Friday, February 17, 2017

The Crowd, Lenten/Spring Lamb Catholic Worker Newsletter

The Crowd    

by S. Johansing and Monica       LCW  Columbus, Ohio



     As we approach Lent and Easter 2017, this article spotlights the responses and actions of the crowds to Christ and the internal human responses Jesus may have had to these responses of Him, especially during all that transpired from Palm Sunday to His ultimate Passion.
     By the point in Jesus' life of Palm Sunday, the poison of the Jewish leaders' jealousy and fear had been fanned and cultivated to the point of immense hatred to the murderous level. While self-evident for a long time, the love and mercy of Jesus' most Sacred Heart had to have made Him hold onto a last thread of hope for them.
     After all, He did not seek fame for Himself, constantly shushing whoever he healed or set free, in order to move about and teach Truth as far and wide as possible before His end.  They had to have seen this.  He did not cater to the popular "women of prominence" or even them, nor anyone (such as a highest rabbi or Pharisee) who could have had the power to cast him above them. He had zero interaction with the local and national leaders to undermine them either. He was no real threat at all.
      The only threat He was to them was His holiness of life and audacity to speak the Truth to them -- particularly about the hypocrisy of their lives and hearts.  To speak what was true -- about God's mercy, love, and especially His humility that even they, lesser than God, chose not to live by in their roles as religious leaders.
    Knowing that He most likely will suffer and die a grueling death, He enters Jerusalem as a king, to the uproar and great enthusiasm of the cheering and praising crowds.  They even loudly sang songs over him while they put palms down for his donkey to walk upon, as a carpet emitting the highest royalty.
    It must have been such music to His ears!  He had to have thought for a fleeting moment that maybe, just maybe, He may not have to suffer so greatly on the cross. It must have been the height of His time, that "they DO understand.  They finally get it and see what I am trying to do and that I truly truly do love them.  They see and finally KNOW the truth behind my message, the Truth of this new Way.  Truth itself. They finally do understand I AM. My Kingdom on Earth has truly, truly come and begun. I was to come into the world and fix the mistake made in the fall, but maybe I do not have to be exposed to that level of hatred and physical pain."
      But ...
     It starts slowly, taking Him in the night a few days later.  Even though He had pre-warned His Apostles, even though He had given them His Body and Blood in the first Eucharist, that Palm Sunday before must have given Him a tiny glimmer of hope, because He still begged His Father at Gethsemane, after the first Eucharist, for this cup to please pass Him by if it could.  His sweat was like drops of blood as He pleaded hard for a way out of what most likely lie ahead.  Now though, they have come, and now He looks down at His bound hands,...



     He could not turn to others, no one was there.  Yes, even His beloved Peter really did do it, completely denied ever having known Him in His hour of greatest need.  And He was to be the HEAD of this new Kingdom on Earth.  Even though He had told Peter on Holy Thursday that He would do this three times against Him, it still had to have  grieved Him greatly.
     Even though He knew all this was to be, what a sinking, sinking feeling it must have been when the sting of the first whip jarred Him, and the rawness of shredded skin was being further whipped deeply into muscle tissue...
     It gets worse and worse without a minute of let-up. the piercing thorns in His skull that He must wear all day after being mocked and struck hard with reeds as dense as hollow baseball bats...
      The very people who had jubilantly sang praise songs of Him five days earlier - praising the one who they had heard so many great things about - now viciously turned on Him - urged on by the ringleader Pharisees and Sadduccees.  It was not long that the power of suggestive doubt, suspicion, and hate had swayed the crowd, taken root, and grown into hate and murderous thoughts against Him.  It was crystal clear from the Father: "No, you really DO have to do the whole thing..."
      They screamed into His face, they spit on Him, threw things at Him.  Nudged on they shouted to crucify Him, to release Barabbas, even after seeing how badly He had been scourged.
      Now He carries on his raw stinging open back a huge, impossibly heavy cross, like concrete blocks, through the city streets and up this insurmountable hill....  with the shrieking screams of the other two prisoners being crucified ahead of Him...  the humiliating thought of being fully naked in front of these women for hours ...  the long crude nails being driven through His hands and feet, splitting them open, like a worm with a hook through it, and hanging by His body weight on only His nailed hand and feet wounds -- all in front of the malicious crowd.
     The most wrenching of all, putting His sweet mother, sobbing at His feet, through indescribable pain and suffering at the sight and experience of His torture, the sword of swords piercing her heart over and over and over again without mercy, with nothing to ease her pain.
     And the feet.  How beautiful the feet that walked so far to bear good news, now bearing the force of love. I have always thought of that unspeakably raw and painful spot just above the feet wound, or at the top of it, that constantly bore the force of His entire body weight bearing down hard upon it, by gravity, rubbing and agitating this open fleshy tangle of nerves and vessels, especially when He had to push His body upward to take a breath.  Excruciating.  Stinging.
      Some do not realize  this, but on the cross you died of lack of air.  The way they had their arms extended put pressure down upon their chest and lungs. In order to take a breath, you had to "stand up" high on your feet, putting lungs higher than your arms.  Such torture for Christ upon His precious feet! That's why they broke the knees of the other two prisoners so that they could not stand higher to take a breath, and so, would die quickly.


