Mark

A DAILY JOURNAL

Charismatic! Part VII

 

THE point of this entire series on the charismatic gifts and movement is to encourage the reader to not be afraid of the extraordinary in God! To not be afraid to “open wide your hearts” to the gift of the Holy Spirit whom the Lord wishes to pour out in a special and powerful way in our times. As I read the letters sent to me, it is clear that the Charismatic Renewal has not been without its sorrows and failures, its human deficiencies and weaknesses. And yet, this is precisely what occurred in the early Church after Pentecost. Saints Peter and Paul devoted much space to correcting the various churches, moderating the charisms, and refocusing the budding communities over and over again upon the oral and written tradition that was being handed on to them. What the Apostles did not do is deny the often dramatic experiences of believers, try to stifle the charisms, or silence the zeal of thriving communities. Rather, they said:

Do not quench the Spirit… pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy… above all, let your love for one another be intense… (1 Thess 5:19; 1 Cor 14:1; 1 Pet 4:8)

I want to devote the last part of this series to sharing my own experiences and reflections since I first experienced the charismatic movement in 1975. Rather than give my entire testimony here, I will restrict it to those experiences one might call “charismatic.”

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on February 22nd, 2012 | 2 Comments »

Charismatic? Part VI


Pentecost
, Artist Unknown

 

 

PENTECOST is not only a single event, but a grace that the Church can experience again and again. However, in this past century, the popes have been praying not only for a renewal in the Holy Spirit, but for a “new Pentecost”. When one considers all the signs of the times that have accompanied this prayer—key among them the continued presence of the Blessed Mother gathering with her children on earth through ongoing apparitions, as though she were once again in the “upper room” with the Apostles… the words of the Catechism take on a new sense of immediacy:

…at the “end time” the Lord’s Spirit will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 715

This time when the Spirit comes to “renew the face of the earth” is the period, after the death of Antichrist, during what the Church Father’s pointed to in St. John’s Apocalypse as the “thousand year” era when Satan is chained in the abyss. Read more… »

Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on February 18th, 2012 | Comments Off

Charismatic? Part V

 

 

AS we look at the Charismatic Renewal today, we see a great decline in its numbers, and those who remain are mostly grey and white-haired. What, then, was the Charismatic Renewal all about if it appears on the surface to be fizzling? As one reader wrote in response to this series:

At some point the Charismatic movement vanished like fireworks that light up the night sky and then fall back into the darkenss. I was somewhat puzzled that a move of Almighty God would wane and finally fade away.

The answer to this question is perhaps the most important aspect of this series, for it helps us to understand not only where we’ve come from, but what the future holds for the Church…

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on February 13th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Charismatic? Part IV

 

 

I have been asked before if I am a “Charismatic.” And my answer is, “I am Catholic!” That is, I want to be fully Catholic, to live in the center of the deposit of faith, the heart of our mother, the Church. And so, I strive to be “charismatic”, “marian,” “contemplative,” “active,” “sacramental,” and “apostolic.” That is because all of the above belong not to this or that group, or this or that movement, but to the entire body of Christ. While apostolates may vary in the focus of their particular charism, in order to be fully alive, fully “healthy,” one’s heart, one’s apostolate, should be open to the entire treasury of grace that the Father has bestowed upon the Church.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens… (Eph 1:3)

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on February 9th, 2012 | Comments Off

Charismatic? Part III


Holy Spirit Window, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

 

FROM that letter in Part I:

I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

 

I was seven years old when my parents attended a Charismatic prayer meeting in our parish. There, they had an encounter with Jesus that profoundly changed them. Our parish priest was a good shepherd of the movement who himself experienced the “baptism in the Spirit.” He permitted the prayer group to grow in its charisms, thereby bringing many more conversions and graces to the Catholic community. The group was ecumenical, and yet, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. My dad described it as a “truly beautiful experience.”

In hindsight, it was a model of sorts of what the popes, from the very beginning of the Renewal, wished to see: an integration of the movement with the whole Church, in fidelity to the Magisterium.

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on February 7th, 2012 | Comments Off

The Verdict

 

AS my recent ministry tour progressed, I felt a new weight in my soul, a heaviness of heart unlike previous missions the Lord has sent me on. After preaching about His love and mercy, I asked the Father one night why the world… why anyone would not want to open their hearts to Jesus who has given so much, who has never hurt a soul, and who has burst open the gates of Heaven and gained every spiritual blessing for us through His death upon the Cross?

The answer came swiftly, a word from the Scriptures themselves:

And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. (John 3:19)

The growing sense, as I’ve meditated on this word, is that it is a definitive word for our times, indeed a verdict for a world now upon the threshold of extraordinary change….

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, SIGNS | on February 3rd, 2012 | 1 Comment »

Charismatic? Part II

 

 

THERE is perhaps no movement in the Church that has been so widely accepted—and readily rejected—as the “Charismatic Renewal.” Boundaries were broken, comfort zones moved, and the status quo shattered. Like Pentecost, it has been anything but a neat and tidy movement, fitting nicely into our preconceived boxes of just how the Spirit should move among us. Nothing has been perhaps as polarizing either… just as it was then. When the Jews heard and saw the Apostles burst from the upper room, speaking in tongues, and boldly proclaiming the Gospel…

They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, “What does this mean?” But others said, scoffing, “They have had too much new wine. (Acts 2:12-13)

Such is the division in my letter bag as well…

The Charismatic movement is a load of gibberish, NONSENSE! The Bible speaks of the gift of tongues. This referred to the ability to communicate in the spoken languages of that time! It did not mean idiotic gibberish… I will have nothing to do with it. —T.S.

It saddens me to see this lady speak this way about the movement that brought me back to Church… —M.G.

