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A CAll TO HOLINESS

Why Attend A Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group?

"He that believeth in me, as the Scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers
of living water."
John 7:38

We at the "Fountains of Living Waters" prayer group community follow ........
St Paul's admonition to the church at Corinth;
1 Corinthians 12:1 "Now concerning spiritual things, my brethren, I would
not have you ignorant."
We teach the use of the "Spiritual Gifts" for the upbuilding of the Church!
1 Corinthians 14:12 "So with yourselves: since you strive eagerly for spiritual
gifts, seek to have an abundance of them for building up the church."

WHY GO TO A PRAYER GROUP?

Why do you come
to prayer group?


Is it because after work they have so much excess energy that they need to
get rid of it somehow, so they choose to come here and burn some off in
praising God?
Or maybe they come to prayer group because there is absolutely nothing on
TV these days? One reason I know is because they would rather praise God
than do anything else even rest! God Bless Them!
Another very important reason to come to prayer group is to grow in
holiness and to help others do the same! Of course there are other reasons,
such as mentioned before; the sheer joy of praising God!
But I want to focus on God calling us to holiness.
God calls His people to a growth in Holiness! There are teachers who would
have us believe otherwise, saying that we are too unclean to ever become
holy!
I have heard teachers on Christian TV and radio expound on this point, that
we, as believers, are showing pride by our thinking that we can be holy!

Not So!

This is just
another lie of
the evil one,
the father of
all lies.

Our "call to holiness" is a common stream throughout Scripture; "For I am
the Lord Your God; consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am
holy." [ Leviticus. 11:44 ]

" ...even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and blameless before Him." [ Eph. 1:4 ]

"... but as He who called you is Holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct;"
[1 Pt. 1:15]

CCC 2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness
of Christian life and to the perfection of charity." (65)] All are called to
holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (66)]

How can a believer attain this holiness?

The answer is by 'Living the Life in the Spirit'!

We need a real dynamic relationship where Jesus is truly the Lord of our
lives!
When our lives were controlled by Satan, we were as it says in Ephesians
2:3, " ...children of wrath...",(giving ourselves over to every passion), now
our lives are centered in Christ. Living the
Life in the Spirit, we submit to God more and more, we yield to the workings
of the Holy Spirit.
When we do this we are truly "...Children of God..." [1 Jn. 3:1] "...children of
light..." [Jn. 12:36] We need to wean ourselves from whatever is holding us
back from growth in the Spirit! We need to "mature" from "milk" to "solid
food". [Hebrews 5;12-14]

If Peter, James, and John had stayed on Mt. Tabor like they had wanted to,
they never would have experienced the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and
Pentecost!
We have to go beyond what we are living now, trusting that God has more.
As the Scriptures say: "...And His gifts were ....for building up the body of
Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of
Christ; so that we may no longer be children..."
Walking in the Holy Spirit means not getting too far ahead... and not lagging
too far behind.
We should be able to say as Paul; "...it is no longer I who live, but Christ who
lives in me..." [Gal. 2:20]
Living in the Spirit is true freedom which results in our total dependency on
God!
As Paul says; "For freedom Christ has set us free;..." [Gal. 5:1]
Living in the "flesh" is bondage!
Living in the Spirit is always directed out to others...living in the flesh is
always directed towards self.
We become holy not by doing good things, but by allowing God to have His
Way in us so that we choose more and more to do His Will. [Mt. 25:31-46]
The separation of the sheep & the goats.
Being...Christ... makes us holy!
The making of a Saint is saying "Yes" to God!
Along with this process of saying "Yes", to God, must come an awareness of
"sin" in our lives.
Paul tells the Romans: "I have already charged that all men, ...are under the
power of sin."
How do we recognize sin in our lives?
Jesus tells us that the "Counselor" will "...convince the world of sin..."
[Jn.16:8]

The Spirit of the Lord helps us recognize sin by His Gifts found in [Isaiah 11:2-3].

