Please take some time to review the Awakening the Domestic Church website. This apostolate is being coordinated by Dcn Darrell Wentworth of the New Creation Community in Virginia Beach.
Here are the words from the Lord that we received during our Community meetings in 2016.
This year, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa’s annual Advent sermons to the papal household have included much on the Holy Spirit. Sermon #3 was especially interesting, as he explained “sober intoxication,” and highlighted the importance of being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.”
Sermon #1 (December 02)
Sermon #2 (December 09)
Sermon #3 (December 16)
Sermon #4 (December 23)
Our bishop has been elected to chair the U.S. Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, though his role as Chair won’t officially begin for almost a year. Read more about his responsibilities on the USCCB and his recent election HERE.
Remembering Jesus’ prayer
May they all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I in you, may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, and thus the world may know that you have sent me and that you have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:21-23)
and also remembering that Pope Francis said
In these months, meeting so many non-Catholic Christians, or reading their letters, I have been able to see how, despite the open questions that still separate us, there is a strong and widespread desire to walk together…the pursuit of full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church, and thus it is daily one of my chief concerns. (20-Nov-2014)
Let’s continue to keep Bishop Bambera in our prayers, especially as he prepares for this new role.
Congratulations, Bishop Bambera !!
He speaks about the occasion of celebrating the Jubilee of the CCR. He has some challenging words for communities and their leaders.
At the Catholic Fraternity meeting, Dan Almeter of the Alleluia Community was re-elected as our CFNA rep on the Fraternity Council (English Speaking Fraternity Communities in North America), and Gilberto Barbosa was re-elected President for another three-year term.
Here is Shayne’s “Prayer of Surrender” with which he concluded his talk:
Jesus Christ, Our Lord, You have called us, and just as You walked along the shore of Galilee and recognized your Apostles and called them by name, so you call us by name, and You invite us not only to follow You but to journey with You through your Cross and Resurrection. And Jesus, today we want to prepare ourselves for all that You have in mind for our future, for the future of the Charismatic Renewal, for the future we will live in our Communities. Jesus, we want to surrender to You once again today, and to surrender not in our own strength but in the strength of Your Holy Spirit. Jesus, I invite You to be my Lord. I want to turn away from all of those things that would capture my attention more than You, that You would be the central figure in my life, that You would be the central figure in the life of my Community, [The People of God], that it is to You that we would give obedience, that it is You who would guide us through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Jesus, we surrender to You.
On October 28th, the Community celebrated its 32nd Anniversary with a dinner at the Holy Family Spiritual Renewal Center. In conjunction with the anniversary celebration, the Community held its triennial General Assembly, during which the covenanted members re-elected Jim Gialanella as Community Coordinator for another 3-year term. Fr Leo McKernan, the Community’s Spiritual Advisor, was present.
Click here for the resources from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for the celebration of this event in 2017 (January 18-25).
Click here for the words from the Lord that we received during our Community General Gatherings during 2015.
The non-Scriptural reading in the Office of Readings for Thursday of the Second Week of Advent is an excerpt from a sermon by St Peter Chrysologus (+450). He briefly explains the manner in which God formed a relationship of love with Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Moses. Then, reminiscent of St Paul’s teaching on love in 1 Corinthians 13, St Peter reveals some aspects of love which are worth our reflection:
…the law of love is not concerned with what will be, what ought to be, what can be. Love does not reflect; it is unreasonable and knows no moderation. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of it’s object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire which impels it toward things that are forbidden.
In a little more than five weeks the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will begin. This year’s prayer resources were developed by Canadians, as explained in this article and in this short video:
The theme for the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Has Christ Been Divided?” This is from 1 Corinthians 1:13. A detailed presentation of the background and resources for prayer services has been published here by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Here are the music and word gifts from our Community General Gathering on December 8th:
- O Come O Come Emmanuel
- Make Way
- Exodus XV (I shall Prepare Him my heart)
- Draw Me Closer
- Forever Grateful
Luke 11:33-36 “One who lights a lamp does not put it in the cellar or under a bushel basket, but rather on a lamp stand, so that they who come in may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyesight is sound, your whole body is lighted up, but when your eyesight is bad, your body is in darkness. If your whole body is lighted up and not partly in darkness it will be as fully illuminated as when a lamp shines brightly for you.”
“Love is the answer. I have shared it with you and I want it to penetrate into you more. Don’t seek other ways and other things. Seek only my will. Be filled more with my love. Don’t be satisfied with being lamp stands, but be beacons of my overflowing light.”
II Corinthians 7:1 “Since we have these promises, beloved let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and in the fear of God strive to fulfill our consecration perfectly.”
Isaiah 49:1-6 “Hear me O coastlands, listen O distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. He made me a sharp edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of His arm. He made me a polished arrow, in His quiver He hid me. You are my servant He said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vein, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength. Yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as His servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to Him and Israel gathered to Him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength! It is too little He says for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, and that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Jeremiah 1:5-7 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. ‘Ah, Lord God,’ I said. ‘I know not how to speak, I am too young.’ But the Lord answered me, ‘Say not I am too young. To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak.”