    

        May this Lent be a time to ponder more fully than ever, the details of the Passion of our Christ. The Stations of the Cross done together most Friday evenings of Lent in Catholic churches, moving throughout the entire church together along the walls (14 Stations), as the crowds did who followed Christ carrying His cross through the streets, is powerful!  This is not only from the intense prayers and detailed meditations in the booklets, but physically walking through each detailed phase of it, with meditations on what went through His mind and that of those in the crowd to fully enter the scene for insight into our own lives.
       May this also be a time of pondering who we are in the crowd, in different crowds we find ourselves in, toward Christ and His Way of love, of mercy, of peace.  May His love and His peace reign in our hearts and in our world for all that He modeled and sacrificed for us; just as Dietrich Bonhoffer and Franz Jaegerstatter sacrificed in refusing to join Hitler's army of hate, greed, and lust for power.  Mussolini and Hitler could not have killed the millions that they did without a LOT of help -- it took thousands of Catholic soldiers in both Germany and Italy to massacre millions.
      May we, like Christ, be a shining light on a hill, a city set apart, refusing to kill sacred human life as the nonviolent Cross of our Lord and Savior has taught us in word and deed!  (See the new movie directed by Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge.").
      At an Encounter weekend I recently attended, I explained to a Franciscan of the Renewal who was praying over me on the last day (and had put a relic of St. Padre Pio on my shoulder while ministering to me) that I felt like a punching bag, with hard boxing glove blows from others through Satan, not knowing from which direction they will come from next, to the point of even being denounced as evil.  He said, "Do you know what this means?!  What an honor this is?!  How blessed you truly are .... the few who have had this honor..."  I needed that, praise Jesus.
     May we trouble ourselves this Lent to read an entire Gospel in a short time (a week or two) to truly and fully put ourselves into the sandals of Christ's most precious feet.  May our Shofar (Old Testament horn for rallying all to religious services and to war) be blasted the loudest for Christ the King of Kings in this world of great hate, fear, suspicion, and killing.  May all of our actions mirror only Christ's and His most holy Apostles and martyrs.


    May the loud horn call Christ-followers to a spiritual war -- armed with "the breastplate of righteousness," the "sword of Truth" (the Word made flesh), and with the greatest of all  - LOVE -  against an Old Testament war mentality so prevalent in the Middle East to this day.
      This Lent may we also take the priceless time of listening to the voice of the Lord alone, that of our Beloved.  Eucharistic Adoration with the actual physical flesh and body of our Lord Jesus Christ in the room is powerful!!
      As learned in Theophostic prayer, may we have uncomfortably long wait times, seemingly fruitless wait times in silence, beyond any more words, prayers, expressed internal yearnings or even praise, for that sometimes faint and quick "wisp of smoke," or "still small voice" of God, the manner described in the Old Testament when God speaks to us.
      Patrick Reis, at Encounter,  gave a wonderful exercise in hearing the voice of God.  He said, "Shut your eyes and say your first and last name in your head....  That is what it is like to hear the voice of God."  I have had this happen as well, more clearly and conversationally, but usually in the second or third hour of Eucharistic Adoration.
      St. Catharine's just opened up its Thursday Eucharistic Adoration in Lent for 11 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Praise the name of Jesus for this, and Fr. Dury (and Fr. Lumpe for beginning regular Eucharistic Adoration again).  We also have Adore, another newer form of Eucharistic Adoration, on the first Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m.  We will have our 7th one March 5th at St. Catharine's.  This is and has been done Franciscans of the Renewal style, which I won't give away!  POWERFUL.
    We know how this epic story, the greatest love story ever told, of Christ's passion, ends after all the torment and suffering -- it ends GLORIOUSLY and extends forever and ever and ever for all of our stories, sprung from the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!  He has truly freed us from death and set captives free, set all of us free by taking our sins upon Himself on that excruciating cross: our sins of the past, present, and future if we plug into the Cross of Christ.  We can be freed from pride, lust, greed, hate, wrath, vainglory, suspicion, and all other forms of sin.  Praise our King, our Savior and Deliverer, the Prince of Peace, now and forever!!






PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CANONIZATION OF DOROTHY DAY AND PETER MAURIN!

   

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WW II Pacifist of "Hacksaw Ridge," Desmond Doss, "New" Norm for Christ-Followers?

     WINTER NEWSLETTER   

By Monica,  The Lamb Catholic Worker      Columbus, Ohio


The real Desmond Doss

    There is a new movie in theatres called "Hacksaw Ridge" about a World War II conscientious objector, Desmond Doss, who wanted to go into battle and be a medic to save as many lives as he could.  He refused to even touch a gun; and ended up saving 75 men by hauling them to safety sometimes under a hail of fire.  "By their works you will know them."
      His character speaks volumes of what it would look like to follow Christ's "new command" modeling of Christian nonviolence by his refusal to bear arms and kill another, and by others subtleties in the movie.  One is trying to save Japanese fallen soldiers as well - a true "mark" of a Christian - of loving our enemy and doing only good to our persecutors.
    The sole time in the entire New Testament that Jesus used such strong and clear language that this action "will PROVE that you are sons and daughters of your heavenly Father," was when He gave the "new command" to love your enemies.  The only action that Jesus says will be your mark to be "called sons and daughters of your heavenly father" is in the beatitudes when He says, "Blessed are the peacemakers."
    That, and the crystal clear role-modeling of Christ and our first Church leaders, are what made our Catholic Church 100% pacifist for the first THREE HUNDRED YEARS.  The writings, modeling,  and traditions of Jesus, the Apostles, Tertullian, Origen, Maxmillian, St. Justin the Martyr, and others prove this.  See Fr. Richard McSorley's book, "The New Testament Basis of Peacemaking."
     Desmond's part is as bright as a city on a hill, his actions no different than they would be in heaven, as Christ calls all of us to be in the "Our Father," - "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven."
     While the movie is an eye-opener of the truthful grisliness of actual warfare, which Fr. McSorley emphasized as always "taking on a life of it's own," in horror, evil, and savagery, there is still an uneasiness of Desmond joining in the fray of the barbarism and killing of the enemy all around. It is also an eye-opener to the societal pressures of soldiering and the military as evident in a subtle artfully placed scene of Desmond describing basically how badly young men wanted to prove themselves through this and that a few of those he knew who were rejected by the military killed themselves.
       The backdrop of this era would have included unmentioned societal pressure from famous actors and actresses playing numerous military roles in movies, in songs, --- very very glamorous.  When a particular society or church glamorizes soldiering, the pressure can be great among the youth.


