When the Spirit Comes

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, March 17th, 2015
St. Patrick’s Day

Liturgical texts here

 

THE Holy Spirit.

Have you met this Person yet? There is the Father and the Son, yes, and it is easy for us to imagine them because of Christ’s face and the image of fatherhood. But the Holy Spirit… what, a bird? No, the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, and the one who, when He comes, makes all the difference in the world.

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The Coming Wave of Unity

 ON THE FEAST OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER

 

FOR two weeks, I have sensed the Lord repeatedly encouraging me to write about ecumenism, the movement toward Christian unity. At one point, I felt the Spirit prompt me to go back and read the “The Petals”, those four foundational writings from which everything else here has sprung. One of them is on unity: Catholics, Protestants, and the Coming Wedding.

As I began yesterday with prayer, a few words came to me that, after having shared them with my spiritual director, I want to share with you. Now, before I do, I have to tell you that I think that all of what I’m about to write will take on new meaning when you watch the video below that was posted on Zenit News Agency’s website yesterday morning. I didn’t watch the video until after I received the following words in prayer, so to say the least, I have been utterly blown away by the wind of the Spirit (after eight years of these writings, I never get used to it!).

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The Emptying

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for January 13th, 2014

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE is no evangelization without the Holy Spirit. After spending three years listening to, walking, talking, fishing, eating with, sleeping beside, and even laying upon the breast of our Lord… the Apostles seemed incapable of penetrating the hearts of the nations without Pentecost. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit descended upon them in tongues of fire that the mission of the Church was to begin.

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Calling His Name

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for November 30th, 2013
Feast of St. Andrew

Liturgical texts here


Crucifixion of St. Andrew (1607), Caravaggio

 
 

GROWING up at a time when Pentecostalism was strong in Christian communities and on television, it was common to hear evangelical Christians quote from today’s first reading from Romans:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

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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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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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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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