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14 - 19 Ottobre 1989
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Six hundred twenty-five persons from 90 countries gathered in Rome for this leaders conference during October. All areas of the globe were represented, even countries quite small or with severe financial difficulties.
The delegates spent five days learning from the speakers and from one another. There was one main talk a day featuring how leaders are “sent by the Spirit” (Acts 13:4). Each day allowed at least one hour for prayer and praise each morning as well as time for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Daily liturgies were celebrated with great joy. There were a number of times set aside for small group work during which people shared their call to ministry and were prayed with for strength as leaders. One afternoon was spent exploring places and churches in Rome where Christianity has flourished for two thousand years.
Music was provided by an international group of 4 Italian, 2 Spanish, 3 French and 4 English speaking persons. They came from Italy, France, England, Malta and Colombia. Songs were in these languages plus a few others. It was almost a miracle to hear the blend of the song leaders. Many delegates asked how many years the group had worked together, thinking that they were an established group, only to be pleasantly surprised when the answer was expressed in terms of hours.
A full report will follow in the next newsletter. Prophecies from the conference will also be included.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter September-December 1989.
(This section was prepared by Mrs. Barbara Rygiel, a participant at the Conference. Her contribution is unique because she reviewed the conference from the perspective of the “grass-roots”, emphasizing that which was a value to her and other leaders. Barbara works as the charismatic office administrator in a large American archdiocese and has served the Renewal for many years).
Over 600 delegates from 82 countries gathered in Rome from October 9th through the 14th for the International Charismatic Leaders Conference. They met to pray, share and listen to God’s message for the Charismatic Renewal today.
Taking as its theme, “Sent Forth by the Spirit” (Acts 13:4), the conference concentrated on three aspects of leadership: 1. Leaders are called and consecrated for their work. 2. Leaders are strengthened and fortified with spiritual gifts through the sacraments. 3. Leader are sent forth by God’s Spirit to lead God’s people.
In each of the following sections, succinct excerpts from each session will be listed.
Father Salvador Carrillo, MSpS, ICCRO’s Spanish speaking Latin American Council member from Mexico, welcomed us with the message that God is sending us forth on a great mission to bring the Good News of salvation to the whole world.
“My dear brothers and sisters, in the years ahead we have a major assignment: evangelization. As in the past God wanted the people of Nineveh saved, so too today..we are the Jonah of today’s situation. We either say to God, “No, we do not wish to give the news of salvation”, or we shall say, “my Lord, here we are, we are ready to deliver your message”.
“We cannot wait for a second call. We have already been called. We must continue in the footsteps of the apostles. We have been personally called by the Holy Spirit to take His message to all people.
“My dear brothers and sisters, this is an important moment for us and for all those dependent on the Charismatic Renewal in order to reach Jesus. We must not miss this opportunity! We must ask Christ to open our hearts and fill us with His Holy Spirit in order to change our hearts so that we may be renewed and find new ways and methods to bring love and deliver His Gospel to the most remote corners of the world. We must not forget the Charismatic Renewal is intimately bound to Pentecost.
“Mary presided over the apostles and the others at Pentecost. Let us also ask her to preside over us, to intercede and implore for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit”.
I. LEADERS ARE CALLED
Each day was opened with an hour and half of prayer and praise during with a short witness on the theme of the day was given. On the first full day the participants were confronted and challenged by the Lord in a prophetic word.
“I want to renew your hope, my people. I want to encourage you to endure, to follow through the times to struggle…for the struggle will only be for a little while. You will hear the pain and you will know the sorrows, but the day is coming…a day that I have called for my people. A day in which I will glorify my Church.
“I have called you to be shepherds and leaders of my people. I have sent you forth in power. I have called you together to send you forth again…renewed and strengthened and encouraged”.
Mr. Brian Smith, ICCRO Council member and leader of Emmanuel Covenant Community in Australia, told us that we in the Charismatic Renewal are a privileged people, called to witness Christ’s presence in the world that we may change it with love.
“The fact that we are all here today is an indication that the Church as Mother has been faithful to her age-old mission throughout the world. We have been called from all parts of the earth to join together as the people of God and share God’s holiness…Our Church, as Mother, has guided us here.
