Presented as an introduction to the charismatic experience for Catholics.

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Sponsored by Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office, Diocese of Oakland and Holy Spirit Prayer Group.

For further information, call CCRO at: 925-828-6644.

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We perceive that God's vision1 for the Charismatic Catholic Renewal in the Diocese of Oakland is to respond to the call that we are the portion of that Body of Christ2 which God has chosen3 to display His power4 through the mature exercise of the Charismatic Gifts of the Holy Spirit5 as they glorify Jesus.6

Therefore, our goal, in order to accomplish this, is to increasingly become a people of praise,7 by providing environments wherein we can learn to praise8 God and obey the Holy Spirit in the ministry of these Charismatic Gifts.9

This narrow statement of purpose is possible because of our faith and trust in God that He has raised up the other ministries that are needed to bring the members of the Body of Christ to full maturity.10


1. Habakkuk 2:2
2. 1 Cor. 12:12-25
3. John 15:16
4. Eph. 2:10
5. 1 Cor. 12:8-10
    Mark 16:17-18
6. John 16:13-14
7. Hebrews 13:15
8: Hebrews 10:24-25
 9.  1 Cor. 14:40
       Romans 1:5
10. 1 Cor. 12:27-31
      Eph. 4:11-13

Receive the Holy Spirit

by Pat Mullins
[Rest in Peace]

And the purpose of it all was that the blessing of Abraham should in Jesus Christ be extended to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14

Then He (Jesus) breathed on them, saying, "receive the Holy Spirit!" John 20:22

Scripture says, "The first man, Adam, became an animate being, whereas the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. Observe, the spiritual does not come first, the animal body comes first, and then the spiritual. The first man was made of the dust of the earth; the second man is from heaven." 1 Cor. 15:45-47

... and by water that first world was destroyed, the water of the deluge. 2 Peter 3:6

Have you forgotten that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus we were baptized into His death? By baptism we were buried with Him and lay dead..., We know that the man we once were has been crucified with Christ, for the destruction of the sinful self,... Romans 6:3-4a, 6a

When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world, the old order has gone, and a new order has already begun. 2 Cor. 5:17

But God, rich in mercy, for the great love He bore us, brought us to life with Christ even when we were dead in our sins; it is by His grace you are saved. And in union with Christ Jesus he raised us up and enthroned us with Him in the heavenly realms, .... Eph. 2:4-6

All I can say is this: forgetting what is behind me, and reaching out for that which lies ahead, I press toward the goal to win the prize which is God's call to the life above, in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13b-14

Our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom faith depends from start to finish: ... Heb. 12:2a

St. Jerome is quoted as saying that "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ", and this was proclaimed again at the II Vatican Council. One of the very precious gifts the Holy Spirit has given us in the Charismatic Renewal is a hunger and love for the Scripture. As Catholics we grew up in an environment of rich tradition, and for too many years we thought that experiencing Jesus in the tradition was all that was needed for our spiritual growth. Then, all to often, as difficulty entered into our lives we discovered we were trying to live a life we really did not know or understand. Our Christianity was vicarious, and the absence of the "living Word" of Christ in our hearts and minds led many to abandon their faith in search of something "real".

Today is not that much different than in the days when the Bible was compiled, there are just new names for the same old temptations to live independent of God. There is still the drive to find meaning for life, or "who I am", or why I am as I am, or how to become what I am not, or whatever. The answer for each one of us still lies in the mystery of God becoming the God of our life, and being enthroned in our hearts as both Savior and Lord. From the beginning God has sought to reveal His great love for all of His creation, and the nature of Adam (we call it original sin) has wanted to do it without God. The Biblical story of creation seeks to reveal these opposite natures to us in the rich symbols and events of the Garden of Eden story. There is the nature of love - caring for the other more than self; and the nature of pride (independence from God) - caring for self more that the others. God is Love, and Satan is Pride personified. The Scriptures reveal God in His nature and Satan in his nature so that we might be able to see, discern, and choose. True love is not possible without freedom to choose; there was the ability to choose love, but mankind chose self.

