Give Me Jesus!

There is a Christian song by Jeremy Camp entitled “Give me Jesus”. Its lyrics basically say Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have the rest of the world just give me Jesus.
It is a shame that our Protestant brethren don’t understand the Eucharist. Jesus is present in the Eucharist waiting for us to come to Him and wanting to bless us. We have to change the way we think of the Eucharist and the way we receive communion. Too many of us think of the Eucharist as a thing we receive not a person. We need to think of the Eucharist as a living person, Jesus, our savior who loves us so much He waits for us twenty-four hours a day in the Tabernacle. We get to receive God Himself. We should approach the Eucharist with the greatest reverence we are capable of focusing on Jesus and nothing else. We should realize what an awesome privilege to be Catholic and receive.
Think about it! Present in the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the same Jesus who walked on water, stilled the storm, changed water into wine, and healed the deaf, restored sight to the blind, cured lepers and the paralytic. The same Jesus who drove out demons, fed the 5,000 and raised Lazarus from the dead is present in each and every Eucharist. He is saying” Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened” He is there waiting for us every day in the Eucharist. This is God, the Creator of the Universe who has all the power and He sits waiting for us to receive Him and spend time with us. He loves us that much!
The Eucharist is the heart of our Catholic faith.  If we don’t believe in the Eucharist we might as well not be Catholic.  Where else can we find so much grace available to us?  Where else can we encounter the living Christ in such a concrete way?
We believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.  This Jesus we receive is not a symbol.  He is not a watered down version of the Jesus of the Gospels, stripped of His power.  No! Jesus is present in all His power and glory.
I’m only a lay person but Father John Hardon, considered an expert on the Eucharist, wrote” We are to believe that the Eucharist is Jesus Christ – simply, without qualification. It is God become man in the fullness of His divine nature, in the fullness of His human nature, in the fullness of His body and soul, in the fullness of everything that makes Jesus, Jesus. He is in the Eucharist with His human mind and will united with the Divinity, with His hands and feet, His face and features, with His eyes and lips and ears and nostrils, with His affections and emotions and, with emphasis, with His living, pulsating, physical Sacred Heart. That is what our Catholic Faith demands of us that we believe. If we believe this, we are Catholic. If we do not, we are not, no matter what people may think we are.” This comes from his article, The Eucharist and Sanctity.
Simply put the Eucharist is Jesus Christ, our God waiting for us to come. The question is do we act like we believe this? Do we really believe that the Eucharist is Jesus with all the power He had when He performed miracles two thousand years ago. The same Jesus who died for us at Calvary, do we really believe this? If so how can we stay away? Why are churches so empty? Forget Sunday, why isn’t the Church packed everyday? Why do people spend thousands of dollars to pack St. James in Medjugorje when Jesus is present every day in our local parish?
Why don’t we go to church expecting miracles? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and He is present at every mass. We should go in faith expecting to see miracles. As Jesus said in the Gospel we have a greater than Solomon, a greater than Jonah in the Tabernacle. Unlike the woman who touched His cloak we get to receive Jesus. We too should expect miracles. Too often we don’t see miracles because we don’t go in faith expecting to see them.
Our attitude should be more like Father Donald Calloway’s at the first mass he ever attended. He relates that at the Consecration of the mass he realized that God was present. To quote him, he said to himself “my God, my God I couldn’t believe it…This is it man! This is the meaning of the Cosmos. Man this is the meaning of time, of history….I just had an infusion of just Bam! Knowledge, God …and I was just worshipping. I was just adoring with all my being. Then I saw something that just blew my mind. These Filipino ladies got up and received Him. I was like what God is right there and you can go up and receive Him. You can consume love? …I couldn’t believe that God was so in love with them and me that He was willing to do something like that” I was so on fire with passion “ that I wanted to bum rush the altar, push the Filipino ladies aside and say give me Jesus.”
Do we ever want to bum rush the altar?
Are we really aware of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist? Do we really know in our hearts that Jesus, the Son of God is present in the Eucharist? Do we act as if He is there? Do we dress like we’re going to see God Almighty? Are we approaching Him excited and in awe with the greatest reverence? Do we realize what a privilege it is to receive Jesus? We are the envy of the angels. Ask yourself if that was someone famous like Queen Elizabeth or a president you liked and respected, would you dress and behave differently?
