Author Maria Muratore
Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on God. In our “selfie” focused world, we need this constant reminder - life is not all about us. We may know that in our heads, but our hearts think differently. We're prone to being selfish , He desires our eyes be set firmly on Him because that's where our true hope is found. He is worthy of our praise, no matter what we face from day to day.
“Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” Psa. 150:2
"And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long." Psa. 35:28
Praise brings us to humility. We remember our dependency on God, as we acknowledge our need for Him. As we praise Him as Creator and King of this world, we admit and recognize that we’re not in control, but He is.
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord are a great God and a great King above all gods.” Psa. 95:2-3
"I will give you thanks in the great congregation: I will praise you among many people." Psa. 35:18
Praise makes the enemy flee. It pushes back the darkness, surrounds, and blocks the attacks and hissing lie over us. Evil will not stick around if we’re praising our God, who will fight our battles for us. In the story of Jehoshaphat, we see God miraculously defeat the enemy, because of the people’s obedience to praise Him.
“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” 2 Chron. 20:22
Praise leaves no room for complaining and negativity. Sometimes even within our prayers, complain about our problems. God knows our hearts. And He cares about all that concerns us. During praise, we’re focused on Him and no longer on the struggles. We’re reminded of what He has already done in our lives. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” Psa. 103:2-4
"By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." Heb. 13:15
Praise makes room for God’s blessings . He will not hold back since praise opens the gateway of blessing as we come into the Presence of our King.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psa. 100:4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" Eph. 1:3
Praise invites His presence. God dwells close to us when we praise Him. He lives there. He looks for it.
“He inhabits the praises of His people.” Psa. 22:3
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;" 1 Pet. 2:9
Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in His presence. We're strengthened by His peace and refueled by His joy. Through a heart of praise, we realize that God doesn’t just change our situations and work through our problems, He changes our hearts.
“In His presence, there is the fullness of joy.” Psa. 16:11
"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands." Psa. 63:3-4
It paves the way for God's power to be displayed, miracles happen. People's lives are affected and changed. As Paul and Silas sat in prison, shackled, and chained, they kept right on praising God. And God sent an earthquake that shook the cells and broke the chains. The jailer and all his family came to know Christ that very night.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26
We have a choice every day in this life. To live absorbed in worry and stress or we can ask God to help us take our eyes off all our problems. God desires our whole heart. He waits for us to return. He longs for us to know the power of His presence over our lives. He desires to bless us more than we could imagine. His Spirit urges us onward, calling us closer.
Author Maria Muratore
As Catholics, we should use prayer, praise and the word of God in our spiritual battles. Do not neglect the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion, along with fasting in some cases, since they are very powerful in preparation to equip us for Spiritual battle.
Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons that need to be cast out. Others completely ignore the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers. The key to successful spiritual warfare is finding the biblical balance. Jesus sometimes cast demons out of people; other times He healed people with no mention of the demonic. The apostle Paul instructs Christians to wage war against the sin in themselves (Romans 6) and warns us to oppose the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18).
Ephesians 6:10–12 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This text teaches some crucial truths: we can only stand strong in the Lord’s power, it is God’s armor that protects us, and our battle is ultimately against spiritual forces of evil in the world.
Ephesians 6:13–18 is a description of the spiritual armor God gives us. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and by praying in the Spirit. What do these pieces of spiritual armor represent in spiritual warfare? We are to know the truth, believe the truth, and speak the truth. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance we face. We are not to waver in our faith, trusting God’s promises no matter how strongly we are attacked. Our ultimate defense is the assurance we have of our salvation, an assurance that no spiritual force can take away. Our offensive weapon is the Word of God, not our own opinions and feelings. And we are to pray in the power and will of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is our ultimate example of resisting temptation in spiritual warfare. Observe how Jesus handled direct attacks from Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11). Each temptation was combated with the words “it is written.” The word of the living God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
The key to success in spiritual warfare is to rely on God’s power, not our own. We put on the whole armor of God. We draw on the power of Scripture—the Word of God is the Spirit’s sword. We pray in perseverance and holiness, making our appeal to God. We stand firm (Ephesians 6:13–14); we submit to God; we resist the devil’s work (James 4:7), knowing that the Lord of hosts is our protector. “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2).
We have provided additional spiritual warfare, protection prayers, and devotionals for your use. Check them out here.
