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March 13th, 2009

THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL

The idea for this  post came to me this morning at mass.  A couple of days ago I wrote about the baptism in the Spirit, using a talk I gave some years ago.  Today I feel the need to add more of an overall picture.  Through  the years I have read and heard many testimonies about the difference the baptism in the Spirit makes in the lives of Christians.

What does the Catholic Church say about the charismatic renewal?  Watch this video for an overview.    Look especially at the face of John Paul  II in 1981 before he says, “Long life for the Charismatics” and listen to the praising in tongues afterwards!

Please read in your bible  about the happenings at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21).   The people in the upper room were already Christians, already followers of Jesus.   But Jesus knew they needed more and promised to send the Spirit.  Re-read  Acts 2 and try to convince yourself that the baptism in the Spirit was not both needed and effective.  Then ask yourself whether it  is needed  today.   We read:  “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…..”

How and where are people being led to the Lord and filled with the Spirit  in these latter days? Read the rest of this entry »

January 12th, 2009

HUNGRY FOR LOVE

Last night I feel asleep listening to Father Groeschel talking to Fr. Felix Ilesanmi Osasona, MSP, about how the church in Africa is growing by leaps and bounds.  The previous night had been relatively sleepless and the day difficult, with five inches of snow to cope with.  I slept well last night, even with EWTN blasting the whole time.  I woke up to find, at 6 AM, Mary Beth Bonacci telling me about love.   What a blessing!  I wish I could just insert a wee video of that half-hour for readers that aren’t  able to  watch EWTN regularly at 6 AM.

Mary Beth was telling me that our children are hungry for love (as is everyone) but we have to teach them about love.  We have to model love for them, explain to them what love is (early, before the hormones kick in).  Tell them about real love.   Real love is when you want what is best for someone, when you care about them and their problems, when you are willing to sacrifice for them.  Love is a decision, not a feeling.

Mary Beth says she is known as the “pizza love” lady .  She compares real love with pizza love.  When you love pizza you like what pizza does for you, you hunger for its taste, you’ll go out of  your way to get some.  But when you’ve had your fill of pizza, you toss it aside.  You don’t care that it’s sitting in the refrigerator getting green and moldy, once your appetite is satisfied.  It’s all about you.

Loving means I’m for you.  Using means you’re for me.  “Pizza love” is about what you do for me, to me.  Mary Beth suggests starting early with the “pizza love” analogy to get kids thinking about the meaning of love.  Model unconditional love for them.    She says her Dad told her, “We’ll always love you, no matter what.”  She says he never actually  said it but she understood that meant he would still love her no matter how she screwed up, if she came home pregnant, or whatever.

[In the background, as I type, Mother Angelica is leading the rosary.  It’s a nice kind of background “music.”]

Mary Beth says God is “flipped out, madly, crazy in love with your child.”  And with every other person.  God only wants what is best for them.  It’s draining to raise a kid.  We need to turn to God for the power to love our children well.  We can’t do it on our own.  Love is a theological virtue – it’s God’s power working in us.  We need to pray to be able to love well and we need to teach our children to pray early on.

Well, maybe I’m through channeling Mary Beth Bonacci.   It was a superb half-hour, followed by Crossing the Goal with real men teaching about the Lord’s prayer.  Today it focuses on the line, “Deliver us from evil.”  I will not synopsize that program, but well worth watching.

EWTN will show the March for Life in Washington DC on January 22, LIVE!   I’ve been there and have seen personally the masses of people, marching curb to curb on Constitutional Avenue, as far as the eye could see, thousands and thousands of them.  Where else will you ever get this kind of coverage?  Not in your secular press.  Not on mainline TV.

I am so grateful to be able to receive EWTN.  I had nothing to do with it – it’s that little satellite dish that my son put up there that brings in EWTN while my  neighbors on cable can’t receive it.  Thank you, Dan.

The message of Father Groeschel last night was that the United States is now a mission country! We used to send missionaries to so-called  “third world countries.”  Those countries — Asian, African — are now sending missionaries to the United States to relieve our priest shortage and
minister to our spiritual hunger.   (See Missionary Society of St. Paul)

Song (John 13:34)

Love one another, love one another
As I have loved you.
And care for each other, care for each other
As I have cared for you.
And bear one another’s burdens –
Share one another’s joys –
And love one another, love one another
And bring each other home.

~~~

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.  —  Mother Teresa

Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.  — Gandhi

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