If we believed that God was there would we stay away on weekdays? Would we come late or leave early? Would we come expectantly? Expecting to see miracles, asking for miracles? Wouldn’t we run to church every time we had a problem? Wouldn’t we seek His advice on how to live our lives? Wouldn’t our lives be very different? Wouldn’t we prepare for mass a whole lot more?
All of the great saints were in love with the Eucharist. St. Joseph Cupertino was so on fire with love for the Eucharist that he often levitated off the ground when he held the Host. Padre Pio and Saint Ambrose have famous prayers for preparation and thanksgiving. Saint Sharbel Makhluf liked to say the noon mass so he could spend the whole morning in preparation and the afternoon in thanksgiving.
If you hear the conversion stories of many people especially former Protestant ministers, it is the Eucharist that drew them to the Church. Ministers like Scott Hahn, David Currie and Stephen Ray all mentioned the impact of the Eucharist on their decision to become Catholics. Once they understood the Eucharist they couldn’t stay away. Like the martyrs they were willing to pay a price. They had to give up their careers as ministers, their friends basically cut them off as dead and in some cases their family did too. Yet too many of us are unwilling to sacrifice a little sleep.
We should be on fire in love with Jesus in the Eucharist. People should have to drag us out of Church. God is there waiting for us and bless our socks off. How can we stay away?
The Mass is the most powerful prayer we could ever say if we focus on Jesus. It is a very powerful time to pray for others. Many priests teach that the time of the Consecration is a particularly powerful time to pray. Father DeGrandis teaches people to pray for others at the time of the Elevation and then for your own needs. People are healed simply by the presence of the Eucharist. Several priests with healing ministries, like Father John Hampsch and Father Ruane as well as DeGrandis have written books on the healing power of the Eucharist.
There are several priests who hold the Eucharist in a monstrance or lunette and pray over people for healing. One, Monsignor John Demkovich, said that it felt like electricity flowing from the host through his body to the person being prayed over.
This shouldn’t surprise us St. Paul tells us in Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. Well if Jesus performed miracles and healed people back then, He should be performing miracles today. Well then why wouldn’t He perform miracles today?
In the old days there was a greater reverence for the Eucharist. Before Pope Pius X people were not allowed to receive communion everyday. According to Father John Hampsch there was a point where you could only receive once a month and people spent two weeks to prepare for Communion and two weeks in thanksgiving. During the Medieval Era people strained to get a glimpse of the Host at the Elevation and Lord help the priest who didn’t raise it high or long enough. When my mother received her First Communion people fasted from midnight on. They couldn’t even have a sip of water. I remember fasting for three hours. I used to go to the 7:00 mass so I could come home for breakfast before school. I also remember long lines for confession on Saturdays.
We are blessed to live in an era where we can receive the Eucharist every day, when we don’t have to fast from midnight on or even three hours. We don’t have to fast for more than an hour but there is no reason we can’t try to fast longer in order to better prepare to receive Our Lord. No pope said we could only fast for an hour. All of us should try to do whatever we can to be more reverent and prepare for Communion.
I may not know much but I do know that the key to life and whatever happiness we can achieve in life sits twenty-four hours a day in the Tabernacle in the Eucharist. Jesus in the Eucharist is the key to life and the answer to all our problems.
We live in a truly messed up age. We are surrounded by evil and sin. Our country seems to have lost its way morally, politically and economically. We used to be respected for our morals and integrity, for our sacrifices made for others, for our willingness and ability to help others but not any more. Economically, we seem to be irrelevant. We seem to be a nation on the decline. Could our political decline be related to our moral decline, the spread of abortion, the dissolution of the family, the rise of gay rights and the spread of porn and trash across our airwaves?
The answer to all our problems lies in the Tabernacle. Present in the Tabernacle is the Power That Created the Universe and we basically ignore Him. Jesus is present in the Tabernacle virtually begging us to come to Him. He is waiting for us to come to Him. He wants us to bring our problems and trust Him to solve them. He wants us to adore Him. He is waiting but we’re not coming.
There is a movement in this country back to Adoration. There are parishes that have Adoration twenty-four hours a day. It takes work to get every hour covered but the blessings the parish experiences are worth it. I know of one parish. They have lines for confession every day not week. My estimate would be that over one hundred people go to confession during a normal week. I went there once during Holy Week. They had confession every day at one o’clock and after the 7PM mass. I went Wednesday night and was the forty-third person in line. On top of that they get about one hundred and fifty people or more at their week day masses. There are also four different prayer groups and a long list of committees operating in that parish. As for the Adoration Chapel, there are times it is so crowded people spill over into the church especially on weekends.