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
(1) Wisdom
(2) Understanding
(3) Right Judgment (Counsel)
(4) Courage (Fortitude)
(5) Knowledge
(6) Reverence (Piety)
(7) Wonder & Awe in God's Presence (Fear of the Lord)

These Gifts are...
[not given to unbelievers, 1 Cor. 2:14; Jn 14:15-18]

These Gifts are... given to Believers:
(A) To grow in holiness.
(B) To know God's Plans for us.
(C) To carry out those Plans.

Sin is seen as sin when living in the Spirit. The father of Lies is identified
and rebuked. The body is subjected for the Lord.

We can not be Conformed to this world, rather we need to be Transformed
(as St. Paul says to the Romans) by the renewal of our minds, that we may
understand what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and
perfect!
[Rom. 12:2] "...putting on the new nature, created after the likeness of God
in true righteousness and holiness."

Paul talks about the upbuilding of the "Community of Believers", through the
"Service Gifts".
[Eph. 4:24]
[1 Cor. 12:7] "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the
common good."

Service Gifts
(1) Wisdom in Discourse
(2) Power to express Knowledge
(3) Gift of Healing
(4) Miraculous Powers
(5) Being able to distinguish one spirit from another. (Spiritual
Discernment)
(6) The Gift of Speaking in Tongues & Interpreting of Tongues.
(7) Exhortation. [Heb. 3:13]
[Eph. 4:11] "...for building up the body of Christ..."
(8) Teaching.
(9) Ministry.
(10) Evangelization.
(11) Prophets
(12) Binding & Casting out demons. [Mark. 16:17] God gives us the
Gifts of Holiness & the Gifts of Service.

Sometimes we want to focus on one or the other, but God wants us to
Focus on both equally! God gives us the Service Gifts so that we can make a
difference in the lives of others.

The following is an explanation of some of the "Gifts" as well as at times a guideline!
NOTE: 2 of the "Gifts" are mentioned in both groups, these I will go over first.

When God wants us to know His Will He gives us the Gift of "Wisdom".
When another needs to know God's Will; He gives us "Wisdom in Discourse".
Example: [Mt.. 19:16-22] Jesus' advice to the young man seeking
perfection. When people come to us with a problem, we need to ask the
Holy Spirit to give us the "Word of Wisdom" that this person needs at this
time. [Jn.. 16:13] "...the Spirit will guide you into all truth...".

The Gift of Knowledge helps us reflect on the Mysteries of the Kingdom for
our own edification. The Gift of Knowledge gives us a clarity of the
Mysteries hidden from all ages! "...so that we may approve what is
excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ."
[Phil. 1:9]
Knowledge in Discourse, is the Gift of sharing these insights with others in
such a way that they come to their own clarity in their relationship with God!
You may say the same words that they have heard before but with this
special Grace they come to a new insight! Word of Knowledge, can also be
expressed as a Gift of inner sight or vision.
One gift is filling "My" need to grow in Holiness & Understanding of God.
The other gift is to share these insights that others may grow in Holiness &
spiritual Insights!

Gift of Word of Knowledge:
Example: Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman when He knew that the
man she was living with wasn't her husband. [Jn. 4:7-30]
When Jesus shared this information, the woman let her defenses down so
that she could receive the "Word of Life", that Jesus was sharing with her!
As we yield to the Spirit within us, He may give us a Word to say to someone
else, to prepare that person to receive the Grace that will lead to Salvation!

In Mass we say; "Lord, say but the Word and I shall be healed". As we
receive in Faith and bring to the Lord our ills, we may be healed.
God wants us to lay hands on the sick and pray through the "
Gift of Healing"
that others may be healed.
How many times do we miss the "Grace Moment", to manifest the gift of
God?
READ [Acts 8:26-39]
If Philip had not said yes to the lead of the Spirit, the eunuch might never
have been Baptized!
Had not Philip manifested the "Gift of Evangelization", and the "Gift of
Interpreting the Scripture", the whole Nation of Ethiopia amy never have
had the experience of Salvation! [Acts 8:26-40]
See why it is always important to act on the direction and move of the Spirit!

When people share an
illness or a problem, we say
we will pray for them, The
Grace Moment Is Now!
We need to respond to the
lead of the Spirit to pray
for that person right now,
and keep their intentions in
our prayers!



