Pope Francis & Bob Canton
April 2, 2014
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican's Secretary of State & Bob Canton
HOW TO LIVE A RESURRECTION-STYLE EXISTENCE
By Bob Canton
Council Member, Vatican-based ICCRS
National Coordinator, AFCCPC
In John 11:25, Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."
In 1 Cor. 15:3-4, St. Paul says, "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried; that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that He appeared to Kephas, then to the twelve."
St. Paul also says, in Romans 8:11; "If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through His Spirit that dwells in you."
The resurrection of Jesus shows us that we should not fear death. His resurrection from the dead is more than enough to dispel hopelessness, gloom and doom around us.Through His death and resurrection, He sets us free and He opens the door for us to a new and victorious life.
My mother passed away unexpectedly of a heart failure last year. When this happened, I was out of town, and I was the only one among my siblings who was not at her bedside when she breathed her last. Needless to say, the pain of loss of a loved one is tremendous. Although I was able to talk to and pray with her over the telephone a few hours before she passed, the fact that I was not personally present with her in the hospital brought dismay and uneasiness into my heart, to say the least. During the prayer vigil and the viewing in the Funeral Home a day before her funeral, I asked the Lord to give me His comforting presence. The Lord spoke into my heart. He said, "My son, do not let your heart be troubled. What you are seeing before you is just a "mere shell" of your mother. Your mother is actually in my hands right now. So, rejoice my son." What the Lord revealed to me has brought great ease and peace into my entire being. "Where O, death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"(1Cor.55:55-57.)
Jesus says, in John 10:10. "I have come to give you life, a life to the full." The Lord doesn't only call us but He also wants us to live a "Resurrection-style existence."
What are the ways to have a "Resurrection-style existence?"
1. We have to die to self.
In Col.3: 5-10, St. Paul says, "Put to death then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. By these, you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way, but now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator." If we don't undergo death, we won't experience resurrection. By the same token, we have to die to the things of this world so that we will truly be alive in Jesus. We have to die to the things of this world, the things that are not of God in order to truly live and be alive in Christ.
St. Paul says in Rom.6:8" Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him." St. James says, "Do you not know that to be a lover of this world means an enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself and enemy of God." (Jam. 4;4).
The "world" referred to by St. James here does not mean the "physical world" or this planet or this earth. It means the systems and the values of this world that are diametrically opposed to God and His ways. Many refuse to follow the Lord and His commands and His ways, that's why many are lost and they are living in darkness and in desolation and in misery.
In Rom. 8:13, "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
In Gal. 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outburst of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God."
Therefore, the more dead we are to ourselves; the more alive we are to Jesus.
2. We should be alive in Christ.
In Rom. 6:11, St. Paul says," You must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus."
In Gal. 2:20, the Word of God says, "Yet, I live, not I, but Christ who lives in me, insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me." Jesus did not come in order for us to be rich in monetary or worldly terms, but to be rich in Him. He did not promise us a "rose garden" or an existence without pain, but on the contrary Jesus says," "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."(John 16:33). Even though Jesus promised us troubles and tribulations, but if we fully trust in Him and have complete faith in Him, He will make sure that we will go through our trials and tribulations and hardships and pain unscathed, Alleluia!" In Isiah 43:1-3, the Lord God says, But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says,"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
3. We have to fix our mind on Heavenly things.
In Col. 3:1-2, St. Paul says, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory." Through God's grace, our life should exhibit a resurrection-style living. People should see and taste and smell and experience in us and through us the Kingdom of God. In other words, we should exude the aroma of God wherever we are. "For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;"-(2 Cor.2:15). If where we are, we see brokenness, sadness, and pain, we should make ourselves be the instruments for healing, joy, and wholeness. if there is darkness around us, we should be the beacon of light. If there is hopelessness and desolation, we should fan the flame of hope. If there is disunity and dissension, we should be the source of peace and reconciliation. If there is death around us, we should bring forth life. To be able to make a great impact into the world around us through who and what we are in Christ Jesus and by our words and actions and demeanor, is a clear sign of a resurrection-style existence.
4. We should totally surrender ourselves to God.
In John 4:34, "Jesus says, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish His work." In John 14:21, "Whoever had my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Our Heavenly Father should be in total control over our life. The more we surrender ourselves to the Lord, the more we experience His glory. Indeed, one of the prerequisites of a resurrection-style living, I believe, is the total surrender of our mind, our heart, our soul and spirit, our will and memories, our total self, indeed our very existence, to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In Romans 12:1-2, St. Paul says, "I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."
And finally, in Psalm 116:8-9, the word of the Lord says, "For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living."
Are you ready to rise from your tomb?
International Colloquium on the Ministry of Deliverance
by Michele Moran
In recent years ICCRS has organized theological colloquiums on prayer for healing (2001), the charisms of the Holy Spirit (2008), and baptism in the Holy Spirit (2011). In April 2014 the fourth colloquium was held in Rome, on the topic of deliverance ministry.