You can sense a difference in parishes where there is regular adoration. There is much more involvement of parishioners. There is a greater support for the parish and parish programs. There is a greater involvement in the Sacraments.
Adoration can and will change your life. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more He will work on you, the more He will change your heart and your life. You may not notice at first but over time you will find yourself becoming a new and better person. You may not know what to do. It may be a new experience for you but all you have to do is show up and spend time with Jesus in front of the Tabernacle or exposed in a monstrance. You don’t have to say anything; just try to focus on Jesus and His love for you. Ask Him to help you and be silent; let Him work on your heart. I know this may seem hard. Some times I doze off but that doesn’t limit Jesus. As long as I am there with Him, He can work on my heart.
The more people go to Jesus in Adoration, the more He will change them and this country. The solutions to our problems lies in taking them to Jesus in Adoration before the Eucharist and leaving them there to work out in His time. The more Catholics who do this, the more changes we will see. Our country seems to need a miracle but Jesus still performs miracles. What we need is to go to Him and pray for this country and ask Him to draw more and more people to Him. We need to point to Him in the Eucharist as the answer to our problems and go to Him as often and as long as possible. We need to stop running out of church as soon as possible to get to breakfast or lunch and stay as long as possible. We need to go as often as possible, not just Sundays. If we can’t make weekday mass we should whenever possible visit Him in the Tabernacle. If we’re tied up at work we can take a minute to face the Church and adore Him silently at times throughout the day. We can make spiritual communions.
If you want to change your life increase the time you spend in front of the Eucharist. It doesn’t have to be exposed. Even in the Tabernacle is good enough to change you. If you want to change your parish increase the time you spend in front of the Tabernacle and encourage others. As more and more people increase the time they spend praying before the Tabernacle the parish would gradually change. It may start slowly but it will happen if you keep going before the Tabernacle.
A small group of five or six people can change the whole parish if they go before the Tabernacle everyday and pray for the parish; pray for others to pray before the Eucharist. All the power in the Universe is there, more than enough to change the parish. Encourage people to spend time before the Eucharist. Give them prayers to say if they don’t know what to say. The Shepherds of Christ has several awesome prayers for this. You can order them from their Pass them out or leave them in the church. Do whatever you can to point people to Jesus in the Eucharist and encourage them to spend time with Him. They don’t have to talk, just be with Him in love and allow Him to work on their hearts.
Jesus is there in the Tabernacle waiting for us to come to Him for help with our personal lives. Jesus Christ, God Almighty, is waiting for us in the Tabernacle. He wants us to come to Him in the Eucharist. If you have a difficult decision to make, take it to the Lord in the Eucharist first. Ask Him to show you what to do and wait to see how He does it. It may be a strong sense of what to do, a decision made with a sense of peace or for those of us who are hard of hearing He may guide us through the advice of a human being.
If you need help with something go to Jesus in the Eucharist. I used to sit in church before the Tabernacle and work on talks for my charismatic prayer group. One example would be a series of teachings on Scott Hahn’s, The Lamb’s Supper. I also went to pray before the Eucharist before working on our Confirmation Retreat. When I had difficulties, I looked up at the Tabernacle and He gave me the ideas I needed. If I was upset or had a problem I’d run to the Adoration Chapel. Often I would go to the chapel or church simply to read books with him.
We need to stop thinking of the Eucharist or Communion as a thing, as something we do. We need to think of the Eucharist as God, a living person, Jesus Christ, who loves us and is waiting for us. We need to think of Him as our best friend, our provider, our protector, our healer, our guide, our everything, our life and our greatest love for He is all of these things. Going to mass shouldn’t be something we have to do on Sundays but something we want to do as often as possible. Our life should be centered on the Eucharist, how often we can get to mass should be the basis of our plans. I would suggest as you go forward to receive communion picture Jesus standing there with His arms wide open waiting to hug you.
I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I would want to be but in church the morning after my mom died. Where else would I go but to Jesus. Jesus in the Eucharist is the answer to all our problems. If we put Him first life will be a lot more peaceful and joyful. We need to come to Him and trust in Him. He should be our first not our last resort. He has all of the power in the Universe. He can handle all our problems.
