Up Front and Personal

Giving Praise for 50 Years Of Charismatic Gifts

by Josephine Cachia

My pilgrimage to Rome for the 50th jubilee celebration of Charismatic Renewal was a journey of thanksgiving and remembrance for all that the Lord has given to me. This current of grace has brought me to a profound experience of the Holy Spirit alive and active in the lives of those who have embraced and welcomed the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

From the very beginning when I was first invited to a “Healing Mass” in the late 1970s, I was struck by the joy and sense of welcoming I experienced from all those who were involved in the Charismatic Renewal, people filled with praise, joy and song.

While being prayed over by a prayer ministry at the Mass I rested in the Spirit and felt a peace that went beyond words.

How God Works

I expressed my impression about that event with my then-pastor. His immediate response was that I was either hysterical or influenced by the assembly of the people gathered there. Since he knew me personally, I reminded him that I was not a hysterical person given into emotional outbursts. As we delved more deeply into the conversation, his concern was that God did not “work” that way.

As I listened to him, I was inspired to re-account the mysteries of the Incarnation, Crucifixion and of course, the Resurrection.

I suggested: Would we ever say that God did not ‘‘work” that way? He was so moved that he ask if I would coordinate a “Healing Mass” for our parish, and that was my introduction into the Charismatic Renewal. I attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar. Following the seminar, Sacred Scripture became more alive, prayer was deeper and more intimate, prayer group meetings became places of discovery, especially of praise and charismatic gifts.

I became a prayer group servant leader in my parish and served on the service team in our area. I began to engage in inner healing and teaching seminars and was invited to serve on the Diocesan Pastoral Team years later.

After attending an Ecumenical Charismatic Conference in New Orleans, La., I was healed from the fear of flying. Months after that experience, I was discerned to serve as Bishop’s Liaison to Charismatic Renewal.

Since then, I have served nine years on the National Service Committee (NSC) of the Charismatic Renewal. On behalf of the NSC, I enjoy traveling and meeting people from many parts of the nation as well as various areas around the world.

Lord, Guide Me

Can I dare to say that all has been “happily ever after”? Not on your life.

Several years ago I discovered I had six disintegrated spinal discs that required surgery. If I wanted to walk again, I had to make a decision. I prayed and asked the Lord to guide me in this process. I went through surgery, having spinal fusion with 16 screws in my vertebrae and four cages between the vertebrae. A year later, I had to have both of my knees replaced. All of this was covered with prayer.

Ongoing Conversion

When the Lord calls us to serve we follow Him through the Cross, to the Resurrection and onward to Pentecost; the cycle of liturgical life. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is life changing, accompanied by the grace of the Lord to live a life of ongoing conversion.

While in Rome at the Circus Maximus, Pope Francis exhorted 70-80 thousand people gathered there as representatives of the Charismatic Renewal to:

  • Live our lives in the Holy Spirit and encouraged us to share with the church the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
  • Relate with Christians of other traditions by continuing to witness to this current of grace, a renewing breath of the Spirit for all members of the church.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).

Always and everywhere may the Church continue to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the Power of the Holy Spirit to the Glory of God the Father.

Josephine Cachia serves as the bishop’s liaison for the diocesan Charismatic Renewal.