      Another key point is that there were other ways to end World War II.  My father always said that there will be no justification in heaven for all the firebombing we did knowing that Japan was going to surrender, nor over the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki - the incineration of the entire city of innocent civilians, the most Catholic city in Japan - after we saw the effects and horror of what we had just done in Hiroshima a couple of days before, with countless innocent women and children.
       At the movie's point of the war, the Japanese were now defending their country, and failed to do this in this battle (Okinawa).  This explains the Seppuku or Hara-Kiri "honorable" ritualistic Samurai death of the Japanese leader in the tunnels - another unsettling part of the movie involving the glorification of warriors/killers.  It was touching of Mel Gibson to include it though, the fact that these people were very similar to ourselves.
        Moreover, it is commendable to be willing to die for others, no doubt.  Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friend.  Laying down one's life and killing many other lives who are someone's brother, son, cousin, friend, nephew, grandson,.. while laying down one's life to do it are two separate things though. Ghandi said, "There is a cause for which I would give my life, but no cause for which I am prepared to kill."
     Fr. George Zabelka, the chaplain over those who dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki spent the rest of his life as a reluctant prophet preaching against being a part of all war, especially because modern war will always involve the nuclear possibility, especially among newer politicians who have said that they have no problem with "nukes."


     Our Catechism teaches us to try as hard as possible to avoid war altogether: "Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war." (#2307: p. 615, publ 1995).
      Desmond's part in World War II is the same dilemma of St. Peter Clavers' help with the slaves and inadvertently the slave owners, at the major port of slave trade, Cartagena, in South America.  This was typically their first stop from Africa, and sometimes involved  the humiliation of wheeling and dealing for their sale.
       It is said that he baptized over 300,000 people in a 40-year span there and took care of their sicknesses, wounds and diseases tenderly, at this first stop for these victims' new future life of slavery. It is not known if he tried hard to stop the slave trade or not, nor if he believed it to be unstoppable and so, wanted to ease immense spiritual and physical human suffering.  It appears though, as taking meticulous care of sheep knowing they are being led to the slaughter.  While the genuine great care has intrinsic and moral value, being even a small part of the wider machine of what is going on also takes on moral dimensions.
      In many ways, it may have made the horrific, barbaric, and evil slave-trade more palpable and justifiable.  He spent most of his last days starved and very ill-treated by an ex-slave; and felt he deserved it for his sins.  His suffering may be completely unrelated to his actions, as many many saints' end of life suffering is simply to bring them into the cross of Christ. It reminds one though of John Newton, the slave trader shipmaster who wrote "Amazing Grace," after finally coming to realize the grave sin he was committing being even a small part of the slavery industry at all, with its cruelty in the name of greed.
      Desmond's father also suffered greatly for his "sins," with severe post-traumatic stress syndrome.  I was relieved to see that Gibson had included this as well.  He became a much more violent man from having soldiered in World War I, according to Desmond's mother ("If you could have only seen him before...").  What was not included was the extremely high suicide rate of veterans, with 5-7,000 returned veterans from our most recent war in Iraq killing themselves each year.
     Yes, great good can be done amidst grave evil, but at what point do you say that you will not be part of the overarching evil of murdering in war itself?  Would Jesus have used a gun to kill someone, even an enemy?  Would His apostles?  Would Jesus have even helped or enabled other people to kill their enemy or would he have stopped them?
     What did He say to Peter when he drew His sword?  He did not simply say, "Peter, this must be for now for the salvation of the world; I must suffer and die for peoples' sins."  He made a sweeping judgment on using the sword at all against another person harmfully -- "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword."  Peter was even using it in self-defense, or defense of Christ.




     The most touching part of the movie, to me, was how much Desmond read the little Bible his wife Dorothy gave him. My father taught us what his mother taught him - from her Methodist and Catholic convert roots.  This was that if we want to know how to be in this world, if we want to always do what is right and always avoid what is truly evil, we need be SURE to always heed two major things.  These are: the red print, the words of Christ (that in her Bible were red) and the Ten Commandments.
     For the very last part of Advent and hopefully as a yearly tradition, my fervent prayer is that Catholics will take upon themselves to read - within a one- to two-week period - an entire Gospel, to truly truly know what only Christ himself lived, taught, and promoted. It could be during Advent or Lent when we draw ever closer to Jesus, the Word made flesh.
     Our understanding sometimes gets very confused with ways of old that He himself contrasted - "before it was to love your countrymen and hate your enemy BUT NOW I say love your enemies..." "Before it was you cannot commit adultery, BUT NOW I say that he who looks with lust at a woman has committed adultery in his heart..."
       He furthered everything so that we must strive, hard as it may be, to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. It is interesting that He states this just after commanding that we love our enemy and do only good to those who hate us. They are connected - "being perfect as the Heavenly Father" and loving our enemies. It is the new criteria, of the New Way. That is the mark we shoot for, in our actions, especially those involving the life and death of sacred human life.  These harder teachings and points of emphasis in Jesus' words and actions are truly the most difficult, profound, and beautiful!
     Can you imagine if we Christ followers listened to Christ fully and by our works we were known as Desmond Doss is known?  Can you imagine how happy He would be if our actions looked strinkingly different from the world's, like a city on a hill?  To not cling to "human tradition" but solely to Christ and His Way with its new commands?
     Can you imagine what he would think as He looks down from Heaven and as sees His followers only loving their enemies, only doing good to those who hate them, only blessing those who curse them... seeing us leap for joy when we are persecuted and our name is denounced as evil, all because of living out His way?  Come Lord Jesus, come!
 