We should think of the Eucharist as pure love, the most powerful, most intense love that we could ever imagine the most powerful in the Universe. The Eucharist is this incredible Love waiting for us to come to Him so He could pour love upon us. This unbelievable Love waits for us every day. It loves each one of us intensely and personally and it waits for us 24/7. Why do we stay away?
There are people who’ve discovered that Jesus in the Eucharist still performs miracles today. I was at a conference at Saint Antoninius Church in Newark on the Eucharist several years ago maybe in 2003 or 2004. We started with the Rosary around 10:00 and had several talks during the day. Mass began at 3:00 and lasted two hours. There was a long time for prayer after communion. After it Father Bill Halbing the celebrant said he had a tingling in his legs and asked if anyone’s legs were healed. An old man stood up, moved his legs and said his arthritis was healed. Then there were others, maybe four or five. Nobody had prayed over them or anointed them. They were healed by Jesus in the Eucharist. Why?
Probably because they believed He would heal them if they asked and they were really prepared for the Eucharist after the Conference. They had prayed a lot that day and focused on Jesus, not the people around them or anything else. They weren’t in a hurry to put in their hour as so many of us do on Sundays. Preparation is important. At Medjugorje many say the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries in preparation and the Glorious in Thanksgiving. We need to spend more time preparing for mass and in thanksgiving.
I frequently pray with people before mass to be totally open to the graces that Jesus wants to pour out upon them and operations and procedures have been canceled or go better than expected. Various conditions have mysteriously disappeared. Biopsies have come out negative.
Yet so many of us never experience or witness miracles. Could the fault be ours? Take a look at yourself and ask. Could the fault be mine? Could it be that I come out the way I want to? Could it be that I, in my pride, think I know what is best so I reject the graces that God wants to give me? Do I seek only physical blessings and say no to the spiritual graces that must come first?
Am I really willing to change? Have I sacramentally prepared myself by confession? Am I seeking His blessings on my terms only or seeking to follow His way? Am I afraid to give up control?
Do I desire intimacy with Jesus? Do I really focus on Jesus or am I distracted by the people around me?  Do I desire a real relationship with Him or am I afraid to really let Him into my heart?
Do I trust Jesus? Do I believe that He understands what I’m going through and knows what is best for me? Am I afraid that if He really knew me, I would be rejected? Do I understand the intensity of His love and that I don’t have to be perfect? Do I understand that He loves me as I am, accepts me where I am and will bring me to a better place if I allow His grace to change me?
Have I lost the real meaning of the Mass? Am I so used to going through the motions of the outward ritual that I fail to give my heart to Jesus? Am I too focused on parish politics and activities?  Am I so busy wondering who’s at Mass or worrying about what Father said or didn’t say that I forget that Mass is a time for me to connect with Jesus?
Am I full of negative feelings towards others? Am I too busy complaining about the traffic, the music, the crowd or lack of attendance to be open to Jesus’ love?
Is my mind elsewhere?; Am I so focused on the problems at work or at home that I fail to open myself to the one who has the answer? Am I using the time I should be praying at Mass to mentally tick off my grocery list or the menu at Dunkin Donuts? Am I thinking about the game this afternoon, or the movie I saw last night.
We need to remember that we are called to be a Eucharistic people.  Jesus wanted to be at the center of our lives, to be with us, to comfort and console us, to strengthen us, to bless us immensely and even heal us.
We need to remember that in the Eucharist is God Who possesses infinite power, the God of infinite love and mercy Who wants what is best for us and avidly longs to bless us.  We need to remember that the Blessed Sacrament is most worthy of our attention, reverence and love, and worthy of mental and spiritual preparation and discipline.
Jesus passionately longs for us to receive Him. He ardently desires to give Himself to us. He fervently yearns for a relationship with us. It was because of His infinite love for us that He created the Eucharist to be with us. It was not enough for Him to just give up His life for our salvation. He wanted to give us Himself. His love is so great He is willing to wait countless hours for us to visit Him in the tabernacle. What more can He give us? Nothing on Earth can compare with what God has to give us in the Eucharist.
He longs to come to us as often as possible in the Eucharist. It is His desire to pour His love upon us, to bless us beyond our imagination. In every communion there is a virtual Niagara Falls of grace available to those who are truly open to His love. Yet we have to open ourselves to Him? Do we?