“Today we center on the call that is ours…a call to love and bring faith and hope to our dying world. We are to witness Christ’s presence in the world and we are called to change it. We are indeed a privileged people – a people claimed as Christ’s own…to be His temple and to be witness to His Living Word. We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a royal nation. May the Charismatic Renewal in this hour be awakened by the Holy Spirit to the work God calls us to do”.
Each morning a major presentation was given to situate the theme of the day. Father Diego Jaramillo of Colombia and President of the ICCRO, delivered the “Magna Carta of the Charismatic Renewal” as he described the work of the Holy Spirit and the gift of charismatic leadership to today’s Church.
“The Spirit gives impulse and momentum to the Church because He is the soul, heart and founder of the Church. To separate the Church and the Spirit is not possible. The Spirit is like the Poetic Truth of the trinity: the Love of God which enables the unity and communion of Saints.
“The rain of charisms from the Spirit will make the Church rich.
“Pentecost is an ADVENTURE. The Spirit surprises us with charismatic gifts when we let Him.
“The CCR is a gift of the Holy Spirit which enables the docile ones to lead. The Holy Spirit needs leaders: 1.who pray, praise and persevere in seeking God’s will daily; 2.who study Scriptures (God’s Word to the Church); and, 3.who preach and act out the Word of God which is Love.
“The Holy Spirit calls us to be accountable leaders in the Charismatic Renewal. Through these three steps we will find the Holy Spirit will bring unity, for love brings unity…unity of heart. We need loving, responsible leaders, open to people of all cultures…committed to God’s Church. Those who cause fractions and create division are not loving unifiers and are not in keeping with God’s desires. We need responsible, committed, loving leaders who will take initiative creatively enabling all peoples to express the traditions and customs of each culture in a loving, unifying way.
“We need leaders full of hope with vision for the future. The Prophetic Word of God brings optimism…hope for the world. We must convey joy and witness the miracles in our lives. Joy leads us to act and change the world. We must have leaders willing to die to self for the Spirit’s sake…Leaders blessed by God’s Spirit will aspire to be used by God and willingly guide others in the appropriate use of the charisms”.
Each day the Liturgy of the Eucharist was concelebrated by the participants. On three days the liturgy followed a Holy Hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and group discussion on the day’s topic.
Msgr. Bronislaw Dembowski, the spiritual director of the CCR in Poland and member of the “Round Table Discussions” between Solidarnosc and the government in that country, exclaimed that “the whole world is now in a time of Renewal! We must pray that the Kingdom of Man will cease so that the Kingdom of God will come”.
“Nineveh was converted under the influence of the prophet Jonah. We are not always sent to friends. Like Jonah, we are sometimes sent to enemies”.
Father then witnessed being “invited” to a police station in Poland.
“There are many difficult tensions in Europe. After the reformation and many religious wars, Europe is divided not only by language and politics and nations but by religions. 200 years ago the great French Revolution was one of the signs that people lost their hope in God and saw another way – in human reason. The time of the “Kingdom of Man” had begun.
“As John Paul II wrote, “The teaching of the Church is not the Third Way between capitalism and communism…it is a moral evaluation of each way”.
“The Polish people have a new hope and now are building not the kingdom of man, but the Kingdom of God. We are now concerned about our neighbors. (It is not easy to be a neighbor of Poland…). We pray to God that Europe will be united in love…our experience is that without love there will be death again.
“P.S. What about Mary and Martha (the Gospel reading of the day)? I think that Martha began to pray and Mary washed the dishes after supper!”.
II. CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP AND THE CHURCH
Sister Miriam Duggan, OSF, MD, a medical doctor from Uganda, said that it is not what people can get out of the Renewal that matters, but what God can use them to give to it that should be our concern.
Speaking on women’s place in the Renewal she stated it is to encourage, to bring strength. “Women stand firm in the midst of difficulties and frustration, giving hope and bringing faithfulness and consolation. It is Mary’s faithfulness at the foot of the cross that we need to model.
“As a dying woman prayed for her life to be spared for the sake of her 3 month old baby, with that kind of love we too must ask to live for the people of the world.
“The Lord is calling us to reach out in unconditional non-judgmental love to console and give people through Christ’s Word.
“His Power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or even imagine. We are sent”.
Bishop Paul Cordes from Germany, the Episcopal advisor to ICCRO and Vice president of the Pontifical Council for Laity, stressed our need to deepen our relationship communion with the whole Church.