       

Friday, November 25, 2016

100th Anniv. of Fatima and 50th of Charismatic Renewal, 2017! Come Holy Spirit!! Msgr. Marv Mottet, Presente!

Lamb Catholic Worker Winter Newsletter 2016-17
2017:  100th Anniversary of Fatima Intertwined with the 50th Anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal






Dear Holy Father Pope Francis,  

      If you go on a trip to Russia again, please consider consecrating in a special, exclusive way, the country of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [as personal consecrations are done to become a religious, etc]. This was asked at Fatima by Mary, as you know.  Saint John Paul II went beyond this and consecrated the whole world to her twice; and it was acknowledged as done right by Lucia who witnessed what Mary had asked at Fatima. Many here though are using this against you, and my desire is to steal their bullets.  On the 100th anniversary of Fatima perhaps, this can be a gift to and for Russia. Please do this, dear Papa.   
                               In Christ,  
                                     Monica


     A friend and I were meditating on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary after mass on Wednesday and in introducing the "Coronation of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth" she said something like: “Our Mother has been three times coronated in Heaven: Queen daughter of the Father, Queen Mother of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Queen Spouse of the Holy Spirit.”  Beautiful.  
    We Catholics do not worship Mary, we honor her.  The paramount questions are these: 
 Do you believe that Jesus had a mother?
Think and meditate on the implications of that.
Do you believe Jesus wants you to honor His mother?



"We saw ... a woman dressed in white
... more brilliant than the sun ...
Her face indescribably beautiful,
was neither sad nor happy but serious,
with an air of mild reproach."
-Sister Lucia


    A Muslim friend once told me that 3 million additional people converge on Mecca for Haj (the retreat all must make once in a lifetime) once a year.  I told her that over 30 million people converge on Marian sites every year - sites where Mother Mary has "visited" us (Lourdes, Kibeho, Guadalupe ...).  Her intercessory prayers for us are powerful!
      In Christian Prayer Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 1386, the petition describes her well: "you are our redeemer, who made the immaculate Virgin Mary your purest home and the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, -- make us temples of your Spirit for ever."  
     Here are more poetic descriptors in the song, "Mary the Dawn," number 165, p. 1687:
     Verses 3, 5 and 6: "Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread; Mary the stem, Christ the Rose, bloodred.... Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple's Lord; Mary the cup, Christ the saving blood... Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven's rest; Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision blest."


   
Luke 2:35  "... a sword will pierce your
heart so that the thoughts of many will
be revealed..."


      There is a unique relationship Mary has always had with the Holy Spirit and this seems manifested in the fact that when the 50th anniversary of Fatima rolled around, the Holy Spirit chose to swoop down in a mighty, mighty way in the Catholic Church (and others). 
         While the Catholic Church has always been a font of the Holy Spirit, no doubt, this began a movement to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit as at the first Pentecost, and to create small prayer groups, intentional communities, to help sustain us in our brief sojourn here on Earth. At their best, they are small communities of great love, support, encouragement, inspiration, accountability, and challenge, with profound praise, humility and joy.
        This newsletter is a commercial for finding a good charismatic prayer group, being part of a loving community of fellow Christians desiring to live out the early Church in the book of Acts.  Throughout my adult years when I would invite someone to my charismatic prayer group, and they would go for a  short while, they would then go to their regular mass and say, "Whoooaaa!  I went to mass and I was in the rafters!  I hung on every word of mass, and felt Jesus speaking right to me in my ear, ..."  
       The charismatic experience in the genuine sense, always always does this.  It opens us up to a much closer relationship with Jesus; it gives us clearer understanding and heartfelt appreciation of the traditions passed down by Christ and the Apostles at the hands of consecrated priests in persona christi (Christ administering sacraments physically through their bodies).  
        It unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit in healings, prophetic words, miracles, etc, and especially through being "baptised in the Spirit," or "slain in the Spirit," as it was nearly solely labeled for many years.  Someone with this specialized gift of calling down the Holy Spirit lays hands over or on a person, and when the Holy Spirit "hits," it is quite an intense sensation -- more often than not like a bolt of lightning that knocks you off your feet!
    Many times it is such a brimming of God's love and Spirit it outpours in tears; to some it is even laughter, which happened with Fr. Cantalamessa.  It expresses itself at that initial one especially in as many physically versions as there are people. If it genuinely happens, there is always a sensation of some kind.  There is always a flooding of peace within as well.  Praying with others can also have moments of intense grace and power, but this is to a different level, typically involving standing and being prayer over by someone.
       Recently a newer friend said to me that she tried the charismatic stuff and did not like it.  When I explained my experience with it for approximately 43 years - my best experiences having come from the West and Central sides of Columbus, Ohio in the first 25 years - she said, "I WOULD LOVE THAT."

Prayer Meetings of
 Our Roots

(Roots of the Charismatic Renewal for parish prayer groups) 
                                                                 Approx. Times

                                             (Some nights the Holy Spirit
                                                                  wants more in one area)


1.   Praise and Singing      20 min.

2.   Silence                  7-8  min.
      A teaching can be inserted for 2 and 3
3.   Group Sharing        13-15 min.

4.   Praise Mode          10-15 min.

5.   Prayer for Self/Others           10-15 min.

 Final Song and A Few Shared 
 Miracles/prayers Announc.       5-10  min.


Fellowship after           15-20 min.