I Need To Love You

I Need To Love You

This morning I was reading a reflection by Concepcion Cabrera de Armida in a book called Holy Hours. On page 115 one line jumped out at me. “It is an essential need of my life to love You”. How often have our thoughts ever gone in that direction? We need to love God. It is part of our nature.
We need to love God because He is so good. We need to worship Him because of who He is, because of His love and goodness to us. So often we pray to God but we’re seeking something, things we need, counsel, help with a decision, and help with our lives or something for someone else. So often our focus is on ourselves, our family or friends, not on God. So often our prayer is about ourselves not God.
Yet we were made to love God not try to use God. We treat Him often as an all-powerful Santa Claus. Give me, Give me! Yet He deserves and desires much more than that. Our prayer lives should be based on more than our human desires. We should be seeking God. Prayer should be about giving to God our love. We need to do that for our own sakes. It is what we were created for. Without this aspect of prayer our lives will always have an empty spot that we can’t fill.
How do we do this? I wish I knew! I’d be a saint. I know what I’ve read. There’s a story of a peasant who would sit in church for hours just looking at the Tabernacle and a priest asked him what he did. The peasant’s response was he just looked at Him and He looked at him. It sounds very simple but just being present and still in the presence of the Lord is very hard. We’re too task oriented and driven. We think we have to be always saying the rosary or praying out of our prayer books. But if you think about it in a good romance the most important thing you do is spend time with that person.
Maybe we can learn how to love God from romance or marital relationship. In the ideal relationship one party doesn’t seek to use the other or constantly ask for things from the other. We wouldn’t call it love but using the other person. At the same time as much as we say we love God, do we really if all our prayers are asking God to bless us, our family and friends. Even if we’re praying for vocations, world peace, the hungry in Africa, or the Church we still asking God to give. This isn’t to say any of those things are bad but there must be more to our love for God.
Some part of our lives must be God directed, pointed to and going to God and not expecting God to give us things or blessings back. This is the hard part to desire nothing back but just to express our love for God, praise and give to Him without expecting anything back.
How do we give God love? Two ideas from modern romance apply. One we seek to know the other. The second is that one sacrifices for the other.
How do we get to know God? One way is by asking God to reveal Himself to you and then reading the scriptures. Read not for the stories or to find verses that encourage you or apply to your situation but read in order to know God better, who He is as He revealed Himself in scripture. Another way would be to spend time with Him in adoration. Here there is help getting started. There are a lot of good books for adoration that would help you make a Holy Hour.
Holy Hours are interesting. They usually take an hour or more. Too often we rush in and out and we really never settle ourselves enough for God to speak to us. Secondly, we need to spend most of our time listening not reading. Many of the books entitled Holy Hours are divided into six to eight page sections. They take maybe fifteen or twenty minutes to read. The rest of the time should be spent in reflection, thinking and listening.
This is an example of the sacrifice of romance, spending real-time with the beloved rather than rushing in and out. It is also an example of listening that should be part of all love relationships.
We are called to sacrifice for love of God. Growing up we learned to give to the missions, to reach out to the poor and to help others. There are more things we can sacrifice like sleep in order to attend mass or to spend time in prayer. We could sacrifice watching TV shows that our beloved might not like because of the violence. Whatever we decide to sacrifice it is important that we make the sacrifice out of love for God. If you think about the sacrifices you made for your spouse or kids they are similar. You give of your time and energy to do something for one you love.
As I said earlier I don’t know myself exactly how to love God for the sake of loving God for His goodness but I know it is something we need to do and think about in order to grow in our spiritual lives. Weirdly enough, we probably have to ask God for the help we need to do so.