After noting the heavy burden of responsibility that we bear as leaders, he quoted Pope John Paul and emphasized our need to deepen “communion” with the whole Church. Then he cautioned us not to “unthinkingly” enter into certain ecumenical initiatives with our Protestant brothers and sisters lest we de-emphasize the power of our sacraments and the ordained priest-hood.
“We must battle against division. We must not allow dissension, but must support the decisions of the bishops in authority.
“Do not only emphasize the similarity of our personal relationship to God but remember the call you have to minister to your own community that Catholics may share in the most important sacraments of Eucharist as well as Reconciliation and all the other sacraments so necessary to a community. You must minister to the needs of the people of God”.
In this context the Bishop spoke about a “Catholicization” of the Renewal which began in the 60’s. “I want to remind you of the specifically Catholic elements that should nourish the life of your prayer groups and communities: Eucharist, Reconciliation, the Rosary, making pilgrimages, Holy Hour Adoration, etc. I want to remind you of the authority of the ordained priesthood.
“We offer thanks to the Spirit of God for your path of growth and for the enrichment of the Christian life to which you give rise in the “communion” of the Catholic Church.
Leon Josef Cardinal Suenens also addressed the relationship between charismatic leadership and the leadership of the Church.
“Every morning when I open my missal and read the Gospel I get a new message from God.
“Today’s reading about the darkness vs. the light…calls me to testify that God is love, God is light and I have known that warm light of love all of my life. We are called to put on the light when we find darkness. We switch on the light in our dark rooms…If each of us brought our light into dark places the world would soon be brighter.
“The Church puts directional lights up at intersections to facilitate our way on the road…just as traffic lights enable us to go, with a green light. Yellow warns us of danger, and red tell us to stop.
“I would be a foolish if I did not stop at a red light, even though it is late at night and I see no one around…If everyone ignored a traffic signal, we would no longer be freed by the road signs.
“Lord, guide us on the road with your light. Make us instruments of your light and love, in the world today”.
III. HOLINESS TO LEAD-SANCTIFIED TO GUIDE
Fr. Salvador Carrillo, MSps, reminded us that if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, He sanctifies us through His Word, through the Sacraments and through the prayer, thus we are enabled to lead like humble shepherds.
Fr. Salvador gave testimony to attending his first prayer meeting in 1971. A professor of Scriptures studies, he had attended with a restlessness in his heart…a knowledge that something was missing in his life…that his life was not like the lives of the apostles. The prayer meeting filled him with joy to see people fulfilling scriptural calls.
“To be a leader implies leading our brothers according to the guidance of the Spirit. The Lord did not dominate as a leader but rather became a shepherd, a humble servant. How humble are you? How holy are you? To what extent are you the servant and slave of others? A charismatic leader is not a master but rather a humble shepherd, like Jesus”.
During the prayer a strong prophetic word was heard:
“But my friends you have changed. Some of you have grown large with your own importance: some with you titles and positions, some with your knowledge.
“And yes, here in this place, I ask you with a Father’s love and concern to lay all of it down. You are heavy with things of this world now. Over the years the world with its riches, materialism, attitudes, taint and sinfulness cling to you.
“You are no longer yourself. I find it hard to recognize you at times.
“Worry about nothing else here. Be concerned not with how you will evangelize for me in this world of mine. Look to yourself first. Examine yourself closely. Be honest only about yourself and who you become, who you really are today.
“I call you back! I take you back! I wish to wash from you all that clings to you. I ask you to be holy, as I am holy; to be kind and loving in every place but especially here where you are surrounded by desert.
“You then are to lead to me a holy people. After you become holier I ask you to lead a holy people to me. You cannot show them the way until you have walked the way yourself.
“Be holy! Be loving! Be simple without guile. Be humble before me and before others”.
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap, the Papal Preacher from Italy, encouraged us to “fall in love with obedience” that we might more readily respond to God’s call.
1.Obedience is an act. “The obedience of Christ was not an abstract concept; it was an event. The act of obedience is what makes us holy. Christ was obedient even unto death. We have all been sanctified by an act of obedience – the obedience of Christ who died for us. The obedience of Christ’s to God is the opposite of the disobedience of Adam to God”.
2.Obedience is a grace. “A reading of St. Paul letter to the Romans (6:16) shows this. Christian obedience is rooted in Baptism. We are given this gift – the grace to be obedient – when we vow it through Baptism. There is no sanctity without obedience”.