What each looks like:


1.                Leadership
         This could be one or two people, and in a spirit of the genuine humility that Christ speaks of about a true leader (“servant of all”).  The idea is to call down the Holy Spirit nearly constantly upon others – for praise, sharing, revelation, inspiration, love, peace – in addition to listening to God.  The leader rarely speaks, nor any other one person repeatedly.
          To maintain this spirit of humility, there is a round-robin style of leadership where there are about 4 leaders (or sets of leaders) who take turns leading, a different one each week for about four weeks.  How humbling for them and beautiful for the group to be served in this manner! 
2.                Praise, Singing, and Music Ministry:  
       There may be one or two pre-planned songs, but then the Holy Spirit inspires all of the others, through any person, as to what He wants sung at this and that time for the singing, or murmuring of tongues, etc.  Each person present can be utilized by the Holy Spirit to name a song He wants sung during those designated times at the beginning and in the sustained praise time (mainly).  After the sharing time, the songs continue to be sprung from the witnesses, testimonies, and types of miracles or lessons that took place and were expressed from that week.  If the music ministry cannot play it, we just sing it.  Very beautiful, and led by the Holy Spirit in great trust. 
       All the singing has space between songs for the Holy Spirit to speak to us, mainly absolute silence.  The silent times are powerful times!!  It requires much patience and restraint of the leadership and on music ministry people. 
      New songs are welcome, if they copy music for people to see.  The music is always fresh and alive, sprung from the Holy Spirit and from lessons and inspirations of the Holy Spirit for that particular week's theme that is revealed at the prayer group through the sharing.
3.                Sharing Time is Brief:  During #3. Sharing, each person keeps their sharing to two or three minutes and only a few share each week (5 or 6).  If someone quotes a Scripture during another part, and someone has a confirmation of that (exact same scripture or theme that week), they can confirm that on the spot (pretty exciting when this happens like popcorn!).  This lends to much greater praise and worship!
4.                 What it looks like:
    The leader of that night will open with a short prayer of the Holy Spirit, something like “We come before you God with our hearts open to praise you, learn from you and bring each other to greater holiness of life.  We lay our burdens at the foot of Your Cross” - wait a little – “and give them completely over to you.”
                      It is easier to begin to praise when we are unburdened when our
               thoughts are unburdened.  
                       The leader then does not speak much only gently steers toward the
              next component of a balanced prayer meeting/group if necessary.  “How
              has the Lord been moving in your lives this week?” “Now let’s have some
              silent time to listen to the Holy Spirit.”  Most of these do not even need to
              be said eventually.  People get used to the flow of all components of a
              balanced prayer group center.  There’s a feel and a flow that is natural and
              balanced.  Too many songs, verbally expressed prayers or comments, or too 
              much talking can kill community.  The leader prays constantly for  
              discernment as to when to step in or hold back.
                       Totally quiet and silent times are welcome and not a sign of failure or
             dead air!  Those are the most powerful times of the Holy Spirit speaking
              back to us stirring us to the soul!
                       In the ALPHA training they emphasized this point true in old-time
             charismatic prayer meetings:  that when praying with someone, [and
             leading a charismatic group] you don’t keep repeatedly talking and talking,
             no matter how  strongly you want to:  “If you find your mind saying, ‘and I
             just feel that the Lord wants,… and just… and I just… and just… [because
             you think you’re feeling it so strongly] there’s something wrong.”  You are
            doing too much and the Holy Spirit is not allowed to do it Himself within                       people's souls.  Let go and let God.
                        Rarely there is a short prayer over everyone, inspired by the Holy
              Spirit, for anyone to pray out loud over the people.   All are welcome
              provided it is not coming too often from one person, even the leader.
           A Scripture is welcome at any point even during the singing time.
            The gift of tongues is welcome at any point (aside from a microphone).  Scripture speaks of “different kinds of tongues” so some may be the joyful shout as done sporadically in the history of the Israelites but more often it is at the speaking level sometimes the soft level, words and phrases that are not English, repeated ones like melodious soft singing and murmuring in tongues, (Fr. Cantalamessa, four popes’ priest, his favorite too!) lauds etc. this sung at varying levels – whatever the Holy Spirit decides to stir in His sweeps.  It is more a receptical experience of the Holy Spirit within coming out through us and not us doing it consciously (speaking or singing).  It is a beautiful experience to be caught up and enveloped in the Spirit, with soft, lovely murmurings and singing to Him.
           We never had a microphone, even with 60-70 people.  We sat in extremely close proximity and could hear the faintest murmuring of tongues, etc. 
      4.  Praying Over, Praying With, and Praying For:
I.                    Praying Over:  This is the laying on of hands (usually over a head), with full and partial healings, conversions, life-changes, and other major happenings in a person's life (in other words, not often).  A person may fall backwards because the rush of the Holy Spirit is so intense.  The person or prayer team for this prayer has a special and rarer gift (of calling down the Holy Spirit in mighty stirrings down upon people, sort of like the first Pentecost).
II.                  Praying With: This is a more often/common form of praying at prayer meetings and is done in threesome – everyone has this gift – and you get to talk a little longer for explanation (2 min.) about the problem or person needing prayers.  The other two lay a hand(s) on you somewhere and pray with you.  Sometimes a vision or word of insight, etc. comes to any three.  Then they rotate if prayer is needed, to another in the group.  The whole thing is fairly short and takes place as another option during the praying over people time.  Mighty things happen here too!
III.                Praying For: This is done at the very end, in a large circle, for a couple of bigger things such as the nation, etc. It can also be a mini-thanksgiving for this or that resolved problem, miracle, etc., that was not conveyed during the sharing time.
    5.  Final Song and Fellowship After:  We come together in a circle and do a few wider prayers (and a couple of thanksgivings), sometimes hand-in-hand and sometimes arm-in-arm.  We then sing a final song.  The fellowship after is crucial, as mentioned in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office pamphlet.  All hands on deck for this critical fellowship for each and every member. This is the opportunity to bond a community in love, which is God.  A special outpouring is toward newcomers, with time spent talking with them. Members also know that this is available when they had been wanting to talk too long perhaps during the prayer meeting – knowing that all members will gladly take part.

