live forever in the kingdom of God. This is a cause that can motivate even the most visionless of persons. Hope that comes from Christ can overcome the sadness and morose that affects so many young people today. Suicide can be overcome with hope and a new life now.
Question: Why are we focusing on men and not looking for women as well? Omega Brigade is indeed open to women members. Women are spiritually inclined more than men in our current society, and women have many gifts and much to contribute to an organization like Omega Brigade. However, our experience is that if we recruit the men first, then the women will come, perhaps a little later. Conversely, if we recruit women first, men will consider it a women’s organization, and the men will not be interested to join. For men who are married, it would be very natural for their spouses to join as well. We know the family is the basic building block of society. To this end membership in Omega is by application. An application can be found on the website, www.OmegaBrigade.com. And also at the end of this book.
Question: Does one have to be a Roman Catholic to be a member of Omega Brigade? While we have focused most of this writing on the Catholic Church, the answer is no. One does not have to be Catholic to be a member in the Omega Brigade. The mission of the Omega Brigade is to the whole world, and there are still many non-Catholics who need to hear the good news of Jesus and life in God’s Kingdom. There is always room for more, and we will work out all the details as we go.
Visit the website for OmegaBrigade.com. Browse the website and think about what you have read already. Spend some time in prayer. Then download and complete the Omega Brigade application for membership and submit it for review. We will get back to you within approximately 10 days with an answer and follow up.
10. Oversight and management
This particular item is more administrative than inspirational. However, in the various lists of spiritual gifts mentioned in scripture, “Administration” just happens to be one of those gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:28) Good administration can lead to good spiritual results. Anytime one is attempting to direct and oversee a large group of people, it is necessary and helpful to have some kind of a system that everyone can use and rely upon. In the Omega Brigade we have such a proprietary system known as Peak Performance Profits ® which utilizes the TRUE BLUE System®. True Blue is actually an acronym for Team Relationships United Encourage the Best Living Universe for Everyone ©2018 Charles Christmas. It is a simple yet highly effective system that guarantees the best working results of people working together. First, we explain the meaning of the concept of a “team.” That is, people all belonging to and making up an entity greater than any one individual, but all working together for a common purpose. Individuals subject their own individual agendas and desires to the good of the team purpose.
Relationships are the relationships between and among the team members. These relationships are characterized by common respect, honesty, encouragement, and mutual support, all for the good of the team purpose and also the good of the individual team members at the same time.
Unity is a very powerful concept that not only binds together the team members in their relationship, but also releases a greater measure of energy and productivity than just individuals working on their own. A team of 10 people united can accomplish much more than 10 individuals on their own. As scripture says, one can chase a thousand, but two together can chase 10,000. (Deuteronomy 32:30) Unity brings out the best of each individual, and gives them more wisdom and strength than they have just on their own.
Encouragement is a very powerful concept, and can often be seen on many teams, especially sports team. If one member makes an outstanding play for the good of the team, then team members come and congratulate that team member. In so doing, that team member in particular, but, in fact, every team member is encouraged and empowered to accomplish even more on the next play and for the rest of the game. Team players that work together win more games than those teams who are not united in purpose and relationships and in mutual encouragement.
The Best is not just something that it good. While it is good, it is the very best of all that is available and all that is possible. We always want to have the best result, and we should not accept anything less than the best. Having the Best as our goal simply brings out the very best from each team member, because that member knows that every other team member is performing for the very best as well. Together much is possible.
Living refers to the life that we all experience on a daily basis. With team members united in their relationships, the best life is then created for each team member, and for the team as a whole as well. Everyone naturally wants to have the best that is available. By working together, it is much more possible to achieve the best life that everyone wants, seeks, and works for.
The Universe refers to the sphere of action and activity in which the team operates. For a sports team, it is the game. For a business, it is the office and the business operations. For a ministry or a spiritual organization, it is the group of people who work together, and the people that they serve. That is the Universe. For the Omega Brigade, our universe is our collective membership, and our mission.
“Everyone” refers to every member of the Omega Brigade, and all the person that interact with the Omega Brigade. It also includes all other members of society who will benefit from the work and mission of the Omega Brigade. When something is good and right, it is a benefit to everyone without a special benefit to just one small group. For example, a good weather season is good and right and benefits everyone with a good harvest. Just so, TRUE BLUE servant leadership of the Omega Brigade or any other institution or organization is a benefit to all in society. For more information on Peak Performance Profits ® and how it can benefit your organization or business, contact the Omega Brigade to inquire about having an installation workshop in your organization.
