Jesus is Lord!
Some people have mentioned to me that I should start a blog, and maybe as soon as I figure how to do it, I will (lol).
This morning I was enjoying a cup of coffee and happen to have the "700 Club" on the television. They had a segment of a young women in her 20's who grew up Catholic but was "picked off" by Jehovah's Witnesses. She could not defend her faith and the "witnesses" seems to have a lot of answers to her questions. Eventually the young women got engaged, but the "witnesses" were not happy with her engagement to a "non-witness", another Catholic, so she stop associating with them. Eventually she got married in a non-denominational Christian church. It wasn't until she was expecting the couples first child that she realized she needed to raise the child in the faith. Friends suggested a church, where she was struck with the dynamic "praise and worship" of the people, who were raising their "hands in true worship." Upon giving her life to Jesus Christ, she and her husband are now active members of this church.
According to the 700 Club this is a "glory story," and yes I can agree that it is exciting that this young women and her husband have given their lives to Christ, however, I am saddened that she did not experience this in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately statistics has shown that a large percentage of membership in the type of church this young women joined are first and second generation Catholics. What this young girl didn't realize is that she did not have to leave the Catholic Church to experience her new life in Christ, however, its fair to say that she may have had to do a little more searching within to find it.
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a great hope for the Church (Pope John Paul II words not mine) that people can experience the "baptism in the Holy Spirit", dynamic worship (and I mean "worship"... a prayer experience not just singing songs), teaching (and studying the word of God), brothers and sisters with zeal (community) and a desire to bring others to an encounter with Christ (service and evangelization) as this young women on the 700 Club experienced elsewhere.
When I was ordained a priest, I promised the Lord that I would be a priest of the renewal. I owe everything to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. My conversion and priesthood was because of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit," and thanks be to God, because of the witness and "invitation" of brothers and sisters in my home parish, I did not have to leave the Catholic Church to experience it.
But as a priest of the renewal, I know there is much work to be done in bringing the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to the heart of the Church. Work not only for priests, but for the laity (you outnumber us!) Work that will require the entire "people of God" (laity and ordained) to ask for an increase in the virtue of humility (repent from the sin of pride), be an instrument of reconciliation, and be totally open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit... and then to again start afresh from Christ ( again JPII words not mine).
So I invite you to join me today in praying.... "Come, Holy Spirit" and commit (and re-commit) ourselves to fostering the mission of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in bringing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to the heart of the Church. This will be the intention of the Holy Mass that I will celebrate today.
Let me know your thoughts....