The speakers were Fr Dario Betancourt and Damian Stayne, with translations in English and Spanish.
Fr Dario Betancourt is a Colombian priest working in New York and active in the Renewal since at least 1977. There isn't much online about him in English. He does have a Facebook page.
Damian Stayne is a founder of the Cor et Lumen Christi community and runs Charism Schools. He too has a Facebook page.
This is the link for the video recording: https://youtu.be/PXLkeNGXa9o
(Ed. The translation for Fr Dario's talk wasn't as good as usual, due to a variety of factors, so the transcription for it won't be exact.)
Fr Dario Betancourt: Good morning. We are fighting against the time. I would like to share with you many texts from the Second Vatican Council, but we don't have the time. I would like to emphasize the second part of Lumen Gentium.
The Holy Spirit gives the gifts as He wills for the good of the Church, brothers and sisters, for the life of the Church. Jesus will infuse the healing gifts to those who believe in Him.
I encounter this in Chapter 9 of the Gospel of St Luke. The Lord Jesus sends His apostles to evangelise and to heal. It is important that Jesus did not send them just to evangelise, but to evangelise and to heal. And in the same Gospel of St Luke in Chapter 10 we see Jesus sends out His disciples to evangelise and to heal.
Let us not confuse apostles and disciples. Those are two different things. The apostles are disciples, but the disciples are not apostles. There were many, many disciples, but not many apostles.
It says in Luke 8, that Jesus had many followers including many women, including Mary Magdalene, Susanna and Joanna. It is very important that we understand what it means to be a disciple. It is a word, discere, that comes from Latin and discere means to learn. And to learn what? It is to learn the life of the Master, to live the life of the Master and to learn what the Master knows (eg about geography and other such things.)
But the most important thing is to live the life of the Master, not just learn what the Master knows.
This is a very important thing to note in the life of Jesus: He heals people. When He encounters people He heals people not to prove that He is God, but because He was God, He is God. What I find fascinating is that He didn't just talk and teach. He showed His power through charisms and wanted to give the power to His disciples.
What I find marvelous is that St John doesn't say that we have to be a reproduction, a copy, a continuation of Jesus, but that we have to be Jesus completely in our souls, bodies and spirits, completely Jesus.
Between the 1st and 4th century the Church preached, evangelised and practiced the gift of healing, as a normal part of the church. Then in the 4th century the Stoic ideal of ideology came about and talked about the life that is about suffering, a lot a lot of suffering. That God was the mind for His people, and their reason. That God was at peace with the idea of suffering because Jesus suffered much physically. The idea was that people also suffered.
The suffering Jesus received was from the outside to the inside, and not suffering from the inside going outward. The suffering He endured came from the outside, came from persecution, misunderstanding and people not following Him.
What Jesus does not want is that we suffer from within. What does it mean to suffer from within? It is cancer, paralysis and epilepsy. He does not want us to suffer. What are the illnesses of the body that Jesus healed? Blindness, deafness, paralysis and He was called to heal.
But the suffering from outside to within, that's the suffering Jesus wants us to suffer, from outside to inside.
But the sufferings from inside to outside He condemns and He sent them to heal all these sufferings.
Before the 4th century there were no problems. Problems started to occur after the 4th century. So what happens after the 4th century is that our holy Catholic Church really focuses on going to preach throughout the world and then healing was not so important, not so emphasized. What was emphasized was Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation and those things.
The healing gift appeared in the last century up till now, mainly with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Now it is natural for us to preach and then to pray for healing – it’s a natural thing.
But until the Catholic Charismatic renewal, the Catholic Church, let us say the truth clearly, I want to be helpful, so that all can see that they have the gift of healing.
This from Jesus in Mark 18:18 That those who believe in Me will lay their hands on the sick and heal them. Raise up your hand if you believe in Jesus. Consequently if you believe in Jesus you have the healing gift. Alleluia!
In John 14:12 Those who believe in Me will perform the same things I do and even greater ones. Jesus! Jesus! John 14:13 Those who believe in Me, ask whatever you want and you will receive it. John 14:14 Ask and the Father will give you whatever you want. Alleluia!
In the Gospel of John it says, 'If you believe in My name I will give you whatever you ask for', so you have to believe in My name.
Acts 4: 3 shows the disciples conscious of the necessity of the charisms to evangelise and it says they performed miracles and extraordinary signs in the name of Jesus. Alleluia!
Damian Stayne: Alleluia. Jesus is Alive. Jesus is Alive. Are you Christians in here or Muslims? Jesus is Alive (Response: Jesus is Alive).
We have been asked to speak about growing and moving in the charisms and I am going to share with you very quickly some Keys that we have found to growing in the supernatural. Because we have been so privileged by God's grace to see so many miracles; in healing, in prophetic miracles, in liberation miracles. So we just want to share these keys with you so you can take them away. OK?