Psalm 119:105 “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
“Walk in glory as opposed to what may appear as walking with good plans. My signs and wonders will make you glorious in the sight of the Lord.”
“Be part of the light. Work in the light, work for the light. Make truth your aim in all circumstances. Recognize the source of darkness. When darkness appears and you don’t know the source, such as fire or water or wind, gather together and prepare for danger, physical storm. Simplify your lives. Prepare for fight or flight. Make ready your mind your heart and your body. Think always of my ways, my inclinations, my effect for your lives and others. You must be a strong light for the Church of Jesus. Pray and work on your faults so nothing may hamper your beacon of light.”
Closing song: “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”
We can deduce from Canon 1250 that Advent is not ‘officially’ a penitential season:
The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
However, since we are sinners, it is appropriate for us to engage in works of penance as a part of our repentance and ongoing conversion. In this 5-minute video, Dr Scott Hahn explains how penitential practices can help us better prepare to celebrate the coming of Jesus:
Pope Francis concludes Evangelii Gaudium with this prayer to our Blessed Mother:
Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.
Filled with Christ’s presence,
you brought joy to John the Baptist,
making him exult in the womb of his mother.
Brimming over with joy,
you sang of the great things done by God.
Standing at the foot of the cross
with unyielding faith,
you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,
and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit
so that the evangelizing Church might be born.
Obtain for us now a new ardour born of the resurrection,
that we may bring to all the Gospel of life
which triumphs over death.
Give us a holy courage to seek new paths,
that the gift of unfading beauty
may reach every man and woman.
Virgin of listening and contemplation,
Mother of love, Bride of the eternal wedding feast,
pray for the Church, whose pure icon you are,
that she may never be closed in on herself
or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.
Star of the new evangelisation,
help us to bear radiant witness to communion,
service, ardent and generous faith,
justice and love of the poor,
that the joy of the Gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth,
illuminating even the fringes of our world.
Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,
pray for us.
In Chapter Two of Volume Two of Sober Intoxication of the Spirit, Fr Cantalamessa presents the following perspective on the place of prayer groups, communities and the charismatic renewal in the Church (pp. 29-31):
I have asked myself sometimes what in some of the prayer groups and budding communities that are rising up here and there in the charismatic renewal pleases Jesus so much that he would manifest so much power and so many wonders in them. It seemed to me that the secret of what makes them so precious to God is their absolute poverty, the fact that they have no past and hardly any future. They are almost a “nothing,” like certain life forms that appear in the morning and disappear in the evening, reabsorbed into the great bosom of life, or like a little cloud that calmly disappears from the sky after having poured out all its water.
Traditional religious orders have a past, often a glorious one; recent ones (lay institutes; ecclesial movements) have a future and are sometimes very aware of it. God is looking for something very, very small among so many grand and established groups (which do please him and are useful to him), something that he can take just as it is, without having to be concerned about its past or its future. He is looking for something that will be useful to him, for an instant, something unencumbered that wants nothing and asks for nothing in return for pleasing God and for making his power and his wishes shine forth in the world.
Do we want to be that small thing that is precious to God? Do we want to be that instrument of “nothing” in his omnipotent hand? Then, let us not worry about “setting up house”; let us not worry about assuring that the charismatic renewal has a future among today’s ecclesial realities; let us not worry about numbers.
Let it be enough for us that the future of the Church is already assured. Let the Church be enough for us, as institution. For our part, let us try, if we can, to remain prophetic for the Church, even if it is only in small measure. Let us continue to draw directly from the Church, especially from the local Church, all that is necessary to live a life of the Spirit — sacraments, authority, ministries, and doctrine. Let us continue to pour out all that we are, even though we are small, directly into the bosom of life that is the Church — quietly or also openly, if it is possible and if it is requested. Let us try to be that little cloud, ready to disappear, after it has poured out all its water on the Church.
I had hardly come into contact with the charismatic renewal when, one day in prayer, I was struck with certain thoughts. I seemed to sense the new thing the Lord was doing in the Church through the charismatic renewal. I took a sheet of paper and a pen and wrote down some thoughts, which surprised me, as they came without premeditation:
The Father wants to glorify the Son, Jesus Christ, on earth in a new way, through a new intervention. The Holy Spirit is appointed to carry out this glorification because it is written: “He will glorify me and take that which is mine.” A Christian life entirely consecrated to God, without a founder, without a rule, and without new congregations. The Founder: Jesus! The Rule: the gospel interpreted by the Holy Spirit! The Congregation: the Church! Do not worry about tomorrow, do not try to make something that will remain, and do not set in motion recognized organizations that can be perpetuated by successors….Jesus is a Founder who never dies, so there is no need for successors. We always need to let him do new things, even tomorrow. The Holy Spirit will remain in the Church, even tomorrow!