Lord, I want to love You because You are so good and worthy of my love. I confess I‘ve failed so many times before. I want to do better. I need Your grace to do so. Amen.

This was recently published in Wellsprings.

A Healing Prayer Before Communion

Jesus, I believe that You are truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist, present in all Your power and divinity, that you want me to come to You and You want to pour Your love upon me.
I believe that You came so that I might have life and have it abundantly, that You are the same , yesterday, today and forever and just as You healed the people in the Gospels You still heal people today.
I believe that nothing is impossible for You, no disease or situation is too great for You.
I believe that You love me with an infinite love, love beyond anyone’s imagination, that You know and passionately desire what is best for me and long to bless me much more than I can imagine.
Help me to be totally open to the graces You want to pour out on me as I receive You in communion. Help me to put aside my pride and allow You to change me in the way I need to change. Pour out Your grace upon me. Open my heart to Your incredible love.
Thank You for what You are going to do.

Our Greatest Challenge as Charismatics!

June 28, 2000 I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I joined a prayer group which held a healing mass the 3rd Wednesday of the month. After participating in the prayer group for about a year I was drafted onto the healing team. I figured Father knew something I didn’t so who was I to contradict the Holy Spirit.
My only experience with healing prayer was to be prayed over. I had read one article that had said most often people would gain a sense of peace. I felt totally inadequate to pray over people. At that point I had only just started to pray in tongues.
One of the first persons I prayed over had terminal cancer, less than 6 months to live. I felt real glad that he seemed to have found that peace I read about because I didn’t expect my prayers to do much good. I was shocked several years later when the Lord pointed Him out and reminded who he was. It was like see what I can do if you let me use you.
One of the things I did was to read every book I could find on healing prayer, whether Protestant or Catholic and attend every healing service I heard of.
Probably the most influential authors I read were Fathers Ralph Di Orio and Matthew Swizdor. I noticed that in both cases they prayed over people repeatedly. Father Swizdor gave healing missions lasting 3-5 days. People experienced physical healing on the 3rd, 4th and 5th days. First they experienced spiritual and emotional healing. With Father Di Orio people went back several times.
It doesn’t really matter what words we say or techniques we use. Healing is totally dependent on God’s infinite love for us, a love that can only be described as intense, personal and immense, so deep and passionate we cannot adequately describe it. God heals us not because we say the perfect prayer or because of who prayed over us but because He loves us and wants to bless us beyond our imagination.
The challenge we face as Charismatics is to help people understand His awesome love and help them open up to His love and grace. So often we hold back because we believe that God loves us generally, but don’t believe that He loves us personally. We think that He died only for our salvation and forget that both Isaiah and Peter wrote that by His stripes or wounds we are healed. This is the message we have to beat people over the head with. God’s love for them is intensely personal and He cares about every aspect of our lives, often more than we do.
I once read in a book by Max Lucado that God loves us just the way we are but loves us too much to leave us that way. We know that God knows everything about us. I believe that to God we look like Jesus in the move, The Passion of The Christ, when Pilate presented Him to the crowd after the Scourging, blood pouring from every part of His body.
God looks at us and sees all our wounds. There is anger buried and repressed from grammar school, wounds inflicted on us by our family or peers, injuries and resentments that we’ve held on to and buried just eating away at us, taking its toll on our bodies and spirits. We haven’t forgiven others and often ourselves. We beat ourselves us and put ourselves down. We feel hopeless, afraid to open ourselves up to God’s love or unwilling to let go of the anger and resentment, unwilling to forgive, unwilling to let go of our sins and vices, unwilling to let God really heal us so we say no and fail to experience God’s healing love. So often we feel unworthy of God’s love. Yet the reality is no one not even Peter was truly of God’s love.
We may not even realize we are doing this. It is part of our fallen nature to hold onto control, to resist surrendering our will to God, to refuse to allow Him to do what God wants to do, what is best for us. As a consequence we miss out on the blessings God wants to give us