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on January 30th, 2012 | 2 Comments »

Charismatic? Part I

 

From a reader:

You mention the Charismatic Renewal (in your writing The Christmas Apocalypse) in a positive light. I don’t get it. I go out of my way to attend a church that is very traditional—where people dress properly, remain quiet in front of the Tabernacle, where we are catechized according to Tradition from the pulpit, etc.

I stay far away from charismatic churches. I just don’t see that as Catholicism. There is often a movie screen on the altar with parts of the Mass listed on it (“Liturgy,” etc.). Women are on the altar. Everyone is dressed very casually (jeans, sneakers, shorts, etc.) Everyone raises their hands, shouts, claps—no quiet. There is no kneeling or other reverent gestures. It seems to me that a lot of this was learned from the Pentecostal denomination. No one thinks the “details” of Tradition matter. I feel no peace there. What happened to Tradition? To silence (such as no clapping!) out of respect for the Tabernacle??? To modest dress?

And I have never seen anyone who had a REAL gift of tongues. They tell you to say nonsense with them…! I tried it years ago, and I was saying NOTHING! Can’t that type of thing call down ANY spirit? It seems like it should be called “charismania.” The “tongues” people speak in are just jibberish! After Pentecost, people understood the preaching. It just seems like any spirit can creep into this stuff. Why would anyone want hands laid on them that are not consecrated??? Sometimes I am aware of certain serious sins that people are in, and yet there they are on the altar in their jeans laying hands on others. Aren’t those spirits being passed on? I don’t get it!

I would much rather attend a Tridentine Mass where Jesus is at the center of everything. No entertainment—just worship.

 

Dear reader,

You raise some important points worth discussing. Is the Charismatic Renewal from God? Is it a Protestant invention, or even a diabolical one? Are these “gifts of the Spirit” or ungodly “graces”?

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, CHARISMATIC? | on January 24th, 2012 | 7 Comments »

The Prophetic Mountain

 

WE are parked at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains this evening, as my daughter and I prepare to grab some shut eye before the day’s journey to the Pacific Ocean tomorrow.

I am only a few miles from the mountain where, seven years ago, the Lord spoke powerful prophetic words to Fr. Kyle Dave and I. He is a priest from Louisiana who fled Hurricane Katrina when it ravaged the southern states, including his parish. Fr. Kyle came to stay with me in the aftermath, as a veritable tsunami of water (a 35 foot storm surge!) tore through his church, leaving nothing but a few statues behind.

While here, we prayed, read the Scriptures, celebrated the Mass, and prayed some more as the Lord made the Word come alive. It was as though a window was opened, and we were allowed to peer into the fog of the future for a short time. Everything that was spoken in seed form then (see The Petals and Trumpets of Warning) is now unfolding before our eyes. Since then, I have expounded on  those prophetic days in some 700 writings here and in a book, as the Spirit has led me on this unexpected journey…

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, TIME OF GRACE | on January 17th, 2012 | Comments Off

Esperanza


Maria Esperanza, 1928 – 2004

 

The cause for canonization of Maria Esperanza was opened January 31, 2010. This writing was first published on September 15th, 2008, on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. As with the writing Trajectory, which I recommend you read, this writing also contains many “now words” that we need to hear again.

And again.

 

THIS past year, when I would pray in the Spirit, a word would often and suddenly rise to my lips: “esperanza.” I just learned that this is a Hispanic word meaning “hope.”

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, TIME OF GRACE | on January 8th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

The Storm at Hand

 

WHEN this ministry first began, the Lord made it clear to me in a gentle but firm way that I was not to be shy in “blowing the trumpet.” This was confirmed by a Scripture:

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, speak to your people and tell them: When I bring the sword against a land… and the sentinel sees the sword coming against the land, he should blow the trumpet to warn the people… If, however, the sentinel sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the sword attacks and takes someone’s life, his life will be taken for his own sin, but I will hold the sentinel responsible for his blood. You, son of man — I have appointed you as a sentinel for the house of Israel; when you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them for me. (Ezekiel 33:1-7)

The young have shown themselves to be for Rome and for the Church a special gift of the Spirit of God… I did not hesitate to ask them to make a radical choice of faith and life and present them with a stupendous task: to become “morning watchmen” at the dawn of the new millennium. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millennio Inuente, n.9

With the help of a holy spiritual director and much, much grace, I have been able to raise the instrument of warning to my lips and blow it according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. More recently, before Christmas, I met with my own shepherd, his Excellency, Bishop Don Bolen, to discuss my ministry and the prophetic aspect of my work. He told me that he did “not want to put any stumbling blocks in the way”, and that it was “good” that I was “sounding the warning.” Regarding more specific prophetic elements of my ministry, he expressed caution, as he should have. For how can we know if a prophecy is a prophecy until it comes true? His caution is my own in the spirit of St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians:

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. (1 Thess 5:19-21)

It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church’s shepherds. “Their office [is] not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,” so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together “for the common good.”Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 801

Regarding discernment, I want to recommend Bishop Don’s own writing on the times, one that is refreshingly honest, accurate, and challenges the reader to become a vessel of hope (Giving An Account of Our Hope“, www.saskatoondiocese.com, May 2011).

 

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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, THE GREAT TRIALS | on January 4th, 2012 | 5 Comments »

The Invisible Gift

 

THERE is an invisible gift awaiting each of us to be opened… but there is a key to how to find and open this Divine Present.

To watch Mark’s Christmas message, The Invisible Gift, go to www.embracinghope.tv

(If you have trouble viewing any of these videos, you can go to directly to your host here: http://vimeo.com/markmallett/videos )

Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, WEBCAST & VIDEOS | on December 25th, 2011 | 1 Comment »