Looking Ahead to the Jubilee!

Connecting the Past With the Present  

(Article from the September 2016 newsletter)

From the very beginning the Holy Spirit has been present to us here on earth, the Holy Spirit wasn’t completely revealed until after Jesus’ Resurrection.  However, as we read in Genesis, the “Ruah” also known as the Breath of God, was already moving over the face of the waters as the key of love unlocked the Father’s Hand, spilling forth all of creation.

The Holy Spirit is that key and that same key to the spiritual life, the love of God, poured into our hearts.  It is the Holy Spirit that brings about a transformation so great that the breathless body of Adam comes to life from the clay and the powerful Breath of Christ is sacrificed on the cross for our sins.  And even more powerful is the breath of God returned to Christ’s lifeless body in the tomb. Throughout the Old Testament we hear of the prophets and kings were anointed with the Holy Spirit.  God worked powerfully through them and then Jesus, the anointed One of God who is revealed to us.  Like all these anointed, once the Holy Spirit moves, a new beginning in life occurs.

Even today, we all have a very powerful beginning, the moment of the first encounter with the Holy Spirit, where our lives were transformed and made anew.  We were forever changed, the Gift of the Holy Spirit was given and our heart responded.  Not only do we have a personal beginning and a personal Pentecost, our Church also has a point when the Holy Spirit was outpoured and the Charismatic Renewal began in a public way …

Over the next several issues of the CCRO newsletter we will be taking a close look at the beginnings of the Renewal, personal stories of the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts and minds of the faithful, and a look ahead at how the Holy Spirit is moving in the lives of this generation.

John the Baptist told the crowd that, “He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.” (Luke 3:16)  I was once told that Luke’s primary inspired mission was to write the Acts of the Apostles before he was inspired to write the Gospel so we could see that the early church believed the gift that was promised would and did come to pass!  The community prayed and continued to pray for the outpouring of God, the Holy Spirit. Clearly Church history has experienced the  Holy Spirit in so many ways including “baptism in the Spirit” which did not die with the Apostles (a theory some call cessationism), but that it continued in strength for centuries in the general church through baptism, confirmation, ordination,  and the rest of the sacraments through the present day. This experience has been part of our faith life and traditions in various groups and communities throughout the history of the Church, not confined only to the Catholic Church but through our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Charismatic Renewal is only one of the latest of these expressions of baptism in the Spirit and charismatic gifts. It is meant for all followers, laity and clergy alike since we are all His children through the baptismal waters.

The renewal of this experience of “baptism in the Spirit” was renewed or “re-anointed” in the Catholic Church in February of 1967 when a group of students on retreat at Duquesne University began praying for a fresh outpouring of Pentecost. David Mangan, one of our latest 2016 Summer Conference speakers who was in that upper room,  said it was a handful of retreat attendees that weekend who experienced the “baptism in the Holy Spirit.”  Many of them had profound “baptism in the Spirit” experiences and they shared these experiences with others in prayer. They had a renewed commitment to prayer, a renewed personal relationship to Jesus, and a yearning for more knowledge in their Catholic faith.  They followed the gospel call for all believers to bring the message of Jesus to others and to use the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit to bring the mission of Jesus and the Church to everyone who would listen. There followed a FIRE STORM MOVEMENT so profound that it led to connections across denominations and dioceses to join in the Renewal in the Spirit. This Renewal of “baptism in the Spirit” has “set on fire” millions of Catholic charismatics in the U.S. more  worldwide.  What an outpouring of the Spirit in 50 years!



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