In order to understand a tiny bit of this awesome choice, perhaps we can look for a moment at the parable Jesus tells of the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke. The son knew he was a son, knew he would have an inheritance when his father died, and made some choices. The choice we are looking at now is the one where the son chose not to care how the father may have felt, because he cared more for what he wanted than for what the father may have wanted. That is selfishness and in scripture in called "pride". The Father wanted to let the son be free to choose to love or reject him, so he let him have his way; he cared more for the son than for himself. That is love. Our Father God wants to provide for us an experience of life and love that will make us know that we are loved, special, important, and He has a perfect plan to cause that to happen. The secret plan is the Holy Spirit.

Think for a moment about this example. Consider that all of our life we were aware that there were vehicles that could make traveling easier, a car. But we had always walked to where we wanted to go, or perhaps, better yet, we should say that we had pushed, or pulled, a wheelbarrow with us wherever we wanted to go. Then one day some person who we know loves us said to us; "Here is a brand new car for you. I will pay for all the fuel and maintenance for as long as you live, and it belongs to you exclusively. I will never ask for it back. All you have to do is receive it, learn to respond to how it operates, and get in and let it become your power to move you through your life. But you can't bring your wheelbarrow! Leave your wheelbarrow here, and I will bury it forever, and you will be free to enjoy what life is really about." (Our wheelbarrow represents our past, hurts, resentments, and failures, along with our plans for what we think will make us happy and satisfied in our future.) God's whole plan of salvation for us hinges upon our receiving God the Holy Spirit into our lives to guide and control our path into real life. Jesus did all that he did for that single reason.

We cannot do it ourselves. We must receive the Holy Spirit, learn to respond to the power of God that lives within each of us, and in faith and trust in the love of our Father, obey. This is why we are urged, exhorted, and commanded to know the Scriptures. Jesus is the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit must be the person to reveal Jesus. Almost immediately after the Ascension of our Lord, the Holy Spirit began to reveal to the Apostles how precisely the Lord Jesus had lived in accord with the Scriptures in the Old Testament, and how the life they were to live "in Christ Jesus" was also going to be in accord with the Holy Spirit revealing His will through the Sacred Scriptures. Time and time again they were to be reminded by the Holy Spirit of the Word of God as guidance for their actions in teaching and forming the Body of believers. The record we know as the Acts of the Apostles, for example, is rich with the occurrences of the Holy Spirit using the Sacred Scriptures to guide, encourage, and correct them in their work of teaching and preaching Jesus. Another example is the writings of St. Paul which reveal to us two primary issues: first, why God, in Jesus, did what He did, in the way He did it; and second, how Jesus will live His life in a believer who is continually being filled with the Holy Spirit. These great themes of St. Paul are so important that they comprise about one third of the entire New Testament!

Our life is a person, Jesus. He is revealed in Scripture by the Holy Spirit. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Holy Spirit is not going to customize Jesus to fit our plan, the Holy Spirit needs to customize our lives to reveal the beauty of Jesus to the world in which we live every day. The same Jesus lives today to love, heal, and set the captives free. The Holy Spirit is still searching for those persons that will say yes, yeild to the Holy Spirit as the power and grace of God, and live their lives in union with Christ Jesus every moment of every day. Only God can do it, God the Holy Spirit. We received Him first at Baptism, received again at Confirmation, received again each time we consume the Eucharist, and God waits for us to give back to Him our life so He can begin to shape it into the image of Jesus His only Son.

Do we dare to pray in the words given by St, Ignatius: "Take Lord, receive, all my liberty, my memory, understanding, my entire will... You have given all to me, now I return it ...All is Yours now, dispose of it wholly according to Your will." I trust you God, my Father, Jesus, God my Savior, great God the Holy Spirit, I thank You for Your love and grace that will carry me through so You are always pleased with my life. In Jesus' name and power and person, Amen.

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