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Archive for July, 2009

[Excerpt from the] MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II TO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD ON THE OCCASIONOF THE XIX WORLD YOUTH DAY 2004
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/youth/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_20040301_xix-world-youth-day_en.html

”]Mysterious image that appeared in a bonfire and  Pope John Paul II at an audience in 2001 [Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-487764/Is-Pope-John-Paul-II-waving-grave--Vatican-TV-director-says-yes.html#ixzz0LTtnzOND ]My dear young people!

1. This year 2004 is the final stage before the great event in Cologne, where the 20th World Youth Day will be celebrated in 2005. I therefore invite you to intensify your path of spiritual preparation by reflecting on the theme I have chosen for this 19th World Youth Day: “We wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21).

This is a request made to the Apostles one day by some “Greeks”. They wanted to know who Jesus was. They had come not simply to see what kind of impression the man Jesus would make. Moved by great curiosity and a presentiment that they had found the answer to their deepest questions, they wanted to know who he really was and whence he came.

2. My dear young people, I want you too to imitate those “Greeks” who spoke to Philip, moved by a desire to “see Jesus”. May your search be motivated not simply by intellectual curiosity, though that too is something positive, but be stimulated above all by an inner urge to find the answer to the question about the meaning of your life. Like the rich young man in the Gospel, you too should go in search of Jesus to ask him: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17). Mark the Evangelist states clearly that Jesus looked at him and loved him. You may remember another episode in which Jesus says to Nathaniel: “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you”, drawing from the heart of that Israelite, in whom there was no guile (cf. Jn 1:47), a fine profession of faith: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!” (Jn 1:49). Those who approach Jesus with a heart free of prejudice can quite easily come to have faith because Jesus himself has already seen them and loved them first. The most sublime aspect of human dignity is precisely man’s vocation to communicate with God in a profound exchange of glances that is life transforming. In order to see Jesus, we first need to let him look at us!

The desire to see Jesus dwells deep in the heart of each man and each woman. My dear young people, allow Jesus to gaze into your eyes so that the desire to see the Light, and to experience the splendour of the Truth, may grow within you. Whether we are aware of it or not, God has created us because he loves us and so that we in turn may love him. This is the reason for the unquenchable nostalgia for God that man preserves in his heart: “Your face, Lord, do I seek.  Do not hide your face from me” (Ps 27: 8-9). That Face – we know – was revealed to us by God in Jesus Christ.

3. My dear young people, don’t you too wish to contemplate the beauty of that Face? That is the question I address to you on this World Youth Day 2004. Don’t be too hasty in your reply. First of all, create a silence within yourselves. Allow this ardent desire to see God emerge from the depth of your hearts, a desire that is sometimes stifled by the distractions of the world and by the allurements of pleasures. Allow this desire to emerge and you will have the wonderful experience of meeting Jesus.

Christianity is not simply a doctrine: it is an encounter in faith with God made present in our history through the incarnation of Jesus.

Try by every means to make this encounter possible, and look towards Jesus who is passionately seeking you. Seek him with the eyes of the flesh through the events of life and in the faces of others; but seek him too with the eyes of the soul through prayer and meditation on the Word of God, because “The contemplation of Christ’s face cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about him in Sacred Scripture” (Novo millennio ineunte, 17).

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Thank God for Pope John Paul II (may he rest in peace)! …..   Bartimaeus

PS: If you also are seeking Jesus then open the Door – Click Here to open

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The Problem of Rejection and Resentment

Rejected for the Gospel?

Rejected for the Gospel?

“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” (Luke 6:22)

My fellow pilgrims,

Today I wish to discuss with you a topic regarding a facet of discipleship that many of us encounter as we, in obedience to our call to proclaim the Good News of Jesus and His Love. I am speaking of is the response we sometimes elicit from those to whom we are trying to reach, namely, a shunning and rejection of not only of the message we bring but of our person.

Now, Jesus has told us to expect resistance and rejection from the “world” but when that response comes from friends and family, and members in our own “Christian” community we are, very often, deeply hurt by this reaction, a hurt that, if we don’t counteract can limit us in being instruments and messengers of God’s Love in the world.

The reason these hurts ensuing from rejection and shunning limit us is because our human ego sometimes becomes too attached to the role and message we have been called to. This happens when we take too personal an interest in what we are doing and saying for the Lord and thus, when we, in obedience to what Jesus is calling us to do, are rejected by others we take it personally. This injury, left untreated, is left to molder in us, can become an inner resentment that prevents us from being conformed to the image of Jesus and His Love for which we were created and for which we were sent, thus inhibiting the anointing that He places on our service to others.