The choice of this topic came from a number of questions that were being sent to ICCRS about deliverance ministry. These were both theological and pastoral in nature. We recognised that there are cultural factors that have to be taken into consideration and that in some parts of the world guidelines are already in place from the local Bishops' conference. Therefore, it was decided to bring together a small international group of invited theologians and practitioners who are experienced in this ministry, to gain some insight together as to what should be the basic contents of a small ICCRS book on this topic.
So from 3rd-6th of April around 30 participants gathered in Rome. Dr Mary Healy, the chair of the ICCRS Doctrinal Commission, began by presenting a general overview. She looked at the context of where we find ourselves as a Church in a world that is witnessing a rapid de-Christianization.
She presented a brief overview of deliverance in Scripture, in the early Church, and among later theologians.
Participants from each of the continents shared their perspectives on deliverance ministry. Whilst there were some obvious cultural variations, there were also marked similarities. It was noted that even among clergy, there are some who are reluctant to believe in the reality of the devil. Conversely, sometimes in CCR there are people who have a tendency to overemphasise the devil and his power. We highlighted the need for this ministry to grow and develop and for people to receive adequate training and supervision.
An exorcist from the diocese of Rome gave an overview of the history of the development of the Rite of Exorcism and the difference between exorcism and deliverance ministry. Damian Stayne shared from his own experience about the role of lay people in deliverance ministry. Neal Lozano, the founder of the 'unbound' model of deliverance ministry, spoke about the relationship between deliverance and inner healing. The final part of our colloquium was to agree together the main topics that should form the basis of a future publication.
ICCRS Council Meeting 2013
How many were the graces we received during the past Council Meeting of ICCRS, held in Bethlehem last November 18-23, 2013, just after the wonderful Prophetic Consultation that we lived with about 160 leaders from every part of the world (see ICCRS NL I/2014).
The first day was completely dedicated to a special encounter that we called ICCRS Large Council Meeting, including members of the ICCRS Continental Sub Committees: AFSCI (ICCRS Sub Committee for Africa), ESCI (ICCRS Sub Committee for Europe) and ISAO (ICCRS Sub Committee for Asia and Oceania). On that day we were also blessed by the presence of one of our Bishops, friend of ICCRS, and by the presence of the 'official' collaborators of ICCRS in the area of 'Formation', 'Doctrinal Commission' and 'University of the Holy Spirit'.
This one day meeting was the occasion to present to all our Continental Sub Committee members the 'vision' of ICCRS regarding our service offered to the Charismatic Renewal within the Catholic Church. Time was also dedicated to 'dream' together about the developments of the formation of the leaders in CCR and the call to unity among the various streams and realities in CCR (groups, communities, schools of evangelization, ministries, etc.). Both these aspects are at the front line among the pastoral activities of ICCRS especially looking at the great challenge of the upcoming Jubilee of the Renewal in 2017, that will see all our Movement together in celebrating 50 years of life in the Catholic Church.
The proper ICCRS Council Meeting started with the official
welcoming of Fr. Wojciech Nowacki, new councilor for Eastern
Europe. Key topics in our agenda were:
I. Reflections on the Bethlehem Prophetic Consultation;
II. President's report on her worldwide ministry;
III. The necessity to stabilize our finances;
IV. Administration matters;
V. ICCRS Formation activities and the 'University of the Holy Spirit' project developments;
VI. The upcoming events, such as the 'Colloquium on the Ministry of Deliverance' and the 'Great Gathering of the CCR Family in Africa' in 2014, the 'Worldwide Priests' Retreat' in 2015, and the setting up of an Organizing Committee for the 2017 CCR Jubilee;
VII. The Council has also placed a high priority on the project 'Pentecost of the Nations', as an answer to the call of the Lord for all the Renewal to promote the Pentecost novena and the celebration of the Holy Spirit all over the world
Another important area of attention about ICCRS mandate that took considerable time in our Council Meeting was the review of our Committees and Sub Committees, and finally the elections for a new three year term. Elections for four councilors took place: Michelle Moran has been re-elected for a third term as President; Jude Muscat has been re-elected for a second term as councilor for Southern Europe; Bob Canton has been re-elected for a third term as councilor for English speaking Central and North America and Caribbean; Br. James Shin has been re-elected for a third term as councilor for Southern Asia. ICCRS Council has a clear understanding of how great the challenges are before us. For this we ask all our readers to accompany us in our mission with a strong and continuous intercessory prayer. All for the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Great Gathering of the CCR Family
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:4) Kampala, Uganda · 30 June – 6 July 2014
The Great Gathering of the CCR Family is a huge ICCRS celebration as part of the journey towards the CCR Golden Jubilee. The event will be held in Uganda, bringing together delegates from all the five continents of the world to Africa for the first time, to pray and seek the Lord for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Renewal and the Church worldwide. This event is organised by ICCRS in collaboration with the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal (UCCR), and the African Sub-committee of ICCRS (AFSCI).
The Pan African Congress of Renewal leaders and the 2nd World Youth Meeting of CCR will take place within the given days. A special workshop for priests will be also offered during the event. Find all the details on the website of CCR Uganda: www.ccruganda.org.