2015 Christmas Letter
One of the early songs in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was entitled, “The Light of Christ.” The refrain and third verse are:
The Light of Christ has come into the world, the light of Christ has come into the world.
The Light of God has come to us so that we might have salvation; from the darkness of our sins we walk into glory with Christ Jesus.
Pope Francis spoke of this light last Christmas Eve:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). “An angel of the Lord appeared to [the shepherds] and the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Lk 2:9). This is how the liturgy of this holy Christmas night presents to us the birth of the Saviour: as the light which pierces and dispels the deepest darkness. The presence of the Lord in the midst of his people cancels the sorrow of defeat and misery of slavery, and ushers in joy and happiness.
He then challenged us – and challenges us anew this year:
On this holy night, while we contemplate the Infant Jesus just born and placed in the manger, we are invited to reflect. How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close? “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me?
This is our prayer for you this Advent and Christmas season: that the light of Christ will again penetrate any darkness (sorrow, sin) and renew you in His love, that you allow God (Father, Son and Spirit) to love you.
It is, also, the end of both the calendar year and our fiscal year. We come again asking for your most generous year end gift. As our society seems to want to slide again into darkness we – the National Service Committee and you in Partnership – stand together to bring the light of Christ into that darkness for, as Pope Francis said in that same homily, “the light that shatters the darkness reveals to us that God is Father and that his patient fidelity is stronger than darkness and corruption. This is the message of Christmas night.”
It is, also, the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit.
New doors have opened for us this year and new opportunities presented to us:
- With a step of faith we have hired a Young Adult Coordinator with the initial funds from the Toward the Jubilee Read about Dave VanVickle in the current issue of Pentecost Today as well as see him introduce himself on our website.
- With even bolder faith we are nearing completion of the purchase of The Ark and The Dove, the Retreat House north of Pittsburgh where the outpouring of the Holy Spirit fell upon students and faculty in February, 1967. We have received a loan which will have to be paid back to make the purchase. Our hope and plans is to turn The Ark and The Dove into a Center for all the Renewal.
- We have partnered with a publisher to produce a Catholic Charismatic Renewal version of the NAB NT with beautiful artwork and inspiring annotations and an eight page Introduction to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal entitled “An Invitation.” Our goal is that every individual/couple in the Renewal would buy one copy for themselves and at least one copy (or 10 or more) to give away. Click Here to view a sample.
Of course, we continue our ministries of Pentecost Today, National Leaders’ and Ministries’ Conferences (next year in Atlanta, November 4-6), eNewsletters, publications, website as well as our National office – all oriented to do what Pope Francis has asked of us: to bring baptism in the Holy Spirit to the whole Church!
May your Advent be prayerful and your Christmas filled with His love – for you!
In Jesus, celebrating His love,
PS.: Your most generous gift in response to the great gift of the “light of Christ” and baptism in the Holy Spirit will help us end the year with the resources to go forward to our Jubilee in 2017. If you would like to make a gift of stock or other investment, please contact us to work out the details.