Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Baptism in the Holy Spirit? What is it? Even though I was an active Catholic, I had never heard the term.Heck, in seventh grade I won the local catechism bee but never had that question.I asked one of the other Netters who a[ppeared to be pretty normal but also seemed to know what was going with the whole baptism in the Holy Spirit thing.She had that it was really just being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” She told me that I could read more about in the scriptures.that, to me, sounded like a pretty good place to start.

I began reading the scriptures and found that being baptized in the Holy Spirit (or words similar) is mentioned in each of the $ gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. (See Mt 3:11; MK 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33; Acts 1:5.) John the Baptist made it clear that he baptized in water but that Jesus would baptize in the Holy Spirit. It became apparent to me that what I experienced as a baby might be different than baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In his gospel, Luke said that we would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Again in the Acts of Apostles, Luke has Jesus instructing the apostles — go back to Jerusalem and wait for the “promise of Father” and the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1. When I read the various accounts of the baptism in the Holy Spirit I didn’t necessarily have a be understanding of exactly what baptism in the H Spirit was, but I was able to see that it was important. F It seemed to be something that Jesus intended for and it changed people.

Scripture states clearly that Jesus came to bap us in the Holy Spirit. It seemed to me that if this is of the reasons Christ came, then perhaps I was missing something. As I made my way through scripture, I was also able to see the effects of the baptism with Holy Spirit. From my reading the Acts of the Ap it appeared to me that the disciples experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit enabled apostles to do something that they were unable to do before. Before Pentecost, they were locked room paralyzed by fear and after experiencing Holy Spirit they boldly proclaimed Jesus. Som changed in them.

Slowly, I was beginning to see more clearly what the baptism in the Holy Spirit might be about.It seemed to be about power.the disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit gave them the power to escape the confines of a locked room where they were bound by fear.It gave them the power to witness to Jesus’ resurrection and the ability to faithfully live the Christian life.

A few days passed with me asking lots of questions and staying away from Steve who still had the “Laying of hands on me” as his goal-an idea that was still bugging me!

The Above excerpt is taken from the Book “Breath Of God”. Order Now!!!

Breath of God

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Joy and Sadness

Joy 7 Sadness

The wise man said: “cast sadness far from thee, because it has killed many, and is good for nothing.”There is hardly anything as apt to bring our hearts to a state of irksome disgust as sadness.Those who have made a psychological study of sadness tell us that one of its principal effects is to disturb our judgments, making us take a darker view of life than the facts justify.Thus, sadness leads to pessimism and the reverse effects is also true- all pessimists re necessarily sad: disaster, for them, is  just around the corner.A second effect of sadness is to make us rude to others and evere towards them, suspicious and ready to put the worst interpretation on the actions of everyone around us.

There are different ways of trying to overcome the sense of sadness.Some people take to overcome the sense of sadness.Some people take recourse to alcohol to make them forget.Others fling themselves into carnal pleasures hoping that the intensity of a momentary thrill will compensate them for want of a goal and a purpose in life.But all sad [people scarcely conscious that they are saying it- “I do not love myself.”This is not an “inferiority complex”.It is rather the higher part of the self-looking down on the lower part and reprimanding it for its pitiable condition.Animals cannot reflect on themselves as a human being do; hence they cannot feel the same kind of disgust.

There is a remedy for sadness- the one suggested by the Scriptures.To some minds, it may seem farfetched when it says:”If you are suffering, pray!”.Actually, these words touch on a profound psychological truth, for they imply that we must be reconciled to ourselves in order to be happy. So long as we are merely the battleground of a war between the lower self and self within us, there can be no relaxation and to resolve the conflict, to bring the battle to an end, we must see ourselves as we really are. It does a blame the golf club if our game is at fault, er because we spill the milk, the fault must our own in little mishaps of this kind, and states of mind as well. The discovery that we e for being the way we are is greater than the discovery made by any explorer — such a discovery fault is impossible unless there be a higher outside ourselves, from whose love we know have fallen.
When our own responsibility for our sadness has once been faced, prayer next leads us on to hope, because it shows us the real basis for our discontent: the knowledge could be quite different from the way we are. As er put it: “I was told that I was the offspring of and a mother. I had thought that I was more.” – a is more. The Saviour said that each one of us =:-e worth than the whole visible universe (cf. Mt .37 and Lk 12:6)

We begin to act differently when we recognize the immensity of our possibilities. Our whole life changes Ike that of a farmer when he discovers oil on what previously believed to be just a poor farm. Prayer overcomes sadness by putting us in relation with the Eternal,  and then the change occurs. Before, we had thought ourselves unloved by anyone; now, we know that d Mire loved by God.