Author Maria Muratore
Catholics believe that healing occurs during all masses. God wants to heal us and will heal through the powerful gift given to us by the Holy Spirit. This is one of God’s gifts to His Church. During a healing mass and service we must remain open to the Holy Spirit and invite Him into our hearts in order for healing to take place. All that’s required on our part is to have expectant faith.
Life in the Spirit Seminars
Author Maria Muratore
Life in the Spirit Seminars help participants grow in our faith. The eight seminar sessions, led by trained and certified facilitators, cover the topics:
Growth in the Spirit Seminars
Growth in the Spirit Seminars follow the Life in the Spirit Seminars. They help us continue to grow and mature spiritually. The nine seminars in this series cover the topics:
Author: Maria Muratore
Catholic Charismatic Renewal
John the Baptist told his followers that the Messiah “will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.” (Luke 3:16) In the Acts of the Apostles we see that the early church believed this and saw it come to pass. They continued to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit. Furthermore, church history shows that this experience of “baptism in the Spirit” did not die with the Apostles, but that it continued in strength for centuries in the general church and through the present day. This experience has been part of faith life and traditions in various groups and communities through- out the history of the church. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is only the latest of these expressions of baptism in the Spirit and charismatic gifts.
The renewal of this experience of “baptism in the Spirit” began in the Catholic Church in February of 1967 when a group of students on retreat at Duquesne University began praying for a fresh outpouring of Pentecost. Many of them had profound “baptism in the Spirit” experiences and they shared these experiences with other in prayer. They had a renewed commitment to prayer and a personal relationship to Jesus, a yearning for more knowledge in their Catholic faith and to the gospel call to bring the message of the Jesus to others, and the use of the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit to bring this about. There followed a wildfire movement of the Spirit so profound that it led to the National Service Committee here in the U.S. and the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Italy. This Renewal of “baptism in the Spirit” has “set on fire” for the Lord nine million Catholic charismatics in the U.S. and 150 million Catholic charismatics worldwide, which are only a part of the 600 million witnesses through Baptism in the Holy Spirit through all denominations worldwide! What an outpouring of the Spirit in 40 years! Many Catholics having experienced this “baptism in the Spirit” - this renewal of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation - have become more involved in their local parishes, community outreaches, teen ministry and missionary work.
Pope John Paul II called the Renewal a “gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church” (March 14, 1992). And on the eve of Pentecost 2004 he stated, “Thanks to the Charismatic Movement, a multitude of Christians, men and women, young people and adults, have rediscovered Pentecost as a living reality in their daily lives. I hope that the spirituality of Pentecost will spread in the church as a renewed incentive to prayer, holiness, communion and proclamation.”
Compiled by Maria Muratore
Since becoming pope, Francis has reached out to Catholic charismatics and to Protestant evangelicals. Why are these gestures significant?
Pope Francis is the first pope who has had first-hand experience with the Charismatic Renewal. His predecessors were open and supportive to the movement, but Pope Francis was actively involved with Catholic charismatics in Argentina by celebrating Mass for them and serving as the representative of the bishops of his country to the movement. He admits that his first impressions were not very positive; he thought they were like a “Samba school.” But he changed his mind and stated, “I think that this movement does much good for the church overall.” He has also encouraged the Charismatic Renewal to give the witness of spiritual ecumenism with other Christians.
See complete article: americamagazine.org/.../pope-francis-charismatic-renewal-qa-patti-gallagher-
See more of what our current Pope says:
POPE BENEDICT XVI:
For his part, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has added his voice to the Pope's in acknowledging the good occurring in the Charismatic Renewal and providing some cautions. In a forward to a book by Cardinal Suenens, at that time the Pope's delegate to the Charismatic Renewal, the Prefect comments on the Post-Conciliar period stating,
At the heart of a world imbued with a rationalistic skepticism, a new experience of the Holy Spirit suddenly burst forth. And, since then, that experience has assumed a breadth of a worldwide Renewal movement. What the New Testament tells us about the charisms - which were seen as visible signs of the coming of the Spirit - is not just ancient history, over and done with, for it is once again becoming extremely topical.
Speaking of the book's subject, renewal and the powers of darkness, he says,
What is the relation between personal experience and the common faith of the Church? Both factors are important: a dogmatic faith unsupported by personal experience remains empty; mere personal experience unrelated to the faith of the Church remains blind.
