May the peace and joy of the Risen Lord and the Power of His Holy
Spirit be with you! We have once again celebrated the descent
of the power of the Holy Spirit upon the Church; we have once
again prayed for more and more of that power in our lives. We
have done it before, and we shall do it again, and again, and
again, and again. Why?--because, as St. Seraphim points out above,
this is something we cannot live without, we simply always need
more of God and especially more of the grace and power of the
Holy Spirit. We can never have enough and we will never have
enough until we finally see Him face to face in glory. In the
meantime, it is His Spirit, our Hope of Glory, Who keeps us empowered
and walking on this narrow way that Jesus has placed us on. A
way that leads us, in the heart of His Church to His Throne in
glory. Let us continue to yield to the power that we cannot live
without, let us continue, as St. Paul reminds us, to "pray
in the Spirit on every possible occasion."
We also celebrate two interesting transitions in the Spirit
during this time. A few weeks ago, His Eminence Cardinal Suenens
died. Cardinal Suenens was a great friend and champion of the
charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church. He was the first
major prelate to go on record in support of this great movement
of the Lord God to renew His Church in this time. He also had
a direct impact on us locally through his dealings with folks
from Ann Arbor doing community in Belgium. He will be missed.
At the same time, this great churchman of the Holy Spirit gets
to go home, we as a parish our celebrating the ordination to the
priesthood of several of our brothers. Thus the work of the Holy
Spirit continues in the Church as these men of God, yielding to
the grace of this wondrous vocation, lay down their lives in the
service of the Kingdom of God as priests of the Most High God.
It is in some ways a fitting tribute to Cardinal Suenens, that
the result of this great charismatic renewal should be an increase
in vocations to serve the Church that he loved and served all
his life. Let us continue to plead with the Lord Jesus to call
men to serve Him in this way, men who will be staunchly loyal
to the Church and deeply in love with the Lord Jesus and on fire
with the power of the Holy Spirit, that especially during this
time at the end of the Millennium, the Church of God would have
shepherds after God's own heart.
Whatever else the Lord Jesus may call us to as a Parish, one thing is clear: our identity as a Spirit-filled, in love with and surrendered to the Lord Jesus, loyal to His Church Parish will not change. That is who He has created us to be, and that is who we will remain. May we always be faithful to the grace He has given us to love and serve Him in the power of His Holy Spirit!