Faith on Fire

By Fr. Bob Hogan

In the last few months the Holy Spirit has been stirring me up!  May the fire of the Spirit rush on us all!  I sense a wave of grace coming.  The Holy Spirit has given me a glorious excitement about the Year of Faith beginning on October 11,2012, which was announced by Pope Benedict XVI.  I also believe that the Holy Spirit is urging us to enter fully into the Five Year Preparation for the Jubilee of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 2017.  Lord, may it not be just words on a page.  We want to hear your word and act on it.  I feel convinced that God wants to make me a more faith-filled and faithful man of God, man of the Spirit, during this Year of Faith.  I believe that he wants to do this with you, too!

This year we can have a greater spirit of faith in God’s providence which will release us from our complaining and negative attitudes.  We can experience a greater trust and openness to God’s surprises, since he works all things for good for those who love him.  Last month I got stuck overnight in an airport which allowed me to have a fruitful conversation with a man whose family had stopped being involved in Church after their father had a disagreement with a priest many years ago.  Rather than complain about surprises, let us expect that surprises can become Divine appointments.

This year God wants to stir up the disciple-learner in us.  He wants to give us a hunger for the Word of God, for reading the Scriptures every day, and reading the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to deepen our understanding of Catholic teaching. The Spirit of Truth wants to give us a hunger to know well the content of the faith and to grow in the wisdom to apply this knowledge in our lives.

God wants to stir up a bold, expectant faith that is always open to God’s call to mission and evangelization.  God says, “Who will I send?” Our faith-filled heart says, “Send me!”  You may have thought that God cannot make you into an evangelizer, but ask him to do it this year, and you will receive a surprise of the Spirit.  God will give us a new faith in the call and work of charismatic renewal in the Church: a new maturity, a new purification, new doors opening, new practical wisdom, and new vision.

God can get you and me where we never imagined we could go.  Come and get us, Holy Spirit.  Year of Faith ignite us!

Fr. Bob Hogan, BBD is Chairman of the National Service Committee.  Reprinted from Pentecost Today, Oct/Nov/Dec, 2012