Fr. Cantalamessa personal testimony

February 9, 2010

I found an interesting article on Fr. Cantalamessa testimony of how he got to know about the Charismatic Renewal. The article seems to be written for Word Among Us somehow.


Called for the new evangelization

May 13, 2008

After the Pentecost, the church preach the Gospel to every creature. Jesus, just before His ascension, promise this to the disciples

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 )

And indeed on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached to the people of every nation. On that day 3000 people converted and were baptized. They started to preach in Jerusalem and be God’s witnesses. In Acts chapter 8, we read that the people in Samaria received the word of God, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.

At the end of the weekdays mass reading before Pentecost Sunday, we read that Paul reached Rome, and the story closes the book of Acts,

And he lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him,
preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered.(Acts 28:30-31)

The book of Acts gives us a glimpse of the Evangelization from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (which was symbolized by Rome).

In this age, God has poured again his spirit among his people, what is it for if not for a new evangelization?

Cardinal Paul Cordes speaks recently about the “movements” in the church

“Since the middle of the last century, he has brought men and women in movements and new [ecclesial] realities to awaken in the Church enthusiasm for evangelization, He has given them the grace to speak in a fascinated and fascinating way about Jesus Christ, to enthuse people about the following of Christ, to find in Jesus of Nazareth — just as he is proclaimed by the Church — the center of their very existences and the fount of a plentiful life.”

We are called for this new evangelization! In this age God has raised so many movements in the Church to be missionaries again to the world that the Gospel may be preached to the end of the world, starting from Jerusalem.

Fr. John Wong OFM, a parish priest in St. Mary, once gave a reflection and asked, “What is our Jerusalem? Could it be our family? What is our Samaria? Could it be our friends and colleagues? What is the end of the world that God asked us to go? Could it be a new mission field that is far away from home?”

I would like to share the concluding paragraph by Cardinal Paul Cordes, which resonates a lot in me, since I my self, have experienced this imprisonement of the “I”, and set free through people who evangelizes me.

“Despite aggressive secularization, which wants to bring all of us to the idolatry of the ‘I,’ they keep Christ as the star that guides their activities,” he said. “It’s not that they are ‘more perfect’ Christians. They are Christians like all of us. But they are special since God has prepared them better for the decisive challenge of today: the new evangelization.”

Let us pray that we may be his witnesses, not with our own strength, but with the Holy Spirit that is with us to the end of the ages.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 )

Benedict XVI: Let us rediscover the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit

May 12, 2008

In his Sunday greetings, the pope urges us to rediscover the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit!

Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present.
“Let us ask the Virgin Mary to obtain a renewed Pentecost for the Church again today, a Pentecost that will spread in everyone the joy of living and witnessing to the Gospel.”

You can read the full article here.

And if you want to read the Pope’s homily for Pentecost, you can find it in this page.

Benedict XVI and the Pentecost

May 8, 2008

In his Wednesday Audience, the Pope again prepare the Church for the solemnity of Pentecost. He teaches us about the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is “a power for the forgiveness of sins, for the renewal of our hearts and our lives. It renews the earth and creates unity where before there was division”. When it descended upon the Apostles they spoke in tongues, a sign that “the Babylonian dispersion, fruit of the pride which divides mankind, was overcome in the Spirit, which is charity and gives us unity in diversity”.

Moreover, he also spoke about the Church that is always in a state of Pentecost. Last SACCRE core leaders meeting, we met and discussed about the culture of Pentecost. So what is this “state of Pentecost” that the Church is experiencing all the time?

the Church is always, so to say, in a state of Pentecost. Gathered in the Cenacle, she prays incessantly to obtain ever new effusions of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, … and is not afraid to announce the Gospel to the furthest confines of the earth.

I felt these two things came up from the words of the pope: 1) pray incessantly for an ever new effusion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and 2) to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

The Church doesn’t preach using human wisdom, or mere human eloquence. She preaches with the Holy Spirit, the power that bridges all languages and nations. It is the power to forgive from God (only God forgives sins), it is the power that can renew people’s heart and lives (only God changes people’s lives).

It is the power that Jesus spoke when he was about to ascend to Heaven:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.” ( Acts 1:8 )

Many people thought that the power is just about healing and miracles. But St. Thomas Aquinas said that the greatest miracle is the conversion of the world.