    Below is an official Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office pamphlet, very wise and consistent to what I have experienced, mailed to me about four years ago by Jackie Temple, former director. I cannot scan it in, and so, I will retype it line by line.
  
WHAT IS A PRAYER MEETING?

A "PRAYER MEETING" is a weekly gathering of Christians to give honor, praise, thanks and love to Jesus Christ as Our Lord and Savior.  It is a time we gather in community to praise God on a one-to-one basis.  A "Prayer Meeting" is not a discussion club, a therapy session or a time for counseling, but a time to give our full attention to Jesus through the help of the Holy Spirit (who will teach us all truth).
A Prayer Meeting has 2 purposes
     1.  To praise, worship and honor God
     2.  To build up the Body of Christ (as brothers and sisters)

What is the Content of a "Prayer Meeting"?
Opening prayer, praise and worship; prophecy (God speaks to us through one of His children); tongues, interpretation of tongues; scripture reading; teachings; testimony and sharing.

How long do the "Prayer Meetings" last?
Usually about 1  1/2 hours (counting fellowship after). Matt 26:40, "How is it that you were not able to watch with me for one hour?"

Do I have to raise my hands and pray like others do?
NO!  You should pray in the way in which you feel comfortable, as if you were alone communicating with Jesus.  Pray as you feel comfortable, but respect others' way of prayer and praise.

Is a prayer group a parish organization?
Yes, a prayer group is made up of individuals who come together weekly as a family for the purpose of giving Jesus the praise He deserves.  The first and primary purpose of all prayer is to praise and honor God, who created us and gives us all the gifts and blessings we enjoy each day.  The prayer group is under the authority of the parish pastor and should keep him informed periodically.

What are the spiritual gifts we pray for?
See 1 Cor. 12-14.  Word of Wisdom; Word of Knowledge; Faith; Gifts of Healing; Miracles and Interpretation of tongues; Prophecy (2 Peter 1:20-21); Discernment of Spirits and tongues (Acts 5:12-16).

Is the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" a new sacrament?
No.  It is not a Sacrament, it is merely a RELEASE of the POWER of the Holy Spirit already received in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation helping us to know Jesus, the Bible, our daily prayer life, our faith, etc. in a deeper way.

Do we have to speak at a prayer meeting?
NO -- the ones that speak, prophecy or read are usually moved to do so by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, "The Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you."

What is a testimony?
Telling how the Lord is working in your life.  One's testimony should be short and to the point. [This gives great glory to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit]

How can I grow spiritually?
Attend the "Prayer Meeting" each week.  Have a regular prayer time each day (taking time to listen) 10 minutes to an hour and talk to the Lord throughout the day.  Read the Bible at least 15 minutes per day.  Short courses will be offered; "Life in the Spirit Seminars and Growth Seminars, etc."

Who can give a teaching at a meeting?
A teaching is reserved to one who has cleared it through the leadership or core group.  This is to insure proper teaching.

Is a prayer meeting based on scripture?
Ephesians 5:18-19.  "...be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with you heart to the Lord."  Yes, Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered in My Name, there I am in their midst." (Matt. 18:19-20); 1 Cor 14:26; Acts 2:42; Revelations 3:20-21; Revelations 22:17.  Covenant Community (one step further) Acts 2:46.

Why do we sing?
(Colossians 3:16)  Singing is a way of praying, praising, and worshipping God.  St. Augustine said, "he who sings prays twice."  It should not turn into a songfest.  We should PAUSE between songs, readings, prophecy, etc., and LISTEN.  This is the time the Holy Spirit can speak to us.  We need silence to reflect and allow the Spirit to work.

Why do some greet others with a hug?
This is just a sign of brotherhood.  See 1 Cor. 16:20; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thes. 5:6 and 1 Peter 5:14.

Where can I read about the Holy Spirit in Scripture?
John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16: 7-14, Acts: 1,2,4, 8, Acts 2:3, 17; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:5-6; Romans 5:3-5, Romans 8: 1-17; 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:6-16, 3:16, Gal. 5:16-26 and many more.

Is Satan real?
See Ephesians 6:10=18, 1 Peter 5:8 Matt. 4: 1-11, Matt.10:1-8, Matt. 13:36; Mark 1-4.

What is the importance of prayer and fasting?
See Matt. 17:20-21; Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:22-26; Mark 14:37-38; Luke 6:12; Luke 11:1-11; John 8 42-47; Luke 4: 1-2, Luke 6: 12-16; John 11: 41-42; Matt. 26:36-46; Acts 2:42.

What should I keep in mind as I attend a prayer meeting?

  • Come at least 4 or 5 times before making a decision.  It takes that long to understand how the Holy Spirit is working.
  • Pray as you feel comfortable and let others do the same.
  • Praying alone we are easily distracted.  We support each other at a Prayer Meeting.
  • Pause between songs, reading and teaching to allow the Spirit to work.
  • Don't concentrate on others, concentrate on Jesus and YOU.
  • All ages are welcome, we are all children of God.
  • Prepare for the meetings through prayer and sacrifice.
  • Don't be afraid; you are with friends.  Don't let the devil, the evil one, discourage you.
  • You will experience the "fruits of the Spirit" as you progress. (Gal. 5:22 and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. 12).
  • If you do not have an opportunity to speak or share at meetings, you may do so after the meeting with others during the time of fellowship. (There may be one before in some groups).
  • If you have questions, please don't leave until you get an answer.  We love you and together we love God and HELP EACH OTHER AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Inc., 4207 East Broad St., Ste. C, Columbus, Ohio 43213-1200 Jackie Temple [note: the new director is Linda Pelino at a different address, this is four years old).