Unless we put God between ourselves and our us life, we cannot hope to make real spiritual progress. But God does not give Himself to us until we have begun to feel our own nothingness. By assenting to the poverty of our personality we open the floodgates of Divine riches. It has been said that no one is a hero to his valet. It would be truer to say that no one is a hero to himself. Plutarch may tell us that Cato was a great human being; but to Cato, Cato was weak.

It is one thing to discover one’s nothingness, and to rest there — that is sadness. It is quite another thing to discover that one is nothing, and from there to make use of the Divine Energies — that is joy. Mediocrity is a sin against ourselves, a kind of sacrilege. The ennui some hearts feel is nothing but the instinctive reaction of their great and undeveloped possibilities in the fa of the triviality and mediocrity of their lives. All around us, birds are flying. musical in song, eager to enter into our souls. But until we are reconciled with the goal life, they have to be content to perch on the top of our roof for a moment, and then fly away.

To pass from sadness to joy requires a birth_ moment of travail and labour, for no one ever mounts a higher level of life without death to the lower. Before such an ascent, conscience, for a moment, has a hard, stern work to do. Pearls come from the bottom of the water, gold from the depths of the earth, and the g joys of life are to be found in the recesses of a con broken heart.
Joy is the happiness of love — love aware of its inner happiness. Pleasure comes from without but comes from within, and it is, therefore, within the r of everyone in the world. For if there is sadness in hearts it is because there is not enough love. But to loved, we must be lovable; to be lovable, we must good, to be good, we must know Goodness, and to Goodness is to love God, and neighbour, and everybody in the world.

The above Article is taken from the Book ‘Way to Inner Peace”. Order Now!!!

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The Apostle, Saint Paul

The Apostle,Saint Paul.1

On 29 June the universal Church celebrates the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Doesn’t it seem strange that Saint Paul is accorded equal status with the first Pope, Saint Peter? Paul was definitely not one of the 12 apostles. He was not even a disciple of Jesus during his public ministry and did not know him personally. In fact, after the death of Jesus Paul hated and persecuted the Christians. Scripture says, “Cursed be the man who hangs upon a tree” (Deut 21:23). Jesus was crucified — he hung upon a tree, so he was cursed by God. How could people be disciples of a man cursed by God? For Paul such a movement/religion referred to as “the Way”, had to be eradicated. Conversion came when Paul experienced the risen Christ (Acts 9:3-6). Paul inferred that if God raised Jesus from the dead, he was blessed and not cursed by God. Now the Indefatigable zeal of Paul in persecuting “the people of the Way” turned in equal measure to preaching that same ‘Way’, the Christians! The whole of the rest of his life thus came to be concentrated on Christ. “For me to live is Christ” (Phil I :21), he went on to claim. “I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him I have accepted the loss of everything, and I look on everything as so much rubbish if only I can have :hrist and be given a place in him” (Phil 3:8).

The Acts of the Apostles, the second writing of Saint Luke after his Gospel, is actually the Acts of the Holy Sp through the apostles of Christ. In the first half of the Ac Peter occupies centre stage. The second half concentrates on Paul while Peter fades away.

The Jesuit writer, Luis M. Bermejo states, “It is largely due to Luke that Peter and Paul are inseparably linked together in the Christian mind after Luke devoted half of Acts to Peter and the second half to Paul”.1 His next sentence quoting Sandmel is very significant and can shock many: “Next to Jesus Paul was the most significant person in early Christianity”.

Paul’s influence is not confined to early Christianity but is seen as extending to the very end of the world. He preached in cities (Corinth, Philippi, Damascus etc.), but, as a wandering preacher, he covered around 15,000 kms., by land and sea, often walking from place to place. He continues to preach after his death through the letters written by him or written by a disciple of his (Hebrews) which comprise 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament. All the four Gospels were written after Paul’s letters.
The year 2008 dedicated to Saint Paul was not meant to keep us busy with just his teaching but to help us know the man, his temperament, his passion, his sufferings, his joys, and sorrows. He was a man like us with strengths and weaknesses but totally dedicated to Christ and to the mission Christ entrusted to him. He challenges us to live totally for Christ.

