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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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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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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Merciless!

 

IF the Illumination is to occur, an event comparable to the “awakening” of the Prodigal Son, then not only will humanity encounter the depravity of that lost son, the consequent mercy of the Father, but also the mercilessness of the elder brother.

It is interesting that in Christ’s parable, He does not tell us whether the elder son comes to accept the return of His little brother. In fact, the brother is angry.

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. (Luke 15:25-28)

The remarkable truth is, not everyone in the world will accept the graces of the Illumination; some will refuse “to enter the house.” Is this not the case every day in our own lives? We are granted many moments for conversion, and yet, so often we choose our own misguided will over God’s, and harden our hearts a little bit more, at least in certain areas of our lives. Hell itself is full of people who willfully resisted saving grace in this life, and are thus without grace in the next. Human free will is at once an incredible gift while at the same time a serious responsibility, since it is the one thing that renders the omnipotent God helpless: He forces salvation upon no one even though He wills that all would be saved. [1]cf. 1 Tim 2:4

One of the dimensions of free will that restrains God’s ability to act within us is mercilessness…

 

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Footnotes

1 cf. 1 Tim 2:4

The Coming Revelation of the Father

 

ONE of the great graces of the Illumination is going to be the revelation of the Father’s love. For the great crisis of our time—the destruction of the family unit—is the loss of our identity as sons and daughters of God:

The crisis of fatherhood we are living today is an element, perhaps the most important, threatening man in his humanity. The dissolution of fatherhood and motherhood is linked to the dissolution of our being sons and daughters.  —POPE BENEDICT XVI (Cardinal Ratzinger), Palermo, March 15th, 2000 

At Paray-le-Monial, France, during the Sacred Heart Congress, I sensed the Lord saying that this moment of the prodigal son, the moment of the Father of Mercies is coming. Even though mystics speak of the Illumination as a moment of seeing the crucified Lamb or an illuminated cross, [1]cf. Revelation Illumination Jesus will reveal to us the Father’s love:

He who sees me sees the Father. (John 14:9)

It is “God, who is rich in mercy” whom Jesus Christ has revealed to us as Father: it is His very Son who, in Himself, has manifested Him and made Him known to us… It is especially for[sinners] that the Messiah becomes a particularly clear sign of God who is love, a sign of the Father. In this visible sign the people of our own time, just like the people then, can see the Father. —BLESSED JOHN PAUL II, Dives in misercordia, n. 1

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Footnotes

Missing the Message… of a Papal Prophet

 

THE Holy Father has been greatly misunderstood not only by the secular press, but by some of the flock as well. [1]cf. Benedict and the New World Order Some have written me suggesting that perhaps this pontiff is an "anti-pope" in kahootz with the Antichrist! [2]cf. A Black Pope? How quickly some run from the Garden!

Pope Benedict XVI is not calling for a central all-powerful "global government"—something he and popes before him have outright condemned (ie. Socialism) [3]For other quotes from popes on Socialism, cf. www.tfp.org and www.americaneedsfatima.org —but a global family that places the human person and their inviolable rights and dignity at the center of all human development in society. Let us be absolutely clear on this:

The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. … In the end, the claim that just social structures would make works of charity superfluous masks a materialist conception of man: the mistaken notion that man can live ‘by bread alone’ (Mt 4:4; cf. Dt 8:3) – a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est, n. 28, December 2005

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Footnotes

1 cf. Benedict and the New World Order
2 cf. A Black Pope?
3 For other quotes from popes on Socialism, cf. www.tfp.org and www.americaneedsfatima.org

The Great Revolution

 

AS promised, I want to share more words and thoughts that came to me during my time in Paray-le-Monial, France.

 

ON THE THRESHOLD… A GLOBAL REVOLUTION

I strongly sensed the Lord saying that we are upon the “threshold” of immense changes, changes that are both painful and good. The biblical imagery used over and over again is that of labor pains. As any mother knows, labor is a very turbulent time—contractions followed by rest followed by more intense contractions until finally the baby is born… and the pain quickly becomes a memory.

The labor pains of the Church have been occurring over centuries. Two large contractions occurred in the schism between Orthodox (East) and Catholics (West) at the turn of the first millennium, and then again in the Protestant Reformation 500 years later. These revolutions shook the foundations of the Church, cracking her very walls such that the “smoke of Satan” was able to slowly seep in.

…the smoke of Satan is seeping into the Church of God through the cracks in the walls. —POPE PAUL VI, first Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, June 29, 1972

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A Woman and a Dragon

 

IT is one of the most remarkable ongoing miracles in modern times, and the majority of Catholics are likely unaware of it. Chapter Six in my book, The Final Confrontation, deals with the incredible miracle of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and how it relates to Chapter 12 in the Book of Revelation. Due to widespread myths that have been accepted as facts, however, my original version has been revised to reflect the verified scientific realities surrounding the tilma upon which the image remains as in inexplicable phenomenon. The miracle of the tilma needs no embellishment; it stands on its own as a great “sign of the times.”

I have published Chapter Six below for those who already have my book. The Third Printing is now available for those who would like to order additional copies, which includes the information below and any typographical corrections found.

Note: the footnotes below are numbered differently than the printed copy.Continue reading

Catholic Fundamentalist?

 

FROM a reader:

I have been reading your “deluge of false prophets” series, and to tell you the truth, I am a little concerned. Let me explain… I am a recent convert to the Church. I was once a fundamentalist Protestant Pastor of the “meanest kind”—I was a bigot! Then someone gave me a book by Pope John Paul II— and I fell in love with this man’s writing. I resigned as Pastor in 1995 and in 2005 I came into the Church. I went to Franciscan University (Steubenville) and got a Masters in Theology.

But as I read your blog—I saw something I did not like—an image of myself 15 years ago. I am wondering, because I swore when I left Fundamentalist Protestantism that I would not substitute one fundamentalism for another. My thoughts: be careful you do not become so negative that you lose sight of the mission.

Is it possible that there is such an entity as “Fundamentalist Catholic?” I worry about the heteronomic element in your message.

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