3.Obedience is our duty. “In imitation of Christ, we are called to be obedient to Truth. This is the highlight of my talk and I pray for the Spirit’s guidance. Obedience to God can only be understood when it is clearly affirmed. Vatican II said the Holy Spirit guides the Church to the whole truth – it unifies and directs the Church through hierarchical and charismatic gifts.
“Obedience to God and Hid Word are essential for us at a time when we understand both the hierarchical and charismatic sides of the Church.
“We cannot separate the two sides. Obedience to hierarchy, to rules, authority, and laws proves ones obedience to God.
“How can we be obedient to God’s Spirit? A movement of the Spirit in your soul commands you and inspires you to say “yes” and obey. But you must always submit to the authority of the Church.
This may seem abstract so I will give a testimony to this in my own life: I was a professor of Scripture with a chair at the University of Milan. I heard the Lord speak to me and ask me to leave and follow Him. I went to my superior and told him: “I heard this call from God to leave”. But my superior said:
“Wait one year”. After a year I no longer felt that call but I went back to my superior and said: “I have waited for one year. I no longer feel called, what shall I do?” My superior prayed with me and said
“Yes, it’s God’s will…you must go and preach”.
“So God used my superior to send me forth to preach in obedience to Him”.
4.God did not stop asking humanly impossible things of man. “Abraham and Moses were called to obedience. Christ’s most difficult response to God was not when he appeared before Pilate but when He submitted to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane…He recognized Pilate’s authority because His Father willed it.
“Sometimes it is necessary to say: “I will obey God before I obey man”. When God sees someone willing to obey Him, He will take charge of all aspects of this person’s life, his job, family and ministry.
“The will of God must be considered before we make our decisions. We do not make a decision – say to marry – then pray God will bless our decision. No, we must pray first for God’s will that we make the right decision.
“A leader should command out this obedience to God…Your authority to command arises out of your submission to the authority over you. As you obey God, so will you lead.
“WE MUST FALL IN LOVE WITH OBEDIENCE”.
“Those who fall in love with obedience delight God with their actions and He sends them the Holy Spirit.
“Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Samuel, Mary…all said “Here I am! I am the servant of the Lord!
“We do not know what is in store for us…What the future of the Church, the future of the world, the future of the Renewal has in store for us. But it is beautiful to approach the future with the words:
“Here I am Lord, I come to do your will”.
Fr. Michele Vasallo, SDV, leader of the retreat house in Italy, reminded us that as temples of the Holy Spirit we were brought into light and led to contemplation, joy and love, but struggles and difficulties diminished our light so that we no longer witness the visible Christ. He reminded us of our call to love with God’s perfection and love our brothers and sisters “as they are”.
“Peter says that we should repent and then we will receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We need to repent and be purified to again exercise the charisms and bear fruits of holiness.
“This afternoon we would like to experience a deep conversion by forgiving all those who have offended us so that again we may purified and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter and Paul both greatly repented of their actions and therefore both were greatly able to witness the gifts of the Holy Spirit and great signs and wonders were manifested because of their great repentance.
“Jesus has spoken to each of us. Jesus says:
-Yes my child, with time I wish to transform you. I do want to change you, but now, for the time being, I love you the way you are. And I wish to do the same. I want to see your love - rising from your misery. I love your weakness. I love the love coming from the poor and the sick.
-I want that love from the depth of your nature. I want the song of your heart. I need not your science, your skills, your talent. Only one thing matters to me…to have your love.
-It is not your virtues which I wish. If I give you virtues you are so weak that you would become conceited. Do not concern yourself with those. I could have destined you to great things. I could have made you a person who carries out great things.
-No, I will take away whatever little you have because I created you only for love”.
IV. EQUIPPED TO LEAD
Mrs. Maria Lucia Vianna, Portuguese speaking member of the ICCRO Council from Brazil, stated: “we have been given an assignment of furthering God’s Kingdom and we must join together to further this Renewal”.
“Today we notice there is a strong presence of the Holy Spirit which gives us much strength. The Holy Spirit has accompanied us for the last few days and we have heard that the Lord has called us, sanctified us and filled us with interior gifts. Today we went through a moment of purification…a moment of powerful nourishment of the grace of God. And we felt the action of the Holy Spirit acting in our hearts.