     Msgr. Marv Mottet was basically a lifetime soliticitous charismatic (and most certainly now in heaven!), a mountain rooted in social justice for the poor (helped begin Legal Aid, the Campaign for Human Development, Cafe on the Vine, and many other endeavors for the poorest), and a true "son" of Mary in his devotion to her, from French farming roots in Iowa.  
      He passed along to the next life on September 16 at 86 years old, a very huge loss to myself, as he was my mentor, number one cheerleader, and dear friend. While it may seem unusual to put him at this spot of the article rather than at the beginning, this is the way he would have it.  
     This is his level of humility and "decreasing" as Christ (and the Holy Spirit) increases. This would be his way of putting the Will of the Father before all else, even himself.  He, as well as the Holy Spirit, would want more charismatic prayer groups; and so, with these tips at the hands of those who the Spirit moves to start one, there's no telling what 2017 will be like in Columbus!
      On the brink of the Catholic "new year" - Advent - when we do focus on Mary's part in the salvation of the world, Msgr. Mottet taught me often to stop and "ponder things" in my heart, as Mary did in Scripture, as well as to talk with her in prayer.  
        In his early thirties as a priest, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer that had metastacized to many places.  He had been prayed over for a healing by charismatics and was healed on the spot. He even had to undergo an extensive exploratory surgery to prove the healing because the doctors could not believe it. Yes, miraculous unquestionable healings do still occur, as it did in the time of Christ.
      Outside of Columbus, Ohio in Sunbury there was a first ever "Encounter" in June with Fr. Matthias Thelen who also has the gift of healing.  Fourteen hundred people came (including myself) to St. John Newman Catholic Church and over 100 were healed that night - and interviewed on camera - not counting the cancer people who would find out later.  There will be another "Encounter" within a conference of many wonderful speakers and musicians (Mary Healy) in Sunbury, Ohio on Dec. 9th and 10th  (go to "Encountercolumbus.org.").  Beautiful how the Holy Spirit is moving to create something all new through these young organizers!  Come Holy Spirit, come.

      There is an entire article on Msgr. Marv Mottet's life legacy in this website (just google The Lamb Catholic Worker Msgr. Mottet), but if he could tell you anything right now, I believe he would say to deepen your relationship with Jesus in whatever manner possible.  He would suggest going to daily mass, meditating on the Scripture mysteries of the Rosary, praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, studying scriptures (Christ, the Word made flesh), talking to God in prayer and about Him with others, etc, and especially through finding and committing to a loving, humble, holy  charismatic group.
    Further teaching on the Holy Spirit from a Catholic perspective by the Franciscans of the Renewal in Steubenville, can be found at  http://thewildgooseisloose.com/series-segments/.  
     Also, a multi-denominational resource that's section on the Holy Spirit is powerful is the ALPHA series with  outstanding quotes and teachings from many different Christian religions, including many interviews with Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Pope's priest, having preached to four popes and their households.  Very holy, holy, gentle, humble man who is also a charismatic! Woo Hoo!  His favorite aspect is soft, melodious, spontaneous singing in tongues stirred to the core by the Holy Spirit (which I gather would be best heard if there were no microphone systems and all sat in close proximity, like those prayer groups of old).  
       Pope Francis has had the experience of millions breaking into tongues at the consecration of a mass of many many charismatics - powerful!!  Come Holy Spirit.
       I would add that another preparation before attending charismatic prayer groups ("prayer meetings") is to collect and create a little prayer team of your own - in heaven - to intercede for you and to call down the Holy Spirit for you to go through you, as you are about to undergo sustained prayer.  At the top of my list are God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mary, St. Joseph, Mom, Tina, grandparents, and many former charismatics (and other relatives, saints and marytrs) who have gone on before me.

   HAPPENINGS OF THE LAMB
    Well, there is no news in regards to beginning this Catholic Worker.  I (Monica) still work at "the roughest school in the district," in a neighborhood of drugs, prostitution, and gangs.  This is a great joy!  I do other things but desire strongly to live as one with the poor in the manner God has for me.  I am waiting for "workers in the field."
    Also, I have become a Benedictine Oblate on Oct. 27 with the following Promises and Duties:
Promises
Stability of Heart
Fidelity to the Spirit of Monastic Life
Obedience to the Will of God
Duties
Liturgy of the Hours
Rule of St. Benedict
Lectio Divina (of Sacred Scripture, reading 3X slowly)
Sacraments (Church)
Presence of God [this is their motto for 100% of the day]

