Of course, I could be completely wrong, and maybe something even more wonderful is afoot behind the scenes.
Some of the recurring themes are increase, acceleration, breakthrough, harvest, letting go of the old and taking hold of the new, surrender and humility as the path to these treasures, an army prepared for battle, the opening of doors and deep wells, an invitation to more, an invitation to intimacy and lingering with God, hunger for God, sudden divine appointments and sudden divine alignments, new mantles of gifting and of authority, huge release of resources, growth coming from unexpected directions.
What if you looked at all of these themes through the lens of the journey home to the Catholic church?
Under this lens the need for acceleration makes sense. Why? The process of the journey home to the Catholic Church is normally slow and gradual stretching over 5, 10, and in many cases 20 years or more. With special grace that process can be accelerated.
The same can be said for the initial process of conversion to Jesus, it is usually slow and gradual too. Sudden conversions like what St Paul experienced are infrequent. But since the messages are for those who are already Christian, maybe God does want to accelerate the process of the journey home to the Catholic Church.
Part of that process is the stirring of the heart to want more of God, and to be dissatisfied with anything less. I'm going to quote from Nate Johnson here, because he describes it well:
I want to be honest...I haven't been satisfied for a long while now, and I could pretty much say I have been like this my whole life. Always peering around the corner, curiously wanting to see what was to come and living in the tension of what is now and what is to come. But there is a LONGING for more that myself and many others are experiencing right now which has been very different.
One morning in early December, I was so overcome with the presence of God that out of me came this cry of: "I want more Jesus, I want more!" I was not saying that He was not enough or that I was ungrateful, but it was something He was doing in me to reveal the untapped vastness of His person – His glory – that I was not yet experiencing or seeing others experience.
It was a dissatisfaction that ran so deep that it seemed like all other appetites evaporated or waned instantly in light of the hunger that was erupting from my spirit. God began to show me that in this season He is rolling back the curtain and the veil, so we can see what is available. He is calling the Church out of stagnancy and "church as usual" to develop the appetite we were designed to have...for the unlimited riches of His glory!
Does this feel to you like a hunger that could only be satiated with the Eucharist?
It does to me.
Another part of that process is the discovery of ancient sources of renewal that are available to all, but few people know how to find or to value them. For example, the places hallowed by the prayers and lives of the Saints, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, the writings of the Doctors of the Church, the Sacraments, sacramentals (medals, holy water, icons, scapulars etc), the hymns of St Romanos the melodist and St Ephrem. Could this be what the Holy Spirit is referring to in these words from Michele Stickells?
I saw an angel stirring the waters, then I hear, The angel is stirring up the waters of ancient wells, that have become dry and redundant. I see it's time that God wants to restore the wells that hold the ancient anointing, to bring forth the end time anointing that will bring revival. I also see mantles lying in the dust, waiting to be picked up; they also carry past and ancient anointings. The Holy Spirit is moving across the nations looking to see who will see what He is doing, and be ready to receive from past ancient anointings that have remained dormant and hidden for an appointed time, for it takes an ANCIENT ANOINTING TO RELEASE THE END TIME ANOINTING !!!
At the same time there are various calls to lay down our own agendas and ideas and those things that have worked in the past, and to pick up God's plans. Nate Johnston explains it like this:
I had a vision of a hot air balloon that is being fired up to take-off, but it was being held down by sandbag weights all around it. I heard the Lord say, "You have to lose your sandbags to ascend." Then I began to see many obstacles in the spirit that many of us experience when God is inviting us to ascend. To my surprise, they were not just fears, worries, and concerns, but they were more like concepts. They were things like holding onto old patterns and ways of thinking – not wanting to shift from the way God was moving to the new way He was flowing and taking us. These sandbags were also the mindsets of wanting to stay behind the wheel and control the direction of our lives, the process, and orchestrate the outcomes. Not yielding to the Holy Spirit stops the fruit from growing. It's an interesting thought that you can look like you are full of fire and ready to go, but without letting go of the old and surrendering to the shift, you stay grounded. LET GO, and watch Him build and increase you beyond your own means.
And Lana Vawser explains it like this:
I had a powerful encounter with the Lord recently and in this encounter I saw Jesus and He was inviting the Pioneers into the most beautiful room in the library of heaven. The interesting thing about this room in the library of heaven was the door was VERY SMALL. The door was tiny, so to “enter into this room” and to move into the invitation the Lord was releasing, there was a significant call to “lay down, and go low”. There was a deeper place of surrender, humility and yieldedness to the Lord that had to take place, it is not a place of “striving” to “be humble” but a recognition that He is Lord, and we are not. He is the One who we hand the reigns over to, to lead, to guide, to speak. We hand the reigns of timing over to Him. We hand the reigns of “the way” over to Him. We hand the reigns of how things are “built” over to Him, it was a place of such deeper surrender to Jesus and trusting Him in His way and timing. The beautiful thing is I could feel so strongly in the invitation to continue to ‘lie down’ and ‘go low’, is the plans, purposes and manifestation of what He is building is bigger than what is even being dreamt about by the Pioneers.
What could be harder or more difficult than to lay down any anti-Catholic sentiments and to yield any long held teachings that are not truly biblical? And yet what is more necessary for true growth and the finding of untold treasures of grace?
So if you are a Christian and odd things seem to be happening in your life that are pointing you towards the Catholic Church, receive them as invitations from God to the more that He has for you and start to investigate what the Catholic Church actually teaches. If you are looking for a starting point, remember that burning question that you shelved because you couldn't get a satisfactory answer? Take it out, look at that question again, and find out from reputable Catholic sources what answers the Catholic Church has to that question.
So if you are Catholic start talking and thinking about what your parish would need, and what would need to change if the number of people wanting to do the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) multiplied by ten. What would you need to do if it multiplied by a hundred? Start working on increasing the budgets, recruiting and training additional R.C.I.A. team members, and gathering the resources that the spiritually hungry are going to need when they arrive.
Mary, Mother of the New Pentecost, Star of the New Evangelisation, pray for us.