“The Spirit is preparing us through this conference to be prepared for the assignment that the Spirit has called members of the CCR from all over the world to do. The Spirit has called us to talk to each other that we might receive an assignment…a very important mission that the Spirit will act through us, to enable us to conduct ourselves to deal with the challenges of furthering the Kingdom of God according to God’s will.
“We are limited as human beings…and in ourselves are not empowered to carry out God’s deeds. But today we have been addressed in a very special way by Lord. The mission of the Church is to evangelize and we are the instruments of the evangelization to go forth with a vision of evangelizing and furthering God’s Kingdom.
“My 16 years old son invited me to a retreat, raised his hands there and said: “Glory be to God for the parents He has given me”. I was so deeply moved that I was brought closer to God and was born again. The Lord started to use my various talents and I began to write and publish a charismatic journal called Jesus is alive. It is the Lord who enables the ministry and our weekly half hour TV program.
“God is preparing us for a great battle. We must follow the message of Our Lady. We must do what God tells us to do”.
“Be who you are! Be a Charismatic Renewal that operates with the charisms. Be whom I have called you to be. Be a Charismatic Renewal that operates with the charisms. This is what the Lord has asked me to say you today”.
With these words Sr. Nancy Kellar of the United States Service Committee began one of the most powerful talks at the conference.
“The Spirit was not given to make us comfortable. The Spirit was given to us to make us missionaries, to evangelize. We need to ask “Have we allowed this movement of the Spirit to become simply a movement of Prayer Clubs or are we convinced that we have been given the tools to build the Kingdom of God”.
Over the past few years Sister has visited hundreds of prayer groups. From her experience, study and prayer, she listed six factors which hinder the release or the maturing of the charismatic gifts.
1.To narrow a view of the variety of gifts and variety of ways God wishes to use these gifts. “There are over 27 gifts listed in the Scriptures. The Spiritual gifts defy neat categories. We need to stir up the gifts…open ourselves up and be ready for surprises…ready for gifts never before heard of. We need to stir up the gifts we already have…tongues, prophecy, healing, deliverance, teaching, discernment, giving, mercy, helping, administration, celibacy, voluntary, poverty and martyrdom”.
2.Limiting the charismatic gifts to special people. “Too many people sit back and say: “I will sit back and let the leaders bless me” and an attitude of non participation prevails. We need to teach people that they are not spectators but responsible participants…that spiritual gifts are integral to the experience of Pentecost. We need to teach about the spiritual gifts…to want all the Lord has for us”.
3.Lack of understanding that the fruit is not for the branches - it is for the hungry. “We must not hoard our gifts – as we give them away will increase and multiply. We need to let go and let the anointing of the Spirit fall on us. (She especially talked here about tongues and healing). There is a danger in the CCR today of going back to where we were before in the Church. Healing never left the Church but was relegated to special people or places like Lourdes. We need to believe that each of us individually have the gifts and when we pray in the name of Jesus – even on the telephone, that our prayer is heard…and people are healed.
“We need to stir up the gift of teaching. It is not enough to preach and to let signs and wonders break out – we need to teach about Jesus.
“As we mature and grow in deeper contemplation we need to recognize that when our initial enthusiasm fades we are called to more boldly walk on the water. Often when the feelings fade – people grow slack in their use of the gifts…no, that is our time of testing…like Peter who enthusiastically jumped out of the boat…we need to choose by an act of faith to be used by the Lord.
4.Becoming too defensive about the gifts or by being ashamed of them. “We need to counteract this by teaching about the gifts of the Spirit. Throughout history, the charisms have been in existence…we need to teach this. We need to be able to quote the Church’s statement on the charisms and teach about the gifts of tongues, healing, etc…We need to quote St, Theresa of Avila as she speaks about her prayer language, “O glorious foolishness, a heavenly madness that I do not understand nor do I know to speak of it” – the gift of tongues. People who are able to so teach are neither apologetic nor defensive”.
5.The lack of UNITY. “We need to resolve, to bind-up broken relationships and conflict. Unity is a key part of God’s release of His gifts and His ability to prune them in us. Un-reconciled relationships stifle the free exercise of gifts.”We need to share our joys and sorrows, weaknesses and strengths. We need to share our lives to work together – jealously and competitiveness divide us – we need to share our lives so that these things from the evil one can be dispelled.