First Key. Absolute Conviction. What Fr Dario has been speaking about. We have to pray to move beyond the idea that the charisms are an optional extra, like having a sunroof in your car or tinted windows. Charisms are as essential as the steering wheel and the accelerator. OK. There is no work of God, so spiritual work of God among the people of God that is not a charismatic act. Without the charisms, the mission of the Church is over.
If you want the mission of men – good luck to you.
If you want the mission of God, you must have the charisms.
So we must pray for a revelation of absolute conviction that the charisms are non-negotiable.
Second Key. Bigger Vision. Bigger vision. Say that back to me. Bigger vision. We are getting little because our vision is little. You see small vision gives us small prayers and small prayers give us small answers. If you have a big vision then you pray big prayers. When you pray big prayers you get big answers. Amen? (Clapping)
Third Key: Faith. How many of you believe that miracles are happening in God's Church today? Hands up if you believe in miracles, in miracles happening in God's Church today. Now keep your hand up if you are performing miracles regularly. Ohhhh. So what's going wrong? You have faith that miracles can happen and you wonder why they are not happening. People come to me and say, 'Damian, I believe miracles can happen today but when I pray with people I am not seeing any miracles. What's going wrong?'
I tell you, it's very simple. Believing that miracles can happen today is an assent of the mind only. An understanding only in the brain. But the faith that makes miracles is an empowering of the Spirit and we have to pray each of us that God will give us the faith that empowers the Spirit to miracles. In my opinion this is the one single biggest confusion about the power of God in the charismatic renewal in the world. We thought that if we knew it, we had it. But as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, we must beg the Lord to increase our faith.
Feed your faith. If you want to grow in the charisms, feed your faith. If you want to grow in the charisms, you must feed your faith. Read books about miracles, watch videos about Christian miracle ministries, listen to testimonies. Get alongside people who are seeing more than you are. Because often the experience is that faith is caught. You catch it from being close to it.
You know, if I want to see more miracles in an area of my ministry, like if I wanted to see more blind people healed, then I read and read repeatedly stories about the blind being healed, until my mind is full of the vision of the blind being healed. Then I pray and I pray until my spirit agrees with my mind. And then when I tell the blind eyes to open, the blind eyes are opening.
The same with the deaf and the lame. The same with cancers and tumours. I have seen tumours the size of my fist disappearing in 5 minutes. And I saw a man with a tumour like this (coming out from the area between the ear and the shoulder and sizeable) and I said, 'God, we've got to see victory over that!'. So I started reading stories of saints and early pentecostals who saw huge tumours disappearing and then I prayed and I prayed for that. Since that time I've seen tumours the size of your head disappearing in 5 minutes.
At one of our services 51 people, 51 people after the word of command to cancers and tumours to vanish, their cancers or tumours shrank, shrank or disappeared completely. There is always, there is always more. If you are here (below the knee), pray to be here (above the knee); if you are here (above the knee) pray to be here (hip); if you are here (hip) pray to be here (shoulder); if you are here (shoulder), pray to be here (head); if you are here (head), pray to be there (above your head).
Fourth Key. Prayer and Fasting. We've got to become more holy. It is nearly impossible to become holy unless you are praying deeply. You see, people will not fall in love with Jesus if they only see His hand. They must also see His face. They will fall in love with Him if they see His character revealed in us when they see His hand.
Fifth Key: Purity. St Paul says, if you want to be used as vessels of silver and gold in the house of God you must purify. If we want that, Paul says we must purify ourselves from the impurities of the world. Don’t expect the privileges of the kingdom if you are playing with sin in the film, the television, in the internet, in the kind of music you listen to. You cannot be friends with the world and expect the supernatural anointing of the New Testament.
Sixth Key: Family. If we don’t put first in our lives what God has put first in our lives our ministries will lead to misery. Our ministries will lead to misery. What is it that you evangelise the whole world and your children go to hell? Jesus says there are those who take what should have been given to their parents and offer it to God and call it korban, so that they do not have to give it to their families. Many of us charismatics, we have done that with our time, our energy and our affection. We ran away from the duties of love in our family because we wanted to have a big ministry. Let me tell you. You put your family first, God will put your ministry first. Since my children were tiny, I'm a very busy man. I have 2 children. I spent an hour playing with each of my children every day of their lives since they were 2 years old. Playing, loving, saying 'you first'. After Jesus, you are my first mission. So when I go away, my children bless me and send me. Now they are both radically on fire for Jesus and both of them are performing miracles. Actually they have been performing miracles since they were little children.
Seventh Key: Humility. What can I say about humility? Yes, we're not very good at it. OK. There is no way in to humility, except begging for it, and letting your good friends tell you your sins and thanking them when they do. You see, love demands that I beg for humility because if I do not beg for humility God can't trust me with the glory. The quickest way into the glory is through the door of humility.
