Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Saw What I Saw - Life in the Spirit

Maybe You See It Too

At the Life in the Spirit Seminar in Ridgetown last evening, I saw things, and I am pretty sure that I saw what I saw. But, I am not just talking about what I saw with my eyes, but what I saw with my heart. I am reticent to write about it, but feel compelled to do so.

In my View from the Pew piece the other day, I commented on observing that the young people preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. George Parish in London, were invited down to the altar, and asked to make commitments about their faith.

What I did not add is that as I pondered on their ability to make these commitments, I wondered about how much more able to make and live these commitments they would be if they were really empowered by the Sacrament of Confirmation to live a Life in the Spirit. My context for that was the openness of the parishioners of St. Michael's in Ridgetown to let the Holy Spirit have his way with them which was coming up the next evening.

I also wondered why God would give Life in the Spirit to a group of people where the average age was probably 65, in a small out of the way town like Ridgetown. I think that we need the kids to have this Life in the Spirit. They are our future priests, prophets and teachers.

As I was prayed over last evening, and rested in God's Holy Spirit, in what my friends affectionately call "carpet ministry", it started to come to me, and I shared this and an accompanying vision with my friend Wayne on the journey home.

As we started praying with people last evening, which included Father Sam anointing each with oil, in front of Jesus present in the Eucharist in a monstrance on the altar behind us, I had a thought that these mostly seniors were not going to be receptive to well ... carpet ministry for an example. In a few moments, I was amazed at God's immense love for His children, of all ages, and the desire that these dear people had to submit to his love, whatever that entailed.

Most were slain in the Spirit, and fell back into Marjorie's and my arms, and we gently laid them down on the carpet, while God ministered to them. Their general response to God was submission. Their specific responses ranged from tears of joy, to laughter, to broad smiles and immense peace. Two of them tried to rise only to find that God was not finished with them, and went back down again for more carpet ministry. What I saw was hearts open to whatever God wanted.

I realised that these humble people of God, who spent time in front of the Blessed Sacrament whenever they could have a depth of prayer and faith that most of us can only dream of, and that they are the seeds for the young and future generations. They are the prayer warriors that make it possible for other people of faith to do whatever they are called to do. The people of God have different ministries, each as they are called, and these humble servants have important jobs to do to usher in the Kingdom.

On the way home, I shared this with Wayne. I was, as I often have been, humbled to see that the idea that I had originally had was so far off God's ideas. As I described this I had a vision in a couple of parts.

I saw my own gardens at home at the end of winter, when everything is ugly and some dirty snow still lies on the ground. Everything is still brown, and dead, basically. Then I saw the first crocus come out of the dirt followed by others, and I knew that this was the people we had just left in Ridgetown.

Next I saw the garden and lawn greening up, and other bigger, more long lasting plants started to shoot up out of the earth. The crocuses had been a sign of a new Spring, and after heralding the new Spring died away. But, the new Spring that they prophesied of was lush. In my vision, I saw that it was a vision of the Church, the Body of Christ, that so many have abandoned the Church, that our world has gone crazy as people run helter skelter with their fingers in their ears, chasing after things. But, God is not done with His people. He is raising up folks like our friends in Ridgetown to be the beautiful crocus that springs up early to His delight as a sign that Spring, the renewal of life, is upon us.

They are the prophecy of a new Spring in the Church.

And I got to witness it. Oh My God, You are the Alpha and the Omega. I could say something like "It doesn't get any better than that," which seems kind of appropriate, but God never ceases to amaze me, and I think it's going to get lots better.

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