First of all we must remember that when we are ministering to others in Jesus’ name, we are NOT ministering in our own person. So when rejection occurs in the carrying out of our call, we must detach our own feelings and person from what we do and leave the work that God wants to do in that person to the Holy Spirit. Leave everything at the foot of the Cross, knowing that you have been faithful to what has been asked of you. As it says in psalm 37(v.5), “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will accomplish His will through your service”.

Secondly, if, in spite of your best intentions, you happen to fall in such a situation, merely repent of your attachment, forgive those who hurt you, confess it to the Lord, and “He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgement as the noonday” (Ps. 37:6). Pray that the Lord will redeem your error and bring about His will through your faithful efforts. Remember what Jesus told us, “If they reject you they are really rejecting me”. So then don’t get in the way and let Jesus handle the situation.

This lesson that I am passing on to you I have learned at the cost of my own mistakes and through the saving insight provided me through Holy Spirit, the inspiration of the Word of God, and the teachings of St. Francis de Sales.

Francis had to learn this lesson himself as he endured the rejection of those whom he was trying to reach with the Gospel of Love.

In a presentation on Salesian spirituality, an anonymous religious Sister of the Visitation said the following in summarizing this teaching, “So, human liberty resides, not in not caring about what happens (even if that were possible) but in caring more that God’s results be accomplished whatever the outcome. As indicated …., the practice of Salesian liberty becomes a freedom to serve in a spirit of detachment or indifference to our personal “I’d rathers.” And its effects in one’s personality and life, according to Francis in this same letter “are a great inner serenity, a great gentleness and willingness to yield in everything that isn’t sin; it’s a flexible disposition, able gracefully to do the virtuous or charitable thing.” In short, the freedom of the children of God is the birthright of those who know they are loved. This freedom leads one to detachment of the heart from all things so that it is free to follow the known will of God.”

(excerpted from — http://www.visitationmonastery.org/stlouis/talk_living_in_the_moment.htm )

Brothers and Sisters, I pray that, through the Holy Spirit, this teaching has reached your hearts as it has in mine and that it will bear fruit in your lives to the Glory of God the Father. May the Lord Bless you all. …. Bartimaeus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2009].

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Sharing all the Charisms of the Spirit

by Reverend Donald L. Gelpi, S.J.

(as excerpted from: http://www.sfspirit.com/articles/9809/Article1.htm )

In today’s Church, I believe that all Christians would agree that God calls us ultimately to resurrection with Christ; but we do not agree so easily about the proximate future to which God is calling us. We do not agree about the concrete shape which the kingdom of God must take here and now because we disagree, sometimes bitterly, about what it means for us to be a Church. Authoritarian, right-wing Christians want to pattern the Church on the Roman Empire. They want an authoritarian Church in which all movement descends from those in authority to those they command. Left-wing Christians want to democratize the Church and to pattern it on the democratic governments, which emerged politically in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

In the polarized Church in which we live, the Charismatic Renewal has, I believe, the divine call and responsibility to insist that no political model of the Church can grasp or articulate the social reality which the Christian community ought to embody. The Church derives neither from the Roman Empire nor from democracies of the Enlightenment—but from Pentecost. On Pentecost, the risen Christ sent the Spirit into the Church in order to create it as a community of shared faith. The Spirit accomplished that task on Pentecost by an outpouring of all the charisms. Moreover, only by sharing all the charisms of the Spirit can the Church experience shared faith consciousness.

The Church needs prophets and teachers to remind it constantly of the events which give rise to it: the incarnation of the Son of God, His ministry, death, resurrection, and mission of the Pentecostal Spirit. The Church needs teachers to remind it in season and out of the history of sin and of grace which links it to the paschal mystery. Without the charismatic activity of those teachers the Church will have no present sense of identity. In other words, without the kind of historical consciousness which teaching and prophecy inspire, the Church will not know collectively who it is and cannot therefore reach clarity concerning what God has called it to become.

In addition, the Church needs charisms of prayer, like tongues and the other prayer gifts, as well as gifts of healing if it expects to experience in a vivid way the saving presence of God in its midst. Without a vivid sense of God’s saving presence, the Church will forget that only the saving grace of God creates and sustains it as a community; and that kind of tragic forgetting will make the Christian community indistinguishable from any other natural or sinful human community. A Church that looks like any other natural or sinful human community cannot, however, mediate Christ and His Spirit effectively to a sinful world.