    The day after the feast of St. Francis of Assissi I gave up my cell phone (I still have a land line), having gone four years without my own computer, and six months without a car. I hesitated strongly to say these because I am not bragging.  I only tried in small ways to respond to Pope Francis' call this year to "become more poor like Christ the poor teacher." These are huge challenges for me, and are not for everyone!
        I also felt called, around the feast of St. Clare (August) to take on a minor head-covering when the blessed sacrament is exposed (mass, Eucharistic Adoration).  My Benedictine Oblate names are Dorothy ClareIt is just a scarf or band around my hair at one narrow point - more symbolic than anything of my love and reverence for our Sweet Lord and when He is physically present in the Church, His own flesh and blood, in the consecrated Eucharist.  I chose Clare for my middle name because of the strong draw to the contemplative life - a inner wrestling match that St. Francis of Assissi and Dorothy Day struggled with their whole lives. 
        Finally I have felt drawn to wear only medium or long skirts in public, to fully embrace and express the joy of my femininity in a modest manner, I guess, although I certainly do not think other women are less feminine who wear pants, etc.  It just feels very right and natural for me alone.
     St. Francis of Assissi said, "Sanctify yourself and you sanctify society."  What he did not say is that when you mention the words sanctity or reform you may bring upon yourself all the fires of hell, as he and many others suffered through - St. John of the Cross (beaten for 9 months in a "dungeon" by his own monks), St. Padre Pio (denounced many times even with  the stigmata), St. Francis of Assissi (they tried to kick him out of his own order, with the stigmata), and my beloved St. Benedict (his monks tried to poison him, etc). The Catholic Worker and Charismatic Renewal movements - my two passions - have had their woes and need of reform here and there, and this takes a strong backbone that I needed to gain. 
     Jackie Temple knew on leaving as the head post of the charismatic office that there needs to be more reaching out toward the poor as well, not focused inward to the groups themselves but to the most vulnerable in our society (as she expressed a year ago at the citywide gathering at Christ the King).  
      Songs for the poor are important then too, such as what Brendan O'Rourke sang at St. Catharine's last Eucharistic Adoration praise and worship: "Here I am Lord." ("I will tend the poor and lame; I will set a feast for them..."). It was such music to my ears! I was balling! Actions toward the poor though, attempts to lift them out of their poverty, are my future small hope among charismatics, in addition to an explosion of all kinds of corporal and spiritual works of mercy toward others. 
     That same night with Brendan I wanted to mention the stirring blending of the old and the new with one particular spirit-filled song.  When doing "Down in Adoration Falling, this great sacrament we hail,..." the song was blended with "a rousing, "JESUS LAMB OF GODDDD, SAVIOR OF THE WORRRRLD, LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARRRRTH...I BOWWWW TO YOUUUUU..."  Stirring.  
      Even just reaching out to strangers at prayer gatherings immediately after would be a great high priority of a loving charismatic community ("See how they love one another.").  Brace yourself for being "under attack" some, by the evil spirits in and out of others accusing you; and so, frequently pray the shorter part of the "Breastplate of St. Patrick: Christ before me, behind me, above me, below me, to the left, to the right, ..."
     But Christ said: "Blessed are you when they insult you, reject you, persecute you and denounce your name as evil all because of me.  Leap for joy on that day for your reward will be great in heaven; for their fathers persecuted the prophets in just the same way."       
     St. Peter said: "Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God's spirit in its glory has come to rest on you." (1 Peter 4:13-14).
     This has been a good test run for when Dorothy and Peter are really canonized!  Msgr. Mottet spent much of his last twenty years trying to get Peter Maurin canonized alongside Dorothy Day.  My own prayer is that they and Oscar Romero - three modern day champions of the poor - are canonized together!  Come, Holy Spirit, come.  
       They are already denounced by some, even Romero. I guess I needed this firey test beforehand to give me a backbone for when their level of sanctity, reform, and holiness of life is honored in sainthood! Come Holy Spirit!
      The parish of Christ the King did a pilgrimage to the Holy Door, walking about 7 miles (?).  Inside St. Joseph's Cathedral, Fr. Schalk prayed the following ancient prayer over us and with us.  This is my gift to you this Thanksgiving and coming Christmas season in thankfulness for your prayers.  It was such a favorite of St. Ignatius that many credited it to him, even though it was written before:

       Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me to come to You
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.

            Another gift to you: read an entire Gospel this Advent!  A priest gave this to me as a penance in confession recently, which I loved!  I have been trying to get this as a regular Catholic practice for years!!  Read one full Gospel during Advent and a different one during Lent to understand more the mind, personality, and Spirit of Christ - what He valued, what subjects are brought up the most (the poor, change, ... ) what and who He angered over, who and how He forgave,...  
       We Catholics especially get very confused with what Jesus really said, did, preached, and modeled.  It lends to not pegging Him in our own hole, or our country's human traditions or customs, in our own lenses that can be skewed by those around us -- but to only have eyes and ears for HIS VOICE ALONE, the voice of our Beloved,  by being immersed in it once or twice a year, and ponder Him closely, as Mary did.  "... till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature" (Eph. 4:12-13).  Like brothers St. Andrew and St. Peter, "both brothers' lives changed because they spent time with Jesus." (Word Among Us)

Litany of Humility from Immaculee Ilabageeza's  Retreat

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being loved                                     
                                               -- Deliver me Jesus

From the desire of being extolled ...

From the desire of being honored ...

From the desire of being praised ...

From the desire of being preferred to others ...

From the desire of being consulted ...

From the desire of being approved ...

From the fear of being humiliated ...

From the fear of being despised ...

From the fear of suffering rebukes ...

From the fear of being calumniated ...

From the fear of being forgotten ...

From the fear of being ridiculed ...

From the fear of being wronged ...

From the fear of being suspected ...


That others may be loved more than I     
                     -- Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...

That in the opinion of the world, others may 

increase and I may decrease ...

That others may be chosen and I set aside ...

That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...

That others may be preferred to me in everything ...

That others may become holier than I provided ...

that I may become as holy as I should...   
       --Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it all.  Amen





Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Msgr. Mottett's favorite song was "The Cry of the Poor" based on Psalm 34 -- a good read and sing in the spirit of our Savior's birth!

To research more on the three secrets of Fatima from nearly 100 years ago, as revealed to Sr. Lucia (as a child) and the two other children, please get the truth at the Vatican curia website below:
     http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

Another good article is on ewtn's website:

https://www.ewtn.com/fatima/

The first one above has prints of the original handwritten texts themselves, written in Portugese by Sr. Lucia, in addition to translations of them, to be examined closely.  Yes, the third secret has been fully revealed despite those attempting to denounce either the Roman Catholic Church, St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict Emeritus, and especially, our beloved holy father, Pope Francis, a man of peace.

*note:  This article was recently further edited to add details about charismatic items.

Monsignor Marv Mottet, please pray for us!  Pray for peace this holy season in our church and in our world!