The result of the TRUE BLUE System is to create a culture of clear communication. In is in such a culture that the best efforts and the best energy of each person is marshalled into a dynamic whole that moves forward with remarkable efficiency and seemingly effortless power to produce all of the goals of the organization. One almost has to experience it to appreciate how dramatically different and better the System is. This kind of culture seems to automatically eliminate, office politics, back biting, unhappy employees, etc.
5,000,000 new Millenials enter the work force each year. 70% say they are not engaged with their employer. Most never truly engage with their employer or their work. Most only expect to stay with their first job for no more than 3 years. This presents a turnover cost of $25,000 to the employer for each turnover with lost training, replacement, recruiting, additional training etc. The True Blue System can change this for the better, making life better and more interesting and more stable for the Millennial, and saving valuable resources for the employers.
Now that we have explained the concept of TRUE BLUE, the question is, “Just how does it work to create those desirable results?” It can best be explained in a few simple steps.
Step 1. The Team leader meets with each team member and together they create a work description and position definition for the tasks of the team member. This includes what each one will bring to the business at hand. For example the team member agrees to show up each day for eight hours or whatever is agreed to. The Team may provide office space and a computer. By working together and including the team member in on the creation of the job description, the team member is recognized and shown respect as a person, and experiences some “ownership” of his duties. This alone works wonderfully to bring out the best from the team member in carrying out his duties, because now it is personal for him or her.
Step Two: Together, then the team leader and the team member create a set of goals for the next time period (usually 30 days). Again by allowing the team member to participate in the creation of the next set of goals to be accomplished, the team member experiences some degree of ownership and heightened responsibility because he is personally involved in the process. The frequent converse is where a person is simply treated as a unit of production and is given a set of tasks to be done with no input or say so in the matter. This is very de-humanizing, and does not work to bring out the best from the person. Often this results in a situation where a “manager” thinks his employees are working on “X” when in fact the employees are working on “Y.” This type of lack of unity is very costly to any endeavor in terms of time, money, and lack of results desired, employee turnover, wasted resources, etc.
Step Three. After the time period has passed (the 30 day period in our example), the team member and the team leader, with adequate agreed upon notice, meet again to review the past time period and the results. The previous goals and objectives are reviewed and discussed. Congratulations are given for those accomplished, and discussion is had on those not accomplished to determine why they were not accomplished. Were there good reasons or not? Did the team member have everything he required to accomplish the goals? Were there any outside intervening circumstances that prevented or delayed the goals from being accomplished?
AS well as reviewing the past time period, this also serves as a time for the team member to pass on any particular suggestions to make the work go better, not only for himself, but in general. This is a great resource for improving the operation in general, and one that is often missed completely by more traditional managerial systems. The results or lack of results are noted, and each person keeps a written copy of the notes. A new set of goals is created together by the team emember and the team leader for the next time period. And after the period, they meet again in like manner as described above. This continues on throughout the year.
The written record becomes a good resource to use in rewarding compensation bonuses at the end of the year. It can also be helpful where there is a situation that calls for termination of the team member for lack of performance.
All of the three steps in the process are conducted using the prepared forms that are available to all involved. These forms can be obtained from the Omega Brigade for a nominal charge. For more information on Peak Performance Profits® or the TRUE BLUE SYSTEM ®, contact the Omega Brigade at our website, www.OmegaBrigade.com. © 2018 Charles Christmas. All rights reserved You can also email to email@example.com.
Just knowing these steps is not enough. Exxperience has proven that it takes an installation workshop of the System into a company or an organization for it to operate properly. It can only be installed properly by those who have lived it, used it and have been trained how to install the system into a new company or organization.
Consider how the TRUE BLUE System could improve your work environment. Contact the Omega Brigade to find out more and arrange for a consultation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
11. One in Christ: Christian Unity
First things first. The Protest is over. There is no longer anything to protest. This is referring to the Protestant brothers and sisters. Jesus’ last prayer to his Father before being crucified was for all of his followers to be one. We know Jesus is good at prayer, and we know the Father answers all his prayers. So, let’s start looking for how we can cooperate with that answer now. In his last, prayer, Jesus went on to pray, “that all may be one, so that the world may know that Jesus was sent by the Father in heaven.” John 17 (the whole chapter) Jesus isn’t asking just for any old unity, he prayed “One, just as you and I are one Father.” Jesus’ prayer to be answered is for us to be as one as the Trinity is one. This is a high request. It can be done. The question is, “Are we willing to lay down our human differences and do what is called for to see Jesus’ prayer answered?” We can also see in Jesus’ prayer that the key to our evangelization is our unity. “So that the world may know.”