God knows all of this, the resentments we buried, the anger and tension we keep suppressing, He knows all of the un-forgiveness we keep burying in our hearts. He knows all the emotional and psychological pain that we suffer. He knows exactly what is keeping us from experiencing the life He created us for and His heart is overwhelmed with compassion. He longs to heal all these wounds. He ardently wants to pour His love and grace upon us. He wants to free us of all the negativity, anger, fear, doubt and distrust that is holding us back.
God’s love is not limited to our salvation but is all en-compassing. He cares about every aspect of our life. What we need to do is to help ourselves and others open ourselves to His amazing love. So often we go to God and ask Him to heal us physically but don’t really want to allow im to work on what is really wrong with us. We need to remember that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it abundantly. We have to trust Him and allow Him to do what is best for us at this time. He doesn’t go faster than we can handle or push us farther than we are willing to go.
I have been praying over people for 15 years and prayed over people in excess of 1500 times, maybe 2000 times. I have seen amazing things happen, operations being canceled or going way better than expected, biopsies turning out negative. I’ve known people whose cancer disappeared. But I also know people who were prayed over repeatedly but refused to let go of the anger and resentment and really experienced minimal healing if any.
All things are possible for God but as the songs says we have to say Yes We have to let God be God and trust Him so that He may pour His love upon us and knock our socks.
My favorite healing prayer is to pray with people before mass so that they are totally open to the power and graces of the Eucharist. One thing I learned was that there is a virtual Niagara Falls worth of graces available to us in each communion. What I do in prayer is remind them that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in all His power and divinity, that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever, that all things are possible and just as He healed the paralytic in the Gospel, He still heals people today. Next I pray that they be totally open to all the graces God wants to pour on them then pray in tongues and finish thanking Jesus for what He is going to do and pray that He be glorified.

We have to understand that God wants us to come to Him, to seek His help and guidance.  He wants to heal and bless us.  He also wants to use us to bless and heal others.
This is a talk given to a local charismatic prayer group.

Questions for 9/11/15

As the 14th anniversary of 9/11 approaches I’ve been thinking. Has 9/11 really had any lasting positive impact on the American people? Has America really come out of it better or stronger? Have we woken up to the failures that caused such a disaster, our reliance on our own power like Israel rather than on God? Or have we become a nation even less worthy of God’s protection and blessing?
Think about the immediate impact of 9/11. People realized that we needed God more and church attendance shot up but it only lasted few weeks. People prayed more for a while but then turned to The Walking Dead and Dancing With the Stars. Where are people now? Do they not realize our desperate need for God in America? Hasn’t any of the disasters that struck our nation the past 10 years woke us up to the fact that we are absolutely, completely dependent on God’s blessing; that without Him we are nothing.
Think about the past decade or so. We’ve suffered through the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression, failed in 2 wars, suffered thousands of casualties and wasted trillions of dollars. Our national debt is in excess of 18 trillion and rising. The job market is soft, creating jobs barely over the minimum wage. We’ve had to endure countless natural disasters.
Yet despite everything we’ve done, all the lives lost and money spent we are at just as much risk as we were in 2001. When will we learn and turn back to God?
When will we learn that prayer and conversion are our greatest weapons? That only God can protect this land that only God has the power to change this country. We cannot rely on only our military, our weapons or Homeland Security. Our economy cannot be counted on and we surely can trust our politicians or the political parties.
If you want to change this country, turn off the TV, Facebook and other social media and pray, pray hard and long. Pray for the candidates God wants to run and be elected. Pray for a spiritual awakening and revival in this country. Pray for your own conversion and the conversion of all those pushing this country in the wrong direction. Pray hard and long and then do it again tomorrow and the day after and keep on praying every day of your life.

