Pray Boldly With Faith!

Our prayer group was blessed by the visit of a snow bird, Larry, who was involved in an ecumenical healing ministry in Michigan. Of course we took advantage of the opportunity to be prayed over. One thing I noticed about the way Larry prayed over people was that it was simple, direct and bold. “ In the name of Jesus I command this shoulder to be healed. “ No wishy-washy prayers, no rambling prayers and no doubt that God would answer his prayer and no suggestions to try anti-inflammatory medicine or to do less for God, he just prayed in faith that God would do ask he asked. Isn’t this what the early disciples did?
Isn’t this what we are called to do? We possess the same Holy Spirit as the early disciples. The Spirit we possess is not watered down but present in all His power and love which He passionately longs to pour out upon the world. We have not been given the Holy Spirit to keep for ourselves. We are called to reach out to the people around us and bring His love.
We live in a world desperately in need of God’s love and mercy. We are the people God has created and raised up as His instruments to bring His love to the world. So, why are we holding back? Why are we timid? Why do we lack confidence?
Is our mistake that we think in depends on us? Do we feel inadequate praying over someone? Jesus promised in John 14:12 that we would do greater works than the ones He did. Three times so far this Easter Season we’ve heard that promise. How often have we heard that Promise? When is it going to sink in that He meant it?
We are called to reach out in faith and trust God to do what is best for the people we are reaching out to. Our success does not depend on our abilities or inadequacies but on the infinite love of an almighty God.

The Same Power

There is a song , popular on Christian radio, Same Power by Jeremy Camp, that I first heard as I left the SC Charismatic Conference in October, 2015. It was the very first song I heard after I got into my car and it struck me as confirmation of the conference and the Charismatic Renewal.
The chorus reads like this; “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, the same power that commands the dead to wake lives in us, lives in us. The same power that moves mountains when He speaks, the same powers that can calm a raging sea, lives in us, lives in us. He lives in us, lives in us”.
How true. We have the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit given to the disciples at Pentecost. We been given awesome gifts and we live in a world desperately in need of those gifts. So many around us are wounded in one way or another, whether spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is impossible for our priests and deacons to meet the needs of all those who need someone to pray with them.
We have been given these gifts for a reason. Take a good look at the world around us. Outside of our technological advances are we really any different from Pagan Rome? The Roman Empire was converted because the first Christians weren’t afraid to use the charismatic gifts God had given them. Why are we afraid to use these gifts? Why do we keep them secret as if we are ashamed of them? Why do we worry about what people will think?
Aren’t we called to step out in faith? Didn’t St Francis challenge us to be fools for Christ? Didn’t Jesus promise that we would do greater things than He? Is it a coincidence that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began as our country was turning pagan?
We’ve been given the power to change the world, to turn this country back to God and to bring people back to the Church. We need to use this power. It is the only way we can change our country and the world for the better. Politics is not the answer, God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are.
Pray with people; use the charismatic gifts God has given you. Reach out to those around you. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. The Holy Spirit is calling us to action. He will provide us all we need.

The Kind Of Homily Jesus Would Love!

This morning I heard an awesome homily. Possibly one of the best I ever heard. Father preached about Paul’s line in Hebrews 13:8. “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” He is the first non-charismatic priest I ever heard point out that the Jesus we meet at mass is the same Jesus who multiplied the loaves, raised the dead and healed the sick.
Isn’t that what Jesus would want us to know? So often when we hear about the Real Presence it seems that Jesus is only present and interested in our spiritual well-being that He isn’t interested in our health or other problems. We vaguely imply that Jesus would bless us in communion but don’t really expect Him to do anything.
Yet in the Gospels we read so often that Jesus’ heart was moved with compassion. We see especially in Matthew that He healed all who came to Him in faith. We see Him changing water into wine. He sought the Samaritan woman at the well. He fed the multitudes so that they would not faint on their way home. Does this seem like a Jesus who only cares about us spiritually?
Didn’t He invite us to come to Him? Didn’t He come so that we might have life and have it abundantly? Didn’t He create the Eucharist as a means for us to come to Him? Isn’t He infinite love incarnate?
Our faith teaches that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in all of His Divinity and in all of His humanity. He is present in all of his power and infinite love. He passionately desires that we come to Him. He longs to bless us to knock our socks off. He is infinite love and infinite wisdom come down to earth in the form of a simple host and wine. The all-powerful God awaits us each time we come to communion so why do we expect so little.
This is the living Jesus in all of His power and glory! Open your hearts, allow Him to do what is best for you. Ask for everything He wants to give and expect miracles.

What Does Jesus Want Us to Know About The Eucharist?

Last night I taught the RCIA class about the Eucharist. After listening to what other members of the team felt was important to include, listening to several Cd’s, watching a video and reading many articles. I thought the most important thing was to be open to the Holy Spirit and think about what Jesus would want us to know.
I am really truly here, present in each host, present in all my power and divinity. I am not a symbol, not just a wafer or a watered down diluted version of myself. I am Jesus Christ present in all my power and glory. I am the same Jesus that walked the dusty roads of Galilee, the God-man who healed the paralytic, walked on water , calmed the storm, fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and a few fish and raised Lazarus from the dead.
I am the same Jesus who loved you so much I endured the most painful death in all of history so that you might spend eternity with me. I am the Jesus who could not bear to leave you, could not wait for you to die so I created the Eucharist as a way to be with you right now.
My love for you is so great, so immense, human words are absolutely inadequate to describe it. Niagara Falls pales in comparison to the love and blessings I long to pour out upon you.
I long for you to come to me. I long to bless you. I know you intimately. I know everything about you. I see all your physical weaknesses and problems, all the ways you suffered physically. I know how much you have suffered emotionally, how many times you have been hurt by others and all the times you have hurt yourself. I see how you beat yourself up, how you find it so difficult to forgive yourself, so difficult to love yourself. I see the sins that trap you and I passionately long to set you free, to make you a new creature in me.
I long for you to come to me in the Eucharist, come to me with an open heart, trusting me to pour my love upon you and do what is best. My desire is for you to be healed completely, whole and to know me intimately in communion, to know and experience my love. Come to me and open your heart so I may pour my love upon you.

