I have to apologize or repent. I lost faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. I really did. There was a time in my life when I would start a retreat or a talk by saying that God is going to work powerfully. I had faith that the Holy Spirit would come and manifest Himself powerfully when we asked. I had faith when I told a couple, in front of the abortion clinic, that if they chose life God would bless them. I had faith and I never doubted.Sometime between then and now I lost that faith. Sin, intellectualism, unfaithfulness to prayer and secularism changed the kind of Christian I was. God has slowly been making me aware of it and it is sickening. I want everyone to understand that God does work in peoples lives and we can have faith in that. The stories from the book of Acts aren’t just fairy tales and they aren’t just the stories of the original apostles. Those stories are our history as Catholics and all the mighty deeds they contain can still be found in our lifetime. This includes Pentecost!
Maybe we all need to step back and take a look at the kind of Catholic we are. Maybe we need to remember when Jesus first came into our lives. When we were in the tombs of our sin, unable to save ourselves, and we heard those mighty and bold words, “Take away the stone!” God called us out of our tombs of sin and into His abundant life.
Do not be afraid to tell people what God has done in your life and promise that He will work mightily in their life as well. Do not be afraid to pray for people. Do not be afraid to tell people that God will bless them, heal them, deliver them and raise them from their tombs of hopelessness. Most of all: Tell anyone and everyone how much God loves them and that He wants to have a passionate relationship with them. Have faith in the mighty deeds of the Lord.
The following is a prayer of surrender to the Holy Spirit. Try praying it everyday. Surrender more and more to the God who loves you. Have faith that God will work mightily.
Dear Jesus, I am so sorry for my sins and my unfaithfulness. I ask oh Lord for the grace to faithfully serve you each and everyday. I surrender myself to you totally and completely. I ask that You send Your Holy Spirit into me and stir up the gifts I have received. Enflame my heart Oh Jesus. I surrender all. Come Holy Spirit. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Take away the Stone! John 11:38
Most people are shocked to learn that I am Charismatic. I’m not always raising my hands and praying really loud. I’m not always at prayer meetings or praying over people. You will never find me playing praise and worship songs on a guitar or any other instrument for that matter. If that’s what you think Charismatic Spirituality is then let me clear things up.
I had the amazing opportunity to spend a summer, during high school, working a few days a week for a man named Bobbie J. Cavnar. Bobbie was a great leader in the Charismatic Renewal. He taught me a lot of things about Charismatic Spirituality, but there were a few things I wish more people knew and understood. I share them now.
Bobbie was “Baptized in the Spirit” after hearing Psalm 150 in the form of a song. There is power in Praise. I share Psalm 150 below.
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his exceeding greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
Bobbie J. Cavnar Rest in Peace
One summer when I was about to enter high school I attended a youth conference where I made the decision to give my life to Christ and open myself up to his Holy Spirit. From the time I arrived at the conference. I felt a feeling of stress in my soul. I felt like giving my life to Christ would mean I gave up my freedom, that I would somehow be possessed by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of these fears I decided to step out of the boat. On Saturday night of the retreat they had adoration. In front of the blessed sacrament I just felt God calling me and I almost reluctantly responded with one simple word, “yes”. That yes meant yes to everything. Yes you can have my life. Yes I open myself to your Holy Spirit.I almost immediately felt flooded by God’s Holy Spirit. I had an overwhelming feeling of the love of God and an sure sense of his presence in the Blessed Sacrament. I knew my life would be changed forever. Since that time I have wandered but I constantly feel that call in my heart. When I am away from God I am oh so unfulfilled. When I stay by his side I feel my every inner desire being fulfilled. I want to go to heaven and bring as many people with me as possible. I have a desire to boldly proclaim His word. It all started when I gave my life to Him and was baptized in His Holy Spirit. Why not surrender your life to Christ? Why not ask him to stir up His Holy Spirit within you? Prayer of surrender Dear Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. I surrender all that I am and all that I have to you. Take my will and conform it to yours. Send me your Holy Spirit and stir up inside of me the gifts I have received in Baptism and Confirmation. Come O Holy Spirit. Take all of me. Amen
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.