Hogan is a member of the Remnant of God prayer group in Manistique,
countless reasons in todays world to hang our heads and wonder why
God does not make Himself known to the lost and wandering masses in our
society. We feel powerless over prevailing attitudes and behaviors. We
wonder, Lord, where are you? In our hearts we cry, Come
Lord Jesus, come. Humankind seems out of control and sinking fast.
It would seem all we can do is pray and petition the Lord for change.
Unless youre Charismatic, believe in the Gifts of the Spirit and
let the Spirit work through you.
Looking about our charismatic prayer meetings and gatherings, we notice
a great number of gray and graying heads in the crowd. We feel the need
for new life in our walks and in the renewal. We feel like
road weary warriors returning from an insurmountable battle. We need some
freshness, an enhanced energy. We muse that perhaps the Renewal needs
revival. Whats that saying? If God feels far away, who moved?
We know that the Holy Spirit Himself started this Charismatic Renewal.
Also we are certain God has a plan for that renewal. He made sure that
each and every one of us was part of that plan. Hand picked. Chosen. Has
He changed His mind? No! Because our numbers are slipping should we give
up hope? No! Whats happening then? We speculate. . .
Focus on the prophets of the past century, our Popes. Their papacies have
served as signposts through the years of the great work God has planned.
Emphasis on the Holy Spirit in the journey of the modern day Church is
prevalent. On January 25, 1959--Pope John XXIII makes known his intention
to hold Vatican II and announced the dawning of the age of the Holy Spirit!
The dawning. The beginning. Gods time! Did this divine revelation
die with Good Pope John? No! The Spirit worked on, the vision passed on
(transition). Pope Paul VI understood the crux of this work when he said,
the Church and the world need more than ever that the miracle of
Pentecost should continue in history. That was in 1975. The Spirit
worked on, the vision passed, the people listened. Our beloved John Paul
II has appealed for us to embrace this New Springtime of our
Church. As part of the preparation for the Great Jubilee Year 2000, the
Pope had asked the Church to focus on the role and charisms of the Holy
Spirit. The Spirit worked, the vision unfolded, the people responded.
The Holy Spirit has touched 125 million people world over through the
The Renewal has been Gods instrument in sending forth His Spirit and enlivening
His people to awaken a sleeping giant His Church. We must not fall
to sleep ourselves. It is such a wonder to uncap all the graces and living
water that flows inside each of us from our sacraments. The Baptism of
the Holy Spirit gives us an awareness of God that weve never known
before. We learn to know and love a one on one God, a personal God. So
many times through the years weve been anointed and commissioned.
Weve heard prophecy after prophecy (God is patient) urging us to
believe and go forth. Weve been equipped. The gifts are our weapons,
the fruits our strength.
So then, why do we seem to ebb? It appears to me that all things in the
natural world are cyclical. Animal numbers go up and down. Tides move
in and out. Could it be just the nature of things? A progression of sorts?
We are in the natural world, but we are also in the Spirit. The
Spirit Himself give witness with our spirit that we are children of God
We know from biblical history that there were many times that Gods
chosen people were put to the test. All the Lord asked of them was that
they would remain faithful to Him in all things at all times. From that
same history He has proven what He can accomplish with a faithful remnant.
Are we being tested? Will the faithful remnant be proven? Could it be
that this is what He is asking of us; to remain faithful in this low tide.
Although we may be full of activity in other areas of the Church, we are
still called to that spiritual vocation that was given us by our Baptism
and Confirmation with the laying on of hands. We must believe in and employ
the gifts given to us. Now more than ever we must incorporate them into
our lives everyday. We need to depend on them more and ourselves less.
Give ourselves over freely to the movement of the Spirit and the will
of God. As St. Paul says, If God is for us, who can be against us?
As Charismatics we must guard our faith in Christ witness to the reality
of the Renewal, and be faithful members of the Church. As Catholics, we
must do our part in the Spirit to build up the Body of Christ
and remain the in the pillar bulwark of truth, the Church
(1 Tim 3:15)
We have to remember and write it on our hearts that not as man sees
does God see and that up to now we dont have the whole picture.
God has not changed his mind nor abandoned the plan. He continues to renew
His Church and will continue for as long as the Holy Spirit blows over
the face of the earth. The gifts are still being poured out. The living
rivers are flowing free and fast. We must remain willing to be useful
instruments in the Hand of God to bring on that new Springtime, a new
Pentecost as well as knowing that He is with us always as He fills
the hearts of His people.