We Need Advent!

The other day, November 29th I drove past a neighbor’s house all lit up for Christmas. In recent years I’ve seen people decorating their house on Thanksgiving Day. I even saw a Methodist Church all decorated for Christmas. Yet all my parish church has is an advent wreath.
There is a reason for that. Christmas isn’t here yet. We need to take the time to focus on the spiritual aspects of the season and to think about the real meaning of Christmas not just trees, decorations, gifts and a cute baby in a manger. Christmas is about so much more than a baby and presents. It is about the God who loves us and wants what is best for us. It is about the God who desperately wants a relationship with us and passionately desires for us to spend eternity with him. It is about the God who came to earth in utter humility as an infant so that He could grow up and suffered the most painful death in history to free us from our sins.
Advent is a reminder that there is much more to this life than the temporal that we see. We are more than highly intelligent animals. we have eternal souls that need care and spiritual nourishment. It calls us to lift our eyes out of the cesspool we live in and focus on the God who loves us. We remember that we are called to something greater than the world we live in, a better way of life, a life free of the harmful effects of sin.
We live in a world of pain and selfishness, where everyone is hurting in one way or another. Advent calls us to reflect on a better world, a world of infinite love and mercy. It calls us to focus on Jesus’ infinite love and to bring that love to a world desperately in need of that love.

An Open Letter To John O’Brien Of Catholics For Choice

Exactly what qualifies you to speak for the Catholic Church on abortion and conscience. You basically stated that the unpopularity of the church’s position on contraception proves that it is wrong. Have you even read the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7 verses 13-14? “ Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”. These are the words of Jesus Christ.

Where in the gospels or Bible does it say that the Church is supposed to be popular? When was Jesus concerned about popularity? Didn’t He warn us that we would be rejected because of our beliefs?

Verse 15 also applies. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Might those words not apply to you, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden?

The purpose of the Church is to lead people to salvation to help them find the narrow gate and reach heaven. It can not change its teachings to please the crowd or satisfy a political party. They have to be true to the teachings of Christ and the Bible.

I find your statements about conscience interesting because I spent over 40 years in Catholic schools as both a student and teacher and have been privileged to know several clergy and sisters who followed their conscience to do what was right. Some went to march at Selma. Others were arrested in protest of the Vietnam War and President Reagan’s nuclear policy. Others helped illegal immigrants who fled the death squads in El Salvador. They followed their conscience and opposed what they believed were unjust government policies. Following this tradition and that of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More shouldn’t we be following our conscience and resisting the abortion policies of our government rather than supporting them.

You talk about individual conscience but have you actually read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about conscience. It is incredibly easy. All you have to do is google Catechism of the Catholic Church and one of the choices it gives you is Catechism of the Catholic Church 1776. 1776 is the first paragraph related to conscience. You ought to actually read it and I invite you and everyone who may read this to actually read it.

Take a good look at paragraphs 1790 and 1791. They read as following: 1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

They are talking about erroneous judgment. It is much more likely for you to be wrong about abortion than the Catholic Church and you personally, your organization, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Tim Kaine are responsible for misleading and deceiving many Catholics about the Church’s teachings. The Church has been clear on its teachings related to life issues but you get much more coverage than our bishops.

Again who are you to speak for the Catholic Church? To me you’re no better than Cardinal Woolsey who betrayed the Church and helped Henry VIII to take England out of the Church. Over the centuries hundreds of thousands of Catholics have given their lives for the Church you have betrayed.

Think about that and the fact that God will be the final judge, not the crowd, not Hillary or President Obama.

Healing Prayer: It’s Not About Us!

There is is one thing I learned in 15 years of praying with people for healing. It is not about me or the person I pray with. It doesn’t matter how holy I am, how worthy I am or the person I pray with. It is about God!
It is about God and his awesome incredible love for us. His love for us is so great that the word infinite is inadequate to describe how much He loves us. It is about the God of infinite love, mercy and hope who wants what is best for us and passionately yearns for us to come to Him so that He can pour out His love upon us . It is about a God who loves us so much he came to earth as an infant to die the most painful death in history so that we can be free from the sin and pain that enslaves us.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus’ heart was moved by compassion whenever He encountered those who are hurting. Paul tells us (Hebrews13:8) that Jesus is the same yesterday and forever. Jesus’ heart is still moved with compassion and He still heals people today.
Jesus ardently waits for us to come to Him in the Eucharist and open our hearts so that He may pour His love upon us and heal us of everything that hurts us spiritually, emotionally and relationally as well as physically.
My job is to point to Jesus in the Eucharist and remind people that He is truly present in all His power and glory and help them to open themselves up to His compassion and the love the He so passionately wants to pour upon them. That is what healing prayer really is about; opening ourselves up to the incomprehensible love God has for us and allowing Him to bless us, to do what is best for us.