This excerpt is taken from the Book “Life and It’s Values.” Order Now

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Christian Education

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On 2006 the Catholic Bishops of India in their General Body Meeting deliberated on the theme “Catholic Education and the Church’s concern for the marginalized”. It was decided that a policy document on Catholic Education in India should be made available to the entire Catholic Community of the country.

After much dialogue, discussion and collaboration at various levels of the Church the ‘All India Catholic Education Policy 2007″ was promulgated on 1 June 2007 by Cardinal Felesphore Placidus Toppo, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
“Education is the key to development and progress. With so much investment in personnel and money by the Church In the field of education, let the implementation of this policy usher in a new era in the life and mission of the Catholic Church in India”, said the Cardinal. In a fast-changing world, we cannot remain in the “Maintenance” mode but have to shift gears. Our educational institutions cannot be judged Icy academic results alone. We also need to pay attention to the poorer sections of society, even as we simultaneously evaluate our contribution to society.

“We ensure that our institutions do not pursue the narrow 00,11 of academic prestige, with a strong focus on marks and medals, but instead aim to foster human values and spiritual maturity among the staff and the students.In fact, if a Catholic institution, excellent as an academic institution, does not find it possible to implement the essential characteristics of our Christian values and is not committed to our Mission, we would consider it a radical failure on our part. Our educational endeavor is meant to lead us to the transformation of self, others, communities, and societies.Christianity is called to contribute to the building of a new society based on love, justice, and peace.

The policy statement needs to be widely discussed and put into action- otherwise, it will remain just a beautiful document with no bearing on our lives whatsoever.

This excerpt is written Taken from the Book “Life and it’s Values”

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Where Was God?

Where Was God_

Looking at the scale of the tragedy of the tsunami one wonders: Is there is God? Is he a Loving God? Then where was He and why did he not prevent this tragedy?

When God the father created man and woman He endowed them with a free will.He will never take back this gift because He is Love and awaits our response of love.Love without freedom is not love but manipulation.

The Father could have created us as robots and at the press of a button or at a command we would proclaim, “We love you father.We praise you.We worship you.We glorify you.”

In giving us a free will the Father took a very grave risk.We can not only use but also abuse the free will we possess.Just look at the state of the world.Can we blame God for the exploitation, the denial of human rights, violence, corruption, abuse of women and youngsters we see in the world?

Creation was entrusted to human beings.We are called to be stewards looking after what has been placed in our care.Have we been good stewards? Speaking in 2004 to ambassadors of different countries working in the Vatican Pope John Paul II enumerated the many challenges human society faces today.One challenge is “the protection and the prevention of natural disasters.”

“Man, especially in our time, has without hesitation devasted wooded plains and valleys, polluted waters, disfigured the earth’s habitat, made the air unbreathable, disturbed the hydrogeological and atmospheric systems, turned luxuriant areas into desert, and undertaken forms of unrestricted industrialization, degrading that ‘flowerbed’ – to use an image from Dante Alighieri- which is the earth, our dwelling place.”

People, the pope insisted, must “encourage and support the ‘ecological conversion’ which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading.”

The underground testing of nuclear arms has had its repercussions on Mother earth.

So also in the Nicobar Islands- so many people lost their lives, but not the aborigines.Their God-given natural instincts saved them.Civilized men and women have lost their natural gifts and now depend on scientific warning systems.Is God at fault?

We will never understand the cause of the tsunami and earth disaster with the huge loss of lives mostly of poor and innocent people.But it is worth reflecting on the following fact.In the wildlife sanctuary in Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, there were 1800 black bucks, 250 spotted deer, 40 feral horses, wild boar, and jackals -over 2300 animals.Suddenly all of them dashed to higher ground.8-10 minutes later the tsunami struck and flooded the sanctuary.All except a wild boar that was old or sick scaped.Their God-given instinct saved them.

There are many stories of how people were saved by clinging for days to an uprooted tree or some wooden planks.Our faith in God and His goodness has to be a plank for us.We do not know how or why but we cling to our faith.

Ultimately it is not how a person died that matters but how he lived.We are called to pray, respect life and do what we can to restore normalcy of life for the survivors.That is what God expects of us-the right use of our free will.

The Excerpt is taken from the Book “Life and it’s Values.” by Bishop Valerian D’Souza

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