“We need to be vulnerable with one another so that we can belong to each other and move into unity to do the work that God wants to do through us. Unity enables us to trust, to take the risk of making a mistake and to submit to the pruning of God.
“Gifts that are not pruned, go unused or abused.
“Two plus one do not always make three. I asked prayer groups to cluster. 200 people in Rockland plus 100 in Northern New Jersey came together for a prayer meeting of 600 people!”.
6. Lack of vision among leaders. “The absence of a common vision that everyone agrees on causes tension.
“A charismatic prayer group operates so that the gifts are clearly visible. We need to move on in the anointing of the Spirit..
“We need to have clarity of mission..that we are assigned to stir up the gifts of Pentecost in others.
“We need to move on ourselves in the gifts of the Spirit. Burn out in leaders, occurs because leaders are in the anointing of the Spirit for yesterday. Leaders need to learn to call new people into service and grow beyond oneself.
“Leaders must never stagnate in their own leadership roles. We need to pour new people into service.
The late Fr. Jim Ferry gave Nancy a “push from behind” saying: “Don’t wait for people to be ready…” If he were physically present today he would say: “Be a Charismatic Renewal that brings people into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Be leaders after His own heart, that preach, that teach, that pastor people s that they can bring people into the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We have been given a grace surpassing all graces”.
“A sovereign act of God has happened among us.
“We need to think YES! We need to give God permission to use us to lead, to stir up, and to pastor people to bring the baptism in the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth”.
Talk and liturgy
Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens challenged us to see the Charismatic Renewal in and for the Church as a move of the Holy Spirit.
“Yesterday I told an Ambassador the story of a talk I once gave in Marseilles, France. I asked the Protestants to close their ears and to the Catholics I said: “Do not be afraid of the Holy Spirit. Do not be afraid of the Renewal in the Spirit. Do not be afraid of the Baptism in the Spirit”.
“To the Protestants I said: “You love the Bible. Remember in the Bible where Mary speaks to the angel at the annunciation and says: “From now on all the generations will call me blessed? Catholics have made this word fulfilled.
“The mother of Napoleon had nothing to do with the Battle of Waterloo…but when the mother of Jesus says “yes” to the birth of the Redeemer…”yes” to the incarnation…she became involved in the redemption of the world and that redemption is still going on.
“Mary is a mother, like my mother and your mother…but her child is quite different!
“Abstractions don’t need mothers” We have too many abstracts theologians today! Mary is the mother of Jesus, the mother of the Church. Jesus is alive in a mystical way in each of us. That is a reality. The mother of Christ is involved with us!
“We have to go back to Jerusalem to the first place of evangelization and look carefully at what happened in the Upper Room. The Baptism of the Spirit introduced the apostles to the fullness of Christ’s Joy. The transformation, the conversion happened there! For three years they had traveled with Christ, but it was not until they were baptized in the Spirit that they were transformed.
“The first gift of the Baptism of Pentecost is the Spirit himself…then there are faith, hope and love.
“The essence of the Renewal is the Baptism of the Spirit. A young man recently came running up to me asking to be baptized in the Spirit. “Wait”, I told him. “The apostles studied for three years, then waited in prayers for ten days before they were baptized…so you can way a bit more”.
“Don’t make I to cheap, too easy…Prepare people for it”.
“Remember that it was there, in the Upper Room where Pentecost took place that Christ had first instituted Eucharist at the Last Supper. The Baptism in the Spirit is an experience of the Lord…a conversion from what you were. You must enter deeper into the process of conversion and expect many Pentecost experiences.
“Show you joy and sing to the Lord. It is a part of our Christian life. We are not a movement, but a move of the Spirit! We do not enter The Renewal, but the Spirit of Renewal has entered into us.
“A Christian who is not a Christianize is not a true Christian. We are created to give honor and glory to God, to serve Him and to enable others to do likewise.
“In 1977, at the Eucharist Congress in Philadelphia, Mother Theresa was being interviewed on TV and said to the interviewer “You seem fretful. What you need is peace. Peace is a gift from God. You have to ask for it.” And much to be surprise of the interviewer and camera man, she took the interviewer’s hand and said: “We must start immediately to pray for you” “The day you do that will be a wonderful day!”