[1 Cor. 14:1 & 5] "Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual
gifts, especially that you may prophesy."
This gift is for the building up of others, not to condemn people! God seeks to
encourage and confirm and buildup those who are downcast.
All "Gifts" must be received in love and manifested in love.
In manifesting the "
Gift of Prophesy", we need to avoid saying something
just because it sounds nice or to say something just to say something!
The "Word" we believe we receive from God needs to be internally
discerned before we can submit it to the external discernment of the prayer
group.
Internal discernment should go something like this;
(A) Is this a Word from God?
(B) Is this a Word that God wants us to say?
(C) Is this a Word He wants us to say at this time, to this group or to this
person?

Even then we should always speak the "Prophetic Word", with Humility, with
Holy Fear of the Lord, and with Love.

On the other hand we need to avoid the extreme opposite of sitting on the
"Word of God"!


As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians. 5:19, "Do not quench the Spirit,..."
WE MUST NOT ALLOW AN INORDINATE FEAR TO CONTROL US. . . .WHICH IS FROM
THE SPIRIT OF LIES!
What if we make a fool of ourselves?
What if the prayer group discerns this not to be the "Word of God"?
The prayer group community is God's plan for us to test and develop our
gifts! When we are among friends, in a familiar setting, we are like young
birds testing our ability to fly!
We will never learn to discern what is truly of God unless we speak that
word, in love, and leave it open for discernment, we must let go of the
"Word" submitting it to the community! Again we go back to Paul in 1
Thessalonians. 5:20-21, "...do not despise prophesying, but test everything;
hold fast to what is good..."

In summary we can readily see that "Holiness" is accomplished not only in
the "Gifts" found in Isaiah, but also in using and developing the "Gifts of
Service" that Paul refers to! This talk barely scratched the surface on God's
Way for believers to attain "Holiness", but it is a good place to start.

" Personal sanctification is not an option!"
St. Maximillian Kolbe

In closing this part of the talk I would like to quote St. Paul yet again from
his First Letter to the Thessalonians , chapter 4, verses 7 & 8: "For God has
not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever
disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to
you."

In Vatican II's "Constitution on the Church", in the chapter "The Universal Vocation to
Holiness in the Church": We are told that all Christians are called to perfection of charity
to love God with one's whole heart, whole soul, and whole mind and to love all men as
Christ has loved them.
The Council says: "The Lord Jesus, the divine teacher and Model of all perfection,
preached holiness of life to each and every one of His disciples of every condition". [quote
"This Rock",June 1996] Also see, CCC par. 2013

You ask me a method of attaining perfection.
I know of love, and only love. Love can do all things.
St. Therese of Lisieux

DEFINITIONS: The following are known as Charismatic Gifts.
These are not all the "Charismatic" Gifts.
Gift of Tongues: The gift of tongues is the miraculous gift to speak one
language and to be heard and understood {Act 2:8 Then how does each of
us hear them in his own native language?} by many individuals who
ordinarily speak and understand a different language. This is called
"The miracle of Pentecost" because the first recorded instance is its use by
the Apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:4-13]
The gift of tongues is called Glossolalia, and in the modern Charismatic
movement attested instance of some oral outpourings have been reported,
but the lack of understanding on the part of the listeners makes it evident
that these were not effective, that is, for the benefit of others. To be
understood, such sounds require another charism, that of hearing and
interpreting. Jesus also says that the "Gift of Tongues" will be one sign of
those who believe: [Mark. 16:17]
Wisdom: Is the knowledge of God. [Proverbs. 9:10]
Knowledge: As it is used here would pertain to supernatural information
that we would not be aware of normally, for example: If I were praying for
someone and I saw a vision in my mind of an elderly woman, and after
mentioning it to the person that I am praying for I find out that his mother is
very sick and he has been worried about her. [Jn. 4:16-19] Jesus at the well
with the Samaritan Woman.
Faith: [Mt.21:21-22]
Gifts of Healing: & Miracles: "Healing": [Mark. 16:18] Miracles would
pertain to any supernatural event other than a healing, such as Jesus
feeding the 4,000 [Mt. 15:32-38]
Prophecy: is the ability to convey a message of truth received from God and
transmit the message as an intermediary between God and His people in the
prayer group setting. The person might be conveying a message about a
topic that they themselves could not possibly be aware of.
For Example: I might feel God wants me to read a Scripture passage such
as, [Col. 3:5] "Put to death, then, the parts of you that are
earthly,immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is
idolatry' This may pertain to a problem that someone at the prayer group is
experiencing, and upon hearing the "Word" spoken in Prophecy may decide
to amend their life.
SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT:
The ability to Distinguish between spirits: Being able to tell when something
that is happening is of God or of Satan. Whether it be an "Idea" that you or
someone else had, or a "Person" that you have come in contact with, or
some "Event" that is taking place, perhaps at a healing service .
It might even be a "Place" that you are visiting!
God would give you the Special Grace to be able to tell whether it is God or
Satan that is causing the events to unfold!

