Thursday, July 5, 2012

A little taste of Heaven

Nikon Coolpix L810 16.1MP Digital Camera with 26x Optical Zoom -A few weeks ago, I had the privelege of attending a healing service which was a part of the Charismatic Conference at Franciscan University. After the service (which was incredible and worth another blog post) the Eucharist was brought into the fieldhouse and processed throughout the rows of people while myself and the 100's of other men and women present sang praise and worship. A couple weeks after that, I had the same experience only at one of the various youth conferences which I attended as a prayer minister. I can't help thinking every time that this is what Heaven must be like: everyone singing in adoration and completely in awe of our Lord. I know that many people are freaked out by Charismatic praise, but in reality, it is just another element to our life as Christians. There are many references in scripture to "laying on of hands" and the various gifts of the spirit. St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11:

 "Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."

And just so we are all clear, the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity... Father, Son, AND Holy Spirit. You have to have a healthy balance of all three :) I know some people aren't really "into that", but just think about it for a minute. The Holy Spirit is not some crazy ghost floating around that does scary things. He is one with the Father and the Son. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 

245 "The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father."71 By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as "the source and origin of the whole divinity".72 But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son's origin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he is worshiped and glorified."74"

The Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles to be within and among them to help them in preaching and ministering to the people around them. And why wouldn't we want to use the same assistance that the Apostles did? And another thing: allowing the Holy Spirit to move within you brings your life so much peace and joy. I love praise and worship so I am a little biased, but why do I love it? I can't even express in words the immense peace and love that I feel when I am praising the Lord. My soul feels as though it is elevated and among the angels and saints in His presence. I'm sure it is not on the same level as the ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila in which she felt at perfect union with Christ, but I feel like my heart is going to explode with the love that the Lord has for me and each and every one of his children. I would like to encourage those who shy away from praising the Lord in this way, but maybe give it a shot. You don't have to do anything extravagant. Maybe just start your day by inviting the Holy Spirit to guide you. A simple "come Holy Spirit" will do. Enjoy that little piece of Heaven on earth.

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