Finally, he urges those who read the book to pay special attention to the author's double plea,
... to those responsible for the ecclesiastical ministry - from parish priests to bishops - not to let the Renewal pass them by but to welcome it fully; and on the other (hand) ... to the members of the Renewal to cherish and maintain their link with the whole Church and with the charisms of their pastors. [Renewal and the Powers of Darkness, Leo Cardinal Suenens (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1983)]
See complete article:https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/charismatic_renewal.htm
POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II:
This great Pope and now Saint said:
“At this moment in the Church’s history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much–needed defense of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people’s ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God’s loving call. Your contribution to the re–evangelization of society will be made in the first place by personal witness to the indwelling Spirit and by showing forth his presence through works of holiness and solidarity. "The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission" (John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 42). What more effective means can there be for drawing those who have lost their spiritual bearings towards that truth which alone can calm the restlessness of the human heart than the living example of fervent Christian believers? To bear witness is to be a powerful leaven among people who perhaps do not fully recognize the value of the salvation that only Jesus Christ can offer.
The Charismatic Renewal can also help foster the growth of a solid spiritual life based on the Holy Spirit’s power at work in the Church, in the richness of her Tradition, and particularly in her celebration of the Sacraments. Frequent reception of the Eucharist and regular use of the Sacrament of Penance are essential for a genuine life in the Holy Spirit, for these are the means which Christ himself has given us to restore and sustain the Spirit’s gift of grace. Since the ways of the Spirit always lead to Christ and his Church, and since it is the Spirit himself who guides those he has established as Bishops to care for the Church of God (Cf. Acts 20:28), there can be no conflict between fidelity to the Spirit and fidelity to the Church and her Magisterium. Whatever shape the Charismatic Renewal takes – in prayer groups, in covenant communities, in communities of life and service – the sign of its spiritual fruitfulness will always be a strengthening of communion with the universal Church and the local Churches."
See complete article:
BLESSED POPE PAUL VI:
Speaking to the International Conference on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on May 19, 1975,our now beatified Pope Paul VI encouraged the attendees in their renewal efforts and especially to remain anchored in the Church.
This authentic desire to situate your selves in the Church is the authentic sign of the action of the Holy Spirit ... How could this 'spiritual renewal' not be a chance for the Church and the world? And how, in this case could one not take all the means to ensure that it remains so...
POPE ST. JOHN XXIII :
This sainted Pope prayed in 1962 for “a new Pentecost”. In preparation for the Second Vatican Council, he prayed for God to, “Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Savior, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen.” The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began at a Duquesne University student retreat outside of Pittsburgh, PA in February 1967. The students had spent much of the weekend in prayer, asking God to allow them to experience the grace of both Baptism and Confirmation. The students, that weekend, had a powerful and transforming experience of God, which came to be known as “baptism in the Spirit”. The movement spread rapidly throughout the U.S. and the world. In 1978, an office for the Charismatic Renewal was established in the Vatican. Known today as ICCRS, the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, this office assists in the promotion of a “culture of Pentecost” throughout the Church. In 1997, the bishops of the United States issued
Author: Maria Muratore
What is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?
A “Charismatic Prayer Meeting” is a gathering, weekly or bi-monthly, to give praise, thanks, honor, and love to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It’s a time to gather in community and praise God as the Holy Spirit moves us.
A prayer meeting is not a discussion club, a therapy session, or a time for counseling. We come to give our full attention to Jesus through the help of the Holy Spirit.
A prayer meeting has two purposes;
1. To praise, worship, and honor God
2. To build up the body of Christ
What is the format of a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?
We begin with a gathering song, followed by an opening prayer ,time of praise and worship, singing. When then have a time for prophecy, God inspiring someone to speak, through tongues, song, praise, or prophecy. We then have interpretation of tongues, ministering the Gifts of the Spirit to the people gathered in healing, miracles, word of knowledge, see 1 Cor. 12, scripture reading; teaching; testimony; sharing, see 1 Cor. 14:26-33.
A meeting may last a minimum of 1 ½ to 2 hours or more.
Do I Have to raise my hands or pray like others do?
No. You should pray as you feel comfortable while also respecting others in the way they pray and feel comfortable.
