As you might expect when people gather to call on God's name, and to praise and thank Him, He talks to them and reveals His purpose.
Here is the primary prophetic word that was given at the 50th anniversary retreat. It was first shared on the Friday evening 17 February, and considered so important it was shared again on the Saturday evening 18 February once people began to understand its significance. If you have ever read the life of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, you would have come across the adage, 'gifts are given on the eve of the feast'.
I apologise that it is only the bare bones of that word. I was going to go back and transcribe both of them properly, but I was too late.
Psalm 42: Deep calls unto deep. Go deeper. Call to Him from a place of great depth.
Genesis 7: In the second month, and on the 17th day of that month, that very day all the springs of the great deep broke through and the sluices of heaven opened. It rained on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. This is for good, not for destruction, so that the world may be filled with the presence of God as the waters cover the sea.
My initial interpretation: God wants to give us the second part very much, but it depends on us doing the first part. Think of the outpouring God wants to give like a huge balloon full of water. It is up to us to push deeper and deeper until it pierces. The deeper and more united we are across time and space and distance the better able we will be to pierce the balloon so that the torrent comes and not the trickle. But we have to get on our knees and call out our desperate need to God for the Holy Spirit. We have to feel and pray in our dryness for the Spirit's dew, we have to long for Him like for cool shade on a day of 45 degree heat. We have to be prepared to let the Holy Spirit groan our need in us. This is a privileged moment, we can praise Him any day of the week, but today His desire is that we ask and importune Him for this outpouring. The moment to obtain all He wants to give will soon pass. There are some things so big and so precious, that He can only give them to us if we ask. Asking makes a place in our hearts to receive. In the Gospels there are two things that Jesus especially asks us to plead for in prayer: vocations and the Holy Spirit.
My subsequent interpretation: When the sluice gates open, it takes a while for the dam water to reach the valley where the people live. We have to go deeper in our relationship with God if we want to become larger receptacles for His grace. Whenever we hear '40 days', don't we always think of Lent? That privileged time of our communal return to God in preparation for Easter, where we try to grow in prayer, in generosity and service, and in self-denial. They are our primary clues for going deeper. Pope Francis has particularly invited members of the Renewal to Rome to celebrate Pentecost with him. Instead of the big gathering happening at St Peter's Square, it is going to be at the Circus Maximus. Unlike St Peter's where there is really only one direction in and out, the Circus Maximus is a place where people can be sent forth from all directions. If you visit https://www.facebook.com/iccrsoffice or https://twitter.com/iccrsoffice the vibe is very strong that this coming Pentecost is momentous.
So how do we go deeper (apart from the traditional prayer, fasting and almsgiving)?
We have to go beyond where we feel safe and in control.
We can go deeper into listening to God with Christian meditation and Lectio Divina.
We can go deeper in our understanding of God through scripture study and reading the Catechism.
We can go deeper in prayer through time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
We can go deeper by working on reconciliation with others and coming into unity with them in love. (CCC 1445: 'Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.')
We can also learn a lot about going deeper by reading about what those first Duquesne students did, and doing the same.
In preparation for that retreat weekend they read the Acts of the Apostles, particularly the first 4 chapters. They also read The Cross and The Switchblade and They Spoke With Other Tongues
Every time they met together they prayed the Veni Creator Spiritus, an ancient hymn to the Holy Spirit.
Reflecting upon the Acts of the Apostles, David and Patti wanted to renew their baptismal promises, but the others weren't interested. Yet they stood their ground together and did it anyway. They were the first two God led into the upper room chapel.
They were led to pray a prayer of surrender: “Father, I give my life to you. Whatever you ask of me, I accept. And if it means suffering, I accept that too. Just teach me to follow Jesus and to love as He loves."
For more detail, read this inspiring account: https://www.ccrno.org/TestimonyPGM.htm
Because I had read 'Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire' a few months ago, I was more aware of what this 'deep calling on deep' needed to be. I highly recommend it. It is the story of a young married pastor of a church in Brooklyn, New York, a church in serious danger of closing. 'When I was at my lowest, confounded by obstacles, bewildered by the darkness that surrounded us, unable even to continue preaching, I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can't resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him. Our weakness, in fact, makes room for His power'. He told the Lord that he would rather die than merely tread water throughout his career in the ministry…always preaching the power of the Word and the Spirit, but never seeing it. In his need and acknowledgement that he was well and truly out of his depth as a pastor, God answered him with a promise: 'If you lead My people to pray and call upon My name, you will never lack'.
18 February is a feast day of St Bernadette. St Bernadette wrote, 'You want to pray like a saint, I invite you to pray like a beggar, like a pauper before God'. When Our Lady at Lourdes asked her to drink from the stream, first Bernadette had to dig, and to dig, and go deeper some more, until first the mud came and then the clear spring water. Inspired by her example let us go deeper and call out to the Lord until the Holy Spirit flows as torrentially as He desires to.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mother of the New Pentecost, pray for us
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