For approximately 1000 years, there was only one church. Then there was the division between East and West. That is a division that is still being worked on to heal as we speak. Progress is being made each successive year. The second large division occurred on October 31st, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in Germany. Recently for the last 30 years or so, commissions from both Catholic and Lutheran theological camps have ben working, and actually arrived at an agreed position regarding salvation by faith.
A document was produced in 1999 by the World Lutheran Federation and the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, and basically, there is no longer any different understanding on this issue between the official church bodies. This document called Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDDJ) can be found on the Vatican website at Vatican.va For the parties involved this essentially resolves the 500-year-old conflict over the nature of justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation. The World Methodist Council adopted the Declaration on July 18, 2006. The World communion of Reformed Churches (representling 80 million members of Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed, United, Uniting, and Waldensian churches adopted the Declaration in 2017.
Granted, not all of the grassroots members are in agreement, but that is not the issue here. We are interested in raising and forming a new army of believers who will be faithful intercessors and evangelists. We do not have the luxury of wallowing in the divisions of the past. It is time for those called of God to lay down their human prejudices and human opinions and get on with accomplishing the work of God in the world today. As Jesus prayed, if we are to be successful in our evangelization, we need to be united as one Christian people. Catholics need to lay down any sentiments of superiority, and Protestants need to lay down their fears of authority, and age old theological arguments conjured up out of a sense in rebellion and independence (I know better than you). The Reformation led to the continuing splits and divisions in the Body of Christ. Now there are over 50,000 different Christian groups, each claiming to be the best of the most true. Let us come together under Jesus, and in the power of the Spirit and proclaim that we are one, to show the world the good news of the Savior, the Son of God, Jesus.
There will be much to be worked out in the details, but in the meantime, Christians can consider joining an RCIA group at a Catholic parish and investigate the Catholic faith and what is involved in becoming a Catholic in good standing. Recognize, that in most cases your Christian Baptism will be honored, so you are not leaving your original faith. You are simply completing your faith in a more full-fledged version for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the Salvation of many others. You will also discover many other treasures in the Catholic Church just as I did. My baptism was honored from the Church of Christ, and I was confirmed on Easter Sunday in 1976. Truly, I have discovered, and continue to discover the many treasures of the one true historical Church of Jesus Christ, separated no more. Now one in Christ.
Find, download, and read a copy of the Joint Declaration on Justification. Consider enrolling in a class in a Catholic a parish called Rite of Initiation of Catholic Adults (RICA). Attend a Catholic mass to see what happens in Catholic worship. Do not expect the great sermons that you have heard in your Protestant services. That duty has perhaps been reserved for you in the future as it will soon be necessary for more and more Catholic Lay persons to care for the Catholic parishes that will soon have no priest. Attempt to lay aside old prejudices and try to see the Catholic Church afresh with clear eyes. Listen in your spirit as God will speak to you. Hear what he says, and act upon it.
If the Christian Church is going to survive first, and if it is going to complete its mission in the world, it is going to have to be united to stand up against the forces of Atheism and Modernism and Secular Humanism. We no longer have the luxury of languishing in our divisions. It is time to rise up and do something about it.
12. Financial Support
Often Christian organizations do not enjoy speaking about financial support. That is not the case with the Omega Brigade. We know that God provides everything we need, on all levels, personally, collectively, needs of the mission, and others as well. Financial support is the opportunity that God gives us to actively cooperate with him in his work and mission. We know from experience that we cannot out-give God. What we give to God is like a seed that he in turn transforms into a harvest and returns it to us. It is much better to rely upon God for all our needs, than to attempt to rely upon ourselves. God loves a cheerful giver, we are told in scripture. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). God loves it when persons arrive at a position in life when they are living as a conduit; that is they are giving so that God can give them more to give. This is an exciting way to live, relying upon God, and not hoarding and living in fear.
There are no formal dues to be a member of the Omega Brigade. The recommended annual donation (given monthly) is one percent (1%) of one’s annual income. The other nine percent (9%) should be given to one’s local parish or church. The one present donations are used exclusively for the work and mission of the Omega Brigade. Websites, audio and video equipment, social media outreach and advertising, salaries, other donations to other related causes are just some of the annual expenses of the Omega Brigade.
Take a moment and pray and ask God what he would have you donate to the work of the Omega Brigade. Then become a Cheerful Giver and see how God blesses your life in return. The Omega Brigade website will be operating soon, and donations will be received there as indicated. If not, email for directions how and where to donate. email@example.com