My concern for those reading this material is the same expressed by Paul in his First
Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12, the first line...says... [1 Cor. 12:1]
"Now concerning spiritual gifts, bretheren, I do not want you to be uninformed."

Remember this...Paul isn't the only one who refers to the 'Spiritual Gifts',
Jesus not only used them throughout His Ministry, but He said...
[Mark. 16:17-18]
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast
out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if
they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the
sick, and they will recover."

When you seek holiness in your life and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it is like you are
going around in a world filled with color while everyone else is living in black & white.
Everything is the same and yet different!

EXAMPLES OF THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN MY CONVERSION

When I called on God for HELP, that was a very big request, which
contained many needs!
WISDOM: I read a few years ago that writing is a form of therapy for
people who have problems with their minds. When I needed healing
because of my nervous breakdown, the Holy Spirit through the Gift of
Wisdom, inspired me to write the letter to my girlfriend Patti. When I started
the letter I could not think clearly but by the end of the letter I could think
much better. The beginning of the letter; when I tried to reread it, was
nothing but chicken scratch, but by the end it was easy to understand! This
was God giving me information that at the time was beyond my learning
experience; in order to help me get well.
It was also the Gift of Wisdom that told me to pray before making a decision.
KNOWLEDGE: The Gift of Knowledge enabled me to make difficult
decisions about my life, such as where to live and how to go about finding an
apartment.
Even though I could not afford anything nice, the apartment I lived in for all
the years I was on Welfare holds a special place in my memories. For
instance, I had a terrace and a fireplace!
RIGHT JUDGMENT (COUNSEL): This Gift showed me that even though
I wanted to thank God by immediately serving Him and His community, I had
to get better first. Of course the Gift of His Wisdom would also be used here
to help me see that I just could not help others until I was well into my own
healing process! This Gift also urged me to the Sacrament of Penance,
showing me that I needed to clean up my act before I could honor and serve
God properly!
COURAGE (FORTITUDE):
It has given me the determination to overcome my obsession with sex.
UNDERSTANDING: Helped me to understand that I needed spiritual strength
that was available through the Sacraments, especially Eucharist and
Penance! The Gift of Wisdom & Understanding helped me to see how much
God loved me! The Gift of Understanding helps us to constantly learn right
from wrong, "what is good and acceptable to God".
REVERENCE (PIETY): This is the special Gift that called me back to Mass!
WONDER & AWE IN GOD'S PRESENCE (FEAR OF THE LORD):
As I saw God's grace working in my life I yearned to show Him honor and
respect!
God did things for me that every one said could not be done! For example
when I was looking for an apartment, I was told that for the money I had to
spend on rent I would not be able to get a room even in the worst of
neighborhoods. I not only found a room but it had a terrace and a fireplace,
and the building at one time, was used as a synagogue. It was like God
moved out and I moved in! I lived within walking distance of 3 different
Catholic churches and across the street from the 3rd largest park in NYC,
also I was about hr walk from the NY Botanical gardens and the Bronx Zoo!
It was the perfect place for me to live, at the time!

All of us can attain to Christian virtue and holiness, no matter in what condition
of life we live and no matter what our life work may be.
St. Francis de Sales
Why do people
come to a prayer
groups?
When Jairus came to
Jesus, Jesus didn't say I
will pray for her tomorrow
when I am in prayer.
He recognized the Grace
Moment and went right to
her!
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