Do I have to say “Praise the Lord, Alleluia”; etc,as others may do?
No, you do not have to say or do anything you are not comfortable with. Just be open to the Holy Spirit and pray however you wish. As we learn why God wants us to praise, we will desire to change our form of worship, but pray as you know how.
Is a prayer group a parish organization?
No, a prayer group is made up of individuals that come together regularly as a family for the purpose of giving Jesus the praise He deserves. The first and primary purpose of all prayer are to praise and honor the God who created us and who gives us all the gifts we enjoy each day.
What are the Spiritual Gifts?
Word of Wisdom; Word of Knowledge; Faith; Prophecy; Discernment of Spirits; Tongues(see 1 Cor. 12, 13-14 & 1 Cor. 14:1) ; Interpretation; Healing; Miracles.(see Acts 2:4)
What is “Baptism in the Spirit” ?
It is the release of the power of the Holy Spirit already within the US that we received by faith at our confirmation, and now in our experience, to enable us to live the Christian life we want to live but had only been partially successful in doing. We will begin to experience a new ability to appreciate Jesus, the Bible, our daily prayer life, and our faith through this living experience.
Do I have to speak at a prayer meeting?
No. You may come to experience the life and love of Jesus. As we listen and praise we will find that the Holy Spirit will work in us to want to give back some of the love we have received through allowing the Holy Spirit in the use of the Gifts of the Gifts of the Spirit. The people that do speak are learning to let the Spirit lead them in how, when, and what to say in the meeting.
What is a “testimony”?
Telling how the Lord is working in your life If the testimony is led by the Spirit, the result will be that the center of the testimony will be the honor and glory of Jesus, not the person sharing. (see John 16:14)
How can I grow spiritually?
First, submit yourself to the lordship of Jesus in prayer, and talk to God as your loving Father who wants to teach you. Take time to listen for God to respond to your prayers. Second, take time every day to read the word of God, the Bible; to learn about your Father and the love of Jesus for you. Learn who God says you are, part of His Son Jesus. Third, act on the new understandings you get from your prayer and Bible reading. (See Matt. 7:24-27 and James 1:22-25.) Finally, submit yourself to God to become a part of a prayer gathering where other people are seeking spiritual growth as you are.
Is a charismatic prayer meeting based on the Bible?
Yes, Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in their midst.” (Matt. 18:19-20).
See also, 1 Cor. 14:26, Acts 2:42, Rev. 3:20-21,Rev. 22:17.
Why Do We Sing?
Singing is a way of praying, praising, and worshiping God. St. Augustine said, “He who sings, prays twice.” Songs can turn our hearts and thoughts toward God, and help us to understand the presence of Jesus if they are well selected. The meeting should not turn into a songfest. We should pause between songs, readings, prophecies, etc; and take time to listen. This is the time the Holy Spirit can talk to us. We need silence to reflect and allow the Spirit to work. (Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-21)
Is a charismatic prayer meeting like a Eucharistic celebration?
Don’t compare one with the other. In a prayer meeting, Jesus is present in a different way and for a different purpose. Both the mass and the charismatic prayer meeting are to bring glory to God as the body of Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Only, we worship Him from an informal viewpoint, rather than a structured celebration. At a “charismatic mass,” we experience the combining of these two forms of worship.
Where can I read something on the Holy Spirit in the Bible?
We recommend passages:
John 14:16 and 26; John 16:17 and 13; Acts 1:4 and 8; Acts 2:4, 17, and 38; Acts 4:31; Acts 5:32; Acts 8:17; Acts 10:4448; Acts 19:56; Romans 5:35; Romans 8:1-17,26-27; 1 Cor. 2:6-16; 1 Cor. 3:16; Galatians 5:16-26, and many others.
Is Satan Real?
Yes, The Bible, Jesus, and our Church have always taught that Satan is real, but Jesus has defeated Satan, the devil, for the children of God, and the life of Jesus will keep us safe as we learn to obey the Holy Spirit.
What is the Importance of Prayer?
See Matt. 7:7, 21-22; Mark 11:22-26; Luke 18:1; Luke 11:1-13; John 15:7, 16; Eph. 6:18-19; Col. 4:2; 1 Thes. 5:17-18; James 5:16; Rev. 8:34; and many more.
What should I keep in mind when attending prayer meetings?