Eighth Key: Love. Make love your aim and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. We desire the spiritual gifts for one reason, because we are aiming for love. Because I want to love like Jesus loved. And I want to tell you that if I had the gift of miracles I would be so happy. I can tell you from experience, miracles don't make you happy, love makes you happy. I could heal everybody in this church, but if I don't love any of you what joy would it give me? So when you are pursuing the gifts, pursue them for love. God's word says this: Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. And if God's word is saying 'Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts' it must be that God is earnestly desiring to pour them out. God has a bowl of gifts tipped to the brim in heaven, just waiting for your faith.
So we are going to see some of the gifts now. We have been seeing lots of people being healed by getting the congregation to proclaim Jesus is Alive. Even big healings. How many of you here have got something wrong with your body? Put your hand up. The power of the name of Jesus has overthrown the power of hell. If you would believe that Jesus can heal you now when we make this declaration many of you will be healed in this church in the next few minutes. Say Amen if you believe that. OK. I'm going to break you up into 4 groups, 1, 2, 3, 4. When I point to your group, you stand up and you declare with your arms stretched, with the top of your voice and all of your faith, 'Jesus is Alive'. OK. And as you do. As you do many of you are going to be healed. And we will ask you afterwards – 'Who has been healed?'
This is not a game. When you say the name of Jesus with faith, the power of the kingdom is detonated. Are you ready? (It begins…a holy competition of proclaiming Jesus...can you do better than this?).
Now those of you who have something wrong with your bodies, try and move it now. If you had healing in your body, wave your hands at me. (He stopped counting at 18, but there were more). Alleluia. Jesus is Alive!
Questions and Answers
Q. When you talked about family first, then you will do God's will for you, right? But at which level do you put family first when you decide what you will do for your whole life, when maybe family does not approve it, in terms of vocation?
DS: If you are obedient to God, this is the way to love your family. But each day I am called to radical love, and if I want to inherit the land, if you want to take back your countries, what is the promise? Those who honour their father and mother will take the land. If we love our families, this doesn't mean to disobey the radical call of Jesus. It is a matter of working out priorities of time and not running away from our duties to do something a little bit more exciting. So I could go away every weekend of every year but while I have small children I made the decision to only go away once a month. And this purchased the loyalty of my children to Jesus. And in our community every child who is old enough to join our community has chosen to join the community because the community's discipline about family gave them brilliant parents. Do you understand what I am saying? Did I answer your question?
Q. Yes, but you talked as a parent. You already chose to be a parent. But when you haven't yet made that decision, how does family fit in?
DS: In your situation you must discern your calling with Jesus. Even if you are called to be a hermit, you never turn your back on your parents. So there is no vocation that says my parents matter nothing to me. Even if you are called to be a missionary on the other side of the world. Do you understand? OK.
Q. What should I do if in my family or community, if criticism starts?
Fr D: We must talk about Christ, as the centre of our lives. We have to be witnesses of Jesus Christ.
Q. When we pray for the healing of the people, how can we distinguish the leading of the Spirit?
Fr D: I believe the answer is when Jesus Christ healed our blind. Jesus asked the blind, 'Can you see?' 'Yes, I can see, but it is not clear, like trees walking'. So like Jesus, I have to pray a bit more. If Jesus had to pray twice for the blind, maybe you and I have to pray more, maybe 20 times, maybe 200 times. Maybe Jesus is also testing them. Remember Jesus also said to the blind, go and wash in the pool of Siloam – then we can see that Jesus put a test to the people, to see the faith of the people. I believe that we cannot be worried if the healing is now, tomorrow or afterwards. The most important thing is to pray, and God will do what He thinks is right, today, tomorrow or afterwards.
Q. Christ will see what is inside us, but sometimes we can have inside what is coming from outside, eg from curse or witchcraft.
Fr D: My experience is that I believe that Christ wants us healed from inside to outside. These are all the physical disease. But there are also the spiritual illness that are hate, fear, remorse and (something that wasn't translated). Difficult to explain, The priest sees many illness caused by external means like witchcraft. That's why it is very important to make a diagnosis. To do a diagnosis like a doctor does. The doctor will ask you questions, date of birth, family medical history and other information, and finally he will give you an answer, a medication or specific recommendation. Is it physical or spiritual? Possible causes of it. There can be many obstacles inside us, and when we pray away the obstacles, the healing happens. God can do it in a greater way, here and now, physically cured. It is very common to cure physical illness, but there are many that we cannot see – because if you hate someone you cannot see it.
We don’t have time to give the testimony of many of you. But I would like to see who has a medical brace because you couldn't move without needing this brace. You are here. The woman came forward and showed how freely she was moving.
Jesus is Alive. Jesus is Alive. We need to sing that Jesus is Alive.
An edited 4 x A4 PDF version of these talks is given below:
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