If charisms like prophecy, teaching, prayer, and healing create the Church’s awareness of its authentic religious identity, the charisms of the Spirit also endow the Church with an awareness of the common future to which God calls it. Prophets and evangelists must call the community to the kind of repentance and conversion that alone can open it to God’s future. Teachers need to remind the community of its past mistakes so that it will not continue to make them and so to divide the Church into sinful factions. Discerners need to help the community distinguish between true and false teaching, between sound and unsound community discipline, between authentic and inauthentic hopes if shared consensus about the future to which God calls us will ever emerge in a clear and focused manner.

The Church, however, needs more than a shared sense of history and a shared consensus about the future in order to reach full consciousness as a Christian community. In addition, all the members of the Church need to collaborate in making that shared future a reality. Mobilizing the Christian community in order to realize the vision of the kingdom to which Jesus called us engages all the action gifts, which facilitate corporate action on the part of the Christian community. By the action gifts, I mean gifts of administration, of pastoral leadership, of community organizing, of practical concern for the poor, for the marginal, and for their needs. Such gifts make possible our practical corporate witness to the gospel.

I am suggesting to you that without practical, living faith in all the charisms of the Holy Spirit, the Church will never reach full, shared consciousness as a community of faith. I am also suggesting that only by reaching full, shared, faith consciousness can the Christian community exist as a Church. I say that the Church must re-appropriate all the charisms of the Holy Spirit.

It may well be true that God called the Charismatic Renewal into existence as His chosen instrument for bringing the rest of the Church to renewed faith in the gift-giving Pentecostal Spirit. If so, then we in the Charismatic Renewal must acknowledge not only our failure to date to respond adequately to that call; but we must also acknowledge our part in that failure. In my judgment, the Charismatic Renewal has become to a great extent the victim of the chief institution, which it created–namely the prayer meeting.

Within the context of shared prayer only, we can only share a limited number of charisms: tongues, prophecy, word gifts, and teaching. Many of the charisms, however, require another context for their exercise. I refer to gifts like administration, pastoral leadership, and practical care for the poor, and a prophecy, which confronts social injustice and oppression instead of just talking piously in King James English. Narrow focus on prayer gifts has, in my judgment, caused the Charismatic Renewal to inculcate an inadequate and skewed charismatic piety by focusing too narrowly on gifts like tongues, healing, and ecstatic prophecy and by failing to cultivate the full spectrum of the gifts.

In other words, the Charismatic Renewal itself has failed to grasp fully what Paul the apostle meant when he said (that Jesus), “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” Only openness to all the charisms of the Spirit can create the kind of balanced charismatic consciousness that creates the Church as a Church. At the Denver Symposium on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Renewal, which assessed the progress of the Charismatic renewal, I sensed an incipient consensus developing among the leaders of the movement that the name which the bishops gave this movement—”The Charismatic Renewal of the Church”—can have misleading connotations. The total charismatic renewal of the Church involves much more than what goes on in the movement which calls itself in obedience to the bishops, “The Charismatic Renewal.” The total charismatic renewal of the Church involves all the renewal movements which contribute to the Church’s shared faith consciousness: movements like the RCIA, the Cursillo, marriage encounter, Christian Life Communities, the Jesuit Volunteers and other volunteer groups in the Church which work for a justice inspired by faith.

If the Charismatic Renewal hopes to respond effectively to the call of God to bring living faith in all the charisms to the heart of Catholic piety, then, in my judgment, the Renewal needs a spirit of repentance and of humility. We need to enter into effective dialogue with all the other renewal movements that contribute to the Church’s total charismatic renewal. We need to enter into that dialogue with an expectation that those movements have something important to teach the Charismatic Renewal about the full spectrum of the Spirit’s charismatic inspirations.

At the same time, we should enter into dialogue with these other renewal movements with a consciousness of all the important things which the Holy Spirit has taught this movement about the exercise of the gifts and which other renewal movements need to learn. The Spirit must, of course, guide such dialogue; and with the guidance of the Spirit that dialogue will, God willing, advance the day when the entire Church can confess that “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit” and actually experience the reality of what it confesses.

Fr. Gelpi is a professor at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. This article was condensed from his presentation at the Liaison Theological Symposium, The Last Adam Became A Life-Giving Spirit: An Important Key to Spirit Christology, pp. 21-25.

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Posted by Bartimeaus  as  a reminder as to the challenges that remain before us!


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