Fill the Hearts of Thy Faithful

Yesterday, I did something. Something that is very different for me. I attended a Charismatic Conference, in Wildwood N.J. I did not really know what to expect. I had been to one, once before. At that time, I left the meeting confused but oh, so very much alive inside. I did not know what to make of it. And, unfortunately for me, I sought no answers.

I found out that there was a conference going on, Oct. 8 – 10th, and decided I would try once again. To be fair, my life has changed quite a bit since I attended the last conference. A change in which, Padre Pio played a major role.

I entered the large conference room and immediately a sense of insecurity washed over me. I sat down and observed people moving about and casually chatting. A speaker was covering some preliminary agenda items, and then suddenly… he let out a huge ALLELUIA. Actually it was more like an ALLELUUUUUUUUIA, to which the gathering replied back in kind. I thought, “Oh God, what am I doing here?” The word “revival” ran around in my mind, and all my pent up negativism swarmed over me. I was drowning in my insecurity.

I say all of the above, to make a point. Very often, too often, something or someone does not act the way we do or the way we want them to. Somewhere inside of us we draw an X over it. We say or feel that it is wrong, that that is not the way it should be done. We turn it off and worse yet, we close our minds to it. This group was worshipping and praising their God in a way they felt comfortable. They were merging their minds, their hearts, their souls and their feelings. As a total person, each one was professing their love for their God and Creator. Of course, I was uncomfortable. If I were lucky, I might bring my mind and part of my heart into play to worship my God. My soul? My feelings? You must be kidding!! It took me a long time to feel comfortable just raising my hands when we pray the Our Father, at Mass.

The speaker at the next segment of the conference was Kathleen McCarthy-1. Her talk touched your mind, your heart, your feelings, and your very soul. Her words illumined what we knew all along, but were afraid to look at. Christ, our Redeemer, our Savior wants to reach everyone in this world. BUT, He needs our minds, our hearts, our feelings, our souls. We say we must love one another. It has a nice ring to it, but what does that mean? Stop and think for a second, “What would Christ do for my neighbor? The one that acts all proud and haughty and is difficult to like? The one that reeks of alcohol? The one that doesn’t go to church? The one that is thinking about having an abortion? What would He do for the couple that fight all the time? What would He say to the teens in the neighborhood that have no direction in their life?” Whatever He would say or do, must come from us. They won’t be our words, our actions, they will be His. But, He truly depends on us to take Him to these people, to let Him use our minds and hearts. We must learn to open ourselves to Jesus, to trust Him. We want to be His disciples and believe in Him.

It is not as difficult as we make it out to be. If we truly believe in Jesus, in His love for us, what can we not do? In another post, it was said that in order to swim to the other side of the pool, we must let go of the side that we are clutching. It is fear that holds us back. We just don’t believe that Jesus depends on us. US? We have so many problems, so many ugly qualities. And yes, Jesus loves us, you and me. As Kathleen so aptly pointed out, He said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He not only interceded for us, and pleaded for us, He made excuses for us. They don’t know what they are doing.

So, what then is this Charismatic movement? I am a neophyte, no rather a fledgling, but I would hazard to say that in our Baptism we received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. Dormant in us then, are all the gifts and graces that will fulfill our life’s mission. The movement seems to be the opening up of ourselves in trust and allowing Christ to work through us, to use these gifts. In so doing, we can truly love one another. Earlier I asked, “What does it mean to love one another?” It means that the other person is more important than us. It means that how we treat them, what we think of them, what we do for them is exactly how we treat Christ, think of Christ, do for Christ. ALLELUUUUUIA!-1    Kathleen McCarthy blog