God Cares About Everything, Even The Small Stuff!

How many of us find it hard to believe that God cares about the little things in our life, that He knows and wants what is best for us? So often we act as if God only cares about the important things in life like our salvation or we wait for a major crisis like a fatal or serious illness before we go to God. It is as if we doubt that God really loves us.
Yet God cares deeply about every aspect of our lives and is capable of providing all that we need. We have to believe this.
Since July 3 my car has been in the shop 9 times. Each time the mechanics thought it was fine yet a few days later it wouldn’t start. It turned out that the security system was deactivating the fuel pump. It took 4 trips to a Buick dealer to come up with a diagnosis. I was only able to start the car twice before the problem began again.
I decided to try another mechanic. First though I had to pray just to get the car to start without paying for another tow. Secondly that night I sat down and had my charismatic prayer group pray over me for God to direct the mechanic. Not only did God direct the mechanic. The ignition switch was under warranty and Buick replaced it for free, costing me only $43 in labor, taxes etc.
That morning I had read in God Calling, a devotional, “all things are possible with my master, my lord, my friend”. How true! God can do anything and He cares about every aspect of our lives. We have to ask Him for His help in faith and trust Him to do what is best.

How to Pray for Healing!

This is a lesson given to my charismatic prayer group.
1. Remember it is not about you, your ability to pray, your worthiness or holiness. It is all about God and His awesome love, mercy and power, his love for the person being prayed over.
2. You don’t have to be fancy or say the perfect prayer. Jesus said we must be like children, the simpler the prayer, the better.
3. A way to begin is to simply talk to Jesus by lifting up the person being prayed for; Jesus, we lift up… so that you may bless them. Pour your love and mercy upon them, pour your healing power upon … and heal them. Grant them the healing they most need at this time.
4. God inhabits the praises of His people so praise Him, thank Him.
5. Often we need to be reminded of God’s promises so it is good to quote scripture. Thank you Jesus that with you all things are possible, that you are the same yesterday, today and forever…Ask yourself what does this person need to hear. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
6. When possible point to Jesus in the Eucharist, thank Him that He is really present in all His power, that all things are possible, that He is the same as He was in Galilee. Talk to Him as if He was alive in front of you just as if you had encountered Him on the road to Jerusalem or Bethany. What would you have asked for the person with you? If you are praying before mass pray that the person to be totally open to the graces of the Eucharist. It is by this power that people are often healed.
7. It is okay to pray over someone in proxy with someone sitting in for the person.
8. It is good to pray over caregivers that they know the Lord’s rest and peace.
9. If you can, pray in tongues. The Holy Spirit knows best what this person needs.
10. Volunteer to pray with people but don’t try too hard to persuade them or be upset if they don’t say yes. I often invite people to be prayed over by the whole prayer group and find that they feel it is more convenient for me to pray over them right then.
11. Never promise healing; only that God will bless them in some way. Don’t claim the power of healing. I only claim a lot of experience. Then point to God as the healer. When people tell me they experienced healing I point to the Tabernacle and tell them it is all Him.
12. Always thank God for hearing our prayers, for what He is doing.
13. It is okay to pray over people more than once. Ask God to continue to heal…