V. SENT FORTH IN THE SPIRIT
Using the words of his bishop when he left Milwaukee, Father Ken Metz, administrator of the ICCRO office, introduced the theme of the last gathering of the conference: “coraggio e pazienza”: courage to keep moving forward and patience to move at God’s pace.
Thus we were “Sent Forth by the Spirit”. United through networking and having bonded in the Spirit’s Love, we were enabled to come renewed, strengthened and empowered to tell our prayer groups, our diocesan committees, our state leaders and our national service committees: “God has given us a common vision. Unite! Network and bond in Christ’s Love”.
“You will remember what has happened here. We have heard that we have been called. We have been chosen from various backgrounds and lifestyles. He touched us, chose us, called us. We have been called to serve in the Catholic Church. We are a visible body of people united in one Lord, one faith, one Baptism, involved in Communio, but have not yet arrived at all that we should be. We are in process! We are called to serve in the Catholic Church which is always in the process of renewal. We have been called us leaders to be holy-called to holiness like that of Jesus-called to be obedient to God.
We are equipped with charisms to serve. We have been gifted for leadership to be servants. We have heard the Word of the Lord and must now accept it and live it out.
“Relish the call! (You are chosen, you are special!) Use it or lose it!
“At the local and universal levels of the Church, the Charismatic Renewal is in the Church and for the Church, the Charismatic Renewal is not alongside the Church but is in the heart of the Church. The Charismatic Renewal is a move of the Holy Spirit for the whole Church.
“It is important for all of us in the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church to be in prayerful obedience to the Lord and to all those in authority over us. Holiness comes from the Father but is lived out personally in our very human lives. It is the way we love each other as we love God. The gifts are given use to be used to serve God and to make Him known in the world.
“My task is to send you forth as people who have heard God’s Word and are now to keep it. When I was invited to come work in the ICCRO office I asked my Bishop for permission to come and said
“You will need courage and patience”.
“Today I say the same thing to you: “coraggio e pazienza”-courage and patience: courage to keep moving forward, because this is God’s action; and patience to move forth at His pace -not ours- to allow Him to work with and for all of His people.
“May we be sent forth by the Spirit and may He give us these virtues so that we can be the leaders in His Catholic Charismatic Renewal!”
We met in small groups by languages to share and pray for one another (my group consisted of 2 men from Sri-Lanka, a man and a woman from Kuwait, a woman from New Found land, a woman from Columbia, a woman from Holland, and a man from South Africa). These brothers and sisters became God’s most precious gift to me, as we have agreed to continue to network and pray for each other in the years to come.
A young man from Sri-Lanka expressed his own tearful feelings as he gave thanks to the “Cosmic Christ” who has his American sister speak to him in Rome in the same prophetic message his wife has heard at a prayer meeting in Sri-Lanka.
A young man from South-Africa received a call to the Priesthood during one of our daily holy hours of adoration, and the presence of the Lord anointed all of us.
Love was so prevalent that one day, forgetting the language barrier, I sat down to eat with the Brazilian delegation. Seeing “French” on one woman’s nametag, I explained I understood French though I could not speak it. She laughed saying that she could understand English, but could not speak it. We had an amazing two hour luncheon with Rosemary asking me questions in French, I responding in English, and she interpreting for the rest of the group in Portuguese.
The daily Eucharist celebrations were translated into six languages as were all the conference talks, and the music ministry was gifted with the ability to lead us in singing in all languages.
Today my world is smaller. Loving brothers and sisters from 82 countries have changed me. I will long remember what happened in Rome during October, 1989.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter January February 1990.
ICCRO announces that it will sponsor the Seventh International Leaders Conference in Rome, October 9-13, 1989.
Participation will be by invitation only. ICCRO will consult with the national service teams in each country or region and then issue personal invitations. The meeting will be limited to 450 leaders. Communications will be sent to national service teams and national contacts shortly seeking names of leaders ICCRO should invite ad delegates.
The level of leadership sought for this meeting is service at the local, regional, or national level.
It is stressed that for the 1989 international leaders conference registration must be accomplished ahead of time. At the 1987 meeting over 250mpeople arrived without registrations on the day the conference began. This put a great strain on the ICCRO staff and caused inconveniences for those who registered in advance. Therefore, people who arrive without a registration will not be able to participate in the meeting because of the li9mited space available. For further details, please contact your national service committee.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter November-December 1988.