The Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church concentrates on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul gives a list of charisms in 1 Cor 12. They include ordinary charisms like teaching and administration and extraordinary ones like healing, miracles, and tongues. The Spirit and its gifts are not that unlike the Grace of God, an unmerited favor from God. One must receive the Grace of God before he receives the gifts of the Spirit. The Apostles had the charisms of healing and miracles just as Christ did. The charisms are gifts of the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the part of God that still resides with us today. The Son and the Father reside in Heaven. The Spirit is the medium that transcends both worlds and can enliven your soul. Do you know that the Holy Spirit is present in every Mass? How do you think the priest causes bread and wine to change into the body and blood of Christ? Transubstantiation! It is not by any particular power the Priest possesses. The priest calls upon the aid of the Holy Spirit. The Priest says “by the power of the Holy Spirit” this ordinary bread and wine is changed into the body and blood of Christ. The Priest calls upon the Holy Spirit to make the change. A man does not have the Charism of “miracles” unless the Holy Spirit is involved. Not even the Pope can cure a boy with downs syndrome. I am afraid that many Catholics do not receive the body and blood of Christ because many Priests do not have sufficient belief in the Holy Spirit to cause the change to take place. Remember what Jesus said, that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Well I say that if you have the faith of the size of mountains, you can heal the sick and change ordinary bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but only with the aid of the Spirit. A Priest, as a disciple and minister of Christ, can have that power, but only if that power is sought through Christ and delivered by the Spirit through a determined faith in God.
I was reading an article about tweets, you know the social media phenomenon, and about how it ruins people’s lives. The story was how tweets or statements, although not necessarily intended to be harmful by the person who said them, is taken that way and the orator or author is seen as a racist, or bigot or anti feminist or any of a number of badges of dishonor by others. The damage starts when these “others” feel that they have the moral responsibility and ethical aptitude to judge and destroy the tweeter. Someone tweets something which may be offensive to others, often as a joke, and the person who tweeted the message often gets “shamed.” Some type of justified revenge is taken out on this person, often for no reason other than to prop up the righteous, superior feeling of the “shamers” and to justify their own moral inferiority. Yes some people may deserve the shame they receive and the hurt and sorrow that may follow as a badge they wear around their neck. I can only hope and pray that these “shamed” experience the wonder and awe of God in those moments of depression and humiliation because that is the only tweeter that can rescue you. Judgment is for God alone. He judges you and me and He alone can heal you or punish you. As for the indignant, morally superior, you will get your just reward. Judge not lest you be judged.
The Muslim countries of the Middle East are shedding their Kings just as the European counties did some 200 years ago. Examples are Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Yemen. The remainder of the Islamic Middle Eastern countries will soon follow – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, UAE, Oman, Jordan and Pakistan. And wars are involved just like 200 years ago. Examples are the French and American Revolutions (We are still waiting on Great Britain). The only difference is that we did not have religious extremists as we do today. Or did we? I seem to remember reading of the Protestant Reformation wherein Protestants in Germany killed Christians and burned their churches and Catholics in France killed and tortured Protestants and ran the Huguenots out of the country. Two hundred years ago these Christian revolutionaries sought political and religious freedoms and born the idea of separation of church and state. Today, Islamic terrorist are seeking these same religious and political freedoms but are living under a middle-age crusade mentality under a religion which praises and glamorizes jihad. And this religious extremism for a Muslim causes the church to become the state. There is no separation of church and state for a Muslim. The rules of the church govern political freedoms for a Muslim. These Muslim terrorists seek to impose Islamic law on all of their countrymen regardless of the individual political and religious rights their countrymen may hold under God’s laws.
The solution is simple – a united state of Arabia. All of these Muslim states should form a new political entity similar to the European Union or the United States of America. But that will never happen. The level-headed Muslims will never rise up and demand that Islam does not require jihad. The moderate Muslim community will just sit back and let these terrorists conquer in the name of Mohammed and Allah and destroy all of the region’s opportunities for religious and political freedoms. Once Obama is out of office, the Christian world will unite to eliminate this scourge that the devil has unleased. Until then, innocent people, both Muslim and Christian, will have to suffer.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul speaks of final judgment day when Christ returns and all souls will be saved, the good and the bad. Paul confirms that all souls are created by God and given to man. Paul seems to intimate that all of God’s souls will return to Him. He seems to say that the bodies of the righteous will return to good souls for a reunion in Heaven but the unrighteous will be tested by fire and will be burned by eternal damnation. Only those who live by the Spirit of Christ will experience a resurrection as Christ did.
Don’t wonder if the world hates you. It does. One who hates his brother hates you and is of this world. He that loves his brother keeps God’s commands. If you keep God’s commands you do not sin. If you do not keep His commands, you sin and are of the devil. The world brings death, doing the work of Him by keeping His commands brings life. The commandments require you to love your brother and not just in words but in deeds, to the extent that you would lay down your own life for your brother. Would you give your life for your brother in need? In other words, if your life could save the life of your brother, would you accept death to save the life of your brother? You might trade your death for the life of your sick child or mother or father. But would you accept your own death to save the life of a sick friend or even a stranger? God requires us to love to that extreme. But He does not require us to love our brother who is of this world to that extreme. In other words, if our brother violates God’s commands, lives in sin and thus of the devil